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2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE coupe Test Drive

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE coupe

Recently, Mercedes-Benz has introduced the new 2016 GLE-class autos based on the M-class vehicles. The manufacturer didn’t just modernize the cars but renamed the whole model range to match them with its coupes and sedans. Is the GLE so-called ‘coupe’ worth all the fuss?

Exterior and Interior

To see how the GLE’s exterior changed, stand in front of it. Its air dam is more drawn back; it got new fenders and a larger grille. In fact, these features are peculiar to all the GLE models. It became lower and wider that’s good for its aerodynamics. Huge 22-inch wheels make the car look like a concept car, metal side steps add elegance while LED lighting contributes to its modern appearance.

The interior is well-finished with high-quality materials. The leather seats are heated. If you’re tired, you can choose from their massage options to relax and have some rest. The steering wheel is also covered with leather except for the places where a driver puts hands – these are made of microfiber suede.

There’s enough legroom in the rear seats. I wish I could say the same about headroom there. People who are more than six feet tall may be uncomfortable in the back.

The fastback shape of the GLE decreases its cargo capacity that amounts to 23 cubic feet. With the second row folded, we have 60.7 cubic feet of storage space.

Driving Performance

An idea of combination of air suspension with an adjustable damper system is proved to be rather successful – the Mercedes-Benz GLE coupe test drive was sheer pleasure. Choose a driving mode appropriate for a condition you’re in: Individual, Slippery, Comfort, Sport, or Sport+. The GLE63 S accelerates to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds; the GLE450 reaches the same speed in 5.6 seconds.

Both models are rather heavyweight: the GLE450 weighs 4,894 pounds; the GLE63 S is even heavier – 5,180 pounds. It explains why the cars cannot respond as quickly as you’d like them to. However, they are still well controlled. Even on bumpy road areas, they remain stable. Thanks to the variable steering ratio, you’re agile at low speeds. Also, the auto is equipped with a powerful brake system. However, constant engine noise heard in the cabin (even during cruising) can be annoying.

A new model means better fuel efficiency. In theory, the GLE-class vehicles should be even greener than the M-class autos. The expectations are justified. The GLE63’s rating is 15 mpg (17 highway/13 city) while the ML400 makes 20 mpg (22 highway/18 city).

Special Features

The GLE cars’ peculiarity is that even basic models got the most advanced safety features as standard ones. There are adaptive cruise control, Driving Assistance Package Plus (aimed at cushioning the consequences of inattentive driving), braking assist, parking package, Active Curve System, variable steering ration system, etc. As the Mercedes-Benz GLE coupe test drive showed, despite their usefulness, the features may be distractive for some drivers.

The Verdict

Although the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE coupe isn’t a coupe at all, the idea is good. The new cars can boast of a new, eye-catching design both inside and outside. Despite their heavy weight and large size, they feel confident on roads of any quality, are easy to control and fuel-efficient. Also, each model provides a suit of state-of-the-art safety features.

However, tall passengers in the rear seats may be uncomfortable. Obviously, the manufacturer traded cargo capacity for fastback design. Besides, insulation should be improved - engine sound is omnipresent.

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