2024 Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Coupe first drive review - Roaring Elegance!

Rohit Paradkar Updated: February 06, 2024, 06:58 PM IST

Say hello to the 2024 Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Coupe! The GLE was given a facelift recently, so by relation this AMG tuned coupe has received some of those goodies too. As before, it remains a symphony of style, luxury, and power. And in this review, we'll be tearing through the details of its exterior, delving into the plush interior, feeling the pulse of that turbocharged engine, navigating the bends, and of course, pondering whether it's worth the chunk of change they're asking for it. So buckle up, sit tight, and let's rev up the car!

Exterior Design:

Let's talk looks. The GLE 53 Coupe is like a well-dressed rockstar – it commands attention without even trying. The front bumper's got that "don't mess with me" AMG look, and the 53 sports the new AMG logo on its nose - a nice touch, that. Interestingly, though - that logo doesn't find its way onto the engine. It's still the mass produced M256 engine from the GLE 450 and GLS 450, but tuned by AMG. So it does get an autograph from an AMG engineer - but the power goes down to the road with a lot more pazazz.

The adaptive LED headlamps are new with distinctive four daytime running lights and that design is mimicked in the taillights as well. The muscular rear haunches, that imposing AMG grille and the 21-inch alloy wheels with 315 section tyres are elements that are unchanged but are accessories that complete the ensemble. The bulbous coupe form is not everyone's cup of tea, but come on, you can't ignore it – it's a head-turner, a showstopper, and a brave statement on wheels.

Interior Features:

Step inside, and you're met with a familiar cockpit that continues to scream high-tech luxury. The new steering wheel is borrowed from other AMGs and is full of buttons, dials, touch-sensitive surfaces and even little screens. The steering wheel is equipped with two dedicated shortcut controllers on each side. The right controller facilitates the seamless transition between five distinct drive modes – Comfort (default), Sport, Sport+, Individual, and Slippery.

Meanwhile, the left controller offers control over various aspects of the vehicle's dynamics. This includes the adjustment of suspension maps, manipulation of exhaust valves (opening or closing), modulation of ride height (raising or lowering), toggling ESP on or off, and the option to deactivate automatic engine stop-start functionality. It's a bit overwhelming at first, but once you get the hang of it, it's like conducting a launch operation on a space rocket. And a rocket it certainly is, but we will come to that in a bit.

The vehicle boasts top-notch fit, finish, and build quality, living up to expectations for its class. It may be an AMG sportscar on stilts, but seamlessly blends in luxury and comfort, offering  even heated and cooled front seats, albeit with some firm cushioning. While rear space is ample for family and friends, it's worth noting that the rear seats may lack the opulence of the standard GLE SUV. Air vents borrowed from the GLS and the air balance package, including temperature-controlled cup holders, elevate the in-car experience, even in traffic.

Engine Performance:

Now, let's talk about the heart of this beast – that 3.0l turbocharged inline-6 engine. Hit the ignition, and you're greeted with a growl that's music to any petrolhead's ears. The exhaust note, even if it's routed through the speakers, adds a layer of drama that makes you feel like you're on the set of a blockbuster action film. The second-generation integrated starter generator is like a sidekick, boosting the responsiveness and making this beast sprint from 0 to 100kmph in a mere 5 seconds. That ISG is new for 2024 and provides an additional 20hp and 200Nm to further enhance responsiveness. It's not just quick; it's Rash-approved quick! Sure, it's not a V8, but with 435PS and 560Nm of torque, it's no slouch. That's also a lot more power than the Cayenne Coupé because the new turbo hasn't gone on sale yet.

Ride and Handling:

The AMG SUVs have always been sports cars in disguise, and the GLE 53 Coupe isn't any different. The 9-speed auto box, air suspension, and all-wheel drive make every drive a spirited one. Dial the comfit mode and it can be a courteous daily driver. Switch to the Sport modes and it will torch the tarmac! Despite tipping the scales at 2.3 tonnes, this coupe handles corners like it's on rails. The active anti-roll system is like having a guardian angel, while the adaptive angle can make you feel like you are floating on a cushy cloud like an angel from heaven. On the highway, it transforms into a long-distance champion, munching miles like a hungry hog. The adjustable damping settings and the 4matic+ all-wheel-drive system make it a joy to drive, whether you're cruising or carving corners.

Price and Verdict:

Now, the nitty-gritty – the price tag. At Rs 1.85 crore (ex-showroom), this isn't your average run-of-the-mill GLE. But, my friends, you're not buying a run-of-the-mill SUV. You're buying a ticket to a performance extravaganza. Yes, it's seen a price hike over the years, but with more horsepower than its competitors – the Porsche Cayenne Coupe and the Audi Q8 – and a laundry list of features, it's like buying the VIP pass to a rock concert. But is it worth it? Well, that's subjective. Because while you may like rock music as a genre, when it comes to spending on a concert, you might get picky about the artists playing it. And if the wizards of AMG are the ones, you resonate with, then the GLE 53 will hit all the right chords for you!

Price (Ex-Delhi)
Starts Rs 1.34 Crore
Displacement
2995cc
Transmission
Automatic
Max Power(ps)
340
Max Torque(Nm)
500
Mileage
-NA-
Price (Ex-Delhi)
Starts Rs 1.2 Crore
Displacement
2996cc
Transmission
Automatic
Max Power(ps)
435
Max Torque(Nm)
520
Mileage
-NA-
Price (Ex-Delhi)
Starts Rs 99.9 Lakhs
Displacement
2999cc
Transmission
Automatic
Max Power(ps)
330
Max Torque(Nm)
500
Mileage
-NA-
Price (Ex-Delhi)
Starts Rs 1.19 Crore
Displacement
3996cc
Transmission
Automatic
Max Power(ps)
340
Max Torque(Nm)
770
Mileage
11.9 Kmpl