2018 Mercedes-AMG GLE43 Coupe
The Mercedes-AMG GLE43 Coupe is a mid-range performance variant of the crossover-coupe that follows the path blazed by the BMW X6. It is positioned above the GLE-Class. Buyers after more performance can look at the 577-horsepower Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S Coupe.
Like the GLE Coupe on which it is based, the front end of the GLE43 Coupe falls in line with Mercedes' recent design language thanks to features like a rippled hood, elongated bullet-shaped headlights and a boldly oversized three-pointed star emblem. The roof line peaks above the driver and gently slopes down towards the back end before flatting out for a few inches; as a result, from the belt line up the GLE's silhouette is closer to that of a coupe than to that of a more utility-focused crossover.
The Mercedes-AMG GLE43 Coupe adds a little spice to that arrangement, incorporating some visual and auditory noise (not to mention some performance). The GLE43's party piece is a 385-horsepower, 3.0L, twin-turbo V6 that also produces 384lb-ft of torque. Power goes to all four wheels (via 4MATIC all-wheel drive) by way of a nine-speed automatic transmission.
This is one of the heavier AMG43 models, so its fuel economy suffers a bit compared to its smaller siblings. The EPA rates it at 17 mpg city, 23 mpg highway and 19 combined.
With a high seating position and a tall dashboard, the connection between the GLE43 Coupe and the GLE43 SUV is immediately evident as soon as you step in the cockpit. The instrument cluster is made up of four analog gauges and a configurable color screen in the middle.
A larger, high-definition color screen sticks out from the top of the dashboard, and an innovative, smartphone-like touch pad located on the center console lets the passengers control the COMAND infotainment system with simple finger gestures. Occupants can also use the touchpad to enter an address in the navigation system (if equipped) or to add a contact to the phone book. Alternatively, COMAND can be navigated via a controller knob located under the touch pad, voice commands or buttons on the center stack.
Like the GLE Coupe, the GLE43 offers 23 cubic feet with five occupants on board and 60.7 cubic feet with the rear seats folded flat.
Standard and Optional Equipment
Highlights from the list of standard features include most of the kit included in a Premium I package variant of the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe. You'll find heated and 14-way power-adjustable front seats, a power tailgate, COMAND, Bluetooth connectivity, navigation, a rear-view camera, brushed aluminum pedals, a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, auto-dimming rear-view and door mirrors, LED headlights and special AMG-specific exterior treatments.
The list of standalone options includes illuminated brushed aluminum running boards, "design” interior and upholstery options (incl. Nappa leather), a heated steering wheel, multi-color ambient lighting, ventilated front seats, massaging front seats, a rear-seat entertainment system, soft-close doors, a three-zone climate control system as well as front cup holders that are both heated and cooled.
The GLE43 Coupe offers front, front side and front pelvic air bags, a driver's knee airbag and side curtain airbags for both rows. It also comes with Mercedes' Pre Safe technology, which tightens the front seat belts, adjusts the seats and closes the windows if it senses a collision is imminent, Collision Prevention Assist, which can apply the brakes to avoid or reduce the severity of a collision, and Crosswind Assist, among other electronic safety-enhancing features.
The Mercedes-AMG GLE43 is unabashedly aimed directly at the BMW X6. Buyers willing to trade the GLE's unique looks for more space can also look at the BMW X5 50i, the Porsche Cayenne and the Audi SQ5.