The 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Coupe is a specialized vehicle. And strictly speaking, it’s not a Mercedes-Benz. There are no regular runabout variants of the premium midsize crossover/SUV with a fastback roof (which is how the company justifies the "coupe" name) like there are with the actual SUV version of the GLE. Instead, the 2019 GLE Coupe range starts and finishes with higher-performance AMG models. Hence, their "Mercedes-AMG" titles.
Taken on their own merits, these are stylish machines with high-class driving experiences and elevated driving positions. As long as buyers don’t mind giving up some usefulness in the (speedy) pursuit of design, then here are two intriguing possibilities.
We’re now past the stage of incredulity that a company would take a vehicle that has practicality as a reason for its existence and make it less practical. Instead, let’s accept the 4-door GLE-Class Coupe as another facet in the grand kaleidoscope of automotive choice.
What’s New for 2019?
Apart from a couple of wood grain cabin trim options, nothing much. See the 2019 Mercedes-Bewnz GLE-Class models for sale near you
What We Like
- Excellent driving experience
- Arguably good looks
- Undeniably great AMG engines
What We Don’t
- Not especially practical
The GLE 43 has a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 developing 385 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque. All-wheel drive and a 9-speed automatic transmission are standard. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates fuel consumption at 17 miles per gallon in the city, 22 mpg on the highway and 19 mpg in combined driving.
The twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V8 in the GLE 63 S generates a mighty 577 hp and 561 lb-ft of torque. Again, AWD is standard, but this model has a 7-speed automatic transmission. Consumption is EPA-rated at 14 mpg city/18 mpg hwy/15 mpg combined.
Standard Features & Options
The 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Coupe comes as two differently equipped versions according to the drivetrain.
The 2019 Mercedes-AMG GLE 43 ($72,345) has an adaptive air suspension, 21-in alloy wheels, a sport exhaust, a panoramic sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless entry/ignition, remote start, drive mode selection, LED lighting with adaptive headlights, a rearview camera, rain-sensing wipers, heated/power-adjustable front sport seats with driver’s-side memory settings, synthetic leather upholstery (much better than it sounds), a Nappa leather-wrapped/power-adjustable steering wheel, a powered lift gate, roof rails, a self-dimming rearview and driver’s-side mirrors, an 8-in center screen with Mercedes-Benz’s proprietary Comand infotainment system, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, 4G LTE Wi-Fi connectivity, a 13-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, navigation, an HD radio, a USB port, Crosswind Assist and a driver drowsiness monitor.
The Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S ($113,995) adds 22-in alloy wheels, bigger brakes, active anti-roll bars, carbon fiber engine cover, leather upholstery, front and rear parking sensors, plus aluminum shift paddles and pedals.
The Premium 3 options package has advanced safety equipment, including adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection, active brake assistance with a cross-traffic function, active blind spot monitoring and assistance, steering pilot, a 360-degree camera system and a self-parking feature (this last item is standard in the GLE 63 S)
Other options include tri-zone automatic climate control, soft-closing doors, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, a rear-seat entertainment system, a Bang & Olufsen Beosound 14-speaker audio system and massaging front seats.
Cargo space with the rear seats in place is 23 cu ft. When they’re folded down, that expands to 60.7 cu ft. If anyone was wondering, the regular GLE SUV enjoys 38.2/80.3 cu ft. The Coupe also has a fairly high lip over which users must lift their luggage or shopping.
The GLE comes standard with anti-lock brakes, forward-collision warning, side curtain airbags, driver’s knee airbag, traction and stability control, Crosswind Assist and driver drowsiness monitoring. Options include a 360-degree camera system, adaptive cruise control with automatic braking, blind spot monitoring and lane-keeping assist.
The GLE-Class Coupe has not yet been crash tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has tested the GLE SUV and given it its Top Safety Pick+ rating.
Behind the Wheel
There’s no getting away from the fact that this vehicle is big and heavy, but the AMG engineers have done their best (which is as good as "best" gets) to impart some real speed and agility. Both models have selectable driving modes that can firm up the air suspension, wake up the steering and bring some more urgency to the throttle response. It’s easy to scroll between these modes, especially rocking between Comfort and Sport to suit the road and traffic conditions.
The high-performance GLE 63 AMG S is a real competitor at the sportiest level, with the highest top speed of the GLE range: 174 mph. This 5,225-lb beast can also sprint from 0-to-60 mph in just 4.1 seconds. But it costs more than its closest rival, the BMW X6 M.
Other Cars to Consider
2019 BMW X6/X6 M — Superb to drive and with its own charm in the looks department. The M version is astonishingly good.
2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe — Yes, Porsche has joined the "4-door crossover coupe" fray. Luckily, Porsche knows how to make virtually any vehicle a blast to drive. Maybe this is what the Cayenne should have been all along.
2019 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class SUV — Just in case someone loves the GLE but wants more space for rear passengers and cargo, then this conventional SUV version is perfect.
Used Porsche Cayenne Turbo S — Buy one of these new and it will cost more than $160,000, making the GLE 63 S look almost like a bargain with its seven extra horses. But select a certified pre-owned (CPO) example and you’ll have an extreme SUV and still be able to take a vacation.
The first big caveat is that there’s a new generation of GLE SUV for the 2020 model year. So there’s bound to be a fresh "Coupe" variant coming soon. If waiting is not an option, then the GLE 43 version has enough power while potentially keeping some budget aside for extras. But to those who want the top version of everything, go for the GLE 63 S and enjoy. Find an Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class for sale