…Crossover with a difference
CLIMBING behind the wheel of the new Mercedes GLE 450 AMG Line coupé is probably as close as any of us will ever get to stepping into the shoes of a Premier League footballer.
A cross between a big, bulky 4×4 and, well, a big, bulky coupé, the GLE coupé is unquestionably the next big, bling thing for drivers who are looking to communicate their towering social status over the rest of the riff raff on the roads.
It’s a rival to theBMW X6, the car that started the whole metamorphosis from an SUV into a coupe. Under the bonnet is the latest and greatest turbo petrol engine from Mercedes-Benz. It’s a 3-Litre V6 biturbo unit with 270 kW and 520 Nm of torque.
The mighty and thirsty V6 is connected to a nine-speed automatic gearbox. The shifts are quite seamless but the gearbox struggles to choose a gear, sometimes resulting in surprising up and down shifts. Software updates will no doubt improve the shift timings going forward.
Apart from attracting all the attention, the GLE450 AMG Coupe is quite pleasant to drive in comfort mode. Despite the massive wheels it still cushions bumps nicely and smooth’s out dirt roads. The air suspension setup is aimed more towards comfort than the BMW X6, but the GLE lifts up under acceleration and dives at the nose under braking. It’s by no means floppy out on the road and if you fiddle with the drive select modes and aim for Sport or Sport + it starts to feel more sporty and firm.
Inside the GLE Coupe, it’s a spacious and lavish place to spend time in. There’s ample space in the front for bits and bobs and the infotainment system is one of the best in the business. The navigation system could be more users friendly but with a sim card inserted, the Google search functionality should improve Point of Interest results. Passengers in the rear have their own climate controls and leg room for even the largest of people is sufficient.