2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S Coupe overview: Half-risen roof, full-fun drive

That tapered roofline provides fashion however would not take away an excessive amount of cargo house.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S Coupe’s large wheels, tapering roofline and comely bottom are positive to seize your consideration. That is an undeniably stylish, high-style automobile. However what lurks behind this swoopy SUV’s retro-inspired Panamericana grille is the actual star of the present.

LikeComfortable, stylish interiorWorld-class twin-turbo V8Effortless acceleration

Do not LikeAnnoyingly extensive door sillsMBUX complexitiesOvereager brakes

Nestled between the GLE63’s entrance fenders is a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8. Hand assembled by the craftspeople in Affalterbach, Germany, this jewel of an engine is smoother than creamy peanut butter, delivering a stomping 603 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque, greater than sufficient to place the damage on rivals just like the Audi RS Q8 and BMW X6 M. That is additionally sufficient sauce to rocket this coupe-ish crossover to 60 mph in simply 3.7 seconds and onward to a terminal velocity of 174 mph, although curiously, the GLE63 S would not really feel as fast because the numbers counsel. This Mercedes is so refined and quiet you are nearly all the time going at the very least 10 mph quicker than you assume, even when the energetic exhaust system is uncorked.

Serving to ship that efficiency is the automaker’s EQ-Enhance 48-volt mild-hybrid system, which gives as much as 21 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. EQ-Enhance additionally smooths out gearchanges and aids with regenerative braking. The system’s built-in starter-generator is sandwiched between the engine and nine-speed transmission, the place it takes up little house. The entire shebang is just about invisible; the one time you are actually conscious of EQ-Enhance is throughout engine stop-start occasions, that are among the smoothest within the enterprise.

That transmission modifications gears with sports-car immediacy and may be very aware of requests from the paddle shifters. Nonetheless, its efficiency could be considerably irregular, notably at low speeds the place there’s usually a slight disconnect between the accelerator pedal and what the gearbox is doing. The automobile’s overeager brakes are additionally a bit bothersome. With the entrance rotors measuring almost 16 inches in diameter, their stopping energy is simple, they’re only a bit too sensitive in on a regular basis driving.

Lively Roll Stabilization together with adaptive damping, an air suspension and even energetic engine mounts are new additions for 2021, and collectively they hold the GLE63 S Coupe’s physique flatter than Florida whereas tackling corners. The suspension does a commendable job delivering a very good journey, although I might prefer to really feel just a little extra delineation between the varied settings. Consolation is agency but properly remoted, however cranking it as much as Sport or Sport Plus would not make the journey all that a lot stiffer. You will really feel street imperfections to make sure, however they’re by no means pounding.

This engine is an actual honey.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The GLE63 S Coupe is properly balanced and feels luxury-car refined even in its starchiest settings. Sadly, the steering is forgettably atypical. It is mild and a bit imprecise, which isn’t any assist in a automobile that does not monitor very properly. This Mercedes tends to wander, even on easy, straight pavement, which suggests it’s important to make course corrections to keep away from kissing the traces and worsening the lane-keeping system. Roadshow social media editor Daniel Golson made the identical remark in his overview of the same however much less potent 2021 GLE53 Coupe, which additionally rolled on staggered-width AMG wheels, although those on this instance are 1 inch smaller in diameter, clocking in at simply 21 inches.

Given its emphasis on sportiness, you possibly can’t anticipate nice gas economic system from this Mercedes. Accordingly, it stickers at 15 miles per gallon metropolis and 19 mpg freeway, nevertheless, in fairly heavy-footed driving, I’ve managed to common round 18.4, a very good bit higher than the mixed ranking of 17 mpg.

As a top-shelf luxurious automobile, this Mercedes comes with a broad complement of driver-assistance tech. Adaptive LED headlamps with automated excessive beams, energetic parking help and blind-spot monitoring are all normal gear. The $1,950 Driver Help Bundle Plus throws options like energetic lane-change help, rear cross-traffic alert, traffic-sign recognition and adaptive cruise management with lane centering into the combination, and that final merchandise works phenomenally properly. The GLE63 S Coupe’s adaptive cruise management is tremendous easy and extra situationally conscious than an undercover police officer. It seemingly all the time is aware of what is going on on and how one can reply, plus the lane-centering function is among the finest I’ve ever skilled, making the automobile monitor virtually like a monorail.

A pair issues may very well be improved, however this inside is a nice place irrespective of which seat you are in.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

This Mercedes-AMG’s inside is a stunning place, rife with premium leathers, laser-straight stitching and no scarcity of facilities together with normal heated and ventilated entrance seats, that are as snug as a La-Z-Boy recliner. A Burmester sound system is included, too, as is wi-fi telephone charging and embedded navigation. Sadly, among the GLE63 S Coupe’s inside components aren’t fairly as good as they need to be for a automobile that begins at $117,000. Nothing is insultingly low-rent, however the local weather controls, gear-selector and turn-signal stalks in addition to among the secondary switches simply do not feel six-figure sturdy.

With regards to inside tech, you get a pair of 12.3-inch shows mounted in a single housing that runs throughout many of the dashboard. One in all these screens serves as a reconfigurable digital instrument cluster, the opposite handles infotainment duties. For higher or worse, the acquainted MBUX multimedia array is the way you work together with most of the automobile’s options. This technique is each fairly and performant, although it is not my favourite. It provides method an excessive amount of performance and feels prefer it requires a keyboard and mouse to correctly use, which isn’t what you need whereas driving. Fortuitously, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are normal, and Mercedes has not switched to hyper-annoying touch-sensitive management pads on the steering wheel prefer it has on a few of its different automobiles, together with the E450 All Terrain — at the very least, not but.

The Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S Coupe is loads like a batch of dough that did not rise. Subsequent to the traditional GLE SUV, its roof is noticeably deflated. That tapering prime provides visible pizzazz, although, it eats into cargo house and rear-seat headroom, however these deficits do not destroy the automobile, not by any stretch. Second-row noggin house is decreased by 1.eight inches, however there’s nonetheless loads, even for taller adults. Cargo house behind the aft bench clocks in at 27.5 cubic toes, which swells to 63.2 cubes if you fold the rear backrest down. As compared, the GLE63 S serves up 39.Three and 74.9 cubic toes, respectively. Judging between these two utility automobiles is like evaluating pitas to baguettes, breads which might be clearly totally different kind elements however each are scrumptious.

Except you want as a lot cargo house as potential, the GLE63 S Coupe is a wonderfully versatile utility automobile.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S Coupe’s base value is nearly $117,000, or about 40 grand extra than the much less potent GLE53 Coupe. As for this instance, it checks out for $131,430 together with requisite supply charges, which complete $1,050. A couple of choices pad the underside line, issues like that $1,950 driver-assistance package deal, a head-up show ($1,100), the fancier Burmester Excessive-Finish Encompass Sound System ($4,550) and the Heat and Consolation Bundle ($1,050), to call a number of.

With thundering efficiency, a snug and refined cabin, plus loads of fashion each in and out, the coupe-ified crossover is well-rounded and surprisingly livable. For those who worth fashion over capaciousness get the GLE63 S Coupe, but when versatility issues extra, keep on with the usual GLE SUV. Both method, you possibly can’t go fallacious.

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