For decades, Porsche has accustomed the criterion in abounding (if not all) agent classes that it competes in. From the 911 to the Macan, every Porsche is accepted for its aloft handling, anatomy control, and finesse. The Porsche Cayenne is no exception. Since its birth in 2003, the Cayenne has accurate naysayers wrong, acceptable allegory tests and alike MotorTrend SUV of the Year. Now, as a new bearing emerges, the Cayenne is already afresh authoritative some noise.
The Mercedes-Benz GLE has had a lot of the aforementioned success as the Porsche (its predecessor, the Mercedes ML, won Truck of the Year in 1998), but it’s never been a articulation standout like the Cayenne. That doesn’t beggarly it’s far behind, though. As the line’s accomplished achievement variant, the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S’ capital job is to bear the aforementioned thrills as its go-fast car siblings. Although its bigger and added anatomy complicates that assignment somewhat, we’ve afresh apparent abundant things from the achievement cast of the three-pointed star, and this AMG arrives at this action able-bodied prepared.
With auto bodywork advancement the Porsche Cayenne Turbo’s antic accreditation and the AMG GLE 63 S carrying an agitative 603 hp, we had one catechism in mind: Which is the sportiest SUV on action from Stuttgart?
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Sporting a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 agent beneath its hood, the Mercedes-AMG not abandoned produces 603 horses, but it additionally delivers 627 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels. Contributing to the GLE 63 S’ active dispatch (but not its aiguille achievement figures) is a array amalgam arrangement with an electric motor that generates 21 hp and 184 lb-ft. This arrangement additionally allows the agent to shut off and cruise application electric achievement only. A nine-speed automated is in allegation of sending that ability to all four wheels.
The AMG GLE is a beholder from every angle, admitting it’s adamantine to differentiate it from the non-AMG GLE. Besides its badges, grille, and quad-tipped exhaust, there are about no added artful differences from its boilerplate sibling. A big difference, however, is its price; at $133,075 as tested, the AMG GLE is a appropriate SUV.
On the added hand, the 541 hp and 567 lb-ft that the Porsche Cayenne’s 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 develops should be added than abundant for an SUV this size. Yet the 62-hp and 60-lb-ft aberration with the AMG is significant. An eight-speed automated manual delivers that ability to all four wheels, and the Pirelli P Zero tires are in allegation of accouterment all the anchor bare to ascendancy its 5,500 pounds.
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And although its 911 ancestors are handsome, the Cayenne Coupe’s administration could be polarizing to some. Like chief appearance editor Jonny Lieberman said, “You ain’t affairs a Cayenne because it’s nice to attending at.” Crossing the checkout adverse at $158,460, this Porsche wants to abide to be the criterion of all achievement SUVs.
On the Road: Which German Does it Better?
There’s hardly a bigger ambience for this allegory than Angeles Crest Highway. Amid in the northeastern mountains of Los Angeles, ACH is one of the best anchorage in the world. With its hundreds of corners, abrupt slopes, and (usually) low traffic, there’s hardly a bigger date for achievement models. Best of all? It’s appropriate in our backyard.
Right away, the Porsche feels like it was developed to be apprenticed on ACH. Its suspension, steering, and low anatomy cycle accomplish the Cayenne flash on every bend of this abundance road. “The ride is abnormally good, all the way up to Sport ,” alley analysis editor Chris Walton said. “Porsche knows how to tune dampers and springs. Alike in midcorner dips, it never absent its line.”
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Everyone knows Porsches handle fantastically able-bodied on arced roads, but it’s adamantine to bear the fun active dynamics of its two-door cars in an SUV. The Cayenne, however, does it actual well, acceptance the disciplinarian to advance it adamantine and adorable everyone—from the hardcore enthusiast to the accidental driver. “It’s engaging, it challenges, it pushes you—it’s a Porsche through and through,” appearance editor Christian Seabaugh said. After active it up and bottomward Angeles Crest, about all the board agreed that the Cayenne feels like a bigger 911. Its anatomy is composed, the agent delivers acceptable power, and the manual (which is not a PDK) is so able-bodied acquainted and quick that you about feel like you’re active a PDK. The acquaintance abaft the caster is adamantine to match, let abandoned surpass.
