Mercedes Benz GLE350d coupe review, test drive

    Impressions from behind the wheel of the sporty new GLE Coupé.

    Published on Jun 23, 2015 04:52:00 PM


    Model : GLE

    The Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupé is the more sporty version of the facelifted third-generation M-class, for which the carmaker now uses the GLE moniker. The GLE Coupé will be launched with two standard engines: a 254bhp turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 diesel and a 328bhp twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre petrol V6. A further two petrol options developed by AMG are to follow – a 362bhp version of the twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 in the GLE450 AMG and a 549bhp twin-turbocharged 5.5-litre V8 as well as a gutsier 577bhp version in the GLE63 Coupé.

    All models will come with Mercedes' 4Matic four-wheel-drive system as standard. 

    What's it like? 

    Using the GLE as its base, the GLE Coupé has been extensively re-engineered. The two models share the same steel monocoque platform and 2915mm wheelbase. However, the GLE Coupé has track widths increased both at the front (3mm) and at the rear (60mm), over those of the GLE. The new Mercedes receives four conventional front-hinged doors and a large liftback-style tailgate. The V6 diesel in the GLE350d Coupé is not greatly distinguished in either performance or fuel economy, but it's pleasantly refined in all but the upper reaches of its rev range and, with a stout 63.18kgm of torque on tap at 1600rpm, is flexible across a wide spread of revs. There's plenty of punch for overtaking, although an official 0-100kph time of 7.0sec and 225kph top speed is nothing special.

    A standard nine-speed automatic gearbox feels smoother and more intuitive than the older seven-speed unit used in the GLE400 Coupé; it provides quick, decisive shifts up and down the 'box. The engine requires so few revs at 129kph that you can barely hear it over the constant rustle of wind around the sizeable mirror housings. It may tip the scales at a hefty 2185kg, but the GLE350d Coupé handles with great panache when hurried along on winding back roads. There is moderate body lean, even in the firmest of the three settings offered by its conventional front steel springs and optional rear air springs setup, as used by our test car. However, the car's overall agility is quite impressive for something so big. Decent levels of grip provided by a four-wheel drive system and enhanced with a torque vectoring function, let you maintain good pace through corners with confidence. It's good fun exploring the car's potential, although it takes a good deal of commitment to experience the understeer that eventually emerges.

    Copyright (c) Autocar UK. All rights reserved.


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