Back in 2008, the world frowned upon the BMW X6. The one that started the coupe-SUV segment. It was quite a sensation because nobody had expected such a design from an SUV. BMW broke the conventional boxy design norm and gave the world the first luxury SUV that put the owner in the driver’s seat. It was all about style and performance, and today, over 20 years later, it still is. The segment has grown and everyone who scoffed then, want one now. The basics, however, have remained the same. It’s all about style and substance, which in this case, is design and performance.
The latest entrant to the segment is the Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Coupe. A performance-based SUV that does away with the harshness and firmness that comes with a 63 AMG but offers enough oomph. The styling too is subtle but not dismissive, and you won’t have to second guess when you spot one. Then there is the Porsche Cayenne Coupe. More special thanks to the Porsche crest on the bonnet and the styling that is so recognisable and loved. The coupe shape has only improved what was an already very impressive SUV. And lastly, you can’t not have the one that started it in the first place, the BMW X6. Not the M version sadly, but this XDrive40i M-Sport is no slouch. Now, clearly, all three of them are coupe-SUVs, and all three of them cost around the Rs 1 crore mark. However, it isn’t an apples to apples comparison as they are inherently quite different. So if you are reading this to find out which is the best of these three, stop right now.
Let’s start with the newest of the lot—the Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Coupe. On paper, the most powerful one here and the loudest too thanks to that sports exhaust. But in terms of design, even in this shade of black, it still has that almost monstrous appeal with that massive Panamericana grille and the massive air intakes on the bumper. The front is instantly recognisable due to its similarities with the standard GLE, but as you move to the side, the similarities end. The coupe roofline along with the massive AMG wheels give the GLE a prominent road presence, and it looks proportional as well. At the rear, the large wraparound taillamps and the massive quad exhausts add to the menacing looks worthy of that AMG badge.
The Cayenne Coupe might not seem like a big departure from the standard Cayenne, but in person, the changes are noticeable. It is beautifully subtle, and in a paint shade like this one, it just pops and turns head everywhere. Now, of course, it isn’t the mighty ‘Turbo’ variant, but this is plenty of SUV. The curves and the utter simplicity of the design make it oh so desirable. Special mention for the LED taillamp that joins the taillamps. Just superb.
The BMW X6 never enjoyed any praises for the way it looked. Not back in 2008, nor now. The design just isn’t for everyone and is the most polarising one of the three here. Some really like it, and some just can’t stand it. That said, you can’t miss it. It gets just as much attention if not more than the other two, and the M-Sport treatment definitely takes it aa few notches up. The straight lines and cuts and the overall sharp and edgy theme is hard to miss. So if standing out is your thing, these three will do the job just fine. Now bear in mind, these cost north of the Rs 1 crore mark, and for those many zeroes, you expect to feel special. And special they are. The interior is uncompromised, and everything you touch feels plush and pricey.
The GLE being the sportiest of the three, gets a good amount of black and red treatment and a healthy dose of Alcantara as well. The switchgear is premium, and the features list is as long as its full name with nothing being given a miss. The Porsche, on the other hand, features the racing pedigree it’s known for. The five dials, the lap timer that sits atop the dashboard, and the excellent level of quality is very impressive. The X6 however, loses out on the drama when it comes to the interior. Sure, it all is very plush and premium, but there just isn’t enough pizzaz like you have on the other two and is a bit too simple and plain jane.