detroit — i would have scoffed at the 2024 mercedes
-amg gle 53 suv a few short years ago. it’s not an amg. those have raucous 6.3-liter v8s. they’re sports cars or sedans. they’re definitely not suvs. i would have been wrong. after a week in this gle and a decade watching amg’s evolution, i’m convinced the proper notion is not what isn’t an amg. rather, the proper mindset is how do you use your amg? here are six thoughts on the 2024 mercedes
-amg gle suv 1. this is an amg it has everything you need. a rockin’ engine that sounds the part thanks to the amg quad exhaust. big 22-inch wheels. a hunkered-down stance — it’s almost slammed. a huge grille. the power and design work together to create an amg experience that’s authentic in any era. i was ready for plenty of cognitive dissonance as i rationalized why the gle grocery-getter should be worthy of an amg badge, but it quickly dissipated. 2. it starts with the motor the 53 runs an amg variant of mercedes
’ well-received straight-six engine. the turbocharged unit with hybrid assist technology makes 429 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque, enabling sprints to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds. teamed with the nine-speed automatic transmission, it’s quick, eager, filled with character and refined when you want to just cruise. i had to make an emergency stop on the side of interstate 75 to secure a door that wasn’t closed. once battened down, i then needed to merge with traffic from a dead stop. i twisted the knob mounted in the steering wheel to sport, mashed the gas and was doing the posted speed in no time. if you really need to, you can step up to the biturbo 4.0-liter v8 in the gle 63 and the more amg-sounding 603 hp, but i don’t really think it’s necessary for how most people will use a gle. when smaller engines began to proliferate amg’s engine lineup in the early 2010s, some enthusiasts cried foul, arguing anything but the 6.3-liter naturally aspirated v8 codenamed m156 was blasphemy. really? i’d rather live in the moment and enjoy a modern vehicle for all it offers. sure, those 6.3-liter amgs were legends. but memories can get gauzy. case-in-point: those motors were actually 6.2-liters (6,208 cc) 3. an amg suv is a good thing it took me a minute to wrap my head around the idea of an amg suv. the gls 63 was never a problem with me, and the gla 45 is basically a hot hatch, so we’re cool there. but a midsize suv with affalterbach tuning? seemed bourgeois, excessive or both. you either get an amg or you get an suv. that’s outdated thinking, more so than wringing your hands over the engine displacement. the gle is one of the best midsize suvs. for many, it’s more enjoyable and practical than a sedan. the view from the driver’s seat is excellent. i like a rear-wheel-drive sedan as much as the next enthusiast, but the comfort and confidence provided by a midsize suv is hard to beat. the gle 53 and and the e 53 have the same engine. it comes down to what shape of amg do you want? i could see a lot of enthusiasts deciding to trade the sedan’s driving dynamics and striking looks for a still-cool-looking suv that’s more practical with the same power and amg ethos. 4. that’s where the design comes in the silhouette itself is nothing special, though the sloping pillar in back recalls the old ml-class, which is a nice touch. but amg’s big grille, cross-spoked wheels and prominent badging dress things up. this vehicle had the $750 night package, which adds gloss black for the splitter, apron, window trim, mirror housing and roof rails. the exhaust is also done up in black chrome. it all complements the twilight blue metallic paint, which is a new color for the lightly refreshed 2024 model. 5. the interior excellence is why mercedes
is tough to beat the gle is well laid out. the materials look and feel expensive yet usable. i spilled some dunkin and didn’t freak out. the amg macchiato beige and black nappa leather scheme is tasteful and attractive, complemented by brushed aluminum trim. with a 12.3-inch touchscreen display and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, the driver gets all of the information needed in a colorful and intuitive manner. other brands are too techy, and a few seem rooted in the past. the gle 53 is an example of attractive materials blended with usable tech in a harmonious fashion. most likely, benz will update the gle to a more screen-focused interior, as this one has a little more late 2010s, early '20s feel, but frankly i'm in no rush. 6. it’s a decent deal, man that brings me to my final thought. the 53 starts at $86,750. with a few options, and destination, you’re out the door at $93,500. a nearly six-figure gle would have made me blink a few years ago, but you get a lot of stuff. all of the tech goods, plus the nice interior, and things like led lights and a panoramic sunroof are standard on gle 53. bake in the amg firepower and it’s hard to say this is a bad deal given inflation, the average cost of a new vehicle ($50,000-ish), and design and interior execution. in fact, i think most owners will enjoy the gle 53 immensely.