GETTING your head around a car company's naming strategy takes some doing these days with all sorts of random numbers, letters, underscores, apostrophes and hyphens to contend with. But the Mercedes GLE is actually quite simple â¦ ish.
Firstly, the company's ageing ML-Class model was phased out and all new SUVs were given the GL tag.
Then the third letter in the title relates to the car it is comparable to in the Mercedes range. So a GLA would be styled similarly to the A-Class, a GLC to the C-Class and the GLE to the E-Class.
With that all as clear as mud, I was expecting my GLE to be on the larger side of the SUV line-up and I wasn't wrong.
The Coupe model is beautifully designed and impossible to ignore with its sweeping curves, AMG-styled bumpers, LED headlights and tail lamps, twin tail pipes and dark privacy glass.
A Night package costing £495 added a touch of menace by introducing a black radiator grille, black front and rear underguards, black exterior mirrors, black belting and shoulder line trim strips, black rear trim and 21-inch alloys with the five twin-spoke design painted black.
Move inside and the interior oozes premium build quality with plenty of soft-touch surfaces, luxurious seating and upholstery, plus all the on-board technology you could imagine.
There was an additional Premium Plus pack (£3,995 extra) that introduced Parking Pilot with 360-degree camera, memory settings for the front seats, steering wheel and exterior mirrors, a panoramic electric sunroof, a 14-speaker Harman Kardon surround sound music system and plenty more besides.
Other optional packs fitted to the test car included an entertainment package with two 8-inch screens integrated into the front seats so back seat passengers can watch a movie on the go, a DVD player, two sets of headphones, a remote control and TV tuner.
All in all, the car began life costing £61,715, but after picking up all the extras the price-tag rose quite steeply to £72,840. So it would be fair to say the GLE was fully loaded.
Powered by a 3.0-litre, 258hp diesel engine mated to a nine-speed automatic gearbox, it could sprint from 0 to 62mph in 7.0 seconds and maxed out at 140mph.
According to official figures the GLE Coupe can deliver combined fuel economy of 39.2mpg with carbon emissions of 187g/km.
Despite its size - the GLE is just shy of five metres in length - it handles deceptively well.
In town centres, it proved agile as it weaved through the traffic and the driver benefits from good visibility thanks to the elevated driving position.
However, in true Coupe tradition the visibility through the rear window is not that great as it slopes away and is quite narrow.
Out on motorways, the GLE Coupe seemed to glide along with the excellent suspension and insulation working well to iron out any uneven surfaces and suppress outside noise.
Then on the winding country lanes, the car can be thrown enthusiastically into bends. The paddle shifts are there if you fancy taking more control over the gear switches and a choice of Individual, Sport, Comfort or Slippery driving modes can be selected to alter the car's suspension, steering and throttle responses.
Comfort levels within the GLE Coupe are excellent and there is ample room for five adults to travel in style.
Storage options are impressive too with a boot capacity of 650 litres. The 60:40 split-folding rear seats can be dropped flat and that capacity rises to a creditable 1,720 litres. There are nets and boot pockets to keep items secure and a generous number of storage compartments scattered throughout the car.
Safety features are comprehensive with the likes of anti-lock brakes with brake assist, attention assist, electronic stability programme with acceleration skid control, crosswind assist, traffic sign recognition, four wheel electronic traction control and numerous airbags.
A Driving Assistance Pack costing £1,695 added active blind spot assist, active brake assist with cross traffic detection, active lane-keep assist, a distance and steering pilot to keep the car a safe distance and in its lane, plus a number of other features.