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Published Date: 05/09/2017

GLE is Mercedes’ name for the successor to the M-Class, the car that in many ways founded the SUV segment, which has now become the most in-demand and thriving corner of the market. The crossover influence has increasingly shaped the design of SUVs and drivers can now indulge in vehicles that combine an elevated driving position and four-wheel drive ability with sports car-like Coupé styling. The question is which luxury Mercedes-Benz SUV is right for you – the traditional GLE or its Coupé sibling?

Beauty knows no boundaries

Mercedes is a long-respected leader in the off-road field and purists will be smitten with the GLE’s blend of tradition and modernity. The ML’s characteristic C-pillar and integrated rear side window combines with the luxury German brand’s contemporary design language, particularly evident in the grille and headlights. Sport and especially AMG Line trims accentuate the GLE’s underlying athleticism, while customers seeking further personalisation will be delighted with the designo programme.

With sleek, sensual curves front and rear, a lower and more agile overall stance, gorgeous slimline rear lights, a rear spoiler plus alloy wheel options to fill its muscular aches, the GLE Coupé is at the cutting edge of Mercedes design. Elegant, purposeful and classy, it conveys tremendous road presence and is a highly desirable vehicle. Size-wise, the GLE Coupé is slightly wider than the regular SUV and is very similar in length, the Coupé sitting 68mm lower to give it a sportier stance and resultant driving experience.

Conclusion: Each vehicle possesses supreme levels of aesthetic kudos; but the GLE Coupé is the more daring, revolutionary and stunning.

Luxury no matter which shape

Both the regular GLE and the more recently introduced Coupé version provide a high standard of luxury, which is no surprise as it’s a Mercedes hallmark. Their leather-swathed cabins are a sight to behold and provide spacious comfort for five passengers in the case of the regular GLE, while the central rear bench seat in the Coupé is more suited to children and younger teenagers. Mercedes’ COMAND infotainment screen sits in pride of place and is operated by a futuristic-looking controller, while the gear selector is positioned behind the steering wheel to give the cockpit an uncluttered atmosphere.

With its sloping silhouette, rear headroom in the GLE Coupé is slightly more restricted than in the regular SUV, which also has 40 litres more luggage capacity as standard, its squarer boot providing more useable space for bulkier loads.

Conclusion: If ultimate load-carrying isn’t a priority and taller adults won’t be regularly transported in the back, the GLE Coupé’s rear styling is more beautiful than the traditional SUV version.

Powerful engines

All engines across the GLE line-up are strong performers in their own rights. In the GLE 250d, reassuringly equipped with Mercedes’ brilliant 4MATIC four-wheel drive system just like all other GLE variants, 204bhp is to be reckoned with and this economical diesel unit can hit 62mph in an impressive 8.6 seconds. Diesel power is also available for the GLE Coupé in 350 d guise, its 3-litre V6 engine producing a potent 258bhp, sprinting to 62mph in a mere 7 seconds and on to a top speed of 140mph.

SUV drivers seeking brutal performance need look no further than the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S 4MATIC with a mighty 5-litre V8 engine at its heart, pumping out 585bhp and remarkably reaching 62mph in a stunning 4.2 seconds in both the regular and Coupé versions of the GLE.

Statistically, they are both very similar indeed, separated by just 0.2mpg and 2g/km CO2, both times in the standard SUV’s favour.

Conclusion: For supercar-rivalling performance surrounded by luxury, few cars come close to the incredible Mercedes-AMG GLE Coupé 63 S 4MATIC.

In numbers…

 

GLE SUV

GLE Coupé

 

Min

Max

Min

Max

Power (HP)

204

585

258

585

Fuel (comb MPG)

23.9

47.9

23.7

39.2

Emissions (CO2, g/km)

155

276

187

278

Top Speed (mph)

130

155

140

155

0 – 60mph in…. (seconds)

4.2

8.6

4.2

7.0

Price

£51,290

£96,995

£62,420

£98,885


SUVs are the must-have car, especially when adorned with the revered Mercedes badge. The GLE SUV stands out in economy terms and provides the most boot and interior space, whilst the Coupé version looks stunning and takes design flair to a new level, blistering performance guaranteed by the range topping 63 S iteration. Mercedes has once again produced highly desirable and capable SUVs.

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