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  • Writer's pictureCory Fourniquet

2024 Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Coupe: The Grand Tourer of SUVs

The SUV has become so popular a platform it has had to become all things to all people. From family hauler to sports car (Ferrari has an SUV now after years of swearing against them), and of course the grand tourer. We sampled the latest Mercedes-AMG GLE in its “coupe” form and came away with some impressions of who this vehicle is targeted towards.

The whole term “coupe” has lost all its meaning in the past couple of decades, and Mercedes has played a big part in that. The introduction of the Mercedes-Benz CLS in the early 2000s was a shock to the design world. Based on the E-Class sedan, this long, low 4-door and a roofline plunged to the tail after cresting at the B-pillar giving the silhouette a distinctive coupe-like profile. With 2-door vehicles dropping in popularity in favor of a more practical 4-door variant, Mercedes designers took a risk but saw early sales success. Not wanting to compromise their popular E-Class with the diminished rear headroom and other tradeoffs for the sleek design, the CLS shared all major components with the E-Class while not replacing the traditional sedan.

Here in the early 2020s, the automotive landscape is slowly saying goodbye to cars overall in favor of the SUV. It has been a shift that has been slow to catch on with some brands, while Mercedes is once again blazing trails with design and functionality. Applying the same principles they did with the E-Class and CLS, the GLE SUV (the E-Class of their SUVs) also gets a new coupe variant. A little less drastic than the changes between the E-Class and CLS, the GLE and GLE Coupe share exterior designs from the nose to the B-pillar as well as interiors. Moving to the rear, however, designers have given the GLC coupe a sportier silhouette and rounder tail. 2024 models are facelift versions of the design we have seen since 2019, bringing the popular SUV more in line aesthetically with their updated sedans. Interiors have seen a major improvement as well.

A grand tourer or GT is a type of car that is designed for high-speed and long-distance driving, due to a combination of performance and luxury attributes. The most common format is a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive two-door coupe with either a two-seat or a 2+2 arrangement. Grand tourers are most often the coupe derivative of luxury sedans. Translating that philosophy to the more popular SUV platform gives us vehicles like this GLE Coupe, which should be called the GLE GT, in my opinion.

Driving the GLE Coupe, it is clear that not only does the design give off strong coupe or Grand Tourer vibes, but so does its driving character. We sampled the “slower” 53 variant that employed the solid 3.0L turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine paired with their 48-volt hybrid system all good for 429 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque. Power is put down to the pavement via all four wheels and acceleration runs to 60 mph come at a stout 4.9 seconds according to Mercedes, which is fast for a family hauler. Drivers can select between several different drive modes ranging from Comfort to Sport and Sport+ which adjust everything from suspension ride higher and stiffness to throttle response and exhaust volume.

This is a vehicle that is comfortable enough for the family, still has plenty of room behind the rear seats, despite the low roofline, and is generally a blast to drive. In a world that wants both the design of a sports car or coupe with the practicality of an SUV, the 2024 GLE Coupe does a pretty solid job of toeing the line. When the design first hit the market, I felt it was a little too much like a jelly bean, but the 2024 facelift and time have been favorable to the big “coupe” and I have come to appreciate the overall look however, my favorite is now the Genesis GV80 Coupe Concept shown at this year’s New York International Auto Show…🔥

If you want a vehicle that will perform daily-driver duties, pick up the kids from school, and also translate into something fun on a long drive or curving backroad while not settling for a “boring” sedan or SUV, the GLE Coupe may be for you. Its SUV roots give you a higher driving position and adjustable height suspension you won’t find on the E-Class sedan while still providing much of the exhilarating driving character.

2024 Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Coupe Specs:

  • AMG-Enhanced 3.0L Inline-6 Turbo Engine

  • 48-volt Hybrid Assist

    • +184 lb-ft of Electric Torque

  • 429 Horsepower

  • 413 lb.-ft. of Torque

  • 4.9 Second 0-60 mph Acceleration

  • AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9-speed Automatic Transmission

  • AMG RIDE CONTROL+ Suspension based on AIRMATIC

  • AMG Performance 4MATIC+ All-Wheel Drive


  • Multimode Exhaust

  • Panoramic Sunroof

  • KEYLESS-GO® w/ hand-free Access

  • 12.3-inch Touchscreen Infotainment Display

  • 12.3-inch Widescreen Digital Instrument Cluster

  • Mercedes-Benz Navigation

  • Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX)

  • Burmester® Surround Sound Svstem

  • Seating for 5

  • Heated and Ventilated Front Seats

  • Dual-Zone Automatic Climate Control

  • 3-Person Memory Power Driver's and Front Passenger Seats

  • Natural Grain Brown Walnut Trim

  • Customizable Interior Lighting

  • Proximity Key with Push Button Start

  • 27.5 Cubic Feet of Storage Space Behind the Rear Seats

  • 63.2 Cubic Feet of Maximum Cargo Space

  • 21" AMG Twin 5-Spoke Wheels with Black Accents

  • 215/40 R21 Continental Cross Contact Tires

  • EPA Fuel Economy 18/22/20 (city/hwy/cmb)

  • Starting Price: $89,800

  • Price as tested: $94,820


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