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Eric's Autos: Reviewing the 2018 Mercedes AMG GLE

Eric Peters on

On the Road

Push the ignition button and a gnarly pre-catalytic converter snarl erupts out of the quad-tip exhaust. It contrasts curiously with the delicate, almost Prius-like control toggle you use to put the transmission in gear.

But there is nothing delicate about what happens next:

The wormhole dilates, and the world around you refracts. Each gear change is accompanied by a sonic boom as the exhaust opens and then slams shut again to let the backpressure build for the next boom.

Most high-performance cars sit low to the ground, and it's not just for looks; Handling and high-speed stability tend to be better when there's less daylight between the asphalt and the floorplans.

But the AMG-tweaked GLE has more clearance than a Subaru Outback. And yet, somehow the AMG people have made this huge, heavy, high-riding thing capable of doing things laterally that would probably result in the Outback or any other similarly jacked-up crossover getting daylight underneath its tires just before it tips over.

At the Curb

Other than the suspiciously large tires (and very large, high-performance brake calipers you can see poking through the wheels), the GLE looks like an SUV and is just as practical.

Cargo capacity is 60.7 cubic feet with the second row folded and 23 cubic feet with the second row up, which is about the same as an E-Class wagon and more than a Lexus RX 350.

The rear liftgate opens wide, almost like one of those Russian heavy-lift cargo planes. You could probably haul a refrigerator home.

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Copyright 2017 Creators Syndicate, Inc.
 

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