The 2018 Mercedes-AMG GLE Coupe has two powertrain configurations unique to each of the two trims. The AMG GLE 43 is powered by 3.0 liter turbocharged V6 producing 385 horsepower and 384 lb. ft. of torque. It is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission and drives all four wheels. The higher end AMG GLE 63 S is powered by a 5.5 liter turbocharged V8 producing 577 horsepower and 561 lb. ft. of torque. It is paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission and also drives all four wheels. Going through the paces with the AMG GLE 63 S, the V8 just pulls the SUV effortlessly. Launching the vehicle to 60 mph only took a little over four seconds, a testament to the gobs of power under the hood. AMG has minimized turbo lag for great response when opening up the throttle. The GLE coupe is smaller than its four-door bigger brother and its advantage in handling is the reduction of body roll through the turn. There was enough grip for stable cornering although it wasn’t among the best in its competition. The steering allowed it to turn at will and did not feel cumbersome. Stopping from 60 mph took a distance of 112 feet, a very decent performance in its category. With a pedal that responds well to varying pressure from the foot, the bite from the brakes were predictable. Overall, it is assuring to have very capable brakes stopping a massive SUV with a punchy powertrain.
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The AMG GLE 43 trim comes standard with adaptive air suspension, auto-dimming and power-folding mirrors, power liftgate, automatic climate control, power-adjustable steering wheel, heated front seats, power-adjustable driver seat with lumbar adjustment, driver seat memory settings, navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, 115-volt power outlet, and infotainment system with 8-inch display and 13-speaker Harman Kardon sound system. Several advanced safety and driver assist technologies also come standard. The Premium 2 package then adds adaptive LED headlights, heated and cooled front cupholders, and interior ambient lights. The Premium 3 package tops it off with a plethora of advanced safety and driver assist technologies. The cream-of-the-crop AMG GLE 63 S comes standard with all the goodies from the previous trim and adds noise-reducing front-row windows, sport steering wheel, heated and ventilated front sport seats, and front seat memory settings. Stand-alone options that can be added to any model include a sunroof, trailer hitch, ergonomic heated front seats with massage, heated passenger seats, rear-seat entertainment system, and a 14-speaker sound system from Bang & Olufsen.
The 2018 model of the GLE Coupe has not been tested by the NHTSA nor the IIHS. Advanced safety and driver assist technologies come standard, such as a rearview camera, forward collision warning, rain-activated wipers, and Mercedes’ mbrace Connect telematics system. The mBrace Connect serves as another form of connectivity to a smartphone and allows remote access to the car. Optional features that are added from packages include blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning and intervention, adaptive cruise control, automated steering, collision avoidance, automatic high beams, automated parking, active brake assist, 360-degree camera and front and rear parking sensors.
The 2018 model has a 192.6-inch length, 78.9-inch width, 67.7-inch height, and 114.8-inch wheelbase. For this year, there are no changes to the exterior from last year’s model. The swooping roof line of the GLE Coupe has been a European trend lately and it makes the contemporary SUV resemble a hatchback. While technically still being a four-door, the more compact body now gives it a sportier look that is similar to a coupe version of a sedan. The starter trim comes standard with 21-inch wheels while the top-of-the-line trim has 22-inch wheels. Appearance packages provide visual touches to the body panels and the wheels.
The GLE Coupe is far from spacious than its four-door bigger brother. The running boards were narrow for a secure step in getting inside. The ride height also lends a bit of stretch when entering inside the cabin. While the headroom and legroom at the front is ample enough, the sloped roof takes away headroom for the taller passenger. There is seating up to five passengers on board, and the fit and finish of the interior is excellent. The leather is supple to the touch and seat comfort did not induce fatigue whatsoever. They also remained comfortable even on longer drives. Inside the cabin, the ride quality is compliant on the road while the air suspension dampened the bumps well. The bigger wheels weren’t harsh on the ride given how well the suspension absorbs impact. Wind noise is also attenuated because of the streamlined body contour and road noise isn’t as annoying as expected given the fat tires.
Behind the second row of seats is 23 cu. ft. of space, and folding down those seats expands the space for cargo up to 60.7 cu. ft.