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The search for the 2022 Ultimate Dad Car has led us to the 2022 Mercedes AMG GLE 53 Coupe. Does it deserve the title of 2022 Ultimate Dad Car? My family and I took it for a weeklong test drive to find out.

 

We drove it to school in the mornings, went on grocery runs, and took it up to the mountains for some family time. I’ve never been much of a Mercedes fan, or followed Mercedes’ 100+ year history, but after only a few hundred miles of driving, the 2022 Mercedes AMG GLE 53 Coupe definitely caught my attention.

Watch the AMG GLE 53 Coupe Video Review

 

First, A Quick History of Mercedes Benz

Don’t worry. I’ll make this quick. But Mercedes has such a rich history that it’s worth noting a few highlights before we get to the car review of the 2022 Mercedes AMG GLE 53 Coupe.

 

First of all, Mercedes was started in 1926 by Carl Benz, Willhelm Maybach, Gottlieb Daimler, and Emil Jellinek. After scanning those names you might wonder, where did Mercedes come from? Good question. Mercedes was the name of Jellinek’s daughter. He loved her so much he named his cars after her. The four early partners combined their smarts and finances to change transportation forever. They designed the first motorcycle in 1885, the first car in 1886, the first bus in 1895, and the first truck in 1896.

Carl Benz’s wife Bertha also played a major roll in the company’s history by becoming the first person ever to go on a long-distance road trip by automobile. Fact! The road-trip-by-car didn’t even exist before Bertha took her two sons on a 100 km drive with the intent to prove automobiles were a reliable mode of transportation. I guess that makes Mercedes the first family car too.

 

So, is the 2022 Mercedes Benz AMG GLE 53 Coupe the best family car? The Ultimate Dad Car? Does it successfully carry the torch of Mercedes’ legacy? And where does it even fit in today’s vast line-up of Mercedes cars? Let’s answer that last question first.

Where Does the AMG GLE 53 Coupe Fit Into the Mercedes Line-Up?

Mercedes Benz makes a lot of different vehicles. 27 to be exact. Their entry-level A-Class sedan starts at about $34,000. For another 10 grand you can bump up to the C-Class sedan. Add another 10 grand and that gets you into the E-Class sedan. And way at the other end of the sedan spectrum is the uber-luxurious Mercedes-Mayback S-Class, which will debit your bank account a minimum of $185,000 on the low end.

 

So, that’s most of the Mercedes sedan line-up. In addition, you’ve got two-door coupes, sporty roadsters, convertible sedans, and two electric models. Then we get into the SUVs where the GLE reigns.

 

The entry-level SUV, which is more compact crossover than SUV, is the 221-horsepower GLA, and will run you a little over $36,000. Next, you’ll get a little more headroom for a couple thousand dollars more in the GLB. After that, comes the GLC with 255 horsepower starting at $44,000. Finally, we get to the GLE. Mercedes claims the GLE is the vehicle that invented the luxury, mid-sized SUV category. It’s roomy, refined, and drives like a performance car than most SUVs out there. And the 2022 model is getting solid reviews like this one from Top Gear. They call it a “very balanced SUV,” and “comfy, quiet, and practical.” They also say it’s more of a rival to Volvo’s XC90 than it is to Audi’s Q7 or BMW’s X5.

 

But if you’re looking for a true rival to Audi or BMW, you’re in luck because the model of the GLE I test drove serves up some serious competition-crushing performance. And it comes in the form of three letters: AMG.

 

The 2022 Mercedes AMG GLE 53 Coupe Review

You likely noticed this is not a car review of the GLE SUV. The GLE is a fine SUV and I would have been happy to test drive it. But no. This is a car review of the Mercedes AMG GLE 53 Coupe and there is a big difference. We’ll start with the name.

