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2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE450 AMG Coupe Review & Test Drive

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Filed under Automotive, Mercedes-AMG, Mercedes-Benz, SUV, Test Drives


What may come to a surprise to some is the idea that sometimes consumers like to drive something entirely different from the status quo, something that defies traditional logic and its very own nomenclature. In such a realm, the Germans aim to please with Mercedes-Benz offering coupe-like sedans and crossover utility vehicles. For my latest test drive endeavor, I get my hands on the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE450 AMG Coupe (Mercedes-AMG GLE Coupe).

>> Get the best price on the Mercedes-Benz GLE from a network of local dealers now. <<

The new Mercedes-Benz GLE450 AMG Coupe, while not technically a “coupe,” embodies coupe-like styling derived from a unique tradition that started with vehicles like the Mercedes-Benz CLS. The 4-door utilitarian “coupe” tradition and has followed suit from brands like BMW and its X6 crossover utility vehicle offerings, of which the GLE Coupe competes directly.


Based off of the premise of being a Mercedes-Benz E-Class size classification, the midsized GLE Coupe crossover takes its tall-statured GLE SUV sibling and stylizes it with a unique shape at the expense of precious cargo space and headroom out back. Conforming to the same mold of what the normal Mercedes-Benz GLE offers, the Mercedes-Benz GLE450 AMG Coupe is more of a rolling statement that pleases your visual senses over those that would utilize the otherwise practical side of the GLE SUV.


Powered by a 3.0-liter biturbo V6 engine, a familiar powerplant from a wide line of Mercedes-Benz and Mercedes-AMG-labeled vehicles, the GLE450 AMG Coupe touts a healthy 362 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque. Power is delivered without much turbo lag through the 4Matic all-wheel-drive system and new 9-speed automatic transmission. The collective of the powertrain’s components make for a seamless thrust of power that can be finely dialed into an ear-titillating clap on upshifts and burble sounds upon deceleration from the exhaust by way of a Sport+ mode. Dialing up Sport or Sport+ mode automatically lowers the air suspension system and firms up the dampers as it does on my properly equipped and loaded-up test vehicle. In Comfort mode, the 9-speed automatic transmission starts out in second gear while the start-stop system adds to the slight hesitation or split-second of lag when accelerating it’s nearly 5,000-pound mass out of the hole.


Somewhat adding to the overall performance of my GLE450 AMG Coupe test vehicle is its exclusive AMG 22-inch alloy wheels wrapped in beefy 285/40/R22 Pirelli P-Zero rubber up front and massively-wide 325/35/R22 tires in the rear. The large-proportioned footprint of the 22-inch wheels over the standard 21-inchers plant the GLE Coupe firmly to the road but not without a bit of unwanted trailering and groove-hunting on some paved road surfaces. Thankfully, there are several active safety features, standard and optional, that attempt to keep the GLE450 AMG Coupe in bounds with a pretty unscathed face.

The large wheels and tires tend to wallow about while the air suspension setup in its default Comfort mode exhibit a wavy ride characteristic that is somewhat un-AMG-like and not desirable for what I expect from such a vehicle. In all, the ride was decent but felt un-assuring, and the tires would grab grooves in the road upsetting the initial balance of the whole vehicle. Apart from that shortcoming, the GLE450 AMG Coupe is a joy to pilot and watch onlookers and slower traffic get out of the way due to its menacing looks that mean business.


The new Mercedes-Benz GLE450 AMG Coupe isn’t going to be a gas miser either way you factor its start/stop system, 2nd gear starts, or use of ninth gear at highway speeds. The EPA fuel consumption estimates of 17 mpg city, 23 mpg highway, and 20 mpg combined are not all that impressive or easy to meet. The inconsistency of the biturbo V6 burning fuel wants to burn a hole in your wallet when I saw my best figure of 22 mpg on the highway and just 16.1 mpg in the city.


At the front of looks, the Mercedes-Benz GLE450 AMG Coupe is stunning. There’s nothing else on the road like it. Its indifference makes its unique character stand out, even more so when Sport or Sport+ mode is dialed in to lower the suspension by about an inch for a lower stance and noticeable camber to the large split-5-spoke 22-inch wheels. The coupe-like sloping rear end shaping up to its sharp rear spoiler complete its stylish silhouette, one that can be taken as masculine or feminine, all dependent on the angle you take a gander. I suppose the GLE450 AMG Coupe fits today’s tradition of acceptance no matter the “gender.”


The cabin of the new 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE450 AMG Coupe is a page taken from its closely appointed E-Class sibling but with a taller statured flare in the mix. Though, due to the smaller proportions out back from the “Coupe” styling, the GLE Coupe is stifled in serving true crossover duties for packing in large items or an abundance of luggage. You will be forced to make due with only 23 cubic feet of space with the rear seats in place, while you get only 60.7 cubic feet with the 60/40 split seatbacks folded down. Hardly the type of crossover or SUV that you want to take on your Home Depot or Lowes weekend runs to replenish your estate’s landscaping of its washed away mulch.


In the tradition of AMG vehicles, the GLE450 AMG Coupe embodies a sporty attitude outside and in. The cabin of my test vehicle is laced with carbon fiber trim and mostly soft-touch surfaces throughout with accented red stitching in the heavily bolstered leather seats up front and out back. The five drive modes (Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, and Individual) are an easy reach beside the mobile phone-inspired COMAND GPS navigation and infotainment scroll wheel and integrated touch trackpad to navigate the 8-inch high-mounted LCD screen slightly protruding out for a floating-from-the-dashboard effect. The tight fit and remarkable finish of the interior plays to the expected tone of what you get in a Mercedes-Benz. The latest COMAND infotainment system has a short learning curve allowing you to become quickly accustomed to the infotainment system’s redundancy of quick-responding input controls through the touchpad and scroll wheel.


While the collective of what the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE450 AMG Coupe is can be misleading to some, I conclude that it’s nearly a one-of-a-kind, which can be a good or bad thing in today’s diverse automotive market. What the GLE450 AMG Coupe is, and many would agree, is excess for those who pay to play. Such a vehicle fails to serve duty as a definitive crossover utility vehicle but exhibits a few beneficial traits from high-riding composure for those who like to drive. The excess comes in the form of my test vehicle’s nearly loaded-up option list bringing the as-tested price to $89,605. The GLE450 AMG Coupe starting at only $65,100 brings an added attractiveness to the package, but it would be missing many features that make this the best crossover Benz that you only use to look pretty and drive.

>> Get the best price on the Mercedes-Benz GLE from a network of local dealers now. <<


  • Price: Base GLE450 AMG Coupe $65,100 /$89,605 as-tested including destination and delivery charges
  • Engine: 3.0 liter Direct Injected Twin Turbocharged (BiTurbo) V6 – 362 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm / 384 ft-lbs. @ 1,800 rpm
  • Transmission: 9-Speed Automatic with steering wheel-mounted shift paddles
  • Wheelbase: 114.8 in.
  • Total length: 192.6 in.
  • Total width: 78.9 in.
  • Total height: 67.7 in.
  • Cargo volume: 23 cu.ft rear seatbacks in place / 60.7 cu.ft. rear seatbacks folded
  • Turning circle: 38.7 ft.
  • Fuel tank: 24 gallons
  • EPA Fuel Consumption: 17 mpg city / 23 mpg highway
  • 0-60 mph: 5.6 seconds

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