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First Look: 2017 Mercedes-AMG GLE43

New version replaces GLE400 in name mostly, but also gets a power boost

Mercedes-Benz rolled out the 2017 AMG GLE43 SUV ahead of the Los Angeles auto show. It's the ninth model in the company's new line of AMG 43 performance vehicles for those keeping score.

The GLE43 is a companion model to the GLE43 Coupe, according to the experts at AMG. It will replace the GLE400 by early next year, but you would be hard pressed to tell them apart if they were parked side by side.

The latest version of the SUV seats five and packs an AMG-tuned 3.0-liter twin turbo charged V-6. The engine produces 362 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of peak torque in the SUV, which goes on sale early in 2017. The now passé, 329-horsepower GLE400 4Matic has a towing capacity up to 7,200 pounds and the new, improved GLE43 is expected to haul the same, if not slightly more.

"The expansion of the AMG lineup underscores the ongoing demand for performance-oriented vehicles, especially for SUVs," said Branden Coté, AMG boss. "AMG is well-positioned in the U.S. marketplace due to our nine new AMG 43 vehicles, four of which are performance-oriented SUV models. We will continue to build the AMG brand and portfolio in 2017 with more variants such as the model year 2018 AMG GT R and the GT/GT C Roadsters."

Like all the other AMG 43 models, the SUV has a 9-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. It also is equipped with AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive; AMG- tuned steering, AMG braking system, and AMG Sport Suspension, which are standard on the new model.

There are 38.2 cubic-feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and that more than doubles to 80.3 cu-ft (same as the GLE400) when the rear seatbacks are lowered. A power lift gate, sunroof, and heated seats are also standard on the GLE43 SUV.

Standard safety features include Attention Assist and the Pre-Safe system. According to Mercedes, "Pre-Safe can sense an impending collision and take measures to protect occupants during the valuable seconds before impact, including tightening front seat belts, raising side windows and closing the sunroof."

Pricing hasn't been announced, but the 2017 GLE400 retails for $65,650, and the GLE43 should be priced accordingly.

2017 Mercedes-AMG GLE43 Specifications
On Sale: Early 2017
Price: $65,650 (est)
Engine: 3.0L twin turbocharged V-6/362-hp, 384 lb-ft
Transmission: 9-speed automatic
Layout: 4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, AWD SUV
EPA Mileage: 18/23 mpg city/highway (est)
L x W x H: 189.1 x 84.3 x 70.7 in
Wheelbase: 114.8 in
Weight: N/A
0-60 MPH: 5.9 sec (est)
Top Speed: N/A