Compared: 2023 BMW X6 vs. 2023 Mercedes-AMG GLE Coupe

What these crossover SUVs lose in space they make up for in performance and style.

Split image of a brown BMW X6 atop a blue Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S CoupeBMW | Mercedes-Benz


The crossover-SUV coupe is possibly one of the most confusing types of vehicles on the market today. Just think of its unique selling proposition: the footprint of a utility vehicle minus some of the utility.

But what the crossover coupe gives up in terms of interior space, it can claw back when it comes to driving dynamics. BMW and Mercedes-Benz have long been rivals, so it might come as no surprise that both field crossover-coupe versions of their popular X5 and GLE midsize SUVs: namely, the X6 and the GLE Coupe.

BMW X6 in brown, rearBMW

Benz Is Pricier Than the Bimmer

There are three versions of the BMW X6 from which to choose: the xDrive40i, M50i, and the high-performance X6 M. The X6 xDrive40i is powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine making 335 horsepower with mild-hybrid assist. It features all-wheel drive (AWD), an eight-speed automatic transmission, and launch control. The starting price is about $71,000. The M50i with its twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 making 523 horsepower begins around $90,000, and the 600-hp X6 M starts at roughly $115,000.

On the Mercedes-Benz side, the GLE Coupe is available in only two forms, both with AWD: the fast AMG GLE 53 and even faster AMG GLE 63 S. The AMG GLE 53 features a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine aided by a mild-hybrid system that supplies extra torque and boosts fuel efficiency. This 429-hp engine is linked to a nine-speed automatic, and pricing starts around $82,000.

The AMG GLE 63 S begins around $122,000 and is rocking a 4.0-liter, twin-turbo V8 making 603 horsepower, which is also connected to a nine-speed automatic.

Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe in blue, rearMercedes-Benz

X6 and GLE Take Different Approaches to Standard Features

In terms of desirable standard features, the BMW X6 xDrive40i holds its own. The vehicle rides on 20-inch wheels fitted with run-flat tires and has power-folding heated side mirrors, satin aluminum exterior trim and chrome exhaust tips.

Inside, the Bimmer hits home with leather upholstery, real wood trim, wireless smartphone charging, power-operated and heated front sport seats, privacy glass and a panoramic moonroof. Another nice touch is a memory feature that automatically saves the driver's climate control, interior lighting, and audio system preferences. The X6 has seating for five occupants and cargo volume of 27.4 and 59.6 cubic-feet with the second row upright and folded, respectively.

 BMW X6 interior in blackBMW

The more performance-oriented AMG GLE 53 has more standard features engineered to appeal to the enthusiast, including an adaptive suspension system, AMG performance brakes, sport exhaust, and 21-inch wheels.

Other standard features include heated, power-operated sport seats, simulated leather upholstery, an AMG steering wheel, brushed stainless steel pedals, a 64-color LED ambient lighting package, and a panoramic moonroof. The GLE Coupe also offers standard remote start through the Mercedes dedicated app. In addition, the Mercedes seats five, with 27.5 cu-ft of cargo space behind the second row and 63.2 cu-ft with the rear seats folded.

Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe interiorMercedes-Benz

X6 Both Wins and Loses the Efficiency Battle

The Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 is effectively comparable to the X6 M50i in terms of performance. The base AMG GLE Coupe delivers just 17/21/19 mpg in city/highway/combined driving according to the EPA. The AMG GLE 63 S returns an even thirstier 15/19/17 mpg.

In addition to its mild-hybrid system, the BMW X6 xDrive40i is equipped with an eco driving mode, auto stop/start, active front grille shutters and a brake energy-regeneration system — all designed to improve efficiency. As a result, the base X6 sips less than the base AMG GLE Coupe, returning 21/25/23 mpg. The BMW's efficiency isn't great as you move up the X6 hierarchy. The X6 M50i returns 16/22/18 mpg, and the X6 M guzzles to the tune of 13/18/15 mpg.

All vehicle pricing includes MSRP plus destination charges (set at the time of publication), and will be rounded to the nearest thousand.

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Mark Hacking
Mark Hacking is an award-winning writer with more than 20 years experience covering the automotive scene for some of the world's most popular publications. Mark holds an FIA International Race license and has his sights set on competing in the Rolex 24 at Daytona in the future. He was the first automotive journalist to race in the Ferrari Challenge series (in 2013) and the Jaguar I-PACE eTrophy series (in 2019).