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MOTORING

Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 4Matic+ review

Words by Nathan Irvine

Bigger is better.

A family car shouldn’t really be this much fun. But then this isn’t any family car. This is a Mercedes-AMG – the high-performance strand of the German car manufacturer. The Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 4-Matic+ isn’t like other luxury SUVs.

It all starts with the looks. Everything about the Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 4-Matic+ is big and bold. It’s got a huge basking shark-like grille. It runs on really massive sporty alloys. And it’s seriously long. Yup, the new GLE is far more of an extrovert than ever before. This is a necessary move for Mercedes as it makes it stand out from an oversaturated market of rival SUVs.

Mercedes-AMG Bold and beautiful.

Specifications

Engine

3.0l six-cylinder in-line

Power

435hp at 6100 rpm

Torque

520Nm at 1800-5800

Transmission

9-speed automatic

0-100 kmh

5.3 seconds

Top Speed

250 kmh

Price

TBC

Screen time

Inside the car, the same bold feeling is felt throughout. From the sports seats and super-comfy AMG steering wheel to the impressive panoramic digital dashboard that’s tucked behind it, the GLE 53 looks and feels extravagant.

Other little, yet impactful details I love, are the responsive touchpad controls in the centre column and the crystal-clear heads-up display that shows your speed and the track you’re currently playing. It all adds up to create a great driving experience.

In Pictures. Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 4Matic+

Photos. Mercedes-AMG

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Mercedes-AMG There are lots of different options to switch up the display.

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Mercedes-AMG There are lots of different options to switch up the display.

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Mercedes-AMG The centre console handles are nice cosmetic touch.

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Mercedes-AMG Cutting edge design is married to practical fundamentals.

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Mercedes-AMG Cutting edge design is married to practical fundamentals.

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Mercedes-AMG Sitting on sporty rims.

Twofer

On the road is where the GLE 53 really excels. Under the hood is a straight-six engine that’s amplified by the electronic EQ Boost. Although it can’t run entirely on electric power, the GLE 53 has hybrid capabilities, in this case, the EQ Boost that acts as a turbo to set you hurtling down the road.

It’s quite the rush when it kicks in. The front of the car visibly lifts as the engine enters beast mode, which has a genuine addictiveness to it. Although the GLE 53 is, as I explained above, is a big boy, any concerns about becoming unstable at high speeds or quick accelerations are quashed thanks to the AMG Ride Control+.

The system kicks in to make sure that the car doesn’t list or swing uncontrollably through corners. Of course, you can opt to switch the driving assists off and turn on the Sport+ mode, but outside of a track situation this feels unnecessary. Especially since you’re likely to have your loved ones in the back.

Mercedes-AMG A looker from all angles.

Fun time

There isn’t a great deal to dislike about the GLE 53. It offers sporty features in a practical, family SUV that’s actually fun to drive. If I was being extremely nit-picky it could have a little more responsiveness when accelerating. Still, when it comes to family car’s the GLE 53 is the complete package and actually fun to drive. And you can’t say this about most of its competitors.

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