As if it weren’t big, brash and lairy-looking enough for you to have figured it out, this is the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupé, the Stuttgart firm's answer to the big sports SUV coupe conundrum and a direct rival to the BMW X6 and Range Rover Sport. Although the latter is set to make its own dedicated assault on the SUV-cum-sports-coupé segment in 2017.
The GLE Coupé comes with a choice of three engines either the venerable 255bhp 3.0-litre V6 diesel or two petrol-powered AMG models - complete with a new nine-speed torque converter automatic gearbox, except for the range-topping GLE 63 S which comes with a seven-speed version.
The GLE 43 comes with an AMG breathed-on 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine producing 362bhp, while the full fire-breathing AMG is reserved for the GLE 63 S which comes with a 577bhp 5.5-litre V8 engine.
There are also two trim levels to choose from with the entry-level AMG Line coming equipped with heated, auto dimming and folding mirrors, parking sensors, reversing camera, heated front seats, climate control and a DAB tuner. While the flagship designo Line spec includes a panoramic sunroof, 360 degree camera, heated, cooling and massaging front seats, heated rear seats and a Harman Kardon surround sound system.
The AMG models each come with their own trim, although the GLE 43 is available with the designo standard equipment. The standard car gains all the standard equipment found on the AMG Line model but adds AMG-tuned suspension, 4Matic system and exhaust system along with an aggressive bodykit, while the GLE 63 S gets 22in alloy wheels, a high performance braking system, electronic body roll control, a more aggressive bodykit and a Harman & Kardon stereo system as standard.
The handling is pretty decent. You get switchable driving modes as standard that affect steering, air suspension and throttle response, but it’s satisfying enough in Comfort, when the steering is still fairly precise and heavy, with a strong urge to self-centre as you wind off lock out of fast corners.
Sport mode brings even weightier response and holds a consistent heft through corners, but it’s not really any more entertaining or involving and ultimately still feels quite anodyne.
Even so, body control isn’t sloppy and there’s plenty of grip from the permanent four-wheel drive system, so the GLE certainly delivers thrills through sheer pace and lateral traction, even if it is more inclined to understeer than you might expect, and there’s none of the fingertip-sensitive response that the Range Rover Sport does so well.