Pricing and specifications have been announced for the 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe, the Stuttgart-based brand’s first coupe-style crossover model.
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The new GLE Coupe – which is based on the GLE SUV (which in itself replaces the ML) – is said to offer the “sporty nature of a coupe with the striking characteristics of a robust SUV”.

Clearly it’s aimed squarely at its swoopy-roofed compatriot from Bavaria, the BMW X6, and it’s priced and equipped in a way that will likely make BMW take notice.

In Australia there will be three versions of the GLE Coupe on offer – the entry-level 350d, the mid-range 450 AMG, and the flagship Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S (pictured in this post).

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The entry-level 350d model is powered by a 3.0-litre turbo diesel V6 engine and paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission. On price it almost splits the difference between the base diesel X6 variants, the Drive30d ($115,400) and xDrive40d ($128,400), at $121,900 plus on-road costs.

The GLE 350d has an identical 190kW compared to the X6 30d, but the Mercedes has a torque advantage – 620Nm versus 560Nm for the X6. The Merc can’t match the BMW on fuel consumption claims: the X6 is 6.0L/100km; the GLE is 7.2L/100km.

The entry-level petrol model for Mercedes is the GLE 450 AMG, priced at $141,900 – a good chunk cheaper than the X6 xDrive50i, which is a $151,600 proposition.

The six-cylinder Benz doesn’t have as much grunt as the V8-powered BMW. The latter has a 4.4-litre turbo V8 with 330kW and 650Nm, while the GLE has a twin-turbocharged petrol V6 engine producing 270kW and 520Nm.

Mercedes-Benz Driving_LaunchGLE_GLE_CoupeKitzbuehel_June_2015

It is claimed to be capable of propelling the 450 AMG Coupe from 0-100km/h in 5.7 seconds – almost a full second shy of the BMW (4.8sec claim) – but the Benz has fuel use on its side: the claimed consumption rating is 8.9L/100km, where the BMW uses a claimed 9.7L/100km.

At the top of the range is the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S, which is powered by a twin-turbocharged 5.5-litre V8 engine producing 430kW of power and 760Nm of torque.

The powerhouse coupe-style SUV claims a 0-100km/h time of just 4.2 seconds – identical to the X6 M, which has a twin-turbo 4.4-litre producing slightly less power and torque than the Merc (423kW/750Nm).

Mercedes-Benz Driving_LaunchGLE_GLE_CoupeKitzbuehel_June_2015

The GLE 63 S Coupe has claimed fuel use of 11.9L/100km, higher than the downsized engine of the X6 M: 11.1L/100km.

The Merc, though, is dearer than the X6 M. It costs $198,900 plus on-road costs, where the BMW is marginally cheaper at $194,700.

In terms of the premium these versions carry over the equivalent standard GLE SUV, it is quite large. The 350d, for instance, is $17,000 more; while the AMG model is a $9000 premium. There is no GLE 450 AMG variant to compare the Coupe to.

Mercedes-Benz claims, though, that there’s plenty of standard gear to offset and questions over pricing.

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The highlights include LED headlights with Mercedes’ intelligent lighting system (which includes auto high beam with oncoming traffic blocking and cornering functionality), keyless go and push-button start, a power tailgate, digital radio (DAB+) and touch-pad interaction for the media system which also incorporates standard satellite navigation and reverse-view camera, as well as front and rear parking sensors.

There’s plenty more, too: the 350d has an AMG body styling package, Dynamic Select drive modes (Slippery, Individual, Comfort, Sport and Sport+), Airmatic air suspension, 21-inch AMG wheels, AMG Line sports front seats with electronic adjustment, and a 14-speaker Harman Kardon stereo system.

In addition to the standard equipment across the range, the GLE 450 AMG also incorporates a panoramic glass sunroof, AMG Line Nappa leather trim, 22-inch AMG wheels, Active Curve System with anti-roll stabilization and an anti-theft protection package.

The flagship Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe model adds more equipment including the AMG Driver’s Package (including increased top speed of 280km/h), an AMG Performance exhaust system, digital TV tuner, and heated and ventilated multi-contour front seats with active bolstering and massage functions, which are finished in AMG Nappa leather.

Mercedes-Benz Driving_LaunchGLE_GLE_CoupeKitzbuehel_June_2015

As is the case with the GLE SUV, all GLE Coupe models also come with the full driver assistance package, which includes plenty of active safety equipment: there’s Distronic Plus adaptive cruise control with active steering assistance, autonomous emergency braking, crosswind assist, blind-spot and lane departure warning systems. As well as that, the GLE has nine airbags.

The all-new Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe range arrives in Australia from September. We can’t wait to put it up against the BMW X6: stay tuned.

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe pricing (plus on-road costs):

Mercedes-Benz GLE 350d 4MATIC Coupe - $121,900
Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG 4MATIC Coupe - $141,900
Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S 4MATIC Coupe - $198,900