2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe Review


Last time we reviewed Mercedes-AMG’s GLA 45. For the brand’s smallest SUV, the engineering team fitted the GLA 45 with a 2.0L 382hp turbocharged engine. It is able to propel the car from 0-100km/hr in only 4.4 seconds. 

This time, thanks to Mercedes-Benz Canada, we got our hands on the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe. Under the hood of this midsize SUV is a massive 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8 and a 48 volt EQ Boost starter-alternator system. This combination produces 603 horsepower and 627 lb.ft of torque. 

Despite the size and weight of the car, this drivetrain catapults the car from 0-100km/hr in mere 3.8 seconds. Of course, we were very excited to push the car through its paces during our one week test drive. Below is our unbiased review.


Standing out in a sea of boxy SUVs, the form factor of the GLE 63 S Coupe certainly evokes strong emotions. While some people absolutely loathe the idea of a coupe SUV, I find the GLE 63 Coupe elegant, yet passionate. Our tester comes in fiery Designo Hyacinth Red Metallic paint, which really emphasizes the expressive nature of the exterior design. 

At the front, the vertical slatted grille should be your first clue that it is an AMG. The prominent power dome on the hood is accompanied by sharp character lines to signify the massive engine under. For this AMG model, a large jet-wing shaped front apron is color matched to the rest of the body, and features jet black air intakes. 

From the side, the coupe silhouette and low stance makes the GLE 63 S look like it is perpetually in motion. With the dynamic air suspension system, the ground clearance of the SUV can be adjusted based on the driving mode. In "Sport", "Sport+" and "RACE" modes, the vehicle level is lowered. In normal Comfort mode, the car is lowered automatically at speeds 120 km/h and above to reduce aerodynamic drag. In "Trail" and "Sand" modes, the suspension is raised to increase ground clearance, but once the vehicle speed reaches 70 km/h, the car is lowered once again. 

Our tester comes with the optional 22" AMG Cross-Spoke Wheel in Matte Black finishes. They look outstanding against the red caliper housings. The large wheel diameter matches the muscular lines of the side panels for a dynamic side profile.

The rear view of the GLE 63 S Coupe looks much more elegant than that of a typical SUV. While the rear apron features a sporty air diffuser, an elegant lip spoiler and slim tail lamps help to maintain the classy vibe of the rear profile. Our tester comes with the AMG Night package, which includes a black front splitter, side skirt inserts, window frames, mirror caps, and two rectangular high-gloss black twin-tailpipes. The additional black trims give the GLE 63 S Coupe even more attitude, and is well worth the $850 price tag in my opinion. 


Even for someone who is used to the luxurious interiors of Mercedes-Benz vehicles, the interior of the GLE 63 S takes it to another level. It feels spacious, high-tech, and sporty. The horizontal themed dash along with the spanning dual entertainment screens help to emphasize the width of the interior. Consistent with the horizontal theme, the air vents of the GLE 63 S are rectangular in shape instead of your typical Mercedes-Benz turbine shaped air vents. The climate control buttons are neatly organized in a single horizontal row. 

Our tester is equipped with the optional $2,500 AMG Carbon Fiber trim package. It goes along with the racing grips in the center console, AMG-specific seats, and the three-spoke AMG performance steering wheel to give the interior of the GLE 63 S a particularly sporty vibe. 

The front seats are both heated and vented. They are upholstered in Nappa leather and have an AMG-specific seat pattern layout with an "AMG" badge in the front backrests. The seats provide excellent lumbar and lateral support, and are very comfortable for long drives. The red seat belts match perfectly with the exterior paint of our tester and provide a nice contrast to the black seat surfaces. 

There is a dedicated climate control system for the rear carbon. Other than your typical center air vents, the GLE 63 S provides the rear passengers two additional side air vents on the B-pillars. The rear seats are very comfortable, and provide massive legroom. Due to the sloped roofline, taller passengers might find the headroom slightly limited. Thankfully, the massive sunroof should provide them with outward view.