 

AMG is an independent motor group that hand-builds the highest performance engines in Germany that only go into top-of-the-line Mercedes. AMG is to Mercedes what Shelby was to Ford or the M Series is to BMW. They’re the engine experts who build Formula 1 cars for Mercedes, and they take their racetrack learnings and pack them into cars for the public. The AMG badge means this GLE 53 Coupe is powerful, fast, and embellished with the most luxurious features. As Mercedes puts it, this is a family car that’s got the soul of a sports car and the skills of an SUV with all the luxury you’d expect from a Benz. Here’s the rundown:

 

2022 Mercedes Benz AMG GLE 53 Coupe Specs

POWERTRAIN:

429 hp AMG-enhanced 3.0L I-6 turbo with a 48-Volt Mild Hybrid system (kicks in an extra 21 hp when accelerating and helps reduce gas mileage when coasting), 9-speed automatic transmission, and full-time all wheel drive

 

Click here to learn more about what a Mild Hybrid system means >

 

PERFORMANCE: 

Zero to 60 mph: 5.2 sec
(wow)

Zero to 100 mph: 12.9 sec
(double wow)

Top speed (electronically limited): 130 mph (155 mph when using summer tires)

 

EPA FUEL ECONOMY:

Combined/city/highway: 19/17/21 mpg

 

BASE PRICE
:

$78,450

 

Every car or truck I review is judged on 5 Ultimate Dad Car Factors: Comfort, Safety, Reliability, Environmental Friendliness, and last but definitely not least, Fun Factor. Each factor is scored on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the best. Let’s dig in a little deeper to the 2022 Mercedes Benz AMG GLE 53 Coupe.

Comfort Score = 5

The GLE 53 Coupe’s interior is comfortable and luxurious. More luxurious than my kid deserves, that’s for sure. The leather seats feel great, especially with heating, cooling, AND massage features. That’s right, there’s even a massage feature in the front seats. There are two rows of seats, which can fit 5 people comfortably with plenty of leg room (40.9 inches) in the back row. A panoramic sunroof creates an open, airy feel inside.

 

The sloping Coupe design cuts down on some of the storage space in the trunk, accessed by a hatchback. But there’s still plenty of room for luggage and groceries, 33.3 cubic inches with the back seats up and 74.9 cubic inches with the seats folded down.

 

There’s a ton of tech on the dashboard with a fully digital gauge panel and infotainment system all on one big screen. From here you can access the GLE 53 Coupe’s 7 different driving modes, which you can read about below under Fun Factor.

 

All in all, I gave the 2022 Mercedes AMG GLE 53 Coupe a Comfort score of 5 out of 5. It’s that good.

Safety Score = 5

Mercedes takes safety seriously. That said, the AMG GLE 53 Coupe doesn’t have its own safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. But its less powerful sibling, the GLE 350, which is built on the same chassis, gets a 5-star safety rating in frontal and side crash tests. The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety gives the GLE 350 a safety score of 9.6 out of 10. That’s about as good as it gets. Here’s a list of some of the AMG GLE53 Coupe’s safety features

 

  • 7 air bags
  • High-strength unibody
  • Active Brake Assist
  • ATTENTION ASSIST
  • Crosswind Assist
  • Blind Spot Assist
  • Rearview camera
  • Downhill Speed Regulation (DSR)
  • Antilock Braking System (ABS)
  • Adaptive braking technology
  • Advanced Tire Pressure Monitoring System
  • PARKTRONIC with Active Parking Assist
  • Parking Damage Detector
  • Antitheft alarm system with remote panic feature
  • Mercedes-Benz Emergency Call service

 

Because of all those safety features, it’s an easy call to give the 2022 Mercedes AMG GLE 53 Coupe a Safety score of 5 out of 5.

 

Reliability Score = 3

J.D. Power & Associates gives the AMG GLE 53 Coupe a predicted reliability score of 78 out of 100. Not bad, but not great. They consider a score of 100-91 to be best, 90-81 great, 80-71 average, and 70 and below to be just fair.

 

Car Edge estimates the Mercedes Benz GLE class of SUVs will cost a little under $15,000 in maintenance and repairs over 10 years. That’s about $1000 cheaper than most other luxury SUVs. Good thing it’s got a decent warranty of 48 months or 50,000 miles.

 

That prompts me to give the 2022 Mercedes AMG GLE 53 Coupe a Reliability score of 3 out of 5.

