Review: 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE450 AMG Coupe

– Detroit, Michigan

I’ll never understand this whole SUV-as-a-coupe subsegment. (Hell, I’m still trying to wrap my head around how a four-door sedan can be classified as a coupe – thanks for opening that can of worms, Mercedes-Benz CLS.) Never mind the “exclusivity” or “personalization” or any other luxury automaker buzzword. You’re actually just paying more money for less car. In the case of the Mercedes-Benz GLE, the Coupe you see here has less passenger space, less cargo volume, and costs more money than the standard version. That swooping roofline makes it look all sorts of bad, too – it’s like a giant, puffy armadillo that you can’t get in or out of without bumping your head. Why would you pay more for that?

I know, I’m in the minority. The GLE Coupe and its key rival, the BMW X6, have carved out their little niche in the automotive landscape, and have led to the creation of similarly shaped, smaller products, like the forthcoming GLC Coupe and BMW X4. But while this weird sport-utility-coupe thing doesn’t make sense to my practical eye, there’s still a lot to like here. After all, underneath that curvy new roofline is the very-good Mercedes GLE.

Pros

  • I really like the 3.0-liter biturbo V6 with the AMG tune – it’s great in the C450, and I can’t wait to see it proliferate through all the new AMG 43 cars. With 362 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque, it doesn’t make the nearly 5,000-pound GLE450 Coupe feel super quick or anything, but the power delivery is silky smoot...