When you go up a level from the already lofty heights of Mercedes-Benz to Mercedes-AMG, you’re making a pretty serious statement. The 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S Coupe is a fast and powerful SUV as you might expect from the AMG label, but is it really all it’s cracked up to be? You might know the answer to this before we get there. In short, yes, it is.
V8 engines tend to be synonymous with awesome power, but 603-hp and 627 lb-ft of torque in a luxury SUV? Yes, please. The GLE63 S Coupe features a 4.0L twin-turbo V8 which can storm from 0 to 60 in just 3.4 seconds, rivalling many supercars. It has a price tag to match, too, starting at $117,050. The powertrain is paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission and an AWD drivetrain comes as standard, riding on gorgeous 22-inch AMG wheels.
It’s not just the speed that amazes, but the amazing deep throaty sound you get from the V8 exhaust. That’s a melodic note to the ear of a true gearhead who is awed by raw engine power and performance. This GLE63 S Coupe also features an addition to its V8 engine in the form of the EQ Boost starter-generator, the benefits of which we’ll cover below.
High-Performance with Maximum Comfort
On the road and despite its size, the GLE63 S takes corners much more like a sports sedan. This driving dynamic is achieved by the limited-slip rear differential which is included as a standard feature. The AWD also seems to favor the rear axle too since it appears that no more than half the torque ever makes it to the front wheels.
Another key performance enhancer is the EQ Boost starter-generator, brilliantly bringing together the starter motor and the alternator into a single electric motor. It helps to add 21-hp and 184 lb-ft of torque for you to call on when you need quick responsive acceleration. It also helps with efficiency when you’re rolling around town.
We had great fun throwing the GLE63 S Coupe around corners in its “Race” drive mode, but we did find one minor flaw when, on occasion, we found the shifting pattern on the 9-speed automatic a little less than “Race” mode worthy. In “Race” mode, it should hold the revs higher even when you’re not throwing down the gas pedal and heavy into the brakes. It’s definitely a small issue, however, since you can easily activate the manual mode and do your own shifts with the wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The transmission will get aggressive in “Race” mode, but you need to be driving very aggressively to activate it.
We make it sound a lot like a sports car, but the inside is actually just as comfortable and resplendent in opulence as you’d expect a Mercedes-AMG vehicle to be. Every inch of material from the aluminum paddle shifters, to the exclusive and sumptuous Nappa leather seats with “AMG” badging, brushed stainless steel and soft-touch comfortable leather steering wheel and beyond, is oozing the Mercedes-AMG signature of decadence.
Both broader aspects like the optimized lateral support in the front seats with available heating and ventilation, and smaller details like calming 64-color adjustable ambient lighting, and even available AMG-exclusive fragrances, all contribute to an atmosphere of extraordinary comfort and pleasure.
Get Aboard the Spaceship – It’s Customizable!
Besides the luxury and comfort on the inside, we are still talking about a high-performance vehicle, so expect to find a spaceship-like amount of technology, custom controls and other features. Start by choosing your preferred drive mode: Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Individual, RACE, Trail, and Sand. Not many other SUVs like this give you so much scope to customize your drive.
On top of the drive modes, you get premium interior tech features, including a Burmester sound system, wireless phone charging, and two flawless 12.3” digital displays, the first as your instrument cluster and the second as the central infotainment display. The system is intuitive, futuristic and cutting-edge. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard for those wanting to maintain connection with their smartphone.
Verdict: An Inescapable and Irresistible Fact of Luxury Life
The only real criticism you might lay at the wheels of the Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S Coupe is that it’s not exactly the most “practical” SUV out there, but that’s really it. Other issues are so minor and subjective, they’re barely worth mentioning. It combines incredible performance with decadent luxury, and while it comes with a high price tag, it’s the perfect way to tell everyone around you, “Here I am!”