2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupes revealed
Luxury doesn’t come cheap for Mercedes’ three new SUV models.
Some of life’s little luxuries just became more of a stretch, with German luxury car maker Mercedes-Benz announcing price hikes of more than $25,000 for its next generation 2021 GLE Coupe range.
The GLE Coupe is Benz’s BMW X6 fighter, meaning a big and slightly less practical version of the GLE SUV wagon, which was released here in August 2019 and which itself goes head to head with the BMW X5.
With less luggage space and rear seat headroom than its wagon counterpart, the GLE Coupe is all about style and the new model doesn’t disappoint on that front, with some of the sting taken out of the price increases by its svelte new look, plus additional features and equipment.
Set for release in September, the base GLE 450 Coupe is now priced from $137,000 plus on-road costs, a $19,966 increase over its wagon counterpart. The previous entry model Coupe, the GLE 350d was priced from $125,970 but is now discontinued.
The largest increase is reserved for the AMG GLE 53 which is now priced at $171,800 plus on-road costs, a $26,330 premium over the last-gen GLE 43 and a more than $5000 increase over the GLE 53 wagon announced in April.
The flagship AMG GLE 63 S is not expected until later this year, but Mercedes-has already settled on its $222,700 price tag, an increase of $19,230 over the current model. Mercedes has yet to release pricing for the wagon variant.
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450
The entry-level (if you can call it that) GLE 450 is powered by a 270kW/500Nm 3.0-litre twin-turbo inline six-cylinder petrol engine, which is aided by a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that adds 16kW/250Nm of extra oomph under acceleration.
Mercedes claims the circa 2.2-tonne GLE 450 averages 9.2L/100km and is capable of 0-100km/h in 5.7 seconds.
Safety-wise, the GLE450 is equipped with active radar cruise control, brake assist with cross-traffic warning, blind-spot assist, lane assist, traffic-sign recognition and nine airbags.
On the tech front, the dash is dominated by an impressive 12.3-inch high-resolution screen, with customisable displays, 360-degree camera view and parking aid system. Smartphone integration and wireless charging are also included, as is a kicking Burmester surround-sound system.
Additional features of the GLE 450, which starts from $137,000 plus on-road costs, include a panoramic sunroof, heated front seats, powered tailgate, LED headlights, keyless entry and start and 21-inch AMG alloy wheels.
2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 53
Priced from $171,800 plus on-road costs, the mid-level AMG GLE 53 utilises the same 3.0-litre twin-turbo inline six-cylinder petrol engine and mild-hybrid system found in the GLE450. But thanks to enhancements by AMG, performance is boosted to a healthy 320kW/520Nm. The neighbours also get to enjoy the extra performance, thanks to a fruitier AMG performance exhaust with selectable modes.
The AMG enhancements mean the inline six sips unleaded at a slightly higher rate of 9.3L/100km but the benchmark 0-100km/h time is reduced by four-tenths to 5.3 seconds over the base-model.
The GLE 53 comes loaded with AMG bells and whistles, including a new grille, lip spoiler, 21-inch alloy wheels, AMG steering wheel, illuminated door sills, tinted windows, plus heated and ventilated electric front seats.
Air suspension is standard, as is AMG’s Active Ride Control package, featuring active anti-roll bars, which the brand claims provide drivers with a comfortable yet performance-oriented ride and handling package.
2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S
The flagship GLE 63 S ditches the inline six-cylinder petrol engines of its stablemates, in favour of a thunderous 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8, mated to a 48V mild-hybrid system to produce a chart-topping 450kW/850Nm.
Matched with an AMG nine-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive, Mercedes claims the big SUV Coupe is capable of sprinting from 0-100km/h in a remarkable 3.8 seconds, shaving nearly two seconds off its GLE450 counterpart. Not surprisingly, fuel economy takes a hit, with consumption rising to a still reasonable 12.6L/100km.
The high-performance GLE 63 S also gains upgraded brakes, an electronic limited-slip rear differential and giant 22-inch AMG cross-spoke alloy wheels.
On the inside, a chunky AMG Performance steering wheel comes clad in sensuous synthetic suede, with soft Nappa leather extending to the seats, doors and handsomely stitched dash.
Tech and features are also gets a healthy boost with the addition of power-closing doors, a heated windscreen washer system to eliminate morning frost and Mercedes’ Active Traffic Assist which helps avoid traffic jams.
The AMG GLE63S starts from $222,700 plus on-road costs.
The 2021 GLE Coupe range will be available in Australian showrooms from September 2020.
Other SUVs to consider:
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- Audi reveals first compact electric SUV 'concept'
- New car review: Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 4MATIC
- Audi goes electric with all-new e-tron SUV