Mercedes-AMG seemingly can't help itself at this point. The brand is adding yet another vehicle to the ever-expanding lineup of V-6-powered "43" models. The 2017 Mercedes-AMG GLE43 4MATIC is the ninth AMG 43 variant, and it's one that was easy to see coming given the existence of the GLE43 coupe, which is essentially the same car with a more rakish roofline. When it goes on sale early next year, the GLE43 will supplant the existing GLE400.

Compared with that more mainstream version of the mid-size GLE, the AMG-fettled GLE43 uses the same 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 engine but extracts a bit more power and torque—33 extra horsepower and an additional 30 lb-ft. It routes its totals of 362 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque through a 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system that's also tweaked by AMG. As it did for the rest of the 43 models, the AMG team also revised the steering, brakes, and suspension. And to no one's surprise, the standard nine-speed automatic transmission is also "AMG-enhanced."



This should translate to a moderately sportier GLE-class SUV, although it may not measure up to the GLC43 performance-wise, given that the smaller and lighter little-brother crossover has the same engine with the same output. Drive modes for the GLE43 are Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Individual, and Slippery, and the characteristics they change include shift points, throttle sensitivity, and suspension tuning.

A mild exterior makeover includes a somewhat aggressive-looking body kit, AMG-specific wheels (20-inchers as standard, 21-inchers as a $1000 option), as well as AMG badges. Standard interior equipment includes heated seats, a sunroof, an 8.0-inch infotainment screen, and a Harman/Kardon sound system. The lengthy options list contains items such as carbon-fiber trim, sport seats, Bang & Olufsen audio, and a whole range of semi-autonomous features.

Suffice it to say that the GLE43's base price of $68,075 ($1500 more than the outgoing GLE400) can quickly balloon once customers start adding options like the $2120 Premium 2 or $5010 Premium 3 packages. Even still, the less practical and aesthetically challenged GLE43 coupe is $2500 dearer than this model to start, and the V-8-powered, full-bore GLE63 starts in the six figures. For those AMG customers willing to sacrifice a bit of outright speed, the GLE43 might be an appealing middle ground.



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