Mercedes GLE 450 AMG Coupe Review
2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG – Click above for high resolution picture gallery

Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Coupe Review

Car Tested: 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Coupe; Road Test No. 698

Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 1.12 crores

The Mercedes GLE 450 is not a full blown AMG but it still has most of the characteristics of one

You are an individual who has made his mark. You own a fair few cars including the luxury sedans to go through the daily grind. But, now you want something better. Something more exciting. Something with a petrol motor. However, you look at the V8 powered options and realise that your accountant won’t be happy with the fuel bills. Distressed, you walk into the Mercedes-Benz showroom and ask the sales executive whether there is some other option. And sure, there is the Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG. An AMG that is not completely one but provides you the thrill of one.

Motor Quest: The Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG is not a proper AMG. It just gets some bits and bobs from the performance part maker’s bin. However, those parts blend in very well and truly change the character of the car. The lack of AMG badging however is surprising but the coupe body style is enough to differentiate from the pedestrian GLE.

The fascia of the GLE 450 AMG is very bold looking

Exteriors – One look at the GLE 450 is enough to make anyone fall in love with it, especially in a bright colour like red. The front-end receives some tweaks over the regular GLE and it looks more aggressive now. The side profile is where the biggest change is. Instead of being another SUV, it has a coupe like roofline which puts it into the BMW X6 segment. However, while the X6 gets polarised opinion with majority of the people not liking its styling, the GLE’s styling is liked by most. The humungous 21-inch alloys add a lot of glamour to the car too.

The side and rear reveal the true bulk of the car

The GLE 450 AMG Coupe looks splendid from the side with the sloping roofline

LED headlamps have become the norm in the segment and the Mercedes GLE 450 AMG gets them too. Particularly good looking are the sleek tail-lights which gel well with the rear-end design. The quad pipes at the rear give it that proper AMG look however there’s a bit too much chrome for my liking. The interesting thing is, there’s no AMG badge anywhere on the exterior. The reason for the same is that the GLE 450 only gets an AMG kit with a few bits and bobs splattered around inside and outside. The visual drama of the car isn’t reduced by this though and it grabs a lot of eyeballs.

Interiors are similar to the regular GLE but get a black colour scheme

Interiors – The interiors of the Mercedes GLE 450 AMG are the standard fare ones seen on the normal GLE. It goes without saying, quality is top notch everywhere and finding even one substandard quality button is difficult. The black interiors add that touch of sportiness but at the same time make the interiors feel less roomy. Again, like the exteriors, the interiors do not have AMG branding at any place which does make one feel a little odd. An AMG branded steering wheel or AMG badging on the dashboard would have been a nice touch.

Quality is top notch everywhere just like you expect from a Merc

The interiors are typical Mercedes-Benz like, excellent quality all around

The rear seats are good for two passengers however legroom and headroom is at a slight premium. The sloping roofline is to be blamed for the slight lack of headroom. The front seats are scooped to give that extra bit of room to the rear passengers. However, this car isn’t the one for primarily chauffeur driven customers. It is more suited to the ones who drive themselves. Like most European cars, the boot is very spacious and with the spare wheel neatly tucked in under the boot floor, there’s nothing to eat into the boot space either.

The vehicle is loaded with useful features; misses out on a touchscreen

The infotainment system screen is well integrated into the dashboard and doesn’t look out of place as is the case with some cars from Mercedes-Benz. However, in the age of touch-screens, it is surprising that the GLE 450 doesn’t get one. Instead, one has to use the buttons located on the centre console and it does take some time getting used to. There are five driving modes – Winter, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Individual. Another neat trick is the 180 degree camera which is particularly useful while parking the car as the rearward visibility isn’t too good.

Unleashing the car is a 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine

Performance – Most of the AMG cars are powered by Bi-Turbo V8s with insane amounts of power. However, the GLE 450 not being a full blown AMG is powered by a 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine which produces 364 BHP and 520 Nm of torque. The power figures translate into a 0-100 km/hr time of just under 6 seconds which is very impressive considering it isn’t a light car by any stretch of imagination. The exhaust note of the car is very addictive too and keeps one well entertained.

The exhaust note is pure eargasm, engine has lots of punch

The GLE 450 has enough grunt to keep you entertained, nice exhaust note too

The engine is paired to a 9-speed automatic transmission which makes cruising at highway speeds very relaxing with the engine spinning at very low RPMs. At 100 km/hr, the RPM needle hovers around 1400 RPM and a slight dab on the accelerator is all that is needed for a quick overtake. When you pin down the accelerator, the acceleration is linear and in no time you are at triple digit speeds. The power delivery is very linear and the engine redlines at 6500 RPM.

