In the same way that thunder always follows lightning, more powerful AMG-tuned models always follow their mellower Mercedes-Benz counterparts. In this case, that happens to be the GLE-class coupe and SUV. Both body styles are offered with twin-turbo engines that make 429 horsepower on the six-cylinder GLE53 and 603 horses on the V-8–powered GLE63 S. While the latter is absolutely bonkers, it's also much more expensive than its less powerful sibling. Still, both deliver incredible levels of luxury and loads of high-tech features. The coupe's polarizing style will likely deter as many shoppers as it attracts, but it's meant to compete with rivals such as the BMW X6 M. The square-back AMG alternative will please traditionalist with its added practicality. Regardless, each 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE-class will pacify driving enthusiasts who want a high-riding crossover SUV.
Despite our power-hungry desires, we acknowledge that the AMG GLE53 is a much better value. It's also still really quick and fun to drive. We'd save our money and stick with the more conventional SUV version. Mercedes hasn't announced starting prices or what individual options and packages will be available, but once that information is official, we'll be sure to build our ideal version and share our recommendation.
The 2021 GLE53 and GLE63 S are very similar except for their discrepancy in power. They both share a nine-speed automatic transmission and standard 4Matic all-wheel-drive system. Likewise, their gas engines are supplemented by an electric supercharger that's powered by a 48-volt electrical system. It helps the GLE53's twin-turbo six-cylinder make 429 horsepower, and it helps generate 603 horses with the twin-turbo V-8 found on the GLE63 S. Both GLE models also feature a trick suspension that consists of an air-bag system coupled with active anti-roll bars that's said to provide corner-carving capabilities without sacrificing ride quality. We've driven the GLE53 coupe and found that it had plenty of power and refined driving manners. After rocketing around in the GLE63 S, we can confirm that it's just as balanced over the road and around corners as its less-powerful sibling, but it feels much quicker (and sounds much louder) when we mash its gas pedal to unleash its furious acceleration.
The EPA hasn't released fuel-economy estimates for either the 2021 GLE53 or GLE63 S. While the former's six-cylinder engine shouldn't be as thirsty as the monster that sits under the 63's hood, we don't expect either version to be especially thrifty. We should get to test these hot-rod crossovers once they get closer to their on-sale date, and when that happens we'll run them on our 200-mile highway fuel-economy test route to see how they do in real-world conditions.
Inside, two giant digital displays dominate the dashboard of every 2021 GLE-class. The interior environs are sportier than the standard Benz models, though, as the AMG versions come with sport seats with red contrasting stitching, a sport steering wheel, red seat-belts, and aluminum accents. Their cabin is spacious, too, even in the back seat. A third row of seats is also optional. Both the GLE53 and GLE63 S offer the same cargo space as the Mercedes-Benz GLE450 we tested, which means they'll have space for a whopping 11 carry-on suitcases behind the second row of seats and, with the rear seats stowed, room for up to 26 cases in total.
Twin 12.3-inch infotainment displays dominate the GLE's dashboard and, just as in lesser Benz-branded GLE-classes, the AMG models support the latest MBUX software interface. The driver and front-seat passenger can interact with the system via the touchscreen or by utilizing the center-console mounted click-wheel or simply saying "Hey Mercedes" then giving a voice command. We've found the system to be a bit clunky to use, but owners should acclimate after a few weeks behind the wheel. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration is standard, as is a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have released crash-test results for the 2021 GLE-class. However, every model offers myriad driver-assistance features, including a semi-autonomous driving mode. Key safety features include:
Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
Available adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go technology
Available lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE Coupe
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Mercedes-AMG's standard warranty policies aren't anything special. Furthermore, they offer zero complimentary scheduled maintenance, unlike BMW and Audi, which both offer such a perk.
Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
Power-train warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles