The new GLE Coupe puts yet another Mercedes utility vehicle on the table for crossover shoppers, as a unique body style alternative to the standard GLE, which recently replaced the ML as a good old-fashioned family crossover. Go for the GLE Coupe, and you get a swoopy roofline and more elegant, curvaceous sculpting, all geared to appeal to shoppers that want uniqueness and selection.

And though the GLE Coupe is a styling statement, and one with the standard list of ute-coupe compromises in play, Benz’s new X6-fighter works impressively well as a sports utility vehicle in two areas of importance: utility and capability.

But first, the compromises.

Largely thanks to the GLE Coupe’s intention of being both fit and capable, drivers access their sporty seat with a hop up on board, after clearing a fairly aggressive seat bolster with their thigh, which can be a little awkward. Ditto the driving and seating position, which sees occupants perched high and towering above the road, though simultaneously deep within the cabin and up close to its roof. Headroom diminishes quickly for those north of about 5”10, and outward sightlines, thanks to the thin windows all around, are limited. Mercedes seems to have embraced this, with a relatively tiny rearview mirror. A full array of cameras and beepers do a better job of monitoring surroundings than most human drivers, anyways.

Get past the compromised visibility, entry and exit and driving position, and the utility and capability impress.

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