Thought Thursday: Mercedes Benz’s attempt at an SUV Coupé, the new GLE.
This car is Mercedes Benz’s attempt at blending an SUV with a coupé by taking different elements from both, the presence of a SUV but the sleekness and elegance of a coupé. Let’s be honest, Mercedes here had a look at the BMW X6 and thought “ hmm we can do something like that, maybe even better”.
Have they done any better?
For me, this car looks a lot more attractive than the BMW X6,but that’s just my opinion. Nevertheless these two vehicles look remarkably similar in terms of body shape, have a look at the images and try tell yourself that they’re not similar, you can’t. Another point it shares with the BMW X6 is that you will either hate it or love it, this segment has no grey area. On paper I didn’t like it, but after seeing it in the flesh, I joined the latter camp.
What does the Mercedes Benz GLE offer to the market?
This beautiful German machine comes with a few power units to choose from. Firstly we have the fairly moderate V6 Diesel pushing out 190kW, the 350D is also the only diesel engine available. Mercedes offers more options in the petrol power plant department, well one more option to be precise. We have the 450 AMG 4MATIC COUPE, which is a 3 litre V6 petrol producing 270kW and 520Nm. This engine is Mercedes’ new introduction to the AMG Sports line, it is positioned in between the AMG line and the AMG Performance line. Mercedes says this engine allows clients to enter the world of AMG Driving Performance. Which is fair enough because this is a very nice engine which offers some good poke too. If you want more than 520Nm though, perhaps 900Nm is the number that tickles your fancy and 430kW is more appealing. Then your best bet is to opt for the classic “63” engine, which is now a 5.5-litre V8 twin turbo.
All that power, is it even manageable?
To keep all this power on the road, four wheel drive is standard and you can have things like Active Curve System with Active Roll stabilization or Agility Control Suspension with Amplitude Selective Damping System, (I know right). Basically what this all means is that the GLE has shiny new suspension parts that will enable you to go really fast around some bends, if you so please to do so. So now we know what engines are producing all that power, we also know what’s going keeps the tires on the road too. What about the bit in-between the engine and the wheels, yes the gearbox. Well as always with Mercedes Benz, there are options. We have the 7 speed AMG Speedshift which will be featured as standard in the GLE 63 AMG, or if you fancy more gears you can opt for the 9 speed automatic transmission otherwise known as the 9G-TRONIC (sounds like something from transformers). Nine gears really? I suppose in a world aiming at being green, more gears are the way to go. After all you don’t have to change them yourself, well you can but it’s not the same.
So what is the verdict?
In all honesty this vehicle looks absolutely stunning. I love the bulky and aggressive front and the low rear end. It’s different and different is sometimes good. Mercedes Benz are really pushing the limits with their new cars I must say, I’m a fan. I’ve heard many people say they’re old mans cars but I have to disagree, with the new range of Mercs and with this vehicle in particular, they’ve fused classic Mercedes Benz luxury but with a young and sporty attitude. I’m sure this car will be popular with young sports stars around the world for sure, as they like big shiny things. The starting price for the V6 Diesel and Petrol version is a mean R1, 000,000. Add another R800, 000 to that for the stupidly fast V8. Let us know what you think of the new Mercedes GLE Coupe on our social media page. Until next time.
Mercedes’ answer to BMW’s X6: the run down on the new GLE.