All-new Mercedes GLE Coupe unveiled
Mercedes has unveiled its take on the big, coupe-inspired SUV – the all-new GLE Coupe – as well as its sportier sibling, the AMG GLE 53 Coupe. Read on to find out everything you need to know about it.
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Like its swoopy-roofed predecessor, the all-new Mercedes GLE Coupe riffs on the formula of the standard GLE, offering buyers a big, posh SUV with a prominent Mercedes badge on the nose, but with an added dose of rakish sportiness. The GLE Coupe will be available in the UK with a choice of two diesel engines, and comes with a nine-speed automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive as standard.
If you want petrol power, you’ll have to go for the AMG GLE 53 model, which gets a turbocharged V6 engine with an impressive 435hp.
Mercedes GLE Coupe price and release date
The GLE Coupe’s sporty looks aren’t going to come cheap, with the car expected to start from around £65,000. That’s around £10,000 more than the regular GLE and a few grand more than the BMW X6, which is probably the GLE Coupe’s closest alternative. If you fancy the extra performance of the AMG 53 model, then you’ll likely have to fork out something closer to £80,000.
Mercedes GLE Coupe styling
The Mercedes GLE Coupe’s design is similar to the boxier GLE’s, although the sloping roofline makes the car look a bit like a low-slung sports coupe, except on stilts. Other design elements include a huge grille, wheel arches that have been stretched to accommodate 22-inch alloy wheels, and a pair of real exhaust pipes. The overall effect is slicker and more swoopy than in the previous version of the GLE Coupe, particularly at the rear, where the bodywork is smoother and the tail-lights more dramatically styled.
Sporty AMG 53 models get a more aggressive look than the standard Coupe’s. There’s the vertical-runged grille (fast becoming an AMG trademark), a relatively subtle body kit and four meaty exhaust pipes.
Mercedes GLE interior
Inside, the Mercedes GLE Coupe ticks all the boxes you’d expect of an upmarket SUV. You get two huge infotainment screens that blend into one massive, landscaped-shaped, rectangular display. The rest of the dashboard is covered in expensive-looking trim pieces and shiny (in a good way) black plastic. Even many of the buttons and switches are made of actual metal. Artico artificial leather sports seats come as standard, or you can pay extra for real-deal Nappa leather.
AMG 53 models look even sportier. They get contrast-colour seatbelts, an AMG sports steering wheel and aluminium pedals Plus, you can swap the standard car’s sedate open-pore wood trims for racy carbon fibre.
Mercedes GLE infotainment
It’s not just the posh trims and leather seats that make the GLE Coupe’s interior look lovely: you also get a pair of massive, 12-inch infotainment screens with beautiful graphics. If other Mercedes models are anything to go by, the voice activation system will be a bit hit-and-miss, but the touchpad between the front seats shall make controlling the infotainment easy when you’re driving. You can also simply input commands directly into the touchscreen. Annoyingly, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration – which means you can use your phone’s apps on the car’s big screen – costs extra.
AMG 53 models’ infotainment system marks itself out with unique graphics and the optional AMG Track Pace pack, which can record your lap times and 0-60mph sprint figures.
Mercedes GLE practicality
The Mercedes GLE Coupe might not be as stylish as a ‘real’ low-slung sports coupe, but it is a lot more practical. Up front, there’s plenty of space for tall adults and a wheelbase that’s 20mm longer than the old model’s means adults will have loads of room in the back, too. You even get 40 litres worth of interior storage, so it will be easy to keep the Merc’s pretty cabin free from clutter.
Then there’s the boot. Its 655-litre capacity means it can swallow a set of suitcases, and it is almost 10% bigger than the boot in the BMW X6.
Mercedes GLE Coupe performance and driving
Four-wheel drive and a nine-speed automatic gearbox are standard in the GLE Coupe. For now, you can only choose from a pair of 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel engines in the non-AMG model. That’s not exactly a disaster though, because even the entry-level 350d produces 272hp, 600Nm of torque and returns fuel economy of nearly 40mpg. The 400d, meanwhile, is just as fuel-efficient but pumps out a whopping 330hp and 700Nm of torque. All of this means that, whichever model you choose, the GLE Coupe has all the performance you’ll ever need in the real world.
If you want to have petrol power in your GLE Coupe, then you’ll have to get yourself the AMG 53 model, which has a turbocharged 3.0-litre V6. This pumps out 435hp and 525Nm of torque. An electrical boost function can provide an additional 22hp and 250Nm of torque for short bursts of acceleration. Mind you, the Merc’s 5.3-second 0-60mph time is a touch slower than a BMW X6 M50d diesel can manage. Despite its mild-hybrid technology, the GLE Coupe is also less fuel-efficient than the X6: it will return 30mpg while BMW claims 35mpg for the M50d.
AMG 53 versions of the GLE Coupe don’t just get the most powerful engine; they also have the sportiest setup. They get comfy air suspension, combined with a roll stabilisation system that uses electronic actuators to prop the car up and stop it leaning in corners. Along with that, you get AMG Dynamic Select. It has seven driving modes, making it easy for you to set up the car for a variety of driving conditions, including long motorway slogs, offroading or even pelting around a track. AMG Dynamic Select also controls everything from the car’s suspension and gearbox, to the throttle, steering and the loudness of the exhaust.
Airmatic air suspension comes as standard on the GLE Coupe. As well as making the car comfy to drive, it boosts practicality, dropping the back of the car by 50mm to make it easier to load the boot. The suspension’s self-levelling means the Mercedes sits flat, even if it’s weighed down with heavy kit. Sadly, the cleverest suspension won’t be coming to the UK. Called E-Active Body Control, it can adjust each wheel’s spring and damper independently by scanning the road ahead with a camera mounted in the windscreen.
Mercedes GLE Coupe autonomous technology
The GLE Coupe offers a suite of autonomous driving aids that can do most of the driving for you, though much of this tech costs extra. That means the GLE can accelerate, brake and steer on the motorway and do the same in nose-to-tail traffic. It can even slow the car as you approach queues of traffic flagged up by the sat-nav, come to a halt in standing congestion and move off again completely autonomously. That said, if you don’t want to spend a small fortune on options, automatic braking does come as standard.
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