Earlier this year we tested the Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 4MATIC+ Coupé. A car that thanks its existence to the BMW X6. The X6 is already in its third generation, the GLE Coupé only its second. Next to the BMW X6 the GLE Coupé also has two new rivals, also from Germany: the Audi e-tron Sportback (all-electric) and the Porsche Cayenne Coupé. The Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupé made its debut back in 2015 in the Jurrassic World of Steven Spielberg for those who have a very good memory.
After only five years, the GLE is now relieved by a second generation. It has to be said that the predecessor still looks fresh somehow, but with the arrival of the new GLE SUV, it did not take Mercedes much time to also refresh the Coupé variant. Visual confusion with the first GLE coupé is not at order, but the discussion on the naming remains. Call me old fashioned, but naming an enormous SUV a Coupé is a bit crazy. The front is shared with the ‘normal’ GLE, but the back and profile line is totally different. If you compare the GLE 53 with the GLE 63, the front is almost the same. The front bumper of the 63 (S) is still slightly different and more agressive but you need to be well trained to see the difference at a glance.
The new GLE loses some rounded lines compared to its predecessor. Also striking is the specific AMG radiator trim with 15 vertical fins which was previously only reserved for the 63-AMG models. The black finished circular exhaust pipes of the GLE 53 are well integrated in the black rear bumper. Some will find it not contrasting enough, but once you start the engine it is clear that something powerful lays under the bonnet. The overall design is a combination of elegant lines and some more aggressive accents.
Despite the more female looks, the GLE Coupé will never win a cuteness award (as far as that exists). Despite that, one of the coolest specifications is a white body color (Designo Diamond White) in combination with black 22 inch rims (32,5 cm wide!). Our testcar could count on those fantastic looking 22 inch rims, which made the looks of the GLE 53 even closer to the 63 AMG variant. The wheel basis is 6 cm shorter and the height is 4,2 cm lower than the GLE SUV, but the GLE Coupé is 1,5 cm longer compared to that one. More striking is the width of the GLE 53 Coupé which is around 6 cm more compared to a standard GLE SUV. The mirror to mirror width is a massive 2,157 m.
The power unit under the massive bonnet is known from the E-Class family. In summary, the twin-turbo six-cylinder in-line engine delivers 435 hp and the EQ boost of the starter/generator (positioned between the engine and the transmission) provides an additional 22 hp of electric output that feeds the 48 volt electric system. Turbocharging is happening through a turbocharger and electric auxiliary compressor. The EQ boost is mainly there to bridge the turbo lag and practically unnoticeable engine restarting for the start/stop function.
The exhaust gas aftertreatment system is mounted near the engine, this was possible thanks to the compact engine set-up. The AMG rumble is present through the AMG Performance exhausts, but we suspect that AMG is using sound through the Burmester system to boost the sound experience. The sprint from 0 to 100 km/h happens in 5,3 seconds and the internally ventilated brakes with a diameter of 400 mm with 2-piston fixed callipers in the front bring the necessary braking power.
Driving & Comfort
In the end you can’t get around the dimensions and the weight of this SUV (2.225 kg), but the GLE 53 drives surprisingly sporty for an SUV of this size. The 22 inch rims (size 325 at the back) and the relatively hard seats compromise the overall comfort feeling, but luckily the air suspension compensates a lot. Also the seat kinematic program helps to prevent back pain for the front passengers. The GLE 53 AMG is not bothered by strong gusts of wind despite its enormous format. The same is valid for body roll during cornering. Thanks to the roll stabilisation of the AMG Active Ride Control with two independently operating, electro-mechanical actuators at the front and rear axle. Moreover, there is hardly any wind noise.
Even though you could claim this GLE 53 is not a ‘real’ AMG, the suspension and power transmission (AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9G) was developed to meet the standards from Affalterbach. Optionally customers can opt for the electro-mechanical AMG RIDE CONTROL+ sport suspension with three settings: Comfort, Sport and Sport+. The suspension is not compatible with the E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL that can individually control spring and damping forces at each wheel. In combination with the Road Surface Scan technology comfort could reach new standards. But not in the GLE 53 AMG as mentioned.
