The Mercedes-Benz SUV catalogue in Malaysia now has a few extra pages following the introduction of the all-new GLS (more on that later) and GLE Coupe. The latter, now a beefier SUV-coupe mashup that's 39mm longer and 7mm wider than its predecessor, is offered here in GLE 450 and GLE 53 AMG configurations.
Dressed in an AMG Line outfit, the GLE 450 (above) takes the fight directly to the BMW X6 xDrive40i M Sport which was launched here earlier this year. Power comes from a three-litre turbocharged straight six, with the 367hp and 500Nm it makes being distributed to all four wheels via a nine-speed 9G Tronic automatic and Merc's 4Matic all-wheel drive system - this setup can transfer 100 percent of the GLE's maximum twist to either axle. Used correctly, this output gives the hefty Merc a respectable century sprint of 5.7 seconds, with vmax capped at 250kph.
Meanwhile, the GLE 53 4Matic+ (above), which packs the same engine architecture with added electrification from its EQ Boost starter-alternator, does 0-100kph in a swifter 5.3 seconds thanks to its 435hp and 520Nm of torque. The EQ Boost system alone is capable of generating 22hp and 250Nm which can spice things up on the straights for limited periods. Naturally, the Mercedes-AMG model is also endowed with an added wealth of kit from Affalterbach, which includes a more robust 4Matic+ AWD and AMG's "Speedshift" nine-speeder, an AMG exhaust system, AMG Active Ride Control+ air suspension and AMG Track Pace among many other AMG-prefixed features.
As with the all of the other brand's digital-forward new models, both GLE variants feature a pair of 31.2cm screens that make up the dashboard, with the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) voice-activated multimedia assistant constantly on standby. Practicality has improved across the board too, with a 20mm longer wheelbase offering extra legroom while overall interior volume is up by 40 litres as well.
Prices for the Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4Matic AMG Line start from RM661,009 while the Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 4Matic+ is over RM100k costlier at RM787,358 on the road without insurance. These prices include the 50 percent sales tax exemption on imported new cars that lasts until the end of 2020, so expect these figures to rise from 2021 onwards.