Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins
Mercedes-AMG continues to deliver more hits than Drake and The Weekend combined. Dubbed “Assault Machines from Germany” by Automotive Rhythms’ constituency, the 2021 AMG GLE 53 Coupe is visually stunning, actively aggressive, well-engineered, and digitally savvy. With the 2021 model, AMG fans can expect advanced technologies, accompanying autonomous features, an efficient engine with electric power boosts, and advanced safety systems that take control when you fail to.
The $105,324 ($76,500 MSRP) performance crossover vehicle is acutely talented on the road and moves with measured control. The road-performing package begins with the AMG Performance 4Matic+ AWD and massive 22″ AMG cross-spoke forged wheels in Matte Black paired with staggered Pirelli Scorpion 285/40/ZR22 front and 325/35/22 rear winter tires. I had a set of this rubber on an Audi Q7 in a winter test drive during an incredibly harsh snowstorm in Maryland, and they rolled through snow and ice like tractors on farmlands. Complimented with AMG Ride Control+ Suspension and AIRMATIC, the vehicle’s equanimity at higher speeds and aggressive cornering was well recognized. My only qualm is the extensive amount of brake dust accumulating in just a few days from the dark rims and AMG High-Performance Braking System combo.
In confident German fashion, the SUV Coupe rolled up in a vibrant designo Cardinal Red Metallic hue that attracted the attention of many wherever we ended up. The bubbled silhouette stands tall on its big wheels and is complemented by black side mirrors, a black/silver two-toned and wide-eyed grille with the oversized Benz insignia, redesigned, sassy LED headlamps, a sunroof that opens just past the front passenger seat, and Black Chrome circular quad exhaust tips to go with the AMG Performance Exhaust System. The sporty novelty of the AMG GLE 53 Coupe makes you want to do sporty and active things. Therefore, I took the vehicle to trails for most of my evaluation time while biking and running.
Inside, the anointed interior reigns supreme in this category where occupants will witness the intermeshing of fine materials and digital forwardness. It begins with a Natural Grain Grey Oak Wood Trim and AMG Black Exclusive Nappa Leather with Diamond Stitching, making all parties feel welcomed. Metal pedals with rubber bumpers indicate the level of performance you should expect, as does the race-inspired AMG Performance Steering Wheel in DINAMICA microfiber with aluminum accents. The tall paddle shifters, door handles, door switches, and air vents are also made from aluminum. Device charging stems from a charging pad, three USB-c inputs upfront, and two in the rear, where there is also a 118v charger and temperature settings. Mercedes-AMG vehicles use artificial intelligence from MBUX, operated by an advanced touch controller and displayed on dual 12.3″ widescreen displays. LINGUATRONIC voice control and augmented video for navigation are two critical attributes of MBUX. Scrolling through the right-side screen, I was impressed by the active multi-contour seat app with bolster adjustments and various massages such as the waving massage or active workout massage. The Multicolor Ambient Lighting app offers various hues to set the proper mood, like Ocean Blue, Red Moon, and Purple Sky, my daughter’s favorite.
Performance translates to the pavement by way of the AMG-Enhanced 3-liter inline-6 turbo engine (not hand-built) with EQ Boost that creates both respected power and efficiency. This package delivers 429-horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque, which gets out, but not as much as the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe with its hand-built AMG 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 distributing 603-horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque for an impressive zero to 60 mph time of 3.7 seconds. My 53 Coupe paired with the intelligent AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9-speed transmission with AMG DYNAMIC SELECT. It is bad to the bone while hinting at the AMG’s semblance of power. Once seated in the AMG seats with adjustable side bolsters and in-depth massage capabilities, I immediately felt like an F1 driver and became inextricably bound to the wheel, which now hosts two AMG Drive Unit buttons and seamlessly integrated controls. They allow the driver to scroll through the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT modes like Sand mode, which raises the vehicle.
Advanced intelligence is provided if you upgrade to the $1,950 Driver Assistance Package Plus with systems like Active Lane Change Assist, Active Emergency Stop Assist, Active Speed Limit Assist, Evasive Steering Assist, and much more. Just be cognizant that sometimes the vehicle will aggressively take control of steering or braking, which is a strange feeling.
All in all, the 2021 AMG GLE 53 Coupe is well-balanced, innovatively distinguished, and super intelligent. However, I cannot wait to feel the potency of the 63!