2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe Preview

FAST FACTS
  • 5-door fastback body style
  • Similar to BMW X6 in concept and philosophy
  • Initially introduced as an AMG performance variant
  • Twin-turbo, 3.0-liter V-6 engine
  • 9-speed automatic transmission
  • Rear-biased 4Matic all-wheel drive
  • New Dynamic Select handling technology
  • Several safety, infotainment, comfort, and convenience upgrades

Introduction

The 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe is a 5-door fastback SUV, slotting into the automaker's lineup between the M-Class (soon to be GLE) and the GL-Class (soon to be GLS). It competes directly with the BMW X6, but may also serve as an alternative to an Infiniti QX70, Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT, or Land Rover Range Rover Sport. Initially, the new GLE Coupe is offered only as the GLE 450 AMG 4Matic.

Exterior Features

Though Mercedes-Benz calls it a coupe, the new GLE Coupe is a rakishly tapered SUV with fastback styling that reduces cargo space compared with a conventional SUV design. Nevertheless, the GLE Coupe supplies 58 cu. ft. of maximum volume with the rear seat folded down, about as much as a Kia Soul. A standard power rear liftgate makes loading the GLE Coupe easier, and Mercedes claims that this new SUV draws its rear design inspiration from the S-Class Coupe.

Up front, an LED Intelligent Light System is standard equipment, along with Magic Vision Control, an adaptive heated wiper system. Upgrades for the GLE 450 AMG 4Matic include unique front and rear styling details, 21-in. aluminum wheels, and more.

Interior Features

Mercedes says the new GLE Coupe is designed to carry five people. Up front, sport-bolstered front seats and a small-diameter sport steering wheel signal the SUV's performance-oriented intentions. Standard equipment includes MB-Tex leatherette and genuine aluminum cabin trim, and a touchpad Comand infotainment system controller resides upon the center console, used in combination with an 8-in. display screen.

The GLE 450 AMG 4Matic is equipped with AMG sport seats, an AMG sport steering wheel wrapped in premium leather, stainless steel pedals with rubber studs, and a mix of aluminum, carbon fiber, and piano lacquer trim. In Sport+ driving mode the instrumentation depicts longitudinal and lateral acceleration, as well as steering wheel angle, using photo-realistic renderings of motorsports graphics.

Mercedes plans to offer GLE Coupe buyers a choice between five different interior colors and five distinct types of cabin trim.

Optional Features

Mercedes plans to offer a range of options for the new GLE Coupe, including leather upholstery, an extended-leather cabin treatment for diamond-pattern stitching, black Dinamica headliner, and a panoramic sunroof. Buyers can also opt for illuminated running boards, 22-in. aluminum wheels, and a Night package with high-gloss black exterior detailing.

Under the Hood

A twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter V-6 engine making 362 horsepower and 384 lb.-ft. of torque is installed in the GLE 450 AMG 4Matic, the first version of the 2016 GLE Coupe to go on sale in the United States. A 9-speed automatic transmission with rev-matching downshifts and a 4Matic all-wheel-drive (AWD) system are standard for this model, the latter featuring a rear-biased 40:60 power split under normal driving conditions.

The GLE 450 AMG 4Matic introduces new Dynamic Select handling control technology with Comfort, Slippery, Sport, Sport+, and Individual vehicle settings, accessed via a rotary dial on the center console. The system allows drivers to calibrate powertrain, steering, and suspension settings to their liking. Additionally, the engine note, instrumentation, and LED lighting behavior change depending on the selected mode.

The GLE 450 AMG 4Matic Coupe also includes a Sports Direct-Steer system, an Airmatic air suspension with infinitely variable adaptive damping, and when Dynamic Select is placed in Sport or Sport+ driving mode, an Active Curve System with Active Roll Stabilization.

Safety

Standard safety equipment for the new GLE Coupe includes a stability control system with Curve Dynamic Assist and Crosswind Assist, a braking system with Adaptive Brake technology, reversing camera, and a Collision Prevention Assist Plus system. Choose the optional Driving Assistance package for an adaptive cruise control system with Steering Assist, Pre-Safe Brake with pedestrian-detection capability, Cross-Traffic Assist with BAS Plus, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, and Pre-Safe Plus.

Technology

Mercedes plans to offer an optional Parking package that includes a 360-degree camera system and an Active Parking Assist system with Parktronic sensors. Additional technology upgrades include a Bang & Olufsen BeoSound audio system, rear-seat entertainment system, and Comand Online service.