Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe review

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What is?

A statement, that is. One that says “I’m fine with me, I don’t care what you think, and would you mind getting the fuck out of my way? GLE Coupe, come on.”

This is Mercedes’ second attempt at a sloping-bottom variant of its 4×4 that’s larger than the GLC and smaller than the GLS. The old GLE was an afterthought, thrown into the lineup at halftime after Mercedes decided BMW was snapping up the entire ‘coupe SUV’ market. The problem was that Merc’s heart was clearly not in it. The result was a weird machine that didn’t offer enough space, wasn’t good enough to drive, and had an outdated cabin as soon as it went on sale. Unsurprisingly, it flew out of showrooms, which meant this second-generation model would inevitably be on the plan from the start.

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To its credit, the new GLE SUV is a nice, well-balanced car, so the coupe has decent underpinnings. And while the Coupe’s wheelbase is 20mm longer than the previous version to gain more space inside, it’s 60mm shorter in wheelbase than the standard GLE, to show how serious Mercedes is about sportiness. . That sloping roofline also tops out 77mm lower than regular GLEs, and Mercedes tells us the coupe has been designed to be less fussy than its predecessor, promising “emotionally engaging sportiness” and “sensuous elegance.” For us, there is still a hint of crouching dog from certain angles…

Inside, you’re greeted by huge twin screens and even larger twin Jesus grab bars between the seats to give the GLE Coupe that go-anywhere SUV vibe. There are three seats in the back, with enough headroom for adults to use. Underneath is standard all-wheel drive, air suspension and a choice of six-cylinder turbocharged petrol and diesel engines, while the V8 is reserved for AMG’s goofy GLE 63S.

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We tested the closest thing Mercedes will sell to a sensible GLE coupe: the 400d. It’s powered by a 3.0-liter turbodiesel inline-six that produces 326 hp and a colossal 516 lb-ft of torque, coming in at just 1,200 rpm. That poor nine-speed gearbox. Outside the UK you can spec this engine in a lower 268bhp version, but the GLE 350d has less grunt to cash checks written for bold AMG styling and 22-inch wheels. That’s probably why Mercedes decided not to import it to Britain. Now don’t make me turn on my LED headlights. Outside, yes?

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Our choice of the range.

Mercedes Benz
GLE 400d 4Matic AMG Line Premium + 5 doors 9G-Tronic

What’s the verdict?

Great for navigating the roads. Not comfortable enough in the city. But it’s all in the picture, right?
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Coupe SUVs with huge grills, huge badging, and a strong feeling of being watched are hard cars to love. Deciding whether the GLE Coupe is a better buy than a BMW X6 is like choosing between being stuck in an elevator with Jake Paul or Logan Paul.

That said, this deliberate offering of form over function is at least a viable family car in terms of space, and it’s a good long-distance GT. Our money would still go to the standard plus GLE boxer, which is one of the best luxury SUVs on the market precisely because it didn’t have a sporty stick-knock sound.

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