Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe (2020) Review

Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe (2020) At A Glance

4/5
Honest John Overall Rating
Luxury SUVs come in all shapes and sizes these days, and the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe is about as sizeable and as shapely as it gets.

+Innovative infotainment system that looks great, strong, powerful and refined engines, spacious for five people and a big boot.

-Coupe body impinges on practicality, build quality can’t quite match that of the best, some doubt about how the car drives.

The Mercedes GLE Coupe is a car you buy with your heart rather than your head. If your head were choosing a big luxury SUV, it’d choose one with seven seats, a big boxy cabin, a comfortable, quiet ride, decent fuel economy, and all at a relatively affordable price. Basically, your head would choose an Audi Q7. But not everyone wants sensible. Some want fun. Some want eye-catching. Some merely want to be different to everybody else, and they’re prepared to pay a premium to get it. If you’re one of those people, then the GLE Coupe could well fit the bill. Compared with its rivals, it offers bags of luxury kit, powerful engines and a clever infotainment system that tech-heads will love.

While most SUVs have a boxy, upright stature, the GLE Coupe adopts a design that’s driven more by style than it is practicality or versatility. 

Although those with a taste for pedantry might struggle to call it a genuine coupe, due to the fact it has more than two doors, there’s little doubt that the rakish appearance delivered by the car’s sloping roofline catches the eye. Yes, it’ll probably disgust as many people as it delights, but it sure won’t go unnoticed.

The GLE Coupe isn’t alone in occupying this part-SUV-part-coupe niche, either. The BMW X6 has offered a similar mash-up of conventions for a number of years, and although it’s a relatively new kid on the block, the Audi Q8 offers style-conscious buyers another choice.

Another reasonably new entrant is the Cayenne Coupe based on Porsche’s brilliant family SUV, while the Range Rover Sport has been joined by the slightly smaller Velar in Land Rover’s offensive on the class. That’s some pretty impressive company for the GLE to keep, so can it compete?

Well, practicality might not be the be-all-and-end-all here, but importantly, the GLE has generous space for five, provided those in the back aren’t much over six foot, in which case headroom becomes a wee bit tight.

The boot is the biggest in the class, though, and access to it is easier than in most rivals. You could also argue it has an edge on infotainment, with its two high-definition glass-fronted screens - that handle a wide range of functionality - injecting some real wow-factor. The GLE’s cabin is also classy enough to feel at home in such well-heeled company.

True, the big Merc might look a bit expensive, but there’s a reason. While the regular GLE - a conventional five-door SUV - offers a wide range of petrol and diesel engines, plus a number of different equipment grades to suit all tastes and budgets, the Coupe only comes in a couple of high-spec forms, with big powerful engines and loads of luxury kit.

You’ll want for nothing in terms of power and pampering, so it’s no wonder you’ll be required to pay for it.

Exactly how the car drives isn’t quite so clear-cut yet, though. The only car we’ve tried was fitted with a suspension that you can’t have in the UK, even as an optional extra, so a few questions remain unanswered. However, it’ll have to be pretty special when in such prestigious company.

Regardless, the GLE Coupe is a desirable car, and makes a decent case for itself against rivals, especially if you’re into your tech.

What does a Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe (2020) cost?