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2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE63 S Coupe review

By: Autoweek on 12/22/2015

Photo by Mercedes-Benz - 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE63

Some Mercedes Benzes absorb the AMG treatment beautifully. C63? Love it. SL65? Right on. GT S Coupe? Yes please …

… Bringing us to the GLE63 S Coupe, a tallish E-Class-based crossover with the hand-built 577-hp, 5.5-liter twin turbo V8 (one-man, one-engine!), hunkered-down suspension, AMG instruments, you get the picture -- it has all the hot stuff one expects from AMG, along with the history and racing chops that have symbolized AMG (hello, 500E) since founders Hans-Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher started the joint.

Wait a sec, did I use the "C" word? Yup, the GLE63 S Coupe is a crossover. Get used to it: Automakers are scrambling to market every crossover variant they can think of as fast as they can. The variety is important to note. (As an old friend used to say: I want what I want when I want it and I want it now!)

Thus Benz takes the GLE and stuffs big power beneath its wings. You want big power, right? Everything is better with more power. The GLE63 AMG won’t disappoint you. Indeed the sturm und drang of this car’s thrum and thrust is exhilarating; I defy you to not smile at the audible gurgle of its mighty and potent V8.

And yet the comfort from behind the wheel defies that this is a truck as you toss it about in one corner after another. Benz’s four-mode Dynamic Select (comfort, sport, sport-plus and slippery) adjusts the throttle, shifts, suspension stop/start and more. You can even tune the exhaust burbles and how the instruments look. In short, I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to find settings that suit you.

And as an attention-getter? Among the top of the heap when it comes to folks taking that long, long stare. Not bad, unless it comes from a cop.

Photo by Mercedes-Benz - 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE63 S Coupe interior

OTHER VOICES:

"We already know that this car, like that one that BMW makes, are built for the purpose of signifying to future generations that our time was one of depravity and decadence. But if we’re able to force ourselves to look past the irrational 'Why does this thing exist?' questions that surround these things, it’s possible to conclude that the GLE63 AMG is a well-executed, if not flawless crossover. You won’t be surprised to learn that it’s got a very nice, cozy interior -- maybe a little too cozy for taller back-seat passengers. You won’t be shocked that it’s very fast and it sounds good, even if it doesn’t sound good enough to make you forget about the dear old M159. You won’t be shocked that it’s expensive. You might be surprised that it gets a little jumpy on uneven pavement, but if you like the way the GLE63 AMG S looks, you’ll probably love the way it drives." 

-- Rory Carroll, content director

Photo by Mercedes-Benz - 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE63

OPTIONS:

Driver assistance package including active blind spot assist, active lane keeping assist , distronic plus with steering assist, pre-safe brake with pedestrian recognition, bas plus with cross-traffic assist and pre-safe plus with rear-end collision protection ($1,950); carbon fiber/black piano lacquer trim ($1,750); rear climate package including three-zone automatic climate control and heated rear seats ($1,100) driver/passenger multi-contour seats with massage ($1,100); AMG performance exhaust ($625); convenience package including heated/cooled front cup holders and soft-close doors ($550); 22-inch AMG cross-spoke wheels ($500); designo cardinal red metallic ($360); pre-wiring for rear seat entertainment ($170)

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