Mercedes GLE Coupe SUV
"The Mercedes GLE Coupe is still spacious despite its rakish roof, but it's expensive"
- Relaxed drive
- Beautiful interior
- Expensive to run
- Limited model range
- Active suspension unavailable
Just as with the BMW X6 that invented the coupe-SUV niche, you buy the Mercedes GLE Coupe because of its design, rather than for practical reasons. It's a distinctive model that's unlikely to be spotted twice in the same car park, lending it a dash of exclusivity.
From behind the wheel, though, it feels rather similar to the mainstream GLE SUV. That's to say it's comfortable, refined and smooth, with an excellent nine-speed automatic gearbox easing away the miles. And despite efforts to sharpen up the chassis for this version, rivals like the Porsche Cayenne Coupe still offer greater driving thrills.
That's not to say the GLE Coupe is slow - far from it. There's plenty of grip from those wide tyres and Mercedes' 4MATIC four-wheel drive, while both engines offer impressive acceleration. The GLE Coupe 400d's six-cylinder diesel is brawny and gets this SUV from 0-62mph in well under six seconds. Choose the GLE Coupe AMG 53 instead and the 3.0-litre twin-turbo petrol is augmented with a small electric motor, covering off the same benchmark in 5.3 seconds. Fuel-efficiency for the diesel is just 38mpg, though, so no version of this SUV coupe is cheap to run.
Instead it boasts plentiful luxury, coming in AMG Line Premium Plus trim as standard. Twin digital screens give the dashboard a futuristic feel and there's just about every gadget imaginable to make life easier, including "Hey Mercedes" voice commands. Despite the sloping roof, this is still a big car with plenty of room for adults in the back. There's also a large 600-litre boot that's slightly bigger than that offered in the BMW X6. Another tick in the box comes from Euro NCAP's five-star crash safety score, partly a reflection of the long list of standard safety equipment.