The second generation Mercedes-AMG GLE Coupe refines and optimizes the design of the first generation and was developed at the same time as the new GLE. First impressions of the Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 4Matic Coupe turbo version with mild hybrid and electric compressor.
The inventor of four-door coupes (CLS in 2003), Mercedes had lost the start in the SUV-coupe segment. BMW X6 was in a very comfortable situation of not having any competitors from 2008 until 2015. Only in 2015, Mercedes reacted and developed the first big-class SUV-coupe to the facelift of the third generation ML, which with that occasion changed its name to GLE.
But the first GLE Coupe was developed from an existing body and not designed from the start. For a coupe, be it an SUV-coupe, it had a stocky silhouette with a very high hood, a “hump” in the back that continued with a rear window too vertical and quite small and descending steeply to the rear to provide enough headroom in the rear.
Mercedes wanted to avoid the mistake of the first generation BMW X6, criticized for the small headroom and that is why the first generation GLE Coupe (code C292) sacrificed the design in favor of space. But now, Mercedes has started from scratch in the development of the new generations of GLE / GLE Coupe and the designers and engineers from Stuttgart have put their minds and computers to work. What came out?
A great compromise because now the rear window is longer and make a smaller angle to the horizontal line and the GLE Coupe looks like a coupe from the side. Mercedes has better optimized the shapes and in the rear a person 1.82 meters tall as the author has three more fingers to the ceiling. You have also a lot of kneerom, although the wheelbase is 60 mm shorter than in the GLE and the rear bench is beautifully profiled for two people.
So, you can also have design and functionality, although theoretically there are two antagonistic desideratums. And the lightweight aluminum hood is slightly lower, and the thinner headlights, the Pan American grille, the lower grille that stretches across the width of the car and the longer and thinner taillights highlight a design with horizontal lines and a slimmer silhouette.
Compared to the old model, the new GLE coupe looks even slimmer because the proportions are slightly changed. The GLE Coupe is now 21 mm longer, 11 mm wider and 30 mm shorter.
Inside we find the MBUX multimedia system from the GLE with the two intertwined 12.3-inch screens and the generous touchpad that replaced the classic controller, the steering wheel with the two mini touchpads and a massive central tunnel with two support handles that remind us that it’s not just a coupe but an SUV.
For this purpose, although it is an AMG model, Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 4Matic Coupe received in addition to the classic Comfort, Sport, Sport +, Slippery and Individual driving modes other two dedicated off-road modes: Trail and Sand.
In addition to the display modes of the virtual indicators – Classic, Sport and Discreet, the AMG Exclusive Supersport mode also appears and in the Trail and Sand modes the driver can view on the board the lateral and longitudinal tilt angles but also the front/rear torque distribution.
New is also the optional AMG Active Ride Control air suspension (3,248 euros) with active stabilizer bars which is cheaper than the GLE’s E-Active Body Control (7,735 euros). In the GLE Coupe the active suspension does not include the cornering curve function or the “individual dance” function of each wheel because in case of Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 4Matic Coupe the main purpose was the reduction of the body roll, which is handled by the active stabilizer bars.
In Sport and Sport + mode the suspension automatically lowers by 10 mm and the same happens at over 120 km/h in Comfort mode. In rough terrain up to 70 km/h the suspension can be raised by up to 55 mm. AMG Active Ride Control not only adjusts the ground clearance but also the suspension settings in three ways – Comfort, Sport and Sport +.
With the AMG Active Ride Control suspension on Sport + the body roll is very low despite the SUV’s ground clearance and you have the feeling that the car does not tilt at all. The steering is very direct and incisive and gives a lot of driving pleasure despite a slightly too high driving position, especially for an AMG.
On the Comfort mode the suspension softens but still remains firm so you will feel the short bumps especially if you wear the car with the huge 21-inch alloy wheels with 315/45 R21 tires on the back and 275/45 R21 on the front. In addition, they are responsible for rolling noises that are more present than wind and engine noises.
The driver can adjust the driving modes either from the classic driving mode switch on the middle tunnel or from the Porsche inspiration button on the steering wheel. It also has buttons on the middle tunnel to shift the 9-speed automatic transmission to manual mode, to manually adjust the ground clearance, to cut the ESP or to activate the fabulous sound system of the engine with active flaps (1,624 euros) which when taking the foot from the acceleration or downshift causes some noises as if it were a gust of a shotgun. And finally, the evacuations are not fake, but real.
And the engine? It’s not the famous 4-liter bi-turbo V8, but it’s the new 3-liter 6 inline, which with an integrated 22 HP starter-alternator and an electric compressor ensures an enviable dynamic.
A small electric compressor provides the boost until the turbine starts and eliminates the turbo-lag and the integrated starter-alternator helps the engine at start and saves fuel. Especially on Sport + the engine reaction is instantaneous when you press the accelerator and you don’t feel any turbo lag. And the integrated starter-alternator contributes to fuel economy because you can drive this mechanical monster in Comfort mode with 12 l/100 km, which is remarkable, and in Sports mode with 16-17 l/100 km.
The cheapest AMG GLE Coupe starts from 90,677.20 euros and with the new active suspension, the sound system of the engine, the Burmester audio system, ventilated seats you quickly reach 100,000 euros.
It looks better proportioned, closer to the idea of a coupe, has a spacious interior, is much sportier with the new active suspension, the engine responds beautifully thanks to the electric compressor and is also economical for this power class. But it is also very expensive and the options are just as expensive.