The Mercedes-Benz GLE sports utility coupe is not pretty.
In fact, this whole SUC (I’m not making that up, by the way) segment is not aesthetically pleasing.
And by whole “segment,” I mean the BMW X6. For the past 5 years, the BMW X6 has enjoyed a complete monopoly. But the GLE, aesthetically unpleasing as it is, will surely cut into those sales and take some cash out of BMW’s coffers.
Beyond the design, the big Merc looks to be quite impressive. The GLE aims to deliver a mixture of sport coupe styling and performance, with the added ground clearance and all-weather capability of an SUV. The GLE 450 AMG’s 362 horsepower biturbo V6 engine will provide plenty of grunt.
“GLE Coupe displays attributes typical of coupes such as sportiness, dynamism and agility, while also exuding the self-assured presence, versatility and ruggedness of an SUV,” Mercedes-AMG said in a statement.
So is the GLE worth building? It is if it steals sales away from BMW, sure. However, there simply doesn’t seem to be much of a market for this type of vehicle. So far this year, BMW has moved a total of 3,400 X6s in North America. That’s down 28.8% over last year. In comparison, BMW sells 10-times as many X3 and X5 conventional SUVs.
The battles lines are drawn. It remains to see who’ll win, even if the fight not not be worth all that much in the end.
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