Mercedes-Benz and BMW are continuously at each other's throats to make the world's best car. Together, the two brands make up the popular German image in the automotive market, and their devotion to luxury makes them some of the most sought after vehicles in history. When it comes to crossover SUVs, the Mercedes GLE Coupe and the BMW sit at the top of the food chain.
I took the Mercedes GLE400 Coupe for a weekend drive. When I picked up the car from T. Gargour & Fils, official distributor in Lebanon, I had the chance to closely examine its exterior looks. The GLE Coupe has those sleek, angular headlights that Mercedes is famous for, and the body shape is a totally logical one for a car that’s half SUV, half sports car. You can tell right away that the GLE Coupe is a mix of two worlds.
I jumped into the interior and I have to admit it is extremely sensual. You can see that everything sits in its place so nicely, with the exception of the gearbox knob behind the steering wheel, which personally still annoys me. Get rid of it! It feels like an antique American vehicle from World War 2. But other than that, Mercedes does it just right. With the GLE Coupe, they unquestionably have. I’m personally delighted.
How does it drive?
Well, basically it drives like a Merc. Nothing too special, but the dimensions of the GLE Coupe make it better than an X6 in terms of visibility (front or rear). The nine-speed automatic gearbox reacts fairly well and is quick to kickdown the engine. The last two gear ratios are extremely tall which allows for very relaxed cruising at highway speeds. The ride and handling balance, too, is more towards comfort, and that was instantly recognizable when I took the steering wheel.
Sleek design brought to you courtesy of the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe. This stylish four-door SUV offers luxurious comfort, dynamic driving and brilliant safety for a modern driver. Although BMW was the first to introduce the four-door SUV coupe segment, Mercedes did it right and learned this segment by watching BMW throughout the years. Between the X6 and GLE Coupe it is a matter of taste what to choose.
Rivals: BMW X6, Porsche Cayenne
Pros: Good performance, attractive exterior, comfortable interior, roomier than a BMW X6
Cons: Price tag, gearbox knob behind the steering wheel
one word: adored
3.0L twin-turbo V6, 333 hp @ 5,250 - 6,000 rpm, 480 Nm @ 1,600 - 4,000 rpm
9-speed auto, AWD
0-100 km/h: 5.8 sec, top speed: 245 km/h, fuel consumption: 13.2 L/100 km
Weight: 2,105 kg