2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE 350d 4MATIC Coupe: The True Definition Of An SUV?

The BMW X6 raised many eyebrows when it was launched back in 2008. It was based on the X5, boasted a sportier roofline and a more muscular stance, but less interior space. The German brand even had the audacity to charge more for it.

But customers responded, although one could argue that it’s the Infiniti FX (now called QX70) that established the coupe-shaped SUV segment back in 2002. It took quite a while for another automaker to launch a rival to the X6, but now we have the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe.

It’s obviously based on the regular GLE, but the Coupe’s sportier profile is much more noticeable. It also benefits from the styling cues that the brand uses to distinguish its coupes from its sedans, including the slim horizontal taillights. If we want a Mercedes SUV that draws attention, we shouldn’t look any further.

Two gasoline engines are offered in the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe, including a 362-hp, twin-turbo V6 and a fire-breathing AMG, twin-turbo V8 that generates 577 hp. In typical Benz fashion, though, the most affordable trim level includes a turbo-diesel engine, and that’s the one we drove. The GLE 350d 4MATIC Coupe is motivated by a 3.0L V6 that belts out 249 hp and 457 lb-ft of torque.

Thanks to a new nine-speed automatic transmission, the diesel engine provides plenty of muscle as we pull away from a standstill, runs out of breath above 3,000 rpm, but is quite fuel efficient. We recorded an average of 8.7 L/100 km during our test, although that included a back-and-forth trip from Montreal to Toronto.

On the road, the GLE Coupe feels rock solid, the ride is refined thanks to the AIRMATIC suspension system, and the cabin is very quiet, even when the diesel engine is revving up to its redline. The GLE Coupe’s cockpit is ergonomically well designed, the seats are supportive for long drives and finish is beyond reproach. The dashboard’s overall design is clean and elegant, if a little bland with the standard Anthracite Poplar wood trim.

The low roofline requires front and rear passengers to duck when climbing aboard. In back, headroom isn’t generous, but sufficient for normal-sized adults. Cargo space isn’t as accommodating as in the regular GLE, but its 620-litre capacity behind the rear seatbacks is still very usable.

You know what? Maybe the GLE Coupe, like the BMW X6, is what most closely defines the term “sport-utility vehicle,” because it has both those attributes baked into it. And the Benz has a diesel engine option, something the X6 doesn’t. The only downside to this alluring coupe-shaped SUV is that it starts at $72K, which is about ten grand more than a regular GLE.

The Best Alternatives

  1. Test Drives 2014 BMW X5: sweating the details
    4.5/5
    To be honest, I don’t think the second-generation X5 was over the hill. It still represents a solid choice in its category, but since it's been around since the 2007 model year, a redesign was in order. Full story
  2. Test Drives 2016 Volvo XC90 T6 AWD Inscription 2016 Volvo XC90 T6 AWD Inscription: Still Swedish
    4.0/5
    When Chinese automotive manufacturer Geely scooped up the Volvo Car Corporation in 2010, many predicted the end of the Swedish… Full story
  3. Test Drives 2015 Porsche Cayenne First Impression: A little something more
    4.0/5
    For 2015, Porsche offers up the fourth generation of its Cayenne midsize SUV. More fun to drive as a whole, the 2015 Cayenne will rely on more powerful engines as well as technical and aesthetic improvements to maintain its position in the rather competitive luxury midsize SUV segment. Full story
  4. Test Drives 2014 Land Rover LR4 HSE LUX: off-roading with a view
    4.0/5
    It may not be the most powerful, the most stylish or the most desirable vehicle in Land Rover's line-up, but it sure is an impressive machine. Full story

777 used Mercedes-Benz for sale in your area

  1. 2003 Mercedes-Benz C-Class $5,995
    MEGA AUTO
    140,000 km
    London, ON
    519-670-8487
  2. 2003 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C240 $3,993
    MEGA AUTO
    250,000 km
    London, ON
    519-670-8487
  3. 2004 Mercedes-Benz E-Class $9,995
    MEGA AUTO
    140,000 km
    London, ON
    519-670-8487
  4. 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class $19,495
    HGrégoire Nissan Vimont
    51,859 km
    Laval, QC
    1-855-999-6019
See all Used Vehicles