Other than the excellent Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system, the GLE 63 S also features AMG-specific displays for performance related information and settings. 

The MBUX system of the GLE 63 S consists of a few different components. First, the two 12.3" displays that are positioned right next to each other to appear as one giant screen. The left screen sits right in front of the steering wheel and displays important vehicle information such as the speed, fuel economy, and engine rpm. The right screen, which is also a touchscreen, sits atop of the center console. It is multi-functional, and has an extensive, yet intuitive user interface. Android Auto and Apple Carplay are available with the premium package.

With the AMG menu, drivers can pull up additional AMG specific displays such as gear display, Warm-u menu, Set-up menu, G-Meter, RACETIMER and Engine Data. 

The second part of the MBUX system are the small touchpads on the steering wheel. They are similar to the touch pads we used to see on older Blackberry phones. The left one controls the left display, and the right for the right, simple. I love the fact that you never have to take your hands off the steering wheel to access all functions of the infotainment system.

There is another way you can control the many functions of the car without taking your hands off the wheel. This is accomplished via the LINGUATRONIC voice assist. It is a natural language smart assistant that functions like the Apple Siri or Google Assist. Simply say "Hey, Mercedes", or press the voice command button, and you can ask the car to make a phone call, plot a new navigation route, close the roller sunshade, or change the interior light. The voice assistant can control basically anything that is not safety related. The system is smart enough to understand natural language commands like "I am cold" or "I am hungry", and responses by raising cabin temperature, or to find the closest restaurant.

The final part of the MBUX system is the track-pad that is located in the center console. There is a padded resting place for the wrist, which allows your fingers to scroll through the display menu effortlessly. 

One cool optional feature of the new infotainment system is the augmented reality style navigation system. When you are close to a junction, the center display would pull up the video feed from the front camera, and superimpose arrows to show you exactly where to turn. It is a very cool technology but does require you to take your eyes off the road to see. If you don’t want to take your eyes off the road while driving, the optional head-up display provides all of the same information directly onto the windshield in front of the driver. It is one of the larger, higher resolution HUDs I have seen. 

Safety and Driver Assistance

The GLE Coupe 63 S Coupe comes with quite a few standard safety features:

  • Rearview camera
  • Brake Assist (BAS)
  • Active Brake Assist
  • Blind Spot Assist
  • Active Parking Assist
  • Adaptive braking technology
  • In-vehicle, one-touch calling features
  • Auto-dimming rearview and driver-side mirrors
  • Traffic Sign Assist
  • Active MULTIBEAM LED Lighting System
  • PRE-SAFE Sound
  • Crosswind Assist
  • Adaptive Highbeam Assist
  • Advanced Tire Pressure Monitoring System
  • Car Exit Warning
  • Parking Damage Detector

Just like most premium vehicles, the more advanced features are optional. They include:

  • Active Blind Spot Assist
  • Active Lane Keeping Assist
  • Active Brake Assist with Cross-Traffic Function
  • 360 Camera
  • Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC
  • Active Steering Assist
  • Evasive Steering Assist
  • Active Emergency Stop Assist
  • Route-based Speed Adaptation
  • Active Lane Change Assist
  • PRE-SAFE Impulse Side
  • Enhanced Stop-and-Go
  • Electrically heated windshield
  • Active Stop-and-Go Assist
The 2021 GLE class receives a Top Safety Pick + rating from IIHS and a 5 star overall safety rating from NHTSA.


Under the hood of the GLE 63 S is a well-proven twin turbocharged 4.0L V8. The twin-scroll turbochargers sit between the two cylinder banks. This “hot V” configuration makes for a compact engine design, and improves the response of the exhaust-gas driven turbochargers. 

For increased efficiency, the AMG team has equipped the V8 engine with cylinder deactivation. In the comfort mode, half of the cylinders can be deactivated to reduce fuel consumption. Further consumption reduction can be achieved via the 48V EQ Boost starter-alternator system. It combines a start motor and an alternator into a single unit. The motor produces an additional 21hp of power and 184lb-ft of torque when called upon to improve throttle response and reduce turbo lag. When additional power is not needed, the motor recaptures braking energy and is also responsible for the start/stop function. Together, the power train of the GLE 63 S Coupe produces 603hp of power and 627lb-ft of torque.

