New Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe Visually Compared with the BMW X6

Since 2008, BMW has been the undisputed king of the luxury coupe-SUV segment with the X6, and even launched a second-generation model before Mercedes-Benz has finally replied with the GLE Coupe.

I have to admit that, while I was choosing photos for this visual comparison piece I sometimes mistook the GLE Coupe for the BMW X6, which says a lot in my opinion about how similar the two vehicles are from a styling point of view.

Obviously, a closer look reveals different details, but overall the shape of the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe is very similar to that of the segment’s leader. I must say I’m not a fan of either model, but when the two SUVs are put side by side, the GLE Coupe somehow manages to make the X6 look better – and that is no small feat.

The BMW X6 has a more athletic profile and looks sportier than the GLE Coupe, which appears to be more massive. As for the interior design, in my book the BMW X6 wins as well with a more coherent and elegant cabin.

All of the above are personal conclusions on a very subjective matter that is car design, so feel free to share your point of view in the commentary section.


  • pcurve

    This is Mercedes equivalent of what went wrong with Panamera. They didn’t want to sacrifice the cargo space, rear headroom and visibility. So the management beat it with ugly sticks until its greenhouse swelled up.

    • NG212

      There are many people who find more cargo space, headroom, and visibility very good things. Those are also the reasons why many people decide against buying an X6. I get your reference to the Panamera, but for all the criticism about the Porsche’s design, it’s been a massive hit — partially because it handles so well, and partially because of its versatility/practicality.

      • pcurve

        And that’s why bmw offers x5, and Mercedes already offers GLA and ML.

        Given that, I think Mercedes shouldn’t have compromised its styling for the extra interior space. (like BMW didn’t with their first x6)

        • NG212

          Whether the GLE’s styling is compromised compared to the X6 is an open question. And certainly one open to interpretation. Styling is subjective.

          Just because you prefer the all-out aggression of the X6 doesn’t mean that Mercedes customers won’t prefer the GLE’s simpler sheetmetal.

          • pcurve

            yep it’s personal taste. I find it awkward. But I’m a design manager, so my view might be different.

            Squashing the rear even 1.5 inch would go a long way.


            Can you spot the difference?

          • Kash

            Design is a personal thing. Completely. That was my biggest beef in school as a Graphic Design major. the grading sucked because it was basically down to what your instructor liked design wise. I think Mercedes is going to get the people who wanted something like the X6 in terms of body style, but with a little more practicality and less aggressive styling. The X6 is very aggressively styled compared to the GLE.

  • justin

    The first-gen X6 looks better, in my opinion.

  • Odd Duck in the Pond

    Some of the features on the side view of the MB remind me of the Ford Taurus for some reason.

  • CKH

    Both are gonna give me nightmares tonight.

  • mccarluvr123

    I had high hopes for the GLE Coupe, but what a letdown! Next to the GLE, the X6 looks athletic and, dare I say, almost refined. The GLE is just so bloated and cartoonish. Just look at those wheels! What are they, 22s? They are far too big! Unfortunately, all of the AMG design wheels probably look like that. If you want normal wheels you have to go for the non-AMG package (or whatever it’s called) which looks even worse. Then there’s the roof, which is almost a perfect arc and not as sporty as the more wedge-like profile of the X6. I could go on for ages about the interior, but I won’t. Suffice it to say that, while the X6 still makes almost no sense and I’d almost certainly never buy one, I now have one vehicle that I would be even less likely to choose.

  • emjayay

    Great bunch of comparison photos. The Mercedes is cleaner, but both are extremely disappointing. Both go completely against the traditions of the company and dilute the brand. But if they sell (and apparently the BMW does) and make money I guess that’s what will get produced.

    What both mean is that both German brands are throwing away their brand values to sell a bunch of vehicles to morons with money. Maybe that’s OK.

