From its growling V8 to its eye-popping luxury technology.
Just a few weeks ago, we drove the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLS63, calling it "the ultimate high-status SUV" As a follow-up, CarBuzz was recently sent the smaller 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE63 to review for a week. It may lack the sheer opulence of its larger GLS sibling, but the GLE63 more than makes up for it with sharper handling, a (slightly) more affordable starting price of $113,950, and the same impressive powertrain and technology. Here are our five favorite features of the 2021 GLE63.
As with all AMG models, the GLE63 is powered by an engine that was hand-built by one person. In this case, Marcel Weber put together this brooding 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8, which pumps out 603 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque. An EQ Boost mild-hybrid system adds 21 hp and 184 lb-ft of to the mix, filling the gaps when the engine isn't at its peak, like during shifts or low in the rev range. It also smooths out the stop/start system, making it nearly imperceptible. This V8 is mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission sending power out to all-wheel-drive, launching the GLE63 up to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds and onto a limited top speed of 174 mph.
AMG lets the driver adjust various functions of the car including the exhaust sound, transmission, traction control, ride height, suspension stiffness, and more. These functions can be adjusted individually using physical switches on the center console or a cool digital controller on the left portion of the steering wheel. Drivers can also toggle from several drive modes including Comfort, Individual, Sport, Sport Plus, and Race Mode.
Whereas the GLS63 stops at Sport Plus Mode, the GLE63's Race Mode adds an extra bit of sharpness. The steering feels more precise, the suspension is stiffer, and the exhaust gets much louder. In fact, it sounds louder and feels sharper to drive than the BMW X5 M.
Two 12.3-inch displays sit at the front of the GLE63's interior, controlled by the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX). This infotainment system is among the best on the market thanks to the sheer real estate space of the screens, intuitive layout, and stunning visuals.
You can control the screens using a variety of inputs catered to suit different tastes. A simple touchscreen is the simplest method, but if you don't want to get the screen dirty, a touchpad, steering wheel-mounted touch sliders, and natural language voice command are all available. Mercedes has even included some gesture controls, which are programable for any number of features or infotainment tasks.
As the flagship version of the GLE SUV, the GLE63 is packed to the gills with awesome tech features. Some of the key highlights include advanced semi-autonomous driving, massaging seats, heated and cooled cupholders, self-leveling suspension, 64-color ambient lighting, augmented reality navigation, air fragrancy system, powered side sunshades, and Burmester audio system.
The GLE63 may focus heavily on performance and luxury but it does not forget to be an SUV. It still features a ton of usable space, more than you'll get in a BMW X5. The rear seats offer a massive 40.9 inches of legroom, which is more than a BMW X7. In the back, the cargo area holds 33.9 cubic feet and with the second row folded, it can accommodate around 75 cubic feet.