Mercedes GLE Coupe SUV review
"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. The latest GLE Coupe is now much closer to the BMW X6 for driving pleasure, marking a big step up from the original.
The GLE Coupe is hardly slow either; there's plenty of grip from those wide tyres and Mercedes' 4MATIC four-wheel drive, while every engine offers impressive acceleration. The GLE Coupe 400 d's six-cylinder diesel is brawny and gets this SUV from 0-62mph in just 5.7 seconds, despite it weighing over two tonnes. 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. The GLE 63 S is even faster, taking a scarcely believable three seconds flat to get from 0-62mph. Fuel-efficiency for the diesel is just 33.6mpg, though, so if you want a GLE Coupe that's slightly cheaper to run, the GLE 350 de plug-in hybrid is the best option.
With a 2.0-litre diesel engine, electric motor and 30.8kWh battery, this can drive for over 60 miles on electricity alone, giving it a fuel economy figure of 313.9mpg and CO2 emissions of just 23g/km.
Making the costs somewhat more palatable, the GLE Coupe boasts a luxurious interior, 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. Air suspension soaks up most bumps in the road and the automatic gearbox trades some speed for smooth shifts.
Despite the sloping roof, this is still a big car with plenty of room for adults in the back. There's also a large 655-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.