Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 450d 4Matic Coupé

Arriving as a mid-cycle update from its predecessor that launched 5 years ago, Kyle Kock got behind the wheel of the facelifted and range-topping Mercedes-Benz GLE 450d 4Matic Coupé in the Garden Route. Read his thoughts here. The post Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 450d 4Matic Coupé appeared first on CAR Magazine.

Review: Mercedes-Benz GLE 450d 4Matic Coupé

Mercedes-Benz South Africa has introduced the facelifted version of its fourth-generation GLE luxury SUV and its GLE Coupé sibling to the South African car market. Kyle Kock got behind the wheel of the range-topping diesel variant on the Garden Route.

Mercedes-Benz GLE 450d Coupe front three-quarter.

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Mercedes-Benz GLE 450d 4Matic Coupé Fast Facts

  • Price: R2 340 500
  • Engine: 3.0-litre, 6-cylinder, turbodiesel
  • Transmission: 9-speed automatic
  • Power: 285 kW
  • Torque: 750 N.m
  • Driven wheels: All
  • Fuel consumption: 9.0 L/100 km.
  • CO2: 210 g/km
  • Rivals: Porsche Cayenne Coupé, BMW X6

What are we driving?

Five years after Mercedes-Benz launched the fourth generation GLE, the German manufacturer has refreshed both the GLE SUV and its distinctive GLE Coupé sibling.  Mercedes-Benz South Africa launched the model range in George, and we got behind the wheel of the most expensive diesel model – the GLE 450d 4Matic Coupé as well as the base GLE 300d 4Matic.

Why is the updated GLE and GLE Coupé significant?

The GLE and by extension, the GLE Coupé can draw much of its existence on the pioneering ML SUV, which kicked off the premium lifestyle SUV segment 27 years ago.  The GLE also serves as the step underneath the bigger and more luxurious GLS and then the supremely capable and desirable G-Class, both of which are due to be updated later this year.

New for 2024 on the GLE is a refreshed face, consisting of restyled grille, bumpers, and headlamps, as well as new taillights. Inside, there’s an updated facia with a new steering wheel, and the models we drove also had a panoramic roof and Burmeister sound system added.

There’s also a 48-volt mild hybrid system integrated into the powertrain, which not only helps reduce the CO2 footprint of the GLE but also adds to the overall performance.

Mercedes-Benz GLE 450d Coupe front cabin

What do the Mercedes-Benz GLE and GLE Coupé cost?

  • 30od 4Matic – R1 964 600
  • 300d 4Matic 7 seater – R1 984 000
  • 450 4Matic – R2 075 400
  • 450 4Matic 7 seater – R2 094 800
  • 450d 4Matic – R2 041 500
  • 450d 4Matic 7 seater – R2 060 900
  • 450d 4Matic Coupé  – R2 340 500

Related: 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE Price & Specs

Who are the GLE and GLE Coupé’s rivals?

Just after the ML debuted 1997 BMW launched the X5 (R1 706 850), which is still on the GLE’s radar and arguably its most direct rival. Then there’s the polished and capable Porsche Cayenne (R1 848 000) and the beautiful Range Rover Sport (R2 283 700).

The GLE Coupé goes up against the BMW X6 (R1 826 850), the Porsche Cayenne Coupé (R1 933 000), and the Range Rover Velar, which starts at R1 670 900.

Mercedes-Benz GLE 450d Coupe rear three-quarter

What is the Mercedes-Benz GLE and GLE Coupé like to drive?

On the B-roads around the George Municipality, what immediately sprung out at me is that both GLE models are blessed with very good levels of NVH suppression as my co-driver and I could converse without straining our voices even as we tested the dynamism of their handling characteristics.

Speaking of which, they both excelled when pressing on through the dreamy Outeniqua Pass with its billiard smooth surface, but it was on the Robinson Pass where the 450d Coupé with its adjustable suspension damping shone. Despite its heft and the deep dips of the R328, the ride control displayed was outstanding. The chunky sidewall of the 275/50 Continental SportContact tyres no doubt also helped absorb much of the surface imperfections. Slightly less impressive was the 300d GLE, but I have to say that it was riding on optional 21-inch rims and 40-profile rubber and that this part of the launch route featured some gravel driving.

Related: Review: Mercedes-Benz GLC 220d 4Matic Coupé

Both engines are impressive; the 450d’s 3.0-litre turbodiesel inline-six for its immense grunt and the way its noise in the cabin is very un-diesel-like, and the 2.0-litre diesel in the 300d for its frugality, even in large applications like the GLE.


This is the vehicle that set the standard for all luxury SUVs 27 years ago, and it’s still very much an aspirational purchase. The raft of updates has helped bring it up to speed in a very competitive segment and we can’t wait to put both models through a full test.

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