At the same time as the engine bursts to life a Starship Enterprise’s worth of screens and switches and customizable buttons light up, denoting everything from your drive modes to your quick adjustments and your traction control. This visual assault quickly takes a backseat to the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 Coupe’s firmness on the road, although in Comfort mode, it still feels usable daily.
Sport and Sport Plus are the more aggressive modes that can still be used on the road, although we think Sport is as far as we’d go for regular use on US streets. The suspension firms up a touch and the throttle has just the right amount of sensitivity, without being jumpy. We like that this mode keeps the stop/start system active, too; it works great, letting you coast to a stoplight without turning the engine on and off as you modulate the brakes like some other vehicles. Sometimes you brake a little too early, and need to coast up to the lead car, this lets you do that. It also turns off when you put it in Park, instead of firing back up for some reason.
Even in sport plus mode, the GLE 63 soaks up most bumps without transmitting the jounce into the cabin. But those low-profile tires aren’t quiet by any stretch of the imagination. You’ll hear the pings from the expansion joints, and big potholes make a lot of noise too. Obviously, that mode is the quickest and most fun, especially around smooth, twisty roads, but you need to be paying attention.
From a day-to-day perspective, the lane-keeping/semi-autonomous driving setup is better than average. It’ll keep you centered in the lane most times, but you should always keep your hands on the wheel in case one of those lines peels off into a turn lane as it’s a little oversensitive about adding steering input.