2017 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Coupe SUV Review

An SUV with a low roof and reduced cargo space, the GLE-Class Coupe will make you scratch your head.
3 star edmunds overall rating
by Jason Kavanagh
Edmunds Editor
Do you like the high seating position of an SUV but want the look of a sport coupe? The 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Coupe could be for you. It's basically a GLE-Class SUV, but with a lowered and sloped roofline. We like how it drives, but the reduced functionality makes it a puzzling proposition. You could say the GLE-Class Coupe is a "me, too!" vehicle. BMW's X6 was the first with this SUV-coupe mashup, and it similarly was the cause of many furrowed brows when it was introduced. Not to be outdone, Mercedes-Benz released the GLE-Class Coupe last year. In fact, in silhouette the two are virtually indistinguishable. From a logical standpoint, it's not really clear why the GLE exists. The sloped roofline compromises the utility of the donor GLE-Class SUV upon which it is based, and it is so heavy that you'll need the range-topping AMG GLE 63 S trim and its 577 horsepower to get the outlandish performance promised by the sportier exterior styling. Nevertheless, its cabin is impressive, and this big thing manages to ride smoothly despite its gigantic low-profile tires and performance bent. And yes, it definitely looks more distinctive than a regular GLE. But it'll always be a head-scratcher of a car...er, SUV. Either way, it's categorically not a coupe.

what's new

For 2017, the GLE-Class Coupe receives only a minor juggling of features among its standard features and option packages. The entry-level GLE 450 AMG model is renamed AMG GLE 43.

we recommend

The GLE-Class Coupe in AMG GLE 43 trim is the easy choice here. It's simply far more affordable than its AMG GLE 63 S big brother. Though it gives up some performance, the AMG GLE 43 looks nearly identical to and shares many of the same features with its beefier big brother. The Parking Assist package is worthwhile, and Mercedes' terrific adaptive cruise is part of the reasonably priced Premium Package 3 that includes a host of other driver assistance features.

trim levels & features

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Coupe is available in two trim levels: AMG GLE 43 and AMG GLE 63 S. Both are five-passenger SUVs that can tow up to 7,200 pounds and are equipped with all-wheel drive as standard. Despite their similar names, a vast gulf in price and performance separates the two variants. The AMG GLE 43 is well equipped as standard and on the whole could be described as reasonable, while there's little that's reasonable about the AMG GLE 63 S. Its fans embrace its ludicrousness as a badge of honor.

The AMG GLE 43 is equipped with a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 (362 horsepower, 384 pound-feet of torque) and a nine-speed automatic. Standard equipment highlights include an adaptive air suspension, 21-inch wheels, a panoramic sunroof, adaptive LED headlights, a power liftgate, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power-adjustable steering wheel, heated power front seats, driver-seat memory settings, simulated-leather upholstery, an 8-inch central display, a rearview camera, the COMAND infotainment interface, Bluetooth, a navigation system, voice controls and a 13-speaker Harman Kardon sound system.

The Parking Assist package adds front and rear parking sensors, an automated parallel-parking system and a surround-view parking camera.

It's a big step up, pricewise, to the AMG GLE 63 S. It's powered by a turbocharged 5.5-liter V8 (577 hp, 561 lb-ft of torque) mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. It adds active stabilizer bars, bigger brakes, 22-inch wheels and more standard equipment including leather upholstery and upgraded front seats.

Notable options to be on the lookout for include a variety of advanced driver safety aids (mostly grouped into the Premium Package 3), a 14-speaker premium Bang & Olufsen sound system and massaging front seats.

trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our first drive of the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Coupe AMG GLE63 S 4Matic (5.5L twin-turbo V8; AWD; 7-speed automatic).

