Mercedes’ GLE 450 Coupé

4 images

Credit: all images Mercedes-Benz AG

So far, so good: a look at Mercedes’ GLE 450 Coupé

2 July 2024 • Written by Simon de Burton

When it comes to performance and comfort, Mercedes’ GLE 450 Coupé really goes the distance, says Simon de Burton...

It’s hard to argue against the speed and efficiency of air travel when it comes to getting from A to B over a long distance as quickly as possible.

But faced with the prospect of having to take 10 flights in short succession from the UK to various points around Europe, the idea of driving suddenly seemed a whole lot more appealing – especially after Mercedes-Benz invited BOAT International to test the latest version of its luxurious GLE 450 Coupé.

This all-wheel-drive behemoth combines the practicality of an SUV with curvaceous coupé bodywork. Having just returned from completing what turned out to be a 4,830-kilometre odyssey from the UK to Greece and back via Italy and France, I can say it’s possibly the best long-distance vehicle I’ve ever driven.

I’m more a fan of small cars than large ones – and the GLE is very large indeed. But there’s no denying it would be hard to beat for covering such a distance in a short time on what proved to be an interesting mix of motorways, highways, serpentine mountain passes, narrow, cobbled streets and even the odd donkey track.

The first thing that impresses is the almost eerie silence of the cabin; it truly is almost Rolls-Royce quiet, partly due to being curvaceous rather than boxy, like many SUVs.

The car’s size and well-appointed interior also make it supremely comfortable and, with the rear seats folded flat, the load space is enormous. So much so, in fact, that I was able to stretch out my six-foot frame and sleep comfortably on several occasions when fatigue eventually set in.

Such a distance, however, is but a jaunt for the GLE. Our loan car being a diesel version, a full tank of fuel had the potential to last for more than 1,290 kilometres if driven sensibly. At journey’s end, the on-board computer revealed an average kilometre- per-litre reading of 17 and a best figure close to 20.

As demonised as the diesel engine has become, there is no arguing about its efficiency on long journeys at steady speeds and, in the case of the GLE, the 362 horsepower of its three-litre, six-cylinder engine could deliver near sports-car performance when required.

Add in all the driver conveniences – including the excellent Mercedes-Benz navigation set-up and the superb Burmester surround-sound hi-fi that’s part of the “premium” specification – and I’m struggling to think of a better way of eating up the miles in comfort, safety and at pace.

That said, I’m still no fan of today’s increasingly large, ostentatious cars – but in the GLE Coupé’s case, I’ll make an exception…

Engine: Three-litre, six cylinder, turbo-charged diesel with “mild hybrid” 48-volt electric motor
Power: 362hp @ 4,000rpm
Torque: 750Nm @ 1,350rpm
Transmission: Semi-automatic, nine speed 0 to 100km/h 5.7 seconds
Top speed: 249km/h
Price: £92,810 

First published in the April 2024 issue of BOAT International. Get this magazine sent straight to your door, or subscribe and never miss an issue.

Read More/The petite performer: a look at Maserati’s new Grecale Modena Sport SUV

Sponsored listings