Mercedes is one of those brands that enjoy superior levels of desirability no matter what they do. Since the brand’s inception, Mercedes has continuously been offering some of the most luxurious cars in existence. However, Mercedes does not offer too many seven-seater options, so if you want a Mercedes seven-seater, you will have to go for the GLB, the GLE, or the GLS.
The Mercedes Benz GLB-Class is the smallest Mercedes seven-seater SUV and also the newest Mercedes SUV in general. It slots between the smallest GLA and the compact GLC SUV which means that even though it comes with seven seats, it is not nearly as practical as the GLE, or the GLS.
The GLE is the mid-size Mercedes family SUV that comes with either 5-seats or 7-seven seats, depending on the configuration. The GLE is large enough to pack up to seven seats a lot more easily than the GLB, but the GLS is undoubtedly the largest seven-seater Mercedes there is.
The GLS-Class is the flagship full-size family SUV that can pack up to seven adults without any issues. The GLS also offers the most cargo space, with or without the 3rd row of seats in place.
Mercedes Benz GLB-Class – The smallest Mercedes seven-seater SUV
The Mercedes Benz GLB starts at $38,600 for the entry-level GLB250 that is powered by a 2.0L inline 4-cylinder engine with 221hp. The GLB250 comes with a RWD configuration, but if you pay an additional $2,000, you can upgrade to the 4MATIC AWD system.
If you want the best GLB models money can buy, you will have to go through the AMG route and get the $50,000 AMG GLB 35 that offers 302hp and a permanent 4MATIC AWD system from the factory. The GLB is capable of fitting up to seven passengers, but it does not manage to do it in a usable manner.
This means that even though the GLB is a seven-seater, the seven seats on offer are not all that spacious. If you are rarely using the 3rd row of seats or you exclusively use it to transport children, the GLB is enough. On the other hand, if you want to transport up to seven adults, the GLB is not the car for you.
Mercedes Benz GLE-Class – The mid-size Mercedes seven-seater SUV
If you are serious about transporting seven people, you should focus your attention on either the GLE, or the GLS. The GLE model range kicks off with the GLE350 which starts at $56,100 and comes with a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine with 255hp. If you want to add 4MATIC AWD to the equation, you will have to pay an additional $2,500.
If you think that a 2.0L 4-cylinder is not enough for such a large car, you can upgrade to the $64,000 GLE