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About a year ago, we reviewed the fourth-generation Mercedes-Benz GLE and found it to be supremely capable in just about everything. The GLE Coupe however is a little less practical than its more conventionally-shaped sibling, so does that make it the inferior choice?

The answer is no. In fact, it really depends on how you view practicality in general, because the GLE Coupe actually has quite a few nice tricks up its sleeve.

Before we get into all that, let’s review the competition really quick, as the large premium SUV coupe segment has really grown in recent years. Apart from the Merc, it includes the BMW X6, Audi Q8, Porsche Cayenne Coupe, Lamborghini Urus (technically), and to some extent, the Range Rover Velar, although the latter is a bit smaller in size.

It’s not easy to find a lot of separation between these nameplates, but there is a case to be made for the GLE Coupe, both against its rivals as well as the regular GLE.

Looks better in person than in photos

Large, imposing vehicles will often imprint their design and dimension onto you much more successfully once you see them in person. The same is true for the GLE Coupe. It’s quite elegant, especially with a toned-down exterior color like the Selenite Grey you see here.


Nailing the moose test is no easy feat for a new car and while you may think smaller vehicles would have a better chance of passing, that’s not always the case.

Sure, quite a few big SUVs and pickups have performed horribly in the past, but there are some large vehicles, such as the Mitsubishi L200, which didn’t do that bad.

Watch Also: The Porsche Taycan Turbo S Had A Hard Time With The Moose Test

Most recently, KM77 put the 2020 Audi A3 Sportback through its paces. In the first attempt, the driver entered the cones at 75 km/h (46 mph), slightly less than the 77 km/h (47.8 mph) needed to pass the test. Despite that, the A3 Sportback understeered massively and took out a number of cones. With the speed lowered to 72 km/h (44 mph), the driver was able to thread the A3 Sportback through the course without taking out any cones.

The current A3 Sportback range was recently updated with the launch of a new 40 TSFI e plug-in hybrid variant. This uses a 1.4-liter TFSI engine rated at 148 hp and 185 lb-ft (250 Nm) of torque that’s coupled to an electric motor delivering an additional 107 hp and 243 lb-ft (330 Nm) of torque.

Power is sent to the front wheels courtesy of a six-speed S tronic transmission that allows the car to hit 62 mph (100 km/h) in 7.6 seconds and continue through to a 141 mph (227 km/h) top speed.

 

The Ford Puma ST is quite a cute-looking SUV and on paper, certainly seems to have quite a lot going for it. How does this all translate to the road?

Powering the Puma ST is the same powertrain as the Fiesta ST hot hatch, namely an all-aluminum 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder that delivers 197 hp at 6,000 rpm and 236 lb-ft (320 Nm) of torque between 2,500 and 3,500 rpm. While the horsepower figure is unchanged from the Fiesta ST, the Puma ST has 22 lb-ft (30 Nm) of additional torque.

Read More: 197 HP Ford Puma ST Breaks Cover, Does 0-62 MPH In 6.7 Seconds

Mated to a manual transmission, the Puma ST can sprint to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 6.7 seconds and hit a top speed of 137 mph (220 km/h).

When driving, the reviewer notes that the small SUV doesn’t feel quite as brisk as the Fiesta ST and the exhaust isn’t as tuneful. Given the Puma’s increased size and weight, this isn’t much of a surprise. Paired to the competent engine is a direct and precise steering and excellent suspension that works well on smooth roads.

Those in the market for a Puma ST also benefit from the addition of an optional Quaife limited-slip differential and force vectoring springs. The SUV also features a bespoke twist-beam rear suspension that is 40 per cent stiffer than that of the Fiesta ST while also having new anti-roll bars and dampers. The SUV sits on Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires.