By Larry Lark / Herald Special Sections Writer
You can never have too much luxury – or horsepower – or, for that matter, money.
If you’’re lucky enough to have the latter, the two former attributes are easily attainable with the 2017 Mercedes-AMG GLE43 sports utility vehicle.
AMG is the performance division of Mercedes-Benz, and is one of the most sought-after brands in the world. The German automaker offers 34 AMG models for the 2017 model year, with nine new GLE43s positioned between the standard Mercedes-Benz vehicles and the exclusive high-performance “one man, one engine” GLE45, GLE63 and GLE65.
Since I couldn’t be trusted with one of those, I made do.
My GLE43 SUV was powered by a 3.0-liter, V6 bi-turbo engine that generates 362 horsepower and 384 lb.-ft. of torque. The GLE43 includes a spacious interior; seating five adults in bliss.
“The expansion of the AMG lineup underscores the ongoing demand for performance-oriented vehicles, especially for SUVs,” said Branden Coté, AMG Manager. “And AMG is well-positioned in the U.S. marketplace.”
The rear cargo area was generous enough (38.2 cu. ft.) to accommodate three full-size golf bags on a recent trip to the Home Course in DuPont. If you’re in full-cargo mode, lower the rear seat backs and access 80.3 cu. ft. of space via the standard power lift-gate.
The GLE43 benefits from a standard nine-speed automatic transmission, AMG performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive as well as AMG-tuned steering, braking system, and sport air suspension. Other goodies include paddle shifters, sport seats and aluminum-trimmed foot pedals.
An AMG dynamic select system offers driver-selectable comfort, sport, sport-plus, individual, and slippery modes, which alter suspension stiffness, transmission shift points, throttle mapping and idle speed to fit any condition.
You can literally see and feel the GLE43 suspension rise and drop, based on your selection. And the engine, particularly in sport-plus, produced a satisfying, deep, throaty growl.
A power sunroof and heated front seats come standard. Mercedes-Benz multimedia and connectivity features include COMAND with intuitive touch-pad controller and eight-inch, high-resolution color screen. My tester came with an optional Bang & Olufsen BeoSound premium sound system that delivered off the charts sound.
Other creature comforts included heated rear seats, navigation system, rear-view camera, 22-inch AMG twin, five-spoke wheels, Bluetooth, dual-zone climate control and ambient lighting.
As one would expect, Mercedes safety technology and features, are second-to-none. Starting with the basics, the GLE43 Coupe included electronic stability control, brake assist, anti-theft alarm system, lane-keeping assist and blind-spot monitoring.
My tester included a Premium 3 Package ($2,250) that added driver assist features including radar-based cruise control, steering assist, autonomous braking to prevent and mitigate collisions, and rear-facing radar that senses possible rear collisions and prepares the vehicle for a possible secondary incident into an active intersection.
There’s more. Lots more. If you’re of the mind, test drive this vehicular masterpiece and experience the GLE43 for yourself.
Base Price: $69,650
Price As Driven: $90,360
Base price includes destination charge. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturer. Prices may vary at local dealerships.