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Monday, May 29, 2023

The Muscle SUVs Keep within the Hunt

The Smoky Mountain area of the American Southeast has a lot in widespread with Germany’s Black Forest. Each function dense forestry, are steeped in native custom, and host a vein-like community of tight, twisty two-lane roads carved into the mountainsides. Touring these roads behind the wheel of the 2024 Mercedes-AMG GLE53 and GLE63 S efficiency SUVs, it is easy to expertise transient moments of intercontinental singularity. Corners seem with out warning; heavy braking orders a agency downshift and a bark from the exhaust earlier than the motive force dives again into the accelerator and units up for the subsequent one.

It is all fairly heady stuff, particularly when you consider the truth that the machine you are piloting additionally has room for 5 and their baggage within the cargo maintain. And just like the topography, the Mercedes-AMG GLE53 and GLE63 S do not get hung up on the the place however give attention to the why and the way: Envisioned and developed by Mercedes-Benz’s AMG division in Affalterbach, Germany, the Mercedes-AMG fashions we drove are assembled at Mercedes-Benz’s facility in close by Tuscaloosa, Alabama, as verified by the VINs. Critically, the V-8 within the GLE63 S is assembled at AMG’s HQ, using its “one man, one engine” philosophy that assures high quality and—equally necessary—maintains status; the inline-six within the GLE53 is bolted collectively in Stuttgart.

2024 mercedesamg gle53


Adjustments for 2024

The 2024 mannequin yr brings gentle revisions to the GLE53 and GLE63 S—each these with the standard SUV profile and people with the almost-a-coupe physique model with a rakish backlight. Particularly, the AMG GLE53 and GLE63 S lead off with recent LED daytime operating lights. As well as, the GLE53 fashions profit from a slight redesign of the entrance fascia, full with aspect air intakes, to deliver its look nearer in idea to the 63 S. Revised taillamps profit from some inner manipulation to create a brand new sample of illumination.

Two new colours be part of the lineup: a daring enamel-looking stable end known as Alpine Gray and Twilight Blue Metallic, a hue that Mercedes has been splashing over a lot of its portfolio just lately. The latter coloration brings some sizzle, but it surely’s removed from cheesy—a defining theme for the GLE53. A brand new 22-inch solid wheel in a 10-twin-spoke design is fitted commonplace on the GLE63 S Coupe and obtainable as an choice for the opposite fashions.

As anticipated, the AMG inside is a leather-based affair. New coloration combos embody Bahia Brown/Black and Macchiato Beige/Black. Trim components in Excessive-Gloss Brown Linden Wooden and Black Piano Lacquer Flowing Traces are non-obligatory.

2024 mercedesamg gle63 s


The checklist of ordinary frippery is cranked up a notch for the GLE53. Objects embody an AMG Efficiency exhaust system (with user-selectable ranges of obnoxiousness), a panoramic sunroof, and heated and ventilated entrance seats. There’s additionally some digital tweaking within the type of the improved Burmester {surround} sound system with Dolby Atmos, MBUX augmented video for navigation, and a surround-view digital camera system with a “clear hood” function that stitches collectively a picture of what is instantly in entrance of the automobile.

The GLE63 S and GLE63 S Coupe up the ante with massaging entrance seats, a head-up show, the Winter bundle with a heated steering wheel and heated windshield washers, and—to the amazement of onlookers—a emblem projector with AMG-specific animation when the entrance doorways open.

Driving the GLE53 and GLE63 S

Whereas the function content material is important to maintain the well-heeled , the powertrain and driving expertise ostensibly defines an AMG product.

The GLE53 kicks issues off with a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine with a 48-volt hybrid help. It is rated at 429 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque, the latter a rise of 29 pound-feet due to a bigger turbocharger and a gentle software program tweak. Uniquely, the GLE53 additionally employs an electrical supercharger to construct enhance till the turbo will get in control. The result’s a 60-mph time Mercedes estimates to be 0.3 second faster than earlier than, which might put it at 4.4 seconds based mostly on our final take a look at of a GLE53. Output is funneled by way of a nine-speed automated transmission and to all 4 wheels as decided by the usual 4Matic all-wheel-drive system.

The GLE63 S provides much more depth by means of a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8, its output unchanged at 603 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque, numbers that might’ve made headlines a decade or so in the past however now appear nearly pedestrian in a world of pressured induction and software program sorcery. After we final examined that combo in a 2021 mannequin, it proved good for a 60-mph time of three.4 seconds.

The 48-volt hybrid help for the 53 and 63 S makes use of an Built-in Starter Generator (ISG) that resides between the engine and the transmission. Along with offering further torque, the versatile system is accountable for regeneration and the restarting of the engine for the stop-start perform. That motor can output as a lot as 21 horsepower in both mannequin, with the GLE53 getting a most torque enhance of 148 pound-feet, and the V-8 a claimed 184 pound-feet when the ISG leaps into motion.

