BMW X6 vs. Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class

By

Automotive Editor

Willis is a freelance writer based out of Philadelphia. Born and raised in Colorado, he graduated from Williams College. When he's not writing about cars or the outdoors, he spends his time rock climbing or reading with his two cats.


, Automotive Editor - July 1, 2021

The modern SUV-coupe can be traced back to the BMW X6, which remains one of the segment’s most popular choices. Other brands were quick to copy the formula, starting with BMW’s chief rival. Mercedes-Benz takes a different approach to model delineation, lumping the GLE coupe in with the more traditionally styled GLE-Class SUV.

For this comparison, we’ll limit ourselves to comparing apples to apples in the BMW X6 and the Mercedes GLE Coupe. Both offer plenty of style and luxury — here’s what separates the two in terms of key specs and features to help you decide which one is worth the money.

See a side-by-side comparison of the BMW X6 & the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class »

What the X6 Gets Right

BMW spun the X6 off as its own model, with similar engine choices to the related BMW X5. Although the X6 is more expensive than the X5, it’s much cheaper than the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe models, which are limited to powerful AMG variants. At a starting price of about $66,000, the X6 sDrive40i is more than $10,000 less than the cheapest GLE Coupe.

The X6 doesn’t skimp on features, either. Generous screen space, leather upholstery, and a panoramic sunroof make the X6 a true luxury experience. BMW’s warranty now includes three years of scheduled maintenance, which helps set it apart from rivals.

Thanks to its wider engine selection, the X6 has a significant advantage at the gas pump. In base form, the X6 is rated for 23 mpg combined, while the GLE Coupe manages 20 mpg combined. Neither are efficiency all-stars — for that, buyers should look to the X5, which offers an optional plug-in powertrain.

What the GLE-Class Gets Right

The GLE Coupe is available only in AMG GLE53 or GLE63 S form. While neither is cheap, the GLE53 is slightly more affordable than the equivalent X6 M50i. If bragging rights are a priority, the GLE63 S is the fastest of the lot, with a blistering 0-60 time under four seconds.

Although cargo capacity is similar between the two, the GLE Coupe has a few extra cubic feet of space with its seats folded. Again, neither will match their boxy counterparts in this department.

In the Mercedes, rear passengers get 38.4 inches of leg room, which is nearly three inches more than the X6. Both coupes cut into rear head room, but the GLE Coupe has an inch more than the X6.

A Matter of Style

Buying an SUV-coupe means prioritizing style over practicality, comfort, and value. The X6 is already a compromise, with less cargo capacity and passenger space than an X5. That hasn’t hampered its success, and for many buyers it may be worth the tradeoff.

The Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe is an even bigger ask, as its AMG engines push into six-figure territory. It’s a stylish ride and an impressive performer, but the price of admission is steep.

Our Verdict: BMW X6

The BMW X6 delivers on the promise of an SUV-coupe in all the ways that matter, and it does it for less than the GLE Coupe. The practical differences between the two are slim, and the base engine of the X6 offers plenty of performance for most drivers. For even better value, the smaller BMW X4 is worth a look.

Take a closer look at the BMW X6 »

Take a closer look at the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Willis is a freelance writer based out of Philadelphia. Born and raised in Colorado, he graduated from Williams College. When he's not writing about cars or the outdoors, he spends his time rock climbing or reading with his two cats.


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