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall3.0 / 5.0


3.5 / 5.0

Acceleration4.0 / 5.0
Braking3.0 / 5.0
Steering3.5 / 5.0
Handling2.5 / 5.0
Drivability5.0 / 5.0


3.5 / 5.0

Seat comfort3.5 / 5.0
Ride comfort3.0 / 5.0
Noise & vibration3.5 / 5.0


2.0 / 5.0

Ease of use3.0 / 5.0
Getting in/getting out2.0 / 5.0
Roominess2.0 / 5.0
Visibility2.0 / 5.0
Quality4.0 / 5.0


4.0 / 5.0

Small-item storage4.0 / 5.0
Cargo space2.0 / 5.0


edmunds rating
It's tremendously powerful and agile for its size, but you also never forget just how heavy this thing is. It's civilized when you're just cruising around. A puzzling vehicle that's effective in the same way a gold-plated hammer is.


edmunds rating
Giddying thrust from 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8. Big-hearted and punchy. The seven-speed automatic is a bit dull-witted and doesn't lead the class in its response to gear-change requests. It's smooth, though. It blitzed to 60 mph in just 4.0 seconds in our testing.


edmunds rating
Despite its mass, it stops from 60 mph in a respectable 112 feet. Pedal feel around town is intuitive, with just a bit of idle stroke that ramps into a firm pedal that's easy to modulate. In panic stops, the GLE moves around a bit.


edmunds rating
Steering is reasonably precise and well-weighted, though feel is on the numb side. No bad manners, though, and the assistance never feels synthetic. The quick steering ratio helps make this bruiser a bit more wieldy.


edmunds rating
For its size, it's more adept than you might expect. Heavy and stable. Body roll is reasonably contained, and it changes direction without drama. But other sporting SUVs are better handling.


edmunds rating
Quite pleasant in normal driving. Behaves in a civilized manner in routine driving. Smooth gear changes. The idle-stop feature responds acceptably quickly when restarting. This is a vehicle you could let your grandparents drive.


edmunds rating
It has well-shaped seats and better noise isolation than its large, wide and sport-oriented tires would suggest. This rides better than the X6 M. The engine sounds terrific, and extraneous noises have been well-tamped.

seat comfort

edmunds rating
The supportive front seats that can still deliver good comfort during long drives. The optional massage function is entertaining. Reasonably comfortable backseat.

ride comfort

edmunds rating
Better ride compliance than its primary competitor, the BMW X6 M. The standard air suspension rounds off the sharp edges of the road and does a fine job of controlling its unreasonably large 22-inch wheels.

noise & vibration

edmunds rating
Very effective noise isolation. The engine is vocal during even light acceleration, but it's very satisfying to hear and not obtrusive. Very good suppression of wind noise. Road noise is not as bad as the huge steamroller tires would suggest.


edmunds rating
While finely trimmed, the GLE 63's cabin suffers due to the low and sloping roofline, which eats up interior space. Surprisingly little space inside, given its gargantuan outside dimensions. All of the downsides of a large vehicle with none of the upsides. Its non-"Coupe" straighter roofline delivers more space.

ease of use

edmunds rating
Like all modern Benzes, this has a well-laid-out cabin that's intuitive to use. We like the big climate control knobs and thick steering wheel. The row of shiny buttons looks nice but lacks readability. Also, the multimedia touchscreen swipes backward when flipping through audio channels.

getting in/getting out

edmunds rating
There's a fairly tall step up into the cabin. Ingress impeded by running board, which is too narrow to be useful but still gets in your way. Narrow rear door opening because of the wide wheel-arch intrusion and low roofline.


edmunds rating
The sloping roof is for style only, as it eats up backseat headroom and cargo space. The sense of spaciousness up front is better than in the rear. Front passengers enjoy reasonable leg- and headroom. Rear legroom is good; headroom less so.


edmunds rating
Its wide pillars and short greenhouse impede outward visibility significantly. The view forward is pretty good, however. The backup camera helps as do the parking sensors.


edmunds rating
Beautiful interior surroundings. Diamond-pattern leather and rich-looking materials abound. No rattles or squeaks in our test car. Finished to a high standard.


edmunds rating
Cargo space is limited, although the cabin has plenty of nooks for smaller items. If utility is a priority, look to the GLE-Class SUV, not the Coupe.

small-item storage

edmunds rating
Nice cupholders with anti-tip design and lots of small-item storage.

cargo space

edmunds rating
Much less cargo-holding capacity than its non-Coupe stablemate. The liftover height is rather high. The cargo hold is not very tall, but it is deep.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.