4 out of 5 4.0
Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

Excellent execution of a fashion-led idea. E-Class makes more sense.

Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe (20 on) - rated 4 out of 5
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PROS

  • Sophisticated and well equipped
  • Fast and engaging to drive
  • Lots of presence
  • Rugged and practical

CONS

  • Heavy
  • Compromised rear headroom
  • Not cheap
  • Awkward styling, divisive image

Written by Colin Overland on

The Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe, now in its second generation, is the version of the popular GLE SUV with a curvacious rear end rather than the regular SUV’s straight-backed styling.

It's not only restyled with slicker aerodynamics, chunkier haunches, new lights and a new grille – it’s a whole new model, bigger than the old one, but with a shorter wheelbase than the current GLE.

UK customers get a good choice of powertrains but only one spec level – a very high one, called AMG Line Premium Plus. That makes sense if you take the point of view that this isn’t an alternative to the GLE – it’s a rival to other big coupe-styled 4x4s such as the Audi Q8, BMW X6 and Porsche Cayenne Coupe, all of which are high-end, high-priced products.

All the tech you'll ever need

You know the drill. This one is based on an all-new (or at least near-new) car, and that it's up-to the-second when it comes to tech, safety and equipment. It looks quite different to the car it's based on – it's 15mm, 63mm wider, has a 60mm shorter wheelbase. With those differences in measurements, you can understand why the proportions look so much different to the standard Mercedes-Benz GLE. And that's before we mention the lower roof and the coupe-like rear end.

It comes with the now-obligatory twin 12.3-inch screens (that replace the traditional instruments) and a raised centre console with integral grab handles straight from the GLE. You get much sportier looking seats and steering wheel, though – and a fully-online experience combining 'Hey Mercedes' control for its infotainment system, and Amazon music streaming built in.

Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe interior 2020

It might look like a whacking great coupe on stilts, but the this GLE has plenty of room inside. There's more boot room than before (just five litres seats up) with more than 70 litres additional space with all the seats down. The boot opening is larger than before, and thanks to its air suspension lowering at the touch of a button, it should be far easier to load.

Whereas the GLE SUV is available as a seven-seater as well as a regular five-seater, the GLE Coupe is strictly five seats.

More powerful engines only

Built in the USA, the GLE Coupe is simultaneously a striking-looking style statement, a seriously rugged 4x4 capable of proper off-roading, a rapid mile-eater (particularly the AMG version) and sensible family transport.

The first two versions to arrive in the UK are the AMG 53 – which makes 435hp from its petrol six, with a further 22hp on top from the battery, if only for short bursts – and a six-cylinder 3.0-litre diesel, the 400 d, peaking at 330hp.

They will be followed by a lower-powered (272hp) version of the diesel, the 350 d. There’s also a diesel-electric plug-in hybrid, the 350 de, which gets 195hp from its four-cylinder engine and a further 136hp from its electric motor; it also has an electric-only range of about 60 miles. And on the horizon there’s a no-holds-barred high-performance AMG version, the 63.

So far we have driven the 53, the hybrid and (briefly) the 400d.

Other Mercedes-Benz GLE models: