Mercedes-Benz, by its own admission, was late in joining the coupé-SUV ranks, preferring to sit back and take a wait-and-see approach as its more progressive premium brand rivals led the way into what has now become an indispensable part of any large-scale luxury car maker’s line-up.
But after tasting initial sales success with the 2015 version, it has wasted little time in launching this all-new Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe, which boasts both more resolved exterior styling and greater interior luxury than its predecessor.
The new GLE Coupé is aimed directly as the likes of the Audi Q8, BMW X6 and Porsche Cayenne Coupé. Unlike the model it replaces, though, it's not merely a rebodied version of the regular Mercedes GLE SUV.
To help provide it with a more individual appearance, Mercedes has rung the changes, giving it a 62mm-shorter wheelbase than its more upright sibling, at 2935mm, among other measures. Compared with the first generation GLE Coupé, though, it has grown: length is up by 39mm at 4939mm, width has increased by 7mm to 2010mm and height is a scant 1mm lower than before, at 1730mm.
As with the bullish exterior, the interior has been thoroughly redesigned in line with moves made with the new GLE. Key elements include a pair of 12.3in digital displays for the instruments and infotainment. As in other recent Mercedes models, they're housed within single panel atop a multi-layered dashboard and are controlled by the MBUX operating system, with touchscreen, conversational speech and gesture control functions complementing small touchpad controllers within the horizontal spokes of a new multi-function steering wheel and a larger touchpad on the centre console.