Sales of SUV “coupes” are relatively low, but they command higher prices than their boxier counterparts. They also provide more options for SUV buyers. Many people just like the increased ride height of an SUV and don’t necessarily need the cargo room benefits, so why not choose something that looks a little different?
Meet the all-new 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Coupe, a 429 horsepower sexy SUV coupe with hybrid technology. This is the second-generation GLE Coupe courtesy of AMG
Not only is it straight-line fast, but it’s also engineered for curves thanks to AMG’s optional Active Ride Control. This adds two independently operating, electro-mechanical actuators at both the front and rear axles. What that means is, it limits body roll during hard cornering. Drivers will have a choice of three damper settings, “Comfort,” “Sport,” and “Sport+”, various driving modes including “Slippery,” “Comfort,” and “Sport,” as well as stability control settings of “Basic,” “Advanced,” “Pro,” “Traction,” and “Slide.”
Like other similarly named vehicles in Mercedes’ lineup, the GLE 53’s powertrain consists of a turbocharged inline-six engine paired to a 48-volt mild hybrid system. The engine is good for 429 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque, with the EQ Boost starter-generator providing an additional 21 hp and 184 lb-ft in short bursts.
When I headed out on some twisty roads the GLE offered a near-perfect balance of power and control. For such a large vehicle, it excels at sporty driving.
As you’d expect, the brakes and suspension have been upgraded and tuned to ensure the top-dog AMG stays on the pavement.
Inside, you’ll find a more elegant and modern cabin design as leather upholstery is standard, as are sports seats that offer increased lateral support. There’s also a new sports steering wheel with Nappa leather trim.
The GLE’s cabin is spacious, even in the back seat; a third row of seats is optional. The rear hatch opens high and wide, easily swallowing several suitcases at a time.
The GLE53 offers the same high-tech infotainment system found in the new GLE-class. The cockpit features two large 12.3-inch screens, one is the driver’s gauge cluster while the second is for the MBUX infotainment system and all HVAC controls.
MBUX, Mercedes’ latest infotainment system, is standard on the GLE 53 and comes with dynamic navigation maps and a front camera view that uses augmented reality to direct you on the right path as your turn approaches in real time.
Exterior enhancements include an aggressive aerodynamic body kit complete with a larger grille, side skirts, dual exhaust pipes, and a choice between 21- and 22-inch wheels.
For a certain segment of buyers, the sporty personality of the GLE Coupe makes a lot of sense. It won’t be cheap, base prices at $76,500, but the GLE 53 Coupe delivers. The EPA hasn’t released fuel-economy estimates for either the 2021 GLE 53.
Grant Miller is the publisher of Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277 or via email at Grant@CommunityNewspapers.com.