 

Environmental Friendliness Score = 2

So, how planet friendly is the GLE 53 Coupe? Not very. It’s called a Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle, which sounds great, right? But all that means is that the gas powered engine is assisted by an electric motor system adding up to 21 HP for short bursts and cuts down on gas used when accelerating and coasting. Unfortunately, that still only gets you 17 mpg in the city, 21 on the highway, and 19 mpg combined. Mercedes estimates that with that kind of mpg you’ll spend an extra 1000 bucks a year on gas compared to the average new vehicle out there on the road. All that said, the GLE 53 Coupe gets a fuel economy and greenhouse gas rating of 4 out of 10, and smog rating of 6 out of 10.

 

For the Ultimate Dad Car rating, I’ve got to give the 2022 Mercedes AMG GLE 53 Coupe an Environmental Friendliness score of 2 out of 5.

 

Fun Factor Score = 4

Okay, now for the Fun Factor. In addition to being safe and big enough to hold the whole family and all your adventure gear, the Ultimate Dad Car has got to be fun to drive. So, does the GLE 53 Coupe have what it takes? Mostly.

 

This is the AMG model. That means the engine was handmade in Germany and performance tuned to be race-track-ready. And with 429 horsepower, a 6-cylinder turbo engine, a 9 speed transmission, and a 0-60 time of 5.2 seconds you’d think this would feel like a rocket. And it does, but only in Sport and Sport+ Modes due to how heavy and sturdy the car is.

 

The AMG GLE has 7 drive modes that customize the ride of its air suspension: Comfort, Sport, Sport +, Slippery, Trail, Sand, and Individual. Comfort Mode smooths out bumps and is great for commuting. Trail and Sand Modes increase the car clearance and does a decent job of handling trails with its roll stabilization system. And Sport Modes increase the exhaust tones, increase acceleration, lowers the car height, and tightens up the suspension for pretty fun ride. That kind of flexibility makes this a super versatile car that can be adjusted to whoever you have in the car and whatever the road conditions require. Pretty cool.

 

I give the 2022 Mercedes AMG GLE 53 Coupe a Fun Factor score of 4 out of 5.

 

Conclusion

The Mercedes AMG GLE does a lot of things really well. But so do most of the other luxury SUVs in this class. I’m on the fence about the egg-shaped Coupe looks: it’s neither super sporty or overly bland. It’s definitely not rugged. Overall, it’s very refined. It’s got spacious front and back seats. The ride is a little stiff, which I would expect from a German car and I don’t mind that on the road. It’s a good commuter and makes for a great weekend get-away car for the family. It would not be my go-to for a family camping adventure or long road trip, although if you pack light, it would get the job done.

 

The biggest issue for me is the price. It starts high and gets higher real fast when you start adding features and packages. The base price of the GLE 53 Coupe is a little over $78,000. The model I tested has a few extra bells and whistles like 22” AMG wheels, massaging front seats, parking assistance package, and driver assistance package, which bring the price tag up to $94,000. Add tax and you’ve got a $100,000 car on your hands. If you have the money, great. But this car is going to be out of reach of most families.

 

When I tally up the Ultimate Dad Car scores from Comfort, Safety, Reliability, Environmental Friendliness, and Fun Factor, we get a total of 19 out of a possible 25. It’s good, but probably not enough to win the title of 2022 Ultimate Dad Car.

 

But who knows? We still have more cars to test drive this year, so we’ll see how the 2022 Mercedes AMG GLE 53 Coupe stacks up against other cars at the end of the year.

 

Looking for more car reviews? Check out the 2021 BMW 330e Hybrid review >.

It’s got the option to drive with only the electric motor for 20+ miles, enough for the average commute, or in all-gas mode if you run out of juice. And the interior? Well, you just need to see it here: https://wilderdad.com/bmw-330e-hybrid-ultimate-dad-car/

Steve Lemig

Steve Lemig is the founder of Wilderdad. He's been a lot of things over the years. Skateboarder. Mountain biker. Climber. Snowboarder. Bike mechanic. Forest firefighter. Woodworker. Creative director. These days he's a runner, writer, husband, and father. He writes stories to empower dads and encourage them to share outdoor adventures with their kids as a tool to strengthen families and build respect for the environment. He has also been the Communications Director at Road Runner Sports for the last 13 years.

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