Review: 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4MATIC Coupe



Words: Calvin Chan

Photography: Calvin Chan

Published: March 18, 2022

 



The GLE Coupe is a muscular, five-seater, mid-size SUV with a sloped roofline that competes against the similarly shaped BMW X6, Audi Q8, and Porsche Cayenne Coupe. Compared to the more conventional GLE SUV, the Coupe isn’t exactly the logical choice when you consider its inferior cargo space, hampered rear seat headroom and outward visibility, and elevated price tag, but as with most emotional purchases, the heart trumps the brain. It’s the only reason why these SUV Coupes even exist.

 

 

But looking past its awkwardly proportioned, almost comical, armadillo-shaped silhouette, the GLE Coupe is a masterfully comfortable and polished family hauler. The model we drove was the entry-level GLE 450 that is equipped with a 3.0-litre turbocharged inline-six that produces 362 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. It’s paired to a 9-speed automatic gearbox, as well as a mild hybrid system that ensures a more efficient drive by polishing up the gear shifts and allowing the engine to shut off when power demand is low and when idling for lengthy periods of time. All-wheel drive is standard via Mercedes’ 4MATIC system.

 

The GLE 450 is good for a 0-100 km/h time of 5.7 seconds but those seeking more power will find solace in the GLE 53 and GLE 63 S trims. We found these AMG models overkill for this SUV’s intended purpose but if it’s a dynamic and involving drive you want out of your two-ton tank, we suggest checking out the BMW and Maserati alternatives instead.

 

 

The GLE 450 is instead focused on ensuring a smooth, unintrusive, and gentle driving experience that lowers the driver’s blood pressure rather than raising it, and it’s our favourite trim in the GLE ladder for that exact reason. It’s much calmer on the road than the X5, XC90, and Cayenne Coupe. Acceleration and forward thrust is far from lacking but the GLE takes driving a little less seriously in an effort to maintain the most isolated commute for you and four other passengers. The light steering is devoid of any real feedback, though it’s not as lifeless as the Volvo XC90. There are still some signs of life pulsating through to your fingertips but it’s minimal. The 9-speed gearbox seems to get smoother with each model year, and it’s nearly as cohesive and coordinated as the 8-speed ZF in the BMW that we wholeheartedly consider as the gold standard.

 

 

Body roll is more apparent here than in the X5 or even the Acura MDX, so it will feel slightly more ungainly and cumbersome when taking corners at speed, but I guess that was the point - it’s got grab handles on the center console for a reason. When traversing at slow speeds or in a relatively straight line however, the GLE rides unbelievably well on the 20-inch wheels, and the nicely damped suspension filters out most of those unpleasant vertical vibrations when crashing into bumps or expansion joints. With comfort in mind, the only luxury SUV at this price point that rides better is the Range Rover Sport.

 

 

The GLE delivers a top-notch, upscale interior. Lathered in nicely-stitched leather and a lavish display of touchscreens, it’s a dazzling cabin design that will impress any silver star newcomer. It strikes the middleground between the button-laden BMW X6, and the rather bleak and barren Audi Q8. The MBUX infotainment system isn’t the friendliest unit on the block, and at times we found the trackpad infuriatingly to use, but it’s not as bad as the Lexus examples. We still prefer a BMW-like rotary dial, but the GLE’s learning curve is flattened by the accurate ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice command system and the small convenient touchpads on the steering wheel.

 

 

The GLE is loaded with all the latest gadgets and gizmos but even so, we were surprised to find a huge head up display and heated armrests at this price point - items normally reserved for the top-tier S-Class models. Both the door panel and center armrests are heated, and there are heated cupholders too - the perfect creature comforts for the chilly winter months.

 

 

As with most SUV coupes, the side blind spots are atrocious due to the thick B-pillars, but the GLE somewhat makes up for it with an effective blind spot monitoring system. The sloped roof means the rear windshield is more of a bunker slit but it isn’t terrible. If these little things bug you, just remember there’s a more conventional (and in our eyes, more handsome looking) SUV that does all the same things as the Coupe but for a lower price. Oh, and avoid the optional aluminum running boards at all costs. They’re too shallow and narrow to be useful, and ironically enough, always get in the way of egress and ingress. Even if you’re small in stature, they don’t help much, and are made worse in the winter as the back of your pants will constantly graze it, along with all the slush, salt, and mud that has accumulated.

 

 

The GLE Coupe is far from being the logical choice but we aren’t here to tell you to follow your brain instead of your heart. What we can tell you though, is that the GLE 450 isn’t an engaging or sporty SUV in the slightest, but it is an exceedingly comfortable and well-designed family hauler with all the garnish and dressings to satisfy tech geeks and those looking for the most upscale amenities on the lot.

 


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Specifications:

Model: 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4MATIC Coupe

Paint Type: Cavansite Blue
Base Price: $89,200

Price as Tested: $96,700
Wheelbase(mm): 2,940
Length/Width/Height (mm): 4,939 / 2,157 / 1,730

Curb weight (kg): 2,310
Engine: 3.0-litre turbocharged inline six-cylinder with mild hybrid assist (EQ Boost)
Horsepower: 362 hp @ 5,500 - 6,100 rpm
Torque: 369 lb-ft @ 1,600 - 4,500 rpm
Transmission: 9-speed automatic
Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, AWD

Fuel Consumption ( City / Highway ) L/100km: 11.7 / 9.2
Observed Fuel Consumption (L/100km): 12.1

Tires: 275/50R20

 



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