An off-beat choice that comes with sweet engine options, spacious interior, and top-notch tech

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The Mercedes GLE is everything you’d need in a vehicle. It looks handsome (if you’re into coupes, that is), feels premium on the inside, comes with tech features that will make nerds go weak in their knees, and powertrain options that will satisfy your adrenaline rush. On paper, every requirement is ticked well. But, it’s still not a complete package. The automaker left some rough edges that are glaringly evident, especially in the ride quality and ergonomics department. Will these prove to be deal-breakers, or can the overall package swerve your decision to choose it over the BMW X6 or the Audi SQ5? .


Mercedes GLE Coupe Exterior

Mercedes GLE Coupe Exterior
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Coupe styling is not something that everyone prefers. But, if you are into it, the GLE coupe will please you. Up front, it comes with a diamond radiator grille with just one horizontal louver in the middle. This has become a signature trend in the automaker’s coupe lineup. It comes with LED headlights as standard. LED Chrome elements are present all around the body.

The 2020 GLE Coupe has grown compared to its predecessors, now measuring 194.5 inches in length and 79.1 inches in width.
2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe vs 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe exterior dimensions
2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe
Wheelbase 117.9 117.1
Length 194.4 192.9
Width 79.1 78.9
Height 70.7 68.1
Track (front / rear) 66.10 / 66.77 65.3 / 67.9
Mercedes GLE Coupe Exterior
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The side profile is where all the difference lies. The sloping roofline at the rear is rather steep, but thanks to the length, it doesn’t hamper as much at the rear as you’d expect it to. It comes with black plastic cladding as standard, but the running boards can be had for extra bucks. As for the wheels, you get to choose between 19- and 22-inch sets.

Mercedes GLE Coupe Exterior
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While the coupe concept itself has people on different sides, the rear is sure to draw polarizing opinions; mostly negative. It is bold, but just doesn’t gel well with the other profiles. The bulky hatch gate with a bumper that features black cladding as well as chrome elements is weird. The saving grace, in my opinion, are the thick tires that give it a squat look.

Mercedes GLE Coupe Interior

Mercedes GLE Coupe Interior
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Step inside the cabin and you’ll be welcomed to a luxurious and modern cabin. The layout is well-laid-out but isn’t spot-on in terms of ergonomics.

Mercedes has offered sports seats wrapped in Artico leather, whereas the steering wheel comes wrapped in Nappa leather as standard. But that said, a lot of places feel plastic-y and cheap for a vehicle at this price point. The GLE coupe is insanely spacious on the inside, be it the headroom, legroom, shoulder room, or hip room. The wheelbase is 0.8 inches longer than the predecessor, and it makes a difference. Storage spaces are aplenty all around the cabin.

With all the seats in place, the coupe offers 23.1 cubic feet of cargo space. Flip down the rear seats and you’ll have 63.2 cubic feet of space available at your disposal.

Mercedes GLE Coupe
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The GLE coupe is high on technology. It seems like a segment norm now, but this Mercedes has raised the bar high. It features a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster behind the steering wheel. On the center console, you have a same-sized touchscreen that runs on the MBUX infotainment system with voice control that can be activated by saying "Hey Mercedes". It features stuff like enhanced navigation and augmented reality technology. Apart from this, the MBUX system features an interior assistant gesture control, which is self-explanatory. You can also go for the Head-Up display.

Other things include:

  • Head-Up Display
  • Four-Zone Climate Control
  • Inductive Wireless Charging
  • Air Balance Cabin Fragrance System
  • Burmester High-End 3D Surround Sound System
  • Smartphone Integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Keyless Start/Stop

Some safety and driver-assistance features include Blind Spot Assist, Active Brake Assist, Attention Assist, Active Traffic Jam Assist, and so on.

Mercedes GLE Coupe Drivetrain

Mercedes GLE Coupe Drivetrain
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The GLE Coupe comes with a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged engine as standard on the 350 and the 350 4MATIC.

It dishes out 255 horses and 273 pound-feet of torque.

Power is sent to the wheels via a 9G-Tronic nine-speed automatic gearbox. As for the performance figures, it takes the GLE seven seconds to sprint to 60 mph from a standstill.

