The Mercedes M-Class was the German automaker’s first American-made vehicle when it bowed in the 1998 model year, and it’s been a rousing success. It’s now one of the four mainstays of the Mercedes lineup, along with the C- and E-Class and the GLK SUV.
But like many other Mercedes, the M-Class is undergoing a name change this year, and it’s adding a coupe-like body style to the mix, as BMW has done with the X5 and X6. For 2016, Mercedes is christening not only the renamed and restyled GLE-Class, but also the new GLE Coupe.
The GLE is among the first vehicles to launch under the new naming structure. Most utility vehicles will be labeled with GL plus the letter of the Mercedes sedan that's closest in size—thus GLE, for the vehicle that's been known as the M-Class or ML. The BlueTec label is replaced for diesels with a 'd,' while Hybrid models get an ‘h’—and plug-in hybrids, an ‘e’.
All of those letters come into play with the new GLE-Class, which comes not just in both body styles, but with a range of powertrains that stretches from a turbodiesel four-cylinder, to a plug-in hybrid, to a twin-turbo V-6, to a storming turbocharged V-8 AMG edition.
New four-door Coupe model offers more choice
Impressive safety set
Strong, fuel-efficient diesel
Coupe won't offer as much space, versatility
Name change potentially confusing