When the Benz-branded GLE's 255 and 362 horsepower just aren't enough, the Mercedes-AMG GLE53's 429 horses are here to cure the power deficit. Along with a sportier chassis setup, the more powerful turbo 3.0-liter inline-six is the primary reason to get the AMG-tuned model. As with its less racy siblings, the GLE53 comes in two body styles: a traditional SUV or a sloped-back SUV coupe. To our eyes, the latter looks more awkward than attractive, and the penalty for its subjective vanity is a higher price and smaller cargo area. Still, every GLE53 has a rich-looking and tech-laden interior. Unfortunately—due to supply issues with Mercedes' V-8s—the 603-hp GLE63 S is absent from the 2022 lineup. For those who need that V-8 fix, BMW offers a 523-hp twin-turbo option on the X5 SUV and coupe-like X6 at a similar price as the GLE53.
What's New for 2022?
For 2022, the AMG version of the GLE-class SUV and coupe receive a handful of updates. Automatic high-beam headlights are newly standard. Cirrus Silver is a new addition to the list of paint colors. Both Mercedes' in-cabin air purifier-and-fragrance system (called Air Balance) and multi-adjustable front seats with massage function are now available as individual options.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
We'd save our money and stick with the more conventional SUV version instead of the coupe. Black and Polar White are the only no-cost paint options, and we'd pair the more sinister color with the AMG Night package that includes blacked-out exterior trim. The illuminated three-pointed star emblem is a neat option, and we'd also dress up the interior with nappa leather. The optional heated steering wheel will keep our hands warm, and the Acoustic Comfort package helps keep the cabin further isolated from the noise of the outside world. The Multicontour front seats with massage and rapid heating function are also must-haves. The soft-close doors and four-zone climate system round out or selections.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The GLE53 features a nine-speed automatic transmission and standard all-wheel drive. Its engine is supplemented by an electric supercharger that's powered by a 48-volt electrical system. Combined with the GLE53's turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder engine, they produce 429 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque. That setup helped catapult the GLE53 coupe we tested to 60 mph in 4.7 second and through the quarter-mile in 13.4 seconds at 103 mph. Compare that with the 362-hp GLE450 we tested, which did the deeds in 5.3 seconds and 13.9 seconds at 100 mph, respectively. The GLE53 also features a trick suspension consisting of an air-bag system coupled with active anti-roll bars that's said to provide corner-carving capabilities without sacrificing ride quality. The GLE53 coupe we drove felt smooth even on uneven roads, and switching its drive mode to Sport or Sport Plus stiffened up its suspension enough to help keep the heavy family hauler stable when the pavement coiled.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Both the GLE53 SUV and coupe carry a city rating of 18 mpg, but the squareback is rated at 23 mpg on the highway and the coupe is rated at 22 mpg. On our 75-mph fuel-economy route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, the GLE53 coupe delivered an impressive 26 mpg. For more information about the GLE's fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Inside, two giant digital displays dominate the dashboard of every 2022 GLE-class. The interior environs are sportier than the standard Benz models, though, as the AMG versions come with sport seats with red contrasting stitching, a sport steering wheel, red seatbelts, and aluminum accents. Their cabin is spacious, too, even in the back seat. A third row of seats is also optional. The GLE53 offers the same cargo space as the Mercedes-Benz GLE450 we tested, which means it has space for a whopping 11 carry-on suitcases behind the second row of seats and, with the rear seats stowed, room for up to 26 cases. However, the coupe's sloping roofline steals 5 cubic feet from the SUV's cargo area, and the space held two fewer suitcases behind the second row and five fewer with that row stowed.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Twin 12.3-inch infotainment displays dominate the GLE's dashboard and, just as in lesser Benz-branded GLE-classes, the AMG models support the latest MBUX software interface. The driver and front-seat passenger can interact with the system via the touchscreen or by utilizing the center-console mounted clickwheel or simply saying "Hey Mercedes" then giving a voice command. We've found the system to be a bit clunky to use, but owners should acclimate after a few weeks behind the wheel. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration is standard, as is a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Every model offers myriad driver-assistance features, including a semi-autonomous driving mode. For more information about the GLE's crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Available adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go technology
- Available lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance