2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe Experience: Strange but Wild

Mercedes Benz

A little context, to start, because we know this stuff can get confusing. The GLE-Class is a mid-size SUV from Mercedes-Benz, a direct descendant of what was once called the M-Class. The AMG 63 S is the top-of-the-line version with a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 with 603 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque. As for the “coupe” at the end of its name… well, car manufacturers have broadened the definition of “coupe” to include anything with a fast cornering body for a while now, and crossovers and sports are no exception.

So, here’s your massive 5,390-pound coupe.

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Is the new Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe?

Yeah. Mercedes debuted the new generation GLE in 2019, working from the base models upwards. The AMG GLE 63 S arrives in 2020; Mercedes-AMG has launched the Coupe version for 2021.

What makes the GLE 63 S Coupe so special?

It is one of the most impressive cars that Mercedes has to offer – and also one of the strangest. The standard AMG GLE 63 S makes sense. It’s 2021, and after all, we can finally admit that people love SUVs. If you can only buy one car, there is no shame in owning a full range of AMG Performance tricks in a body shape that is practical and comfortable for everyday family life. And yes, if you’re of a certain age, getting in and out of an SUV is easier than getting into a sedan.

With the coupe, the roof shape feeds into cargo space, leaving an overly impractical vehicle that’s hard to see and doesn’t have a rear wiper. So if you buy this you will get a very strange looking car. The rear end appears cropped and small, which makes the front end appear disproportionately large. This SUV is not for everyone…but it should be enough for Mercedes buyers to make money on it.

How does the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe go?

Coupe or not, the AMG GLE 63 S is the result of some very impressive engineering. This SUV weighs more than a full-size pickup truck. However, it does sprint from 0-60 mph in officially around 3.7 seconds (the standard SUV did in 3.4 seconds in car and driver tested), just as fast as the Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing.

And raw speed is just one of her tricks. The AMG GLE 63 S Coupe angles subtly with an almost unnatural flatness. The nine-speed transmission is smooth. The mild hybrid EQ Boost system eliminates turbo lag and provides more low-end grunt. And unlike the CT5-V Blackwing, you can go off-road with Trail and Sand modes. It can do basically everything…except for hitting 20 mpg on the EPA test.

Equally impressive: how good is the AMG GLE 63 S Coupe to drive when you’re not at the limit. Ride quality is excellent in graded driving modes, especially considering my car was driven on 22-inch wheels. It’s very quiet – my tester had an acoustic side window glass. Many people will buy the AMG GLE 63 S simply because it is the best of the bunch. And it could be the not-too-intimidating luxury SUV they’ve been looking for.

It’s smart that it’s a nice car when you’re not at the limit, because it’s really hard to push the limits of this car. You can raise it at about 90 on the highway and turn on the cylinder deactivation light repeatedly.

What does the GLE 63 S look like inside?

Comfortable enough and forward technical. Mercedes-AMG knows that it is not only a performance brand, but a luxury brand as well. You can have the dual screen display, Nappa leather seats that are heated or ventilated, you get a massage or just move around a bit to prevent your butt from numbing, and all kinds of other fun things.

And all of them are very practical and clean, unlike some cars for sale today. Mercedes doesn’t make a big aesthetic statement to hide the presence of air vents, or that you’re a human who might want to use a button to adjust something.

How much does a Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe cost?

Dedicate a little. The starting MSRP for the coupe is $116,000, just over $2,000 over the standard SUV. My tester came to $131,430, and $1,500 was only that jump due to the paltry AMG styling packages. The rest is features — head-up display ($1,100), Burmester premium audio system ($4550), additional driver assistance package ($1,950), Warmth & Comfort package ($1,050), Activate Comfort Package ($1,650). $), Acoustic Comfort Package ($1,100), Soft Close Doors ($550) — which you’d really expect would be standard on a top-tier model.

What are some alternatives to the GLE 63 S Coupe?

BMW sells the X6 M ($109,400), which offers similar power and performance. It still has the body shape of an SUV coupe, but it does a slightly better job in terms of proportional looks. The Audi RS Q8 ($119,900) is similar, too. The most performance-similar Porsche, with a little less power, will be the Porsche Cayenne Turbo Coupe ($133,500), which is much more expensive.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe

drivetrain: Bi-Turbo 4.0L V8; Nine-speed automatic all-wheel drive

horse power: 603

torque: 627 lb ft

EPA fuel economy: 15 mpg in the city, 19 mpg on the highway

Seats: 5

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