Sexy and Senseless Style Statement

We’ve all dated him: the guy that looks great, but is, shall we say, not very handy. He’s got muscles, but is too big to dance. He looks strong, but can’t carry a heavy box. You wonder what all that brawn is for, but dammit if he just looks so good. And yes, there’s certainly a female equivalent of that guy, and for lesbians, I imagine she would be even more confounding.

BMW’s tall, thirsty, expensive X6 is that person’s automotive incarnation, super-hot but with slant-back styling that cuts rear headroom and prevents anything substantial from fitting in its cargo area. It’s a sport-utility, minus the utility. Yet as senseless as the X6 is, its enduring popularity prompted Mercedes to introduce a high-profile, practicality-be-damned style-statement of its own, the GLE-Class coupe.

The GLE-Class is essentially a four-door hatchback version of the M-Class (which also has been rechristened the GLE-Class for 2016). As such, it’s harder to fit tall people and cargo in the back, especially with its extra-high liftover. Mercedes did, however, find room for most of the company’s latest safety and convenience innovations.

The GLE-Class coupe comes in two flavors: powerful (362-hp GLE450 AMG) and ridiculously powerful (577-hp GLE63 S), both of which are ostensibly performance oriented, at least by crossover standards. Each is more than swift and can handle its mass heroically well. That said, between the high seating position and formidable mass, neither is terribly fun to hurl around a corner. Between the two, I’d probably choose the GLE450 AMG over the steroidal GLE63 S, because while the GLE63 S is indeed better to drive, it’s not $39,500 better.

Just as fun is being seen in the big things, and being coddled in their lavish interiors. These are Mercedes-Benz automobiles, after all, with all of the attendant cache and sybaritic delights. So long as you don’t need to use the snug rear seat or cargo area for anything but occasional trips to the airport, you and your worthless, muscle-bound paramour should be perfectly happy with it. Just don’t ask it to open a jar.

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Coupe
Base Price: from $70,500–$110,000
Power: turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 (362 hp, 384 lb-ft of torque); turbocharged 5.5-liter V-8 (577 hp, 561 lb-ft of torque)
Transmission: 7- or 9-speed automatic
Fuel Economy, city/hwy mpg (EPA est): 13­–19/18–24

Or you could buy:
Range Rover Sport SVR
Porsche Cayenne Turbo/Turbo S