2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Coupe new car reviews

As divisive as the sloping rear design of Mercedes-Benz's "coupe" SUV models may be, it's hard to overlook just how fast they can be in AMG form.

For example, take the 2021 GLE 53 Coupe that we test drove. Some numbers haven't been released yet, but the ones that have are pretty impressive: 429 horsepower from a turbocharged, inline-six engine that can launch the roughly 5000-pound SUV to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds. If you keep your foot in it long enough, you can even reach the electronically limited 130 mph top speed. (The spec sheet tells us that 155 mph can be reached if you get the optional summer tires, though.)

Of course, what do all those big numbers mean when it comes to driving the GLE 53 the real world? Keep reading to find out.

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David S. Wallens David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

It’s the typical AMG, which is to say really, really nice: plenty quick–even without the V8–nearly silent and all the comforts of home. The cliché is true in that everything–every control, every button, every stalk–feels just right.

The entire driving experience, from walking up to the machine to actually driving it, is nearly perfect. It has a presence sitting still which is fully realized once you get behind the wheel. It’s something you can drive from here to there and arrive refreshed and happy.

But let’s loop back to that word: Nearly.

Why the word “nearly?” Every time I got into it, I bonked my head. And I’m not that tall.

In fact, I even noticed a small scuff on the door seal. Duck down? It’s not a Miata.

So, no, it’s not the vehicle for me. But that doesn’t mean I’m not a customer. E-class wagon, please, with the AMG version still remaining my lottery car. If I had the scratch, I’d have the car. So same dealership, different transaction.

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irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/30/20 6:24 p.m.

 

I'm not sure if there is any vehicle currently for sale in this country that I dislike as much as the GLE "Coupe." No amount of performance would make me think that fat pig is cool. Sadly, living in the DC area ensures I'll see several of these stupid things every day on my commute.....likely more in AMG trim than not. 

gumby (Forum Supporter)
gumby (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
7/30/20 6:44 p.m.

Imagine my disappointment after opening this thread with Coupe in the title.....

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/30/20 6:49 p.m.
gumby (Forum Supporter) said:

Imagine my disappointment after opening this thread with Coupe in the title.....

wait, when you hear the word coupe you don't immediately think of a bloated 4-door SUV with reduced cargo capacity?

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/30/20 8:40 p.m.

Welcome to the new norm. Once you're in it, the front seats are plenty roomy. And it does drive very nicely. But, yeah, that shape is all form over function. 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/30/20 8:57 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

Welcome to the new norm. Once you're in it, the front seats are plenty roomy. And it does drive very nicely. But, yeah, that shape is all form over function. 

isn't form over function supposed to actually have an *attractive* form? ;)

Torkel
Torkel Reader
7/31/20 1:47 a.m.

So pointless....

yupididit
yupididit UberDork
7/31/20 3:00 a.m.

The actual SUV GLE is handsome but I can do without the Coupe-UV GLE. Do they make an  AMG or the other GLE?

stylngle2003
stylngle2003 Reader
7/31/20 6:47 a.m.

hmm. 

2019 GLE"400" - 3.0L twin turbo, 10.5:1 c/r, 329hp/354lb-ft

2019 GLE"43" - 3.0L twin turbo, 10.5:1 c/r, 385hp/384lb-ft  - so it's a 400 with another pound or two of boost

2021 GLE"53" - 3.0L twin turbo (with EQ boost...for all the bass/treble), 10.5:1 c/r,  429hp/384lb-ft - so it's just like the 43, but maybe EQ boost is adding yet another pound or two above torque peak.  

and then there's the batE36 M3 GLE"63", which is still the old 5.5 biturbo with 6xx/6xx power/tq

 

seems, to me, like the plebian '19 400 model may be a relative performance bargain in 5-10 years.  perhaps just a tune and big brake kit away from 43/53 performance levels.  yupididit or cotton or wae may want to keep their eyes out :) 

Dave M (Forum Supporter)
Dave M (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
7/31/20 7:51 a.m.

