2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Coupe Review
Pros & Cons
- Premium-feeling and well-trimmed interior
- Many standard safety and technology features
- Surprisingly comfortable ride quality, given its performance abilities
- Even the pavement-pounding AMG GLE 63 S is easy to drive around town
- Roofline compromises backseat headroom
- Cargo space is similar to that of a compact SUV
- Only two trim levels available
- Heavy, with minimal off-road capability
Which GLE-Class Coupe does Edmunds recommend?
Edmunds' Expert Review
The 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Coupe is not for the faint of heart or practical of mind.
While most people buy crossovers for their superior passenger and cargo space compared to sedans or wagons, the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Coupe instead prioritizes style over utility. Relative to the standard GLE-Class, the GLE Coupe's swoopy roofline reduces both rear seat headroom and vertical storage space in the back. So if the "utility" aspect of this SUV is compromised, where exactly does it shine?
Ostensibly, the GLE-Class Coupe is more interested in that "sport" bit. Most Mercedes-Benz vehicles offer a variety of engines that run the gamut from fuel-efficient to tire-shredding. The GLE-Class Coupe skips the boring stuff and comes in just two versions: outlandish and ludicrous. The so-called base engine is a twin-turbo V6 churning out nearly 400 horsepower, while the AMG 63 S' twin-turbo V8 cranks out nearly 600 hp.
Though the GLE Coupe absolutely stomps in a straight line, Mercedes' engineers weren't able to do much to enhance this vehicle's handling prowess. Even compared to some similarly designed crossovers, the coupe just isn't much fun to drive. The end result is a vehicle that isn't especially practical or sporty.
2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Coupe models
The 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Coupe is a five-passenger midsize SUV available in two trim levels: AMG GLE 43 and AMG GLE 63 S. Both can tow up to 7,200 pounds and are equipped with standard 4Matic all-wheel drive. 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 it could be described as a reasonable alternative to everyday luxury people movers. There's very little that's reasonable about the AMG GLE 63 S, however, and its fans embrace its ludicrousness as a badge of honor.
Powering the AMG GLE 43 is a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 (385 horsepower, 384 pound-feet of torque) and a nine-speed automatic. Standard equipment highlights include 21-inch wheels, an adaptive air suspension, a panoramic sunroof, a power liftgate, power-folding and auto-dimming mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power-adjustable steering wheel, heated front seats, driver-seat memory settings, premium vinyl upholstery and a 115-volt household-style power outlet.
Standard tech and safety features include an 8-inch central display, the COMAND infotainment interface, a navigation system, a 13-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning and intervention, and a forward collision warning system with automatic emergency braking.
Two primary options packages are available for the GLE 43. The reasonably priced Premium 2 package includes heated and cooled front cupholders, interior ambient lighting, illuminated doorsills and a center pass-through for the rear seat. The Premium 3 pack further adds a 360-degree parking camera, front and rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, an automated steering system, a collision avoidance system, lane departure mitigation and an automated parallel parking system.
It's a big step up pricewise to the AMG GLE 63 S. Under the hood is a turbocharged 5.5-liter V8 (577 hp, 561 lb-ft of torque) mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission. It adds 22-inch wheels, summer performance tires, active stabilizer bars, bigger brakes, adaptive LED headlights, automatic high-beam control, a carbon fiber engine cover, a 360-degree parking camera, noise-reducing front-row windows, a sport steering wheel, heated and ventilated front sport seats, front passenger memory settings, upgraded leather upholstery and the contents of the Premium 2 package. It also includes the Premium 3 package's 360-degree parking camera and parking system.
There are a few appearance packages as well. Both models can be equipped with the Night package, which adds gloss-black lower valances and window surrounds. The GLE 43-only AMG Performance Studio package includes the Night package plus an orange lip on the front bumper, an orange stripe on the wheels and faux-suede seat inserts.
Notable stand-alone options include tri-zone climate control, a premium 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, multicontour massaging front seats, heated rear seats, a rear entertainment system and a trailer hitch. Optional for the GLE 63 S is a performance exhaust system.
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Coupe AMG GLE 63 S (5.5L twin-turbo V8 | 7-speed automatic | AWD).
NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current GLE-Class Coupe has received only minor revisions. Our findings remain applicable to the 2018 GLE-Class Coupe
Features & Specs
Our experts like the GLE-Class Coupe models:
- Surround View System
- Displays a top-down, 360-degree view of the GLE Coupe in the central display screen, making it much easier to park.
- Active Brake Assist
- Scans the area ahead and warns you about potential forward collisions. Can automatically apply the brakes as well.
- Detects imminent collisions or rollovers and tightens the front seat belts, adjusts the front passenger seat and closes all windows.