It seemed silly when the idea of a performance SUV was first broached by Mercedes-Benz in 1999 with the ML55 AMG powered by a 5.4-liter V-8. But it was followed by any number of European competitors.
Then in 2015, the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe SUV offered the same performance as before but sporting a silhouette that seemed inspired by 1940s-era sedanettes, although Mercedes might have preferred you thought of sports coupes.
Today, more than half of Mercedes-AMGs sold are sport-utility vehicles, and everyone from Ferrari, Lamborghini and even Cadillac are in the performance SUV game, it’s time for Mercedes-Benz to upgrade the model that pioneered the segment for 2024. And while the ML is now called the GLE, its intent remains the same as always.
The mid-size 2024 Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Coupe and its sibling, the 2024 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe are high-performance renditions of the Mercedes-Benz GLE, which gets a different bodyshell and a more mainstream approach to comfort and performance. Regardless, both receive a mid-cycle refresh, with the sort of upgrades you’d expect, enhancing their desirability, more power for GLE 53 models, a wardrobe update and more standard equipment.
New LED daytime running lights and a new front fascia with expressively curved side air intakes are added to the GLE 53 models. The LED taillights in the back have been updated as well. In addition, the GLE 63 S Coupe comes with new standard 22-inch forged wheel with a 10 twin-spoke design, which is optional on the GLE 53.
All models get the AMG symbol, the official identifier for all upcoming AMGs, on the hood of the car. Two new colors are offered for 2024, Manufaktur Alpine Grey Non-Metallic and Twilight Blue Metallic.
Despite its sleekly sloping rear silhouette, the vehicle feels far more upright, and there’s an imposing Germanic mass to its overall demeanor.
When it comes to high fashion, there’s usually a price to pay, literally or figuratively. In the case of the Mercedes-AMG GLE coupes, it’s 5 cubic feet of space compared to other GLE models. But there’s an easy way around this; don’t take as much with you.
Otherwise, there’s no downside to the GLE Coupe’s interior, only advantages. As you’d expect, the overall character is far sportier than its lower-priced siblings, with red stitching, an AMG Performance steering wheel with AMG Drive buttons and steering wheel heat, red seatbelt webbing and the choice of such new color pairings as Bahia Brown and Black, and Macchiato Beige and Black.
But there’s also far more standard content on the GLE 53 for 2024, including a Burmester surround sound system, surround view system with “transparent hood” feature that allows you to see underneath the vehicle, electric panorama sunroof, Nappa leather upholstery, and standard heated and ventilated front seats.
The cabin proves very roomy, with generous legroom in both rows. Headroom is unexpected for a mid-sized SUV with a sloping roof line. More unanticipated is its cargo space, which is far larger than you might expect given its styling. The wide, comfortable front seats do a great job of keeping you in place when the road curves and unlike some Mercedes-Benz vehicles, they never prove punishingly firm.
Both Mercedes-AMG models employ hybrid drivelines. In the case of our test vehicle it’s an “AMG-enhanced” 3.0-liter turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine. This silver-tongued powerplant pairs with a 48-volt mild hybrid and an electric auxiliary compressor produces more power for 2024: 429 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque, good for a 4.9-second 0-60 mph run, up from 5.2 seconds last year. Top speed is 155 mph. A selectable AMG Performance exhaust system is now standard on the GLE 53.
By comparison, the fierce GLE 63 S has a handcrafted AMG 4.0-liter twin turbocharged V-8 with hybrid assist, good for 603 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque that propels it to 60 mph 1.2 seconds quicker. Top speed is rated at 174 mph. Both have all-wheel drive and pair to an AMG 9-speed automatic. Maximum towing capacity is 7,700 pounds.
Safety and Technology
Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have crash tested the 2024 Mercedes-AMG GLE Coupe. Crash tests of the 2023 GLE yielded a five-star rating from NHTSA and a “Top Safety Pick+” rating from IIHS.
Dual Twin 12.3-inch horizontal screens behind a single sheet of glass house the instrument cluster and infotainment display. Thankfully, the infotainment system can be controlled by touch, a controller on the center console, or by simply saying, “Hey Mercedes.”
This last method proves ideal, as some functions — such as the heated steering wheel — are buried on an inaccessible sub-menu, making a vocal command the easiest way to access it. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto integration and a Wi-Fi hotspot is standard.
Something this large and bulky shouldn’t be so fast, yet it is.
Sleek and sporty, with the silhouette of a halved, oversized raindrop, the 2024 Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Coupe is a blast to drive, whether eating up the Interstate or carving through coiled roads as its exhaust burbles with a delightfully menacing tone that’s sure to annoy your neighbors. It’s no surprise that the driveline is responsive, so much so, you’d swear it was wired to your cnetral nervous system.
Sure, it would be even more fun to drive if it were a car rather than a ute, but it’s still an unremitting hoot to hustle. And its driveline is a paragon of smooth refinement, a testament as to why you pay extra for this machine. It’s sublime.
You pay for the privilege, of course, but it’s well worth it.
2024 Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Coupe Specifications
|Dimensions||L: 194.4 inches/W: 79.3 inches/H: 67.7 inches/Wheelbase: 115.6 inches|
|Powertrain||3.0-liter turbocharged 6-cylinder mild hybrid, 9-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive|
|Fuel Economy||17 mpg city/21 mpg highway/19 mpg combined (estimated)|
|Performance Specs||429 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque|
|Price||Base price: $81,200 (estimated); As tested: Not available|
|On-Sale Date||Available for ordering|
If the idea of performance in an SUV still seems silly to you a turn behind the wheel of the 2024 Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Coupe will change your mind. To be honest, no one was more skeptical of this vehicle that I. Its sensuous yet bulky silhouette once seemed silly, it’s intention as an athletic driving device even more so. Yet after driving it from Mercedes-Benz’s plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama to Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, near its U.S. headquarters, it’s place in the automotive firmament doesn’t seem so esoteric, and its shape seems far more fetching.
If you’re in search automotive exhilaration, this might be your drug of choice.
2024 Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Coupe — Frequently Asked Questions
How much is the 2024 AMG GLE 53?
While prices haven’t been announced, the 2023 model started at $81,200.
How much is a monthly payment on a Mercedes-AMG GLE 53?
According to Edmunds.com, the monthly payment will cost you $1,599 per month with an estimated $2,599 due at lease signing, including down payment, first month payment, and $0 security deposit.
When can I order a 2023 Mercedes-AMG GLE?