While the power system may sound complicated, drivers rarely notice the complicated dance between different power modes. On top of that, the V8 engine of the GLE 63 S Coupe is supported by active engine mounts. The system changes the engine mount rigidity to provide a comfortable ride in Comfort mode, and better driving dynamics in Sport and Sport+ modes. In true AMG fashion, each of the engines is hand assembled by a single technician. The signature of the technician can be found on the engine cover. 

The AMG team equipped the GLE with a 9 speed torque converter transmission instead of a multi-plate wet clutch. The TCT system provides a smoother shifting experience and is better suited for the additional weight and power of the car. Together, the drivetrain is able to accelerate the GLE from 0-100km/hr in just 3.8 seconds. 

Just like the regular GLE, the 63 S rides on air suspensions with adaptive dampers. As we have mentioned previously, the air suspension allows the ride height to be adjusted based on drive modes and vehicle speeds. The 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive system of the GLE 63 S is much more advanced than your typical AWD system. It ensures each wheel gets the optimal torque based on not only speed, lateral and longitudinal acceleration, steering angle, but also the difference in rotation speed between each individual wheel and the gear selected. On top of that, an electronically controlled locking differential at the rear axle is standard. It reduces slip on the inner wheel in corners, thus providing better grip to accelerate out of corners. It also improves handling when braking from high speed or accelerating from a standstill. 

So how does the GLE 63 S Coupe behave on the road? Depending on the drive mode you put the car in, it can be as aggressive as a sports car, or as refined and relaxing as any luxury SUV. This versatility is the GLE 63 S’s greatest strength. In Sport or Sport+ modes, the throttle response is immediate. The EQ boost system does a wonderful job of providing that initial torque before the turbochargers kick in. The soundtrack of the V8 is distinctive, and extremely satisfying. For a SUV this size, there is very little body roll in corners. The steering is precise and nicely weighted. You can tell that the harder you drive this SUV, the tighter various systems work together to provide a dynamic ride. 

Putting the car in comfort mode, and the GLE 63 S immediately quiets down. The suspension system is still on the firmer side, but ride quality doesn’t suffer. Steering becomes more relaxing, and the torque converter-based transmission shifts smoothly through different gears. The GLE 63 S does both sides of the extremes equally well, and I can’t help but marvel at this engineering feat every time I step inside the vehicle.  

Cargo Space & Storage

Despite the sloped roof line, the cargo space of the GLE 63 S Coupe doesn’t surfer too much. There is 778L of trunk space behind the second row seats. That number is increased to a respectable 1790L with the 40/20/40 rear seats folded. The cargo cover features a folding design that is unique. Since the GLE 63 S rides on air suspensions, the car can be lowered to allow easier loading with the touch of a button inside the trunk. 

In cabin storage options are plentiful. Both the center console storage bin and the glove compartment are decently sized. The glove compartment also features a liquid fragrance diffuser. A wireless charger is located in front of the center console cup holders, and the front door pockets are quite large. 

Rear passengers have access to a small storage tray below the climate controls. The side door pockets are smaller than the front ones, but can still accommodate at least one water bottle each. Two additional cup holders can be found inside the folding armrest. 


The 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S 4MATIC+ Coupe is an incredible SUV. It is extremely well-rounded and provides the performance, luxury, and comfort you will be hard pressed to find separately in other premium SUVs. The $135,000 CAD base price might be out of the comfort zone for most buyers. But if you want the best of everything, the GLE 63 S Coupe is definitely worth the premium. For those who prefer practicality over style, the standard GLE 63 S would be an excellent alternative. And if you don’t need all the AMG performance, the regular GLE class is a great vehicle on its own. 

Test Vehicle

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S 4MATIC+ Coupe


$135,300 CAD base,  $150,600 as tested 


Designo Hyacinth Red Metallic 


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