The Mercedes, on the added hand, feels like the bobcat of SUVs—it’s fierce, fast, and muscular. “Power and torque and again added ability and added torque,” Lieberman said. “News that shocks no one: AMG makes big, able engines.” The AMG makes the Cayenne feel underpowered, but not aggregate is about numbers or straight-line performance. It’s accessible to acquaint that Mercedes took a folio from the AMG GT auto and activated it to the GLE 63 S. The SUV reminded us of the two-seater we had aloof apprenticed on the aforementioned anchorage a few weeks back.
Unfortunately, the AMG GLE we had in for the allegory had a brace of computer glitches due to its pre-production anatomy status. During some runs up and bottomward the mountain, the adherence ascendancy arrangement would cut ability randomly—sometimes applying the brakes in a corner. Although this happened to a brace of editors, some of us didn’t get to acquaintance the accurate AMG achievement we’re acclimated to seeing. However, aback the AMG’s computer cooperated, the SUV delivered. “I absolutely sensed the AMG GT roots with that motor and transmission,” Walton said. “Even the council was evocative of the GT’s. How is this accessible in an SUV?”
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Excellent anatomy control, assured steering, and absolute ability are all ancestry of the AMG. The air abeyance is calibrated to abate anatomy cycle and blot best of the imperfections on the pavement. The council was accurately weighted, admitting Seabaugh anticipation it acquainted a bit digital. And while the AMG excels in ride quality, its manual arrangement needs work. Sometimes it took too continued to downshift, and it upshifted too early, alike in Race mode.
The Porsche feels added controlled and accustomed in corners, it’s acquainted to feel sporty, never too soft, and its council is altogether counterbalanced to feel aggregate that’s accident on the road. The AMG is punchier but doesn’t feel as aesthetic as the Porsche in all the added categories. Seabaugh summed it up able-bodied aback he said, “The Mercedes is technically able but ultimately soulless.”
Who has the Bigger Cabin?
The two brands access their interiors in altered ways. The Mercedes looks added technologically avant-garde with its massive displays. The Porsche’s berth is added subtle, yet it has the all technology you need, including its own adaptation of VW Group’s Agenda Cockpit. It seems like Mercedes invested added in the autogenous than Porsche, abacus dollars to accomplish the berth added accordant and plusher.
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The AMG’s apple-pie and affected berth stands out with its hidden buttons and organized look. A sole band of buttons amid beneath the air vents makes the autogenous attending premium, and the aggregate of absolute copse with the biscuit and atramentous covering feels a footfall aloft the Porsche’s all-black interior. The Cayenne’s centermost animate houses all of the buttons—from the A/C controls to controls for the shock acerbity and infotainment system. This area isn’t ideal, but you get acclimated to it in a few days. Still, the all-embracing attending and feel of the Porsche’s berth isn’t as agreeable as the AMG’s.
We adopt the Porsche’s infotainment screen, which is easier to cross with simplified airheaded and a touchscreen. The Mercedes gets added complicated with its MBUX system, which requires the disciplinarian to use a touchpad to get around. Although it’s not as adamantine to use as added touchpads (think Lexus), it’s still a touchpad. However, the abstracts begin in the Mercedes acquainted superior, including the abounding covering seats (Porsche uses covering with bolt inserts). The Cayenne’s Alcantara-wrapped council wheel, however, feels aloft to the AMG’s covering and Dinamica microfiber wheel.
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Cayenne Turbo Auto vs. Mercedes AMG GLE 63S: The Verdict
Some comparisons are actual adamantine to call. This one, however, was absolutely easy. The Porsche Cayenne trumped the Mercedes AMG GLE 63 S. Porsche took the 911’s blueprint (our 2019 Best Driver’s Car) and activated it to the Cayenne, and the aftereffect is an SUV that handles fantastically well. It’s accessible to drive and lets the disciplinarian advance it hard. It brand to comedy on abundance anchorage and takes freeway drives comfortably.
The AMG GLE 63 S blaze affect with its able engine, but the issues with the computer and the manual affability captivated it aback from accepting the gold. Still, its air abeyance does a abundant job authoritative the body, and its adorned autogenous keeps occupants comfortable. However, it lacks the administration and acumen that the Porsche delivers in agreement of anatomy control, steering, and suspension.
Stuttgart maybe the home of these two brands, but the Porsche Cayenne reigns as its SUV champion.