What's the used Mercedes GLE Coupe 4x4 like?
The BMW X6 has a lot to answer for why this car exists. A large SUV with coupé-inspired styling was a bit of an oddball choice and wasn't expected to sell that well. But sell well the X6 did, creating a whole new niche overnight. It was so successful that Mercedes-Benz got in on the act, essentially taking a hacksaw to the boxy GLE to create the more sporty silhouette of the GLE Coupé.
Because the GLE Coupé is supposed to be the sporty model of the GLE range, the smallest engine it gets is a meaty 258bhp 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel in the 350d. It has bags of low-down torque and it’s fast enough for most people’s needs. If it’s not, there is always the AMG models (not to be confused with AMG Line, which is the standard-specification GLE), because you can have a 367bhp (390bhp from late 2017 onwards) 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol in the GLE 43 or the bonkers 585bhp 4.0-litre turbocharged V8 in the GLE 63.
To drive, the standard air suspension in the 350d is comfortable for most situations, even with bigger wheels. It can still be caught out by bigger bumps and potholes that cause the body to wobble slightly, but this is the case with most air suspension systems. The 350d leans a bit in corners, though, and doesn’t feel as agile as the X6.
The GLE 43 and GLE 63 models come with AMG-tuned air suspension to sharpen the handling, but this means the ride is firmer and tends to fidget a lot on rougher surfaces. Despite all the changes AMG has made, no version can match the sharper-feeling X6 M. However, the 4.0-litre V8 in the GLE 63 does sound much more purposeful.
The major downside with the GLE Coupé is that practicality is noticeably reduced over the standard GLE. The sloping roofline means that boot space suffers greatly not only in terms of overall volume but also in the usefulness of its shape. The narrow opening and intrusive rear wheel arches hamper space quite a lot and the high-set bumper makes loading heavy or awkwardly shaped items difficult. Plus, the rear seats don’t fold or split in any particularly innovative manner (you can get 40/20/40-split rear seats in the X6) and they’re awkward to move.
Head and leg room up front is excellent and there’s plenty of adjustment in the seat and steering wheel for the driver to get comfortable. Lumbar support, thankfully, is standard. Despite the steeply curved roofline, there’s still plenty of head room for even tall passengers in the rear and they get more than enough leg room to stretch out. The floor is mostly flat, too, meaning you don’t have to straddle an enormous central tunnel.