The GLE offers not less than 7 driving modes: Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Individual, Trail and Sand. The specific driving modes reveal the off road capabilities of the GLE, but the GLE 53 is the last car we would like to take off road. The driving assistance systems, active steering assist in specific, are better fine tuned in the GLE than in other Mercedes models we drove earlier. Systems only interfered when really necessary, which was not always the case in the past.
The GLE comes as standard with two 12,3 inch screens in the cockpit. Next to the gigantic screens the interior is dominated by two large grab handles on the centre console. Do we still need to mention, but also the GLE can count on the MBUX user experience. The headroom at the back is acceptable thanks to the back seats in a certain angle. Compared with the previous GLE Coupé, the passengers in the back have 2 cm more leg room. The entrance dimensions even grew with 3,5 cm. The boot capacity is now 655 litres and grows to 1.790 when the back rests of the rear seats are folded. To facilitate the loading, the tail end can be lowered by 5 cm. The interior can be refreshed by the AMG fragrance perfume through the ventilation system.
There is no overload of AMG elements in the interior. Red contrasting topstitching, red seat belts (not mandatory), three spoke AMG steering wheel, aluminium shift paddles, stainless steel sports pedals with rubber studs and AMG floor mats. The finishing of the interior is decent, but not for all materials. Some plastics like the air vents, the rear view mirror, the back of the front seats and the gear changer should be from a different standard in a car of more than 100k euro.
Price & Options
In Belgium the price gap of the GLE 53 4MATIC+ with the GLE 63 4MATIC+ (571 hp) is around € 35.000 and with the GLE 63 S 4MATIC+ (612 hp) almost € 50.000. Current starting price of the GLE 53 4MATIC+ is € 109.263 (including 21% VAT). The most valuable options are bundled in the AMG Premium Plus pack (+ € 9.559; 22 inch rims, AMG Ride Control sports suspension, head-up display, energizing pack, driving assistance pack, AMG buttons on the steering wheel, AMG Track Pack) and the AMG Ultimate pack (+ € 19.965; AMG nappa leather, driving assistance plus pack, heated back seats, AMG performance steering wheel).
The Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 4MATIC+ Coupé is the perfect car for people who want to be seen, like a high seat position, don’t want to go with the flow and require a good balance between comfort and driving performance. It only comes at a very high price and unfortunately without the fantastic AMG V8 sound. Anyhow the GLE 53 is a bit more environmentally accepted than its V8 powered brother. Call it a fair deal compared to the GLE 63.
|AMG||Test Drive Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 4MATIC+ C167|
|Engine||M256 3,0 R6|
|Horsepower||425 hp at 6.100 rpm + 22 hp EQ Boost|
|Torque||520 Nm between 1.800 and 5.800 rpm + 250 Nm EQ Boost|
|Compression ratio||10.5 : 1|
|Transmission||AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9G|
|Drivetrain||Variable all wheel drive|
|Brake discs||Internally ventilated and perforated discs|
|Emission class||Euro 6d ISC-FCM|
|Average fuel consumption (NEDC)||10,6 l / 100 km (WLTP)|
|Average fuel consumption (test drive)||11,9 l / 100 km|
|Carbon footprint||240 g CO2 per km (WLTP)|
|0 - 100 km/h||5,3 s|
|Boot||655 - 1.790 l|
|Price (standard)||€ 109.263 (Belgium, 21% VAT)|
|Price testcar||€ 124.956,70 (Belgium, 21% VAT)|
|Options testcar (Prices including 21% VAT)||Designo Diamond White: € 2.009
AMG Premium Plus: € 9.559 (22 inch rims, AMG Ride Control, Head-up Display, Driving Assistance, Parktronic & 360° camera, MBUX Augmented reality for navigation, Nappa leather)
AMG Night Pack: € 436
|Other possible options (including 21% VAT)||AMG Microfibre Steering wheel: € 593
Multicontour seats with massage: € 2.226
Heated back seats: € 436
Soft closing doors: € 666
Special thanks to Mercedes-Benz Belgium.