Figuring it finest to start out small, figuratively talking, we started the day within the Mercedes-AMG GLE53 SUV. A little bit of an anomaly on the earth of bruiser SUVs the place absurdity is usually the norm—we’re taking a look at you, Lamborghini Urus and Porsche Cayenne Coupe Turbo S—the GLE53 is neither a baller nor a sleeper. As a substitute, consider it because the GLE with a secret wild aspect for if you’re feeling frisky. Stability is its forte, and it delivers that barely elusive cerebral and dynamic feeling of satisfaction inherent to the structure of an inline-six-cylinder engine. Whereas pressured induction, electrical help, and software program conspire to ship most torque beginning at a low 2200 rpm and keep it till 5800 rpm, it stays buttery clean and stays properly shy of raucous.

2024 mercedesamg gle63 s


The GLE63 S, then again, by no means allows you to neglect there are 603 horses underneath the hood, every one in every of them a prepared accomplice in your poor decision-making course of. Mercedes claims a high velocity of 174 mph—though we solely surpassed the century mark on one event, the engine was nonetheless pulling and appeared dissatisfied in our choice to again off and never lose our driver’s license. Seven separate drive modes (Consolation, Sport, Sport +, Particular person, Race, Path, and Sand) are on faucet that will help you break legal guidelines in practically any atmosphere or climate.

We had been desirous to study the importance of the 178-hp delta between the GLE53 and GLE63 S in the true world, so we participated in an impromptu mountain-climb problem with one other driver. From a rolling begin in a comparatively flat stretch, the GLE63 S pulled to an early lead. It then proceeded to stroll away from the GLE53, disappearing into the fog and treetops, by no means to be heard from or seen once more. That left us to faux it by no means occurred within the first place and revert to creating small speak about how ideally suited the turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six is for a refined Mercedes product.

2024 mercedesamg gle53


Dealing with for each AMGs is spectacular for autos comfortably above 5000 kilos. Steering by way of the thick AMG wheel is usually mild, however the speed-sensitive variable-rate system is direct and correct with out being overly flinty in informal conditions. Likewise, the adaptive suspensions work arduous to defend you from the fact of our nation’s deteriorating roadway infrastructure. Nonetheless, pneumatics and software program can solely go as far as to mitigate the affect of 22-inch wheels (21-inch on the GLE53) with low-profile tires rolling by way of a concrete minefield. Solely hardly ever did impacts jar the automobile, however once they did, there have been no rattles or disturbing noises.

Mercedes says the anti-roll system and air-spring suspension software program are up to date for 2024. We are able to verify that each AMG GLEs are able to near-physics-defying acts of agility that might have had their forebear (the Mercedes ML) lean over and grind its door handles into Charivari jewellery.

The brakes maintain up their finish of the discount, too, the pedal within the GLE63 S, particularly, partaking with sturdy chew and responding to strain fairly than pedal journey. Fade was not a difficulty, even on the lengthy downhill sections. They’re nonetheless a bit synthetic-feeling, however a nation of drivers raised on video video games fairly than go-karts will not have a difficulty.

Mercedes equips each SUVs with the newest technology of MBUX with an AMG-specific display design. Tech fanatics will undoubtedly be thrilled that the multi-location assortment of system management interfaces stays. Certainly, instructions are issued by way of the touchscreen, the console touchpad, the steering wheel controls, and the “Hey Mercedes” voice assistant. There is a pretty steep studying curve, but it surely all works as promised, even when it typically feels just like the voice assistant must have the wax faraway from its ears.

As anticipated, the value of AMG’s pavement-pounding SUVs is important. Mercedes hasn’t introduced official 2024 pricing but, however we anticipate the GLE53 to land across the $80K mark and the GLE63 S at about $125,000. These numbers characterize a rise of roughly $2000 and $4000, respectively. Search for the 2024 GLE53 and GLE63 S to reach in showrooms this summer season. And look ahead to them looming giant in your rearview on twisty two-lanes within the forest quickly thereafter.

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2024 Mercedes-AMG GLE53 and GLE63 S

Car Kind: front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon or hatchback


Base: GLE53, $80,000; GLE63 S, $125,000


turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve 3.0-liter inline-6, 429 hp, 413 lb-ft; twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 32-valve 4.0-liter V-8, 603 hp, 627 lb-ft


9-speed automated


Wheelbase: 115.6–117.9 in

Size: 194.4–195.3 in

Width: 79.3–79.4 in

Peak: 67.7–70.2 in

Cargo Quantity, Behind F/R: 63/28 ft3

Curb Weight (C/D est): 5400–5700 lb


60 mph: 3.4–4.5 sec

1/4-Mile: 11.9–13.2 sec

Prime Pace: 155–174 mph


Mixed/Metropolis/Freeway: 17–19/15–18/19–22 mpg

Headshot of Andrew Wendler

On-line Editor

Andrew Wendler brings many years of wrenching, writing, and editorial expertise with quite a few shops to Automobile and Driver. A rust-belt native and tireless promoter of the area, he as soon as gained a $5 guess by strolling the complete size of the elevated Individuals Mover observe that encircles downtown Detroit.

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