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

Shockingly, in my neighborhood there are zero AMG coupe SUVs and zero M coupe SUVs.  

There is an actual AMG GT coupe, and AMG GT sedan and an E 63 S sedan.  I walk by the E 63 S every day and admire its center-lock wheels, which I think are also on the above abomination. I got curious about how you take your wheels off if you are not a Benz dealer, so I looked it up - the nut adapter is $200!  Fun times.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
7/31/20 9:39 a.m.
Dave M (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

Shockingly, in my neighborhood there are zero AMG coupe SUVs and zero M coupe SUVs.  

There is an actual AMG GT coupe, and AMG GT sedan and an E 63 S sedan.  I walk by the E 63 S every day and admire its center-lock wheels, which I think are also on the above abomination. I got curious about how you take your wheels off if you are not a Benz dealer, so I looked it up - the nut adapter is $200!  Fun times.

Are those really centerlock wheels and not just a cap covering the lug holes?

That seems silly to put centerlock wheels on an SUV. Not to mention, you'd need more than just the nut adapter, centerlock wheels go on with north of 300 lb ft of torque, so you'd need a different wrench as well.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/31/20 9:46 a.m.
Dave M (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

Shockingly, in my neighborhood there are zero AMG coupe SUVs and zero M coupe SUVs.  

There is an actual AMG GT coupe, and AMG GT sedan and an E 63 S sedan.  I walk by the E 63 S every day and admire its center-lock wheels, which I think are also on the above abomination. I got curious about how you take your wheels off if you are not a Benz dealer, so I looked it up - the nut adapter is $200!  Fun times.

My neighborhood only has one M coupe SUV that I know of, but the real ballers live in the next neighborhood/town over from me and I see them passing through the main street next to my hood commuting to and from the city.....no shortage of AMG and M badges of all kinds. I swear the M3/M4 and S4/S6 and AMG Benzes are like Camrys around here sometimes. I'm sometimes sitting at stoplights in my late-model GTI and feel like I must be a plebian :D

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) PowerDork
7/31/20 10:00 a.m.

Awful.

Dave M (Forum Supporter)
Dave M (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
7/31/20 10:08 a.m.
z31maniac said:
Dave M (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

Shockingly, in my neighborhood there are zero AMG coupe SUVs and zero M coupe SUVs.  

There is an actual AMG GT coupe, and AMG GT sedan and an E 63 S sedan.  I walk by the E 63 S every day and admire its center-lock wheels, which I think are also on the above abomination. I got curious about how you take your wheels off if you are not a Benz dealer, so I looked it up - the nut adapter is $200!  Fun times.

Are those really centerlock wheels and not just a cap covering the lug holes?

That seems silly to put centerlock wheels on an SUV. Not to mention, you'd need more than just the nut adapter, centerlock wheels go on with north of 300 lb ft of torque, so you'd need a different wrench as well.

I had to look it up. Fake!  Even lamer. I had to look it up. 

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
7/31/20 11:11 a.m.

The current C&D top headline is "Tested: AMG GLE63 S Hits 60 in 3.4 Seconds" -- I read it and my brain said "And I don't care" as soon as I saw the pic:

Juxtapose that with this week's report that Mercedes is taking the axe to most of it's car-based coupe and convertible models.  Uggh.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
7/31/20 11:29 a.m.

Mercedes hasn't made anything I would consider accepting as a gift in at least 15 years, if not longer.  I recognize that I am in the minority here, and definitely in the real world.

The thing that really pisses me off about these lifted / squashed / sedan / whatever things - from any manufacturer, not just Mercedes -  is that the weird, ugly form is supposed to look  super "functional" when actually that look is exactly what interferes with real functionality.

People are stupid so get off my driveway.

irish44j (Forum Supporter) said:

 

I'm not sure if there is any vehicle currently for sale in this country that I dislike as much as the GLE "Coupe." No amount of performance would make me think that fat pig is cool.

Hear, hear.

 

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