SUV models come in all shapes and sizes but few are quite as striking as the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe.
It’s big, it’s bold and from the front at least it’s very much in your face.
A direct rival to the not dissimilar BMW X6 and the Range Rover Sport this is a clever merging of a regular suv and a super sized coupe.
It may not have the interior space of the German car maker’s more conventional (and squarer) GLE but the coupe version is definitely going to appeal to those who want to be noticed in their car.
At the front the large swept back headlights, deep air vents, dramatic grille and a huge three pointed star badge make an imposing sight when they appear in the rear view mirror of any car you happen to be following.
AMG body kit adds to the effect but my test car also had illuminated aluminium-look running boards – with slip-resistant rubber studs to make getting in and out of the car easier – and that also added to the macho effect.
And talking of illumination I liked the idea that each side mirror projected the Mercedes-Benz symbol onto the floor when you opened the door at night – a real eye-catcher.
The dramatic sloping roof of the GLE Coupe ensures that even from the side and rear this a striking car.
Surprisingly the tapering roof line doesn’t have any real affect on interior headroom for those in the rear seats and passenger space in general is generous to say the least.
The luggage capacity beneath the electric tailgate is a reasonable 650 litres but the height of the loading lip can make things a little awkward.
Inside the GLE is typical high end Mercedes, with stylish leather sports upholstery, memory seats, a multi function leather steering wheel and iPad-style touch panel to access the car’s numerous functions.
In the case of the my test car it also doubled as a television and there were screens for back seat passengers set in the rear of the front seat headrests, although these were part of a £2,495 optional package.
The GLE Coupe comes with adaptive air suspension and permanent four-wheel-drive and there are various driving modes you can select including comfort, sport and slippery.
Alternatively you can programme it with individual settings. In my case I set the suspension to sport because comfort meant there was more body roll than I liked but left the steering and throttle response settings in comfort. A nice compromise.
The 3.0-litre V6 combined with a nine-speed column change automatic gear box delivers plenty of grunt while retaining quiet refined motoring and for a big car the handling is surprisingly light and agile.
With the engine in comfort setting it quickly skips through the gearbox to keep fuel costs down but any kick down on the accelerator delivers an instant and lively response with the GLE sprinting to 62 mph in just 7.0 seconds.
The small rear window limits your view when reversing although parking sensors and a quality rear view camera simplify things.
The GLE Coupe is awash with driving aids from keyless entry and ignition to adaptive dipped/high beam lighting and downhill speed regulator so even though the price tag is high it buys you a lot of car.
And which ever angle you look at it from the GLE Coupe is certainly a car that you won’t be missed in.
Model: Mercedes-Benz GLE350d 4MATIC AMG Line Coupe
Mechanical: 2,987cc, 258 bhp six cylinder diesel engine driving all wheels via 9-speed automatic gearbox.
Max speed: 140 mph
0-62mph: 7.0 secs
Combined mpg: 39.2
CO2 emissions: 187 g/km
Insurance group: 45
Warranty: 3 years/unlimited miles