    • Kash

      The days of “Brand traditions” are long gone. It’s been that way since Mercedes mass produced SUV’s of any kind, same with BMW, and same with Porsche. Every brand except the super elite supercar brands like Ferrari, McLaren, etc. have gone against their “Traditions” but even then they’ve done it as well with the Hyper Cars and Ferrari’s 4 seaters. Lamborghini is aparently still working on the Urus SUV along with Bentley’s own SUV, no to mention Lambo had serius talks of a sedan for a while and theres still rumors it’s still talking about it. “Brand Traditions” are more outdated than the old Nokia 3510 (extra points if you have to google it to recognize it).

      • europeon

        Nokia 3310


        • Kash

          No. I meant 3510i (i did forget the i however). Lol.

  • Please Please Pleeeease don’t make me choose one.

  • Jānis

    X6 it is.

  • Shtekeris

    Well… on the positive side, the X6 now doesn’t look like the worst..

    Anyways, this car will probably sell well in Russia and Easter-Europe in black and white colors. Because, you know, men with small… lalaalala

    • europeon

      We drive Range Rovers in that part of the world. Pleb.

      • guest

        X6 is more popular.

      • Shtekeris

        Exactly haha, gotta compensate stuff.

        • europeon

          Yeah, the ever shrinking space on our money safes.

    • Eunos

      In Eastern Europe when you say/see BMW X6, everybody gets super excited and amazed. The same way about any Mercedes’ model. I can`t imagine what hit GLE Coupe will be.

      • What?! I don’t agree. Greetings from Eastern Europe.

  • Norman

    Ugly Copy of ugly X6.

  • The second-gen X6 looks better than GLE Coupe, but the first-gen X6 looks better than both of the newer ones

  • 12333444333

    Those wrap-around style Macan taillights are awful.

  • tkindred

    If that MB was made by a Chinese company people would be going crazy claiming it was a copy.

    • pclarkkent

      Excactly! I’m quite shocked how blunt MB copied the Design. The X6 has to sell realy well.
      Does somebody know any numbers?

  • rover10

    The the old adage springs to mind, ‘If you can’t beat them join them.’

  • Rick Alexander

    I’m no SUV lover, but to my eyes, the Mercedes looks much better proportionatly. The X6 always looked cartoonish to me. The body looks too big for its wheels, it’s too narrow, the rear end looks like it was stuck on to the rest of the body, and the gaps in the wheel wells are HUGE! Mercedes is obviously trying to steal some of the X6’s thunder, but I think they’ve done a better job stylistically. The GLE seems more balanced aesthetically. Both have nice interiors, but the Mercedes interior seems a bit more modern, with the exception of the infotainment screen that looks like an afterthought.

  • Andrewthecarguy

    This will certainly be an interesting competition. Having seen the F16 in person, I like it better so far. The GLE looks a bit less premium, or plain. Not sure what.

  • Markey

    About as different from each other as an Evoque as a LandWind

  • LM

    If I had the money, I would buy the X6. Moreover an iX6 would be better!

  • necmy

    their packages are not equivalent. X6 with m package. in this case GLE should have been AMG package for fair comparison. We can only campare their physical proportions here.

  • An Existing Person

    My eyesight got a little worse after looking at the first generation X6. The second generation, improved some of that. Looking at the GLE, I am at the point where i’m basically blind. X6 is the clear winner here.

  • Mike Gonzalez

    i like the 1st gen X6 much better than any of the current SUV coupes
    however, i think Audi is the only one who can actually pull off this kind of car

  • NG212

    Funny how nobody realizes/acknowledges/considers the Tesla Model X as a BMW X6-inspired SUV Coupe when it very clearly is. I have never heard a single person say anything untoward about the X’s fastback. I just find that interesting.

    • Kash

      No one’s really paying attention to Tesla because if they keep delaying the Model X the way they are it’ll have it’s mid-cycle update before they actually produce any.

  • javier

    i’d feel like a dick driving one of those

  • truthsayer

    There are no worse examples of “The Homer”

  • FromTheBackSeat

    I noticed on the 4-series GC and now these cars that none have a wiper on the hatch glass. Do these cars have super-heating elements in the glass that clears snow in seconds now? What gives?

  • Jacob

    way better