The Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class arrived in 2016 as the replacement for the M-Class as Mercedes looked to streamline its SUV lineup with the GL naming scheme. The GLE-Class remained mostly unchanged until a full redesign in 2020 brought in an all-new look and updated powertrains. In 2021, the already massive GLE-Class lineup will grow again with the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Coupe.
Fresh off a redesign, we expect no notable changes to the bulk of the GLE-Class lineup. The AMG GLE 53 Coupe will, however, bring in cues from other AMG GLE Coupes, including the AMG-specific grille, bumpers, side skirts and rear spoiler, a silver-chrome front splitter, and flared wheel arches surrounding 21-inch AMG-lettered wheels. Buyers will also have the option of 22-inch wheels and an AMG Night Package that will include high-gloss-black exterior trim on the AMG GLE 53 Coupe.
Inside, we expect most of the 2021 GLE-Class lineup to continue with its premium cabin that includes a pair of 12.3-inch screens, leatherette seating, power seats, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and more. The new 2021 AMG GLE 53 Coupe will add extra touches of sport with its red contrast stitching and seatbelts, AMG seats wrapped in leatherette and faux suede, “AMG” seat badges, an AMG performance steering wheel, aluminum shift paddles, steel sport pedals, and more.
Under its hood, we expect most of the GLE-Class lineup to continue with the same engine options, and there are plenty of them. The non-AMG engine options will include a 255-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder in the base GLE350 and a 362-hp mild-hybrid turbocharged inline-six engine in the GLE450.
On the AMG side of things, we expect three carryover engines in 2021: a 385-hp 3.0-liter biturbo six-cylinder in the AMG GLE 43 and GLE 43 Coupe, the 550-hp 5.5-liter biturbo V-8 in the AMG GLE 63, and the 577-hp 5.5-liter biturbo V-8 in the AMG GLE 63 S and GLE 63 S Coupe. The new addition will be the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Coupe with its mild-hybrid 3.0-liter biturbo six-cylinder that will inject 429 hp and 384 pound-feet of torque. The new AMG GLE 53 Coupe will sprint to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds, sticking it between the 4.1-second AMG GLE 63 S Coupe and the 5.6-second AMG GLE 43 Coupe.
Safety ratings will not be available for the 2021 GLE-Class for a while, but we expect no key changes to its structure or standard equipment, which includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection and blind-spot monitors. Optionally, buyers will be able to add adaptive cruise control and active lane control. Though it has top-notch safety equipment, the current GLE-Class hasn’t been through IIHS or NHTSA testing. Given the previous-generation GLE-Class was an IIHS Top Safety Pick+, we have high hopes for the same performance from the new model.
Pictured: 2021 GLE 53 Coupe