Driving Me Crazy: 2020 Mercedes GLE350 4 Matic SUV
By JOHN and LAURIE WILES

John and Laurie Wiles Automotive, History, National, Pinehurst, NC, Radio, Technology, Yonkers, NY Leave a Comment

Driving Me Crazy automotive review Columnists Laurie and John Wiles.

PINEHURST, NY — February 5, 2020 — JOHNNY: Uh huh, that’s right! That’s what is parked in the garage – a red Mercedes 2020 AMG GLC 63 S Coupe. A red Mercedes, the new 63S. Why do they call a four-door car a coupe? Doesn’t coupe mean two doors? I went through this with the GLC 300 4Matic Coupe, which was a four-door coupe also. Hmmmmmm. Anyway, I loved the 300 4Matic, so I was really excited about the 63 S.

I want to quote Mercedes here – “Its athletic body and 20-inch wheels preview what its handcrafted 503-hp biturbo V8 and AMG Performance 4MATIC+ deliver. With groundbreaking new innovations and breathtaking new style, it’ll move you like no coupe or SUV ever has.”

Okay, so I have the car I had before with a 503-hp V8 engine, an engine that takes this car from 0 – 60 in 3.6 seconds.

2020 Mercedes GLE350 4 Matic SUV

The 503-hp 4.0L V8 Biturbo engine is more responsive yet more fuel-efficient than previous AMG V8s. Its massive torque reaches its 516 lb-ft peak at just 1,750 rpm, and holds it all the way to 4,500 rpm, for a 3.6-second 0-60 time and instant acceleration at any speed. Yet even with its advanced design and technologies, each AMG GLC 63 S engine is still hand-built and signed by its own craftsman. Hand built – a hand-built engine on a beautiful, road hugging, ‘let’s get out and run’, Mercedes. While the price tag on the 63S starts at $84K, and ours, fully loaded, came in at $96.4K, I am convinced that the most expensive part of this car is the hand-built, signed 503-hp engine, quite literally, the heart of the car.

LAURIE: This four-door fastback coupe is a spin-off of the popular Mercedes GLC SUV.  The AMG, with its new headlamp and tail lamp design, is a sleek, elegant, high-performance crossover with all the power and performance you’d expect from an AMG.  With the latest MBUX infotainment system and AMG-specific functions and displays, there is nothing this car cannot do.  High-performance brakes, and air suspension with adaptive damping, make this a comfortable drive in comfort mode and a performance coupe in sport and sport-plus mode.  Its powerful 503-hp, 4.0-liter Biturbo V8, high-performance engine is married to a nine-speed, multi-clutch transmission.  Two turbochargers are packaged in the cylinder for a compact fit.  Such might propels this land rocket from 0-60 in 3.6 seconds, two-tenths of a second faster than the non-S model, but then, who’s counting.  Its throaty roar bellows like a race car, handles like a dream, hugs the road better than any vehicle I’ve ever driven and all four wheels of this AWD seem to equally absorb the shock and suspension on tight turns. This AMG was the fastest SUV on the market…until a couple of months ago, when Audi came out with the Q8 RS.  My take is, whichever you consider merely boils down to brand loyalty.

Access the instrument cluster and you have every conceivable bit of information at your fingertips.  The center console touchpad controls the infotainment screen—just be careful, it’s sensitive and if you put your purse on it, you may inadvertently change your radio station.  The multi-function steering wheel allows you to control so much at the tip of your finger.

The lights for night driving are second to none.  The sensors not only pick up auto dimming but pinpoint the darkest areas in your field of vision, adjusting the beams to provide a vast, homogeneously lit nightscape that precludes shadows or blind spots.  It’s utterly amazing.

The appointments in the design features, both interior and exterior, are beyond elegant.  The first thing I said to Johnny when I set eyes on this masterpiece was, “This is the most beautiful car I have ever seen.”  The second thing I said was, “It’s a work of art.”  The third thing I said (well, at least, thought) was, “I really, really want one.”

We’ve both talked about comfort, but I want to tell you about the seats.  They are adjustable every which way, heated and air-cooled, but the thing that stands out is the front passenger and driver’s seats are “kind of” like a sports coupe’s seats—only slightly raised on the sides versus those steep, cutting ridges on the sides of real sportscar seats, which cuts into your thigh.

Interestingly, there is one—and only one—thing I have to mention that is not to my liking.  There is a beautifully designed running board on both sides of the car, but there is no need for one as there’s no real ground clearance that would demand one, as you would, say, in most trucks.  Yes, the running boards do add to the appearance of the body design, but you have to step over them when you get out and are of no practical use.  Just saying.

The voice recognition system takes some getting used to but in jig time, you’ll think she’s your next best friend.  At 16/22/18 mpg, it’s not the most fuel-efficient vehicle and it’s certainly not the most affordable, but then again, what price luxury? What price superior craftsmanship and design?  Indeed, what price tag can you put on this magnificent piece of machinery?

This hot rod crossover is a thrill for anyone who drives it—so who is the person who’s likely to buy one?  First, someone with disposable income in six figures to spend on a chariot such as this. Next, an individual who, perhaps, has established a career path that has intersected, along the road, with a family path.  You can still be a captain of industry and fit your spouse and two kids in the car with plenty of space to pack your bags and head to your country home for the weekends.

Seriously, if you can afford to buy a car like this it will be the last car you may ever buy.  It’s a classic—right here, right now, and for all your tomorrows.

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Mercedes-Benz Dealership in the Pinehurst, NC vicinity …

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Mercedes-Benz of Fayetteville Dealership.

Mercedes-Benz of Fayetteville

420 Glensford Drive, Fayetteville, NC 28314

https://www.mercedesbenzoffayetteville.com/

Sales:     8:30 AM – 7:00 PM

Service: 7:30 AM – 6:00 PM

New:      (910) 676-7249

Used:     (910) 676-7263

Service: (910) 728-4522

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Mercedes-Benz Dealerships in the Yonkers, NY vicinity… 

Tanya Valk and Mercedes-Benz of White Plains Sales Representative Mike Livia.

Mercedes-Benz of White Plains

50 Bank Street, White Plains, NY 10606

https://www.mbwhiteplains.com/

Sales:     (855) 284-0039

Service: (855) 284-0038

John and Laurie WilesDriving Me Crazy: 2020 Mercedes GLE350 4 Matic SUV
By JOHN and LAURIE WILES

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