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Styling Size-Up: 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe Vs. 2015 BMW X6

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 12/12/2014 Kelly Pleskot
Styling Size-Up: 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe Vs. 2015 BMW X6

Whether you love or hate the look of the fastback SUV, you have to give the segment credit for surviving this long. With the Acura ZDX axed, BMW has taken reins of the segment with the X6, although sales have dropped 29 percent to just 3438 units so far this year. In spite of the odds, Mercedes-Benz is throwing its hat into the ring with an entirely new, perhaps younger, interpretation on the coupe-y crossover. But is the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe better looking than its Bavarian counterpart?

Let's start up front. Here, the X6 looks like a typical X5, and the nose is much broader and flatter than the Benz. With its angular headlights, tall grille, and bold air vents, the GLE doesn't bear much resemblance to its Mercedes SUV siblings, though we've yet to see the non-coupe GLE, which will succeed the M-Class.

BMW X6 vs Mercedes Benz GLE Coupe© Provided by MotorTrend BMW X6 vs Mercedes Benz GLE Coupe

Looking at the side of these vehicles, the GLE's nose appears shorter than the X6. The 450 AMG's 21-inch (or optional 22-inch) AMG alloy wheels and illuminated running boards add visual appeal. The Euro-spec GLE 400 Coupe comes standard with 20-inchers in a 10-spoke design. The X6 goes for a subtler look with 19-inch standard/20-inch optional wheels and aluminum running boards.

As suggested by their "fastback" designations, the rear is where all the action takes place. The BMW wins the booty contest with the largest rear end, complete with huge taillights and a number of metallic accents. But the Mercedes offers a prominent rear spoiler, chrome-plated underbody guard, and the illusion of a more coupe-like stance, thanks to a two-tone back-end.

Things get interesting when you compare the interiors. Peek inside the GLE and you'll find a distinctively athletic look, complete with sport seats, a flat-bottom three-spoke steering wheel wrapped in Nappa leather, and available carbon fiber trim. The GLE's large touchscreen is a little more free-standing than the X6's touchscreen built into the dash. Also in the X6 are wood accents, brushed aluminum, and ambient LED lighting that alternates between three different colors.

So which look do you prefer? Let us know in the comments below.

Last week, we asked for your thoughts on the refreshed 2016 Ford Explorer that debuted at the Los Angeles auto show. It turns out many of our readers prefer last generation's design. vcnFour said, "The current Explorer looks very good, much better than this new one," and Zcat100 noted, "Looks dated and has taken a step backwards into the 90's. There is now no synergy between this and the modern faced Edge." But many readers like Lou_313 liked the new design – "Refreshing. I always thought the pre-refresh Explorer's front-end looked bulbous. This one looks much more refined."

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