Mercedes GLE Coupe

A giant 4x4 with a sporty body

7.4
wowscore
This is the average score given by leading car publications from 5 reviews
  • Quick
  • Classy interior
  • Big boot
  • Expensive to run
  • High boot lip
  • Only one diesel option
 

£61,715 - £100,895 Price range

 

5 Seats

 

23 - 39 MPG

Review

The GLE Coupe is Mercedes’ answer to the BMW X6 – it’s a sporty 4×4 SUV coupe. Underneath the GLE Coupe’s sexier curves you’ll find the same mechanical bits as on the more traditional looking GLE.

All models come with four-wheel drive as standard, so it grips well in corners and critics agree it handles twisty roads impressively well for a two-tonne car.

GLE Coupe buyers will get to choose from three petrol engines and one diesel. At the top of the range is the 5.4-litre V8 AMG GLE 63 S with 577hp, which gets from 0-62mph in just 4.2 seconds. The most popular choice in the UK will likely be the diesel GLE350d, however, which will dash from 0-62mph in seven seconds and top out at 140mph.

The ride is mostly comfortable thanks to standard air suspension, and a standard automatic gearbox means driving it around town will be easy if you can get used to the size of it. The GLE Coupe has a 650-litre boot, which is significantly bigger than the BMW X6’s and should be plenty for long family holidays.

Safety kit includes autonomous braking , a 360-degree parking camera, a lane departure warning system, a night-vision camera, and heated windscreen wipers.

Take a look at our Mercedes GLE Coupe colours guide to see what shades are available.

The GLE Coupe has a posh interior and front and rear seat passengers get decent amounts of head- and legroom – Mercedes has found a way to give the car a sporty sloping roofline without making adults in the back feel too cramped.

Critics are impressed with the GLE Coupe’s boot size too – at 650 litres it’s 70 litres larger than the BMW X6’s, and the rear seats fold down to leave an almost perfectly flat load area. The downside is that the lip you have to lift objects over to get them in the boot is quite high, making it a bit of a backache.

The GLE Coupe also gets Mercedes’ eight-inch infotainment screen that appears to float in the middle of the dashboard. It looks like a touch-screen tablet, but it’s controlled using a rotating controller between the front two seats.

Reviewers have very few criticisms of the interior, although the shape of the rear window means it’s hard to see behind you when you’re backing up. To combat this, all GLE Coupes get a reversing camera as standard, so you just have to look at the infotainment screen when you’re in reverse.

First things first: the GLE Coupe is a heavy car – the diesel model weighs 2,250kg, and the fastest petrol one is 100kg more.

The good news is critics enjoy the way you can drive it at speed along twisty roads and, although the car’s body leans a bit when you corner at speed, there’s enough grip to give you confidence when going fast. A torque vectoring system helps send power to the wheels that need it most, helping to power you around corners in safety.

The GLE Coupe is praised for having a largely comfortable ride, with only larger bumps unsettling the car. UK cars come with air suspension instead of traditional steel springs, and you can choose from three suspension settings as you drive. This means you can make the ride firm when you want to corner quickly, or soften things right off when it’s time to cruise on the motorway.

The GLE Coupe has a more sporting selection of engines compared to the normal GLE, which is less likely to be purchased by performance fans. All engines come with automatic gearboxes and four-wheel-drive systems as standard.

The diesel option is the GLE 350d – a 3.0-litre V6 with 254hp. It has 457lb ft of torque, so there’s always plenty of acceleration at any speed and it gets the GLE Coupe from 0-60mph in seven seconds. A smooth nine-speed automatic gearbox is standard on the diesel version. It also gets 39.2mpg and emits 187g/km of CO2, meaning you’ll pay £490 for the first year’s road tax, and £265 per year thereafter.

Two petrol engines are available. The 362hp twin-turbo V6 GLE450 AMG, and the very fast 5.4-litre V8 GLE 63 AMG, with either 549hp or 577hp. The 577hp GLE 63S model gets from 0-60mph in 4.3 or 4.2 seconds – the same as the BMW X6 M.

The 5.4-litre V8 models crackle and pop as you let off the accelerator too, just to put a smile on your face and remind you that you’re in an incredibly special car.

The GLE Coupe hasn’t been crash tested by Euro NCAP yet, but it’s likely to score highly given Mercedes’ reputation.

There’s lots of technology to keep you safe, such as curtain airbags over the windows, a driver tiredness monitor to let you know if you need to take a break, automatic emergency braking and even crosswind assist to help you keep in your lane on windy motorways. There’s also traffic sign recognition to help keep your licence safe by showing the current speed limit on the standard sat-nav.

Parents will find the two Isofix child-seat mounting points on the outer rear seats useful too.

The cheapest GLE Coupe costs from £61,715, and the most expensive 5.4-litre AMG GLE 63 starts at £96,500 before options.

There’s no doubting you get a lot of standard equipment for your money – all models get sat-nav, Bluetooth connectivity, DAB digital radio, two USB ports, leather seats, keyless entry and ignition as well as automatic climate control.

You also get LED headlights that can peek into corners as you turn the steering wheel, heated windscreen washers, rain-sensing wipers and puddle lights in the underside of the door mirrors which project the Mercedes logo onto the ground. Why not?

The GLE Coupe’s biggest downfall is that the BMW X6 starts from just over £50,000 for the entry-level diesel version – the X6 30d – which is quicker, more efficient and cheaper to run than the basic GLE Coupe diesel. Whether the £10,000 difference is made up by the GLE’s more generous standard equipment, looks and bigger boot is down to personal preference.

Conclusion

The GLE Coupe is a good all-rounder for buyers who want a large 4×4 but with a more exciting shape than the usual box-like offerings. It has a big boot, a range of powerful engines and a lovely interior.

Those positive are balanced out by the fact it’s relatively expensive to buy and will be quite expensive to run – even if you buy the diesel version. The GLE Coupe is, however, excellent competition for the similar-looking BMW X6, which until now has had the stylish 4×4 coupe market all to itself.

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