Next in line is the six-cylinder mill that displaces at 3.0 liters and is found in the GLE 450 4MATIC trim. It makes 376 horses and 369 pound-feet of torque. Opt for the EQ Boost option and you’ll have another 22 ponies at your disposal. With this engine under the hood, the coupe takes 5.5 seconds to sprint to 60 mph from rest. The coupe goes all the way up to 130 mph before the speed governor kicks in.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe gasoline lineup
2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE 350 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450
Engine Type 2.0L Inline-4 3.0L Inline-6 with EQ Boost
Engine Material Aluminum-Alloy Aluminum-Alloy
Valvetrain / Arrangement DOHC, 4-valves per cylinder DOHC, 4-valves per cylinder
Displacement (cc) 1,991 2,999
Bore (in / mm) 3.27 / 83.0 3.27 / 83.0
Stroke (in / mm) 3.62 / 92.0 3.64 / 92.4
Compression Ratio 10.5 : 1 10.5 : 1
Horsepower @ rpm 255 @ 5,800 – 6,100 362 @ 5,500 – 6,100
Torque @ rpm 273 @ 1,800 – 4,000 369 @ 1,600 – 4,000
Redline (rpm) 6,500 6,800
0-60 mph (seconds) 7.0 est. (4MATIC: 7.1 est.) 5.5 est.
Top Speed (mph) 130 (electronically limited) 130 (electronically limited)

Mercedes offers AMG variants, too, namely the 53 coupe and the 63 S coupe. The former is powered by the same 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine, but it makes 429 horses and 384 pound-feet of torque. The top-of-the-line 63 S coupe features a 4.0-liter, V-8 bi-turbo engine that churns out 603 ponies and 627 pound-feet of twist.

The GLE Coupe rides on an all-new ’intelligent chassis’ which accommodates a 48-volt hybrid technology to increase overall efficiency. If you are ready to splurge big bucks, you can opt for the Airmatic suspension that comes with a sporty setup. The adaptive adjustable damping makes a notable difference and adjusts to the road condition in real-time for improved ride quality. Furthermore, you can also pair the Airmatic suspension with an E-active body control setup that individually controls spring and damping forces at each wheel. This reduces body roll, pitch, and squat, which is quite evident in a vehicle this big otherwise.

Mercedes GLE Coupe Pricing

Mercedes GLE Coupe Exterior
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Currently, Mercedes has only the AMG models on sale. The 53 coupe starts at $76,500, whereas the V-8-powered 63 S coupe is priced at $116,000.

Mercedes GLE Coupe Competition

BMW X6

2020 BMW X6
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Another German automaker that offers an equally competitive vehicle in the same body style is BMW with its offering, the X6. In terms of appearance, I find this more appealing than the GLE coupe. It rides on 20-inch wheels as standard. You can choose from a plethora of interior themes and upholstery combos for the cabin. The coupe comes with a 3.0-liter, six-cylinder engine as standard that makes 335 horses and 330 pound-feet of torque. Power is either sent to the rear wheels or all four wheels depending on the model you choose. The 0-60 mph times in both drive configurations is 5.3 seconds. The BMW X6 starts at $65,050.

Read our full review on the BMW X6

Audi SQ5 Sportback

2019 Audi SQ5 TDI
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Another unconventional, cross-shopping contender, the SQ5 is a pretty sweet vehicle that looks a little less bloated but is feature-rich inside the cabin. It comes with a single powertrain option – a 3.0-liter, six-cylinder engine that makes 349 horses and 369 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to all the wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox. It takes just 4.7 seconds to sprint to 60 mph from a standstill and has a top speed of 130 mph that can be unlocked up to 155 mph. The Audi SQ5 Sportback starts at $56,100.

Read our full review on the Audi SQ5 Sportback

  • Leave it
    • Aesthetics not to everyone’s taste
    • Some bits in the cabin feel cheap
Sidd Dhimaan
Sidd Dhimaan
Associate Editor and Truck Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. He is currently our pickup truck expert and focuses his attention on heavy-duty and off-road vehicles.  Read full bio
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