Mercedes-Benz is trying its hand at an entry level AMG line. Think of it as a half AMG, you don’t get the insane power of a full AMG machine but it still employs a host of theatrics to make the experience exciting.
The GLE450 AMG is the first of the AMG Sport lineup we have tested and also our first taste of the new 3-Litre V6 biturbo engine that will also be introduced into the C-Class next year.
Where does the GLE450 AMG fit in?
We have had some experience with the GLE Coupe, having road tested the diesel version and drag-raced the 63 AMG S against the BMW X6 M. It’s only fair then that we sample the middle of the range model. It’s certainly makes a statement out on the road, especially with the optional 22-inch wheels you see here – standard fitment is 21-inch. With such big wheels it looks like a decent sized monster truck.
The new engine
Under the bonnet is the latest and greatest turbo petrol engine from Mercedes-Benz. It’s a 3-Litre V6 biturbo unit with 270 kW and 520 Nm of torque. It makes all the noises you would expect from a full AMG banger and when you switch the drive-select mode to Sport + it ramps it up even further.
Out on the road
Apart from attracting all the attention, the GLE450 AMG Coupe is quite pleasant to drive in comfort mode. Despite the massive wheels it still cushions bumps nicely and smooths out dirt roads.
The GLE450 AMG is a brutish heavyweight with a mighty punch under the bonnet. That punch comes at more of a cost to fuel economy than we expected. As a daily mule it’s comfortable out on the open road and with Mercedes’ tech onboard it can be a pleasure to live with on the long journeys. The GLE Coupe can still be considered practical despite the sloping roofline although other than the subjective styling appeal and the 450 AMG power there’s no definitive advantage over a standard GLE400.
Price in South Africa
The Mercedes-Benz GLE450 AMG Coupe costs R1 110 057 and comes with a two-year/unlimited km warranty and six-year/100 000 km Maintenance plan.