X

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE450 AMG is a sports-luxury SUV with an angle (pictures)

Mercedes takes on BMW's quirky X6 with a punchy, high-riding hatchback SUV of its own.

skype-headshot
skype-headshot

Chris Paukert

See full bio

01-2016-mercedes-benz-gle450-amg-coupe.jpg
1 of 21 Chris Paukert/CNET

The GLE450 AMG Coupe has a properly aggressive stance, with the corners marked out by large alloys and gaping air intakes.

02-2016-mercedes-benz-gle450-amg-coupe.jpg
2 of 21 Chris Paukert/CNET

An even more aggressive front-end look is offered by the GLE450 AMG Coupe's more powerful brother, the AMG GLE63.

05-2016-mercedes-benz-gle450-amg-coupe.jpg
3 of 21 Chris Paukert/CNET

The GLE450 AMG Coupe's roofline is slightly more accommodating than that of its BMW X6 rival.

23-2016-mercedes-benz-gle450-amg-coupe.jpg
4 of 21 Chris Paukert/CNET

The GLE450 AMG Coupe's cabin is unerringly well finished, and there is a wide range of leathers and woods to choose from.

This particular example is finished in optional Saddle Brown/Black leather ($1,620) and open-pore brown Ash wood trim ($160).

11-2016-mercedes-benz-gle450-amg-coupe.jpg
5 of 21 Chris Paukert/CNET

The GLE450 AMG Coupe's sloped roofline doesn't do wonders for rear three-quarter visibility, but at least blind-spot monitoring is optional to help compensate.

10-2016-mercedes-benz-gle450-amg-coupe.jpg
6 of 21 Chris Paukert/CNET
00-2016-mercedes-benz-gle450-amg-coupe.jpg
7 of 21 Chris Paukert/CNET

The dead-on view is this Mercedes' most aggressive -- and most conventional -- view.

07-2016-mercedes-benz-gle450-amg-coupe.jpg
8 of 21 Chris Paukert/CNET

It's here where the GLE450 AMG Coupe looks like a swollen hatchback...because it is.

13-2016-mercedes-benz-gle450-amg-coupe.jpg
9 of 21 Chris Paukert/CNET

Active LED headlamps with curve illumination are standard on the GLE450 AMG.

08-2016-mercedes-benz-gle450-amg-coupe.jpg
10 of 21 Chris Paukert/CNET

"4MATIC" is Mercedes-speak for all-wheel drive, which comes standard on this model.

06-2016-mercedes-benz-gle450-amg-coupe.jpg
11 of 21 Chris Paukert/CNET

These split-spoke 21-inch alloys feature a machine-surfaced face and painted trim. They also show off the model's massive brake discs nicely.

09-2016-mercedes-benz-gle450-amg-coupe.jpg
12 of 21 Chris Paukert/CNET

The engine's exhaust outlets are nicely integrated into the rear bumper's lower-third brightwork.

29-2016-mercedes-benz-gle450-amg-coupe.jpg
13 of 21 Chris Paukert/CNET

These power thrones feature heating and cooling functions, along with massage.

They can be adjusted to be wider and more accommodating for casual driving, or snugged tightly to your body using the adjustable air bladders for more enthusiastic driving.

30-2016-mercedes-benz-gle450-amg-coupe.jpg
14 of 21 Chris Paukert/CNET

The rear seats are more capacious than those of their chief rival, but it's still not a long-distance pleasure cruise back here. At least it has heated surfaces and independent climate control.

31-2016-mercedes-benz-gle450-amg-coupe.jpg
15 of 21 Chris Paukert/CNET

The GLE450's cargo bay is quite long, but it's also rather shallow owing to the sloping backlight.

27-2016-mercedes-benz-gle450-amg-coupe.jpg
16 of 21 Chris Paukert/CNET

The GLE's COMAND system multiway controller knob and finger-swipe pad takes some getting used to, but it will be familiar to recent Mercedes owners.

28-2016-mercedes-benz-gle450-amg-coupe.jpg
17 of 21 Chris Paukert/CNET

This five-mode drive selector truly alters the personality of the GLE450 AMG by tweaking things like the throttle tuning, transmission shift schedule, suspension firmness and steering weight.

Unfortunately, the iconography and writing are too small to be safely manipulated while under way.

26-2016-mercedes-benz-gle450-amg-coupe.jpg
18 of 21 Chris Paukert/CNET

Mercedes still steadfastly holds on to a CD player slot and a numeric keypad for presets and phone number dialing.

18-2016-mercedes-benz-gle450-amg-coupe.jpg
19 of 21 Chris Paukert/CNET

The GLE450 AMG Coupe's air suspension can be raised and lowered as conditions dictate, and the in-cluster screen will tell you what state the system is in.

15-2016-mercedes-benz-gle450-amg-coupe.jpg
20 of 21 Chris Paukert/CNET

The multifunction screen between the speedometer and the tachometer allows you to use the steering-wheel buttons to jockey between music selections without taking your hands off the wheel.

32-2016-mercedes-benz-gle450-amg-coupe.jpg
21 of 21 Chris Paukert/CNET

A striking red-line panel cover distinguishes the GLE450 AMG Coupe's engines from lesser models, but unlike its higher-power GLE63 cousin, its engine is not hand-built and signed by the individual who made it.

More Galleries

2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

More Galleries

2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

93 Photos
Rolls-Royce's Second Boat Tail Is Brown and Beautiful

More Galleries

Rolls-Royce's Second Boat Tail Is Brown and Beautiful

62 Photos
The 40 Best Games on Nintendo Switch

More Galleries

The 40 Best Games on Nintendo Switch

41 Photos
Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

More Galleries

Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

80 Photos
'Stranger Things' Stars Now and Then: Wow, They've Really Grown Up

More Galleries

'Stranger Things' Stars Now and Then: Wow, They've Really Grown Up

40 Photos
2023 Genesis GV60 Is a Futuristic EV

More Galleries

2023 Genesis GV60 Is a Futuristic EV

53 Photos
2022 Acura MDX Type S Blends Sharp Style and Strong Power

More Galleries

2022 Acura MDX Type S Blends Sharp Style and Strong Power

34 Photos