Mercedes-Benz GLE450 AMG Coupe: Breaking Boundaries
Mention a coupe and you’d think two doors, ground-hugging, and probably a ferocious stance exuding nothing but sleekness and speed. Mention yet an SUV and the likes of a BMW X-Series or so comes into your mind.
But what if the two categories are married together? Where does that put you – an SUV and yet a coupe?
The answer lies in Mercedes-Benz’s GLE450 AMG Coupe, which we had the luxury of driving it a while back.
It’s a love-hate relationship, no?
You would have to agree that the GLE Coupe’s designs are a bold approach, and it honestly does take some time to adapt to it. The curved roofline exemplifies the three-pointed star marque’s effort to shape it as a coupe, yet retaining its tall and muscular road presence.
Measuring approximately 1,700 mm in height, the GLE Coupe stands at the same height as the average Singaporean man. It offers features accentuating its aggressiveness such as huge air intakes, 21″ rims, and a set of Mercedes’ own signature Intelligent Light System headlight assemblies.
A replacement for the M-Class
The answer to the Bavarian’s X6 aims to replace the outgoing Mercedes-Benz M-Class. While the GLE’s non-coupe variant remains as boxy as its predecessor, the Coupe promises a sportier outlook and styling for the more adventurous and trendy driver.
Mercedes-Benz threw in a set of newly-designed tail-lamps for the GLE Coupe, complimented with a neat chrome-strip running across its tail lid. Below, AMG’s styling of a quad-exhaust output sure impresses amongst other drivers that this car is one that you shouldn’t be thinking of toying with.
Top notch finishings, as always
We’ve said this before, and we’ll say this again. You cannot go wrong with the finishings of Mercedes-Benz’s interiors. You’re greeted by a pair of AMG sports seats, as well as a three spoke sports steering wheel.
But as rich in quality as it is, the GLE Coupe’s dated interior designing proved to be a setback for us. Having drove Mercs with more beautiful and stunning interiors (read: the likes of the new C-Class and similar), we were expecting more upgrades.
Instead, it looks almost similar to its predecessor (the M-Class), less the COMAND infotainment screen jutting out of the centre console. The lack of the new Mercedes’ touch pad rotary mouse knob was something we lamented – to be fair, it does look stylish but well, it’s a want instead of a need.
Sits three, or even four, if required
The advantages of huge monster SUVs lie in the fact that it can ferry four adults comfortably. This, we tried, on the GLE Coupe. And we were pleased to note that our average sized Asian adults had a fairly comfortable 20 minute cruise.
Is it ferocious enough for a Coupe?
Beneath the hood of our test GLE Coupe lies a 3-litre bi-turbocharged V6 plant, churning out 326 horses and a whopping 520 Nm of torque. You probably figured that anything above 400 Nm might get you off from the lights faster than you know it.
Mercedes-Benz’s Dynamic Select function allows you to control your suspension, engine response, and steering feel of this coupe as you maneuver your way through the heartlands.
Other than the occasional floaty suspension you get on most SUVs this size, the GLE Coupe performed reasonably above our expectations, even at tight corners where minimal body rolls were recorded.
Cruising along the freeways, the nine-speed automatic transmission (9G-Tronic) gearbox changes gears seamlessly without much prodding or prompting required. Flick it to Sport and Sport Plus modes and the engine fires up with prolonged gear drags and a more fiery ride.
And not forgetting the exhaust crackling it makes when you blip the throttle hard enough in Sport Plus. Ah… the sound of music.
So is this a sports coupe, or a luxury coupe?
After two days or so with this monster, it’s hard to decide if this would fall better under a sports category, or a luxury class. It boasts a sporty look that you would give a double-take to, but at the same time, it feels like something you would simply cruise with and bask in the pure luxury of a three-pointed star badge.
The GLE Coupe certainly triumphs its competitors in terms of aesthetics and pure luxury, but if you’re looking for a sportier and razor-sharp responsiveness, perhaps the X6 might do well for you.