2019 AMG GLE 43 New Car Test Drive
The 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLE offers drivers two body styles and a wide range of engines. There's a traditional SUV, and a slope-roofed model dubbed the Coupe.
Descended from the old M-Class, the GLE debuted as a 2016 model. In advance of a new edition coming for 2020, the biggest change for the 2019 model year is a new engine. Equipped with 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6, the 2019 GLE 400 replaces the previous GLE 350. The AMG GLE 43 edition now holds a 385-horsepower version of the V-6. GLE 63 coupes can now have brown ash/anthracite poplar wood trim.
Four SUV trim levels are offered, each with its own powertrain: GLE 400, plus three high-performance AMG variants: GLE 43, GLE 63, and GLE 63 S. Coupes come only in AMG GLE 63 and 63 S form.
In the renamed GLE 400, a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 makes 329 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque (versus 302 hp and 273 pound-feet from the prior 3.5-liter V-6). Accelerating to 60 mpg takes about 5.9 seconds. The smooth 7-speed automatic transmission incorporates paddle shifters.
The AMG GLE 43 gets a 385-horsepower version of the 3.0-liter V-6, rated at 384 pound-feet, reducing 0-60 time to 5.6 seconds.
Topping the performance charts are two V-8-powered AMG models: GLE 63 and GLE 63 S. The twin-turbo 5.5-liter V-8 whips out 550 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque in the GLE 63, or 577 hp and 561 pound-feet in the S variant. Acceleration to 60 mph is just a hair above 4 seconds.
Mercedes-Benz also offers a GLE 550e plug-in hybrid SUV, which adds electric motors and a lithium-ion battery pack to the gasoline V-6. Driving range on battery power alone is about 10 miles. Charging takes about two hours at household-outlet.
Crash-testing by the IIHS resulted in “Good” ratings throughout. The NHTSA has not yet tested the 2019 GLE. Available safety features include blind-spot monitors, active lane control, adaptive cruise control, and automatic emergency braking..
Prices do not include $995 destination charge.
GLE 400 V-6 SUV ($55,700) comes with synthetic leather upholstery, an 8.0-inch infotainment screen, power driver's seat, heated front seats, a power liftgate, dual-zone automatic climate control, and 19-inch wheels.
GLE 550e plug-in hybrid SUV ($66,300) has air springs, adaptive dampers, active roll stabilization, navigation, leather upholstery, and a safety technology group.
AMG GLE 43 V-6 SUV ($68,150) includes a 385-horsepower, 3.0-liter V-6, with an AMG-enhanced 9-speed automatic, AMG performance all-wheel drive, and AMG sport air suspension.
AMG GLE 63 V-8 SUV ($103,050) moves up to a 550-hp, 5.5-liter V-8, with 7-speed automatic, parking assist, and a surround-view camera system.
AMG GLE 63 S V-8 SUV ($110,200) gets a boost to 577 horsepower.
AMG GLE 43 V-6 Coupe ($71,350) is equipped similar to AMG GLE 43 SUV, with 3.0-liter V-6. Blind-spot monitors and lane-keeping assist are standard, along with a direct-steering system, adaptive damping, a panoramic sunroof, and active LED headlights.
AMG GLE 63 S V-8 Coupe ($113,000) is equipped similar to AMG GLE 63 S SUV, with a 577-horsepower V-8. Included are an active suspension with roll stabilization, carbon-fiber engine cover, and an AMG 7-speed automatic transmission..