The first-ever Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe will hit Australia in September with a $121,900 starting price, the carmaker has confirmed.
Revealed in December, the new GLE Coupe introduces itself as a long-overdue rival (depending on who you ask) to BMW’s hugely popular X6.
In Australia, the GLE Coupe will be offered in three high-powered model grades: the diesel 350d, a new 450 AMG option, and the hero AMG GLE 63 S Coupe.
All three are equipped with Mercedes-Benz’s 4Matic all-wheel-drive system. But, while the 450d and 450 AMG feature a nine-speed automatic, the GLE 63 S gets a performance-focused seven-speed unit.
Stepping into the $121,900 GLE 350d represents a slightly greater spend than for those considering the $115,400 X6 xDrive30d, but buyers at this end of the market are unlikely to be swayed by the $6500 difference if it’s the Merc they want.
Both models are driven by a 3.0 litre V6 turbodiesel, and both offer 190kW of power. But, while the BMW turns out 560Nm of torque, the Mercedes ups the ante to 620Nm.
The Mercedes is thirstier, however, listing fuel consumption at 7.2 l/100km, compared to 6.0 l/100km for the X6.
At the petrol end, there’s the $141,900 GLE 450 AMG, driven by a 270kW/520Nm turbocharged 3.0 litre V6.
On price, the 450 AMG flies past the $120,700 225kW/400Nm X6 xDrive35i, positioning itself a little more closely to the $151,600 xDrive50i and its 330kW/650Nm 4.4 litre turbo V8.
No surprise then that the 450’s acceleration can’t quite compete with the V8 X6, listing a 0-100km/h time of 5.7 seconds against the BMW’s 4.8 seconds.
The difference in powertrains gives the 450 AMG the edge in fuel consumption, however, rated at 8.9 l/100km against a 9.7 l/100km figure for the X6.
Lastly, at the top end, we find a titanic struggle between the $198,900 AMG GLE 63 S and the monstrous $194,700 X6 M.
The AMG-developed Merc packs a 430kW/760Nm 5.5 litre turbo V8, making it just a little meaner than the X6 M’s 423kW/750Nm 4.4 turbo V8.
Both heroes claim the same 4.2 second run to 100km/h, however, and the two are close on fuel: 11.9 l/100km for the GLE 63 S and 11.1 l/100km for the BMW. (Good luck trying to match each figure, of course.)
FEATURES & DIMENSIONS
Standard kit with the GLE Coupe includes 21-inch AMG Wheels, Nappa Leather upholstery, heated and powered AMG Line sports front seats, Dynamic Select transmission modes, Airmatic air suspension and LED Intelligent Lights.
As with other models offering similar systems, the Dynamic Select setup allows special adjustment to the chassis, steering, powertrain and suspension settings, while also tweaking engine and exhaust note, instrument display and the driving lights.
There’s also Merc’s Comand infotainment system with satellite navigation, Harman Kardon Logic 7 14-speaker audio, and an Easy-Pack powered tailgate.
Upgrading to the 450 AMG adds 22-inch AMG wheels, a panoramic sliding sunroof, AMG Line Nappa leather upholstery, the Active Curve System with anti-roll stabilisation, and an Anti-Theft Protection package.
As the hero of the range, the AMG GLE 63 S adds the AMG Driver’s Package, AMG Performance Exhaust, Air-Balance package and a Digital TV tuner, along with heated and ventilated multi-contour front seats in AMG Nappa leather.
Safety equipment on all models includes nine airbags, Collision Prevention Assist Plus, Distronic Plus with Steering Assist and Stop & Go Pilot, Pre-Safe Brake, Pre-Safe Plus, Crosswind Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, an Active Bonnet and an LED Intelligent Light System with Adaptive High Beam Assist Plus.
The GLE Coupe measures in at 4900mm long, making it nearly 100mm longer than its GLE SUV sibling. It it around 50mm shorter top-to-bottom however, but around 60mm wider through the middle.
Its wheelbase is slightly longer, at 2933mm against the ML's 2916mm.
By comparison, BMW's X6 is 9mm longer, 14mm narrower and rides on an 18mm longer wheelbase than the GLE Coupe. Crucially, the X6 is also 42mm shorter top-to-bottom, giving the Bimmer a slightly more sporting profile.
The GLE Coupe's extra width and height help its interior space however, with Mercedes claiming a rear storage capacity up to 1650 litres - compared to 1525 litres in the X6.
Watch for the GLE Coupe to go on sale from September, and click here to read about the smaller new GLC range.
PRICING (excludes on-road costs)
- Mercedes-Benz GLE 350d 4MATIC Coupe - $121,900
- Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG 4MATIC Coupe - $141,900
- Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S 4MATIC Coupe - $198,900