Mercedes-Benz GLE

The standard Mercedes-Benz GLE comes in six different trims, while the GLE coupe offers a further two trims to choose from. A total of six different engines are offered amongst those various trims, starting with a 2.1L turbocharged 4-cylinder diesel engine. It makes 201 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque--plenty to get the GLE moving with urgency. The gasoline-powered 3.5L V6 offers less torque, but it does make more horsepower, with a total of 302. A more powerful, but also more efficient, 3.0L twin-turbocharged engine makes 385 horsepower and offers a good compromise between fuel economy and power, while this same engine is also available on the GLE coupe. Two 5.5L twin-turbocharged V8s are offered at the top of the range, the standard version making 550 horsepower, while the more powerful "S" version makes 577 horsepower. All GLEs send power to the wheels via a 7-speed automatic transmission.

The base GLE350 comes standard with the 3.5L V6 engine, which sends power to the rear wheels. A 4Matic all-wheel-drive version is also available. Standard features on the GLE350 include 19-inch wheels, adaptive computer controlled suspension, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, power, power folding rearview mirrors, synthetic leather upholstery, wood trim, an 8-inch high resolution screen, Bluetooth audio streaming and a built-in garage door opener.

The GLE300d 4Matic is the least expensive all-wheel drive option and comes similarly equipped to the GLE350. Its diesel engine, however, sets it apart, with up to 29 mpg available on the freeway.

The GLE400 4matic comes with the bi-turbo 3.0L V6 and all-wheel drive. Standard features include a Harman/Kardon stereo, SiriusXM satellite radio, a navigation system, a power tilting sunroof, a powered liftgate and 20-inch wheels.

With its 550-horsepower V8, the AMG GLE63 can sprint to 60 mph in a claimed 4.2 seconds, making it faster than many sports cars. Unlike those sports cars, however, the GLE63 will coddle occupants in Napa leather upholstery and burnished walnut trim. The GLE63S, meanwhile, adds 21-inch wheels, a more performance-oriented suspension, and bigger brakes, making it the ultimate version of the standard GLE.

Finally, the GLE Coupe gets lower and leaner bodywork; squint at it just right and you can almost see the profile of a sports car within the styling lines of this mid-sized SUV. The GLE43 AMG Coupe gets the same 385-horsepower version of the bi-turbo V6 that powers the four door, as well as air suspension, 21-inch wheels, Napa leather upholstery and LED headlights. The top-of-the-line AMG GLE63 S Coupe rides on 22-inch wheels and a performance exhaust system, which is sure to let everyone in earshot hear what that 577-horsepower V8 sounds like under hard acceleration.

Editors' Review

The 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S Coupe's big wheels, tapering roofline and shapely backside are sure to grab your attention. This is an undeniably trendy, high-style vehicle. But what lurks behind this swoopy SUV's retro-inspired Panamericana grille is the real star of the show.

Nestled between the GLE63's front fenders is a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8. Hand assembled by the craftspeople in Affalterbach, Germany, this jewel of an engine is smoother than creamy peanut butter, delivering a stomping 603 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque, more than enough to put the hurt on rivals like the Audi RS Q8 and BMW X6 M. That's also enough sauce to rocket this coupe-ish crossover to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds and onward to a terminal velocity of 174 mph, though curiously, the GLE63 S doesn't feel as quick as the numbers suggest. This Mercedes is so refined and quiet you're almost always going at least 10 mph faster than you think, even when the active exhaust system is uncorked.

Helping deliver that performance is the automaker's EQ-Boost 48-volt mild-hybrid system, which provides up to 21 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. EQ-Boost also smooths out gearchanges and aids with regenerative braking. The system's integrated starter-generator is sandwiched between the engine and nine-speed transmission, where it takes up little space. The whole shebang is pretty much invisible; the only time you're really aware of EQ-Boost is during engine stop-start events, which are some of the smoothest in the business.

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The Good ~ Comfortable, classy interior ~ World-class twin-turbo V8 ~ Effortless acceleration

The Bad ~ Annoyingly wide door sills ~ MBUX complexities ~ Overeager brakes

The Bottom Line If you don't mind that drooping roofline, this amped-up AMG utility vehicle is mostly enjoyable.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 9.5
  • Features 9.5
  • Design 7
  • Media 9

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