Launching the car is great fun despite its size

Holding the brake and pressing the accelerator completely makes the car launch perfectly (two thumbs up for launch control) and gear shifts happen smoothly instead of the slight jerkiness in Sport+ mode. Speaking of Sport+ mode, the GLE 450 AMG does a kickback from the exhaust when upshifting and that adds to the drama. No, it doesn’t mean anything is broken, it is just to add that bit of character. The most surprising part is despite the engine not having too many ponnies, you feel that it is accelerating faster than it actually is. And the exhaust note adds to the whole experience. Full marks to the blokes at Mercedes for getting the setup right.

The suspension is nicely setup and body roll is controlled

Driving Dynamics – Handling and SUVish stance don’t go too well in most cases. But in the case of the GLE 450 AMG, things are a little different. There’s little body roll when cornering at high speeds which lets you push the car harder. The suspension is setup very well with it taking care of bad roads and being sufficiently stiff at the same time. The fly in the ointment are the brakes with the brake pedal being spongy and requiring a lot of effort to apply brakes.

The GLE is quite engaging to drive around the ghats

The massive tyres on the GLE 450 AMG Coupe ensure grip at all times

However, it may be a case of some issue with our test car. Another issue is the lack of space in the footwell due to the huge front tyres which means your foot will rub against the wall when on the accelerator. There’s a slight hint of body roll when cornering at high speeds which is inevitable due to the high ground clearance and centre of gravity. Speaking of centre of gravity, the infotainment system display has a mode to display the centre of gravity and accelerator as well as brake pedal input in terms of percentage. It does look very neat.

Mercedes has the best service amongst all German brands

Safety and After Sales Service – Safety and German cars go hand in hand and same is the case with the Mercedes GLE 450 AMG Coupe. It carries over all the safety technology from the standard GLE SUV. When it comes to after sales service, Mercedes is one of the best in the game in today’s time. Mercedes offers service packs for a time period of upto three years. Extended warranty is also available which protects the owner from unpredictable failures. The sales reach of the three pointed star is also very good with showrooms in most major cities.

The GLE 450 AMG makes perfect sense if your accountant is worth his salt

Verdict – So is the Mercedes GLE 450 AMG Coupe good enough to quench your thirst for speed? Definitely. In fact, if your driving isn’t too high, it can be the perfect daily driver too. At a price of just over a crore, it is quite good value for money too. For the money, you get a proper 5-seater car with a quick petrol engine and an exhaust note which will keep you happy. Money well spent I say. So when are you drawing a cheque in favour of Mercedes-Benz?

The minor negatives of the car are out-shadowed by the numerous positives

What’s Cool

* Coupe styling coupled with AMG bits looks hot
* Practical yet thrilling enough
* Good driving dynamics, humungous 315 section rear tyres
* Sweet sounding exhaust

What’s Not So Cool

* Brakes lack feedback, brake pedal spongy
* Rear seat isn’t very spacious due to sloping roofline

Alternatives: None

High ground clearance vehicles can be fun too is proved by this coupe

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Coupe Specifications

* Engine: 2996cc, V6, Turbocharged Petrol
* Power: 362 BHP @ 5500 RPM
* Torque: 520 Nm @ 1800-4000 RPM
* Transmission: 9G-Tronic 9-speed automatic
* 0-100 km/hr: 5.7 seconds
* Fuel Consumption: 8.5 km/l (Claimed)
* Fuel Type: Petrol
* Suspension: Independent Airmatic suspension
* Tyres: 275/45/R21 (Front), 315/45/R21 (Rear)
* Brakes: Ventilated discs (Front), Disc brake (Rear)
* Safety: 7 Airbags, ABS, ASR, TCS, ESP

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Coupe Dimensions

* Overall length x width x height: 4892 mm X 2004 mm X 1720 mm
* Wheelbase: 2916 mm
* Kerb weight: 2220 kgs
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 93-litres

Bringing the head to stop thinking about this car was a daunting task

Testers’ Note:

“The Mercedes GLE 450 AMG walks the fine line between outright AMG madness and daily practicality. The super wide 21-inch tyres might seem like an overkill on something which isn’t employing a V8 under its belly but the GLE Coupe has the aura and the performance to keep you grinning. The things which really impress are the launch control and the sound when on Sports mode, the fully imported AMG exciting the senses while still being practical for daily use.” – Faisal Khan, Editor, MotorBeam.
“The Mercedes GLE 450 AMG has been one of the best cars I have driven in a long time. It’s not easy to impress someone as critical as me but boy oh boy, this AMG is masterclass. A perfect companion when performance comes calling with a very precise steering and superb dynamics. Looking at the practical aspect, it is spacious and can also be used as a daily drive making this on top of my current wish-list. ” – Javeid Khan, Deputy Editor, MotorBeam.
“I did not have much expectations from the GLE 450 AMG Coupe to be honest. I mean seldom do we see SUVs which are fun to drive as well. The GLE 450 is one of those. It is a great combination of looks, performance and practicality which makes it a suitable daily drive for the self driven or an excellent weekend fun car for the others. The best part is that even though it feels so nice to drive, it isn’t prohibitively expensive at a price of just above a crore.” – Aman Sancheti, Road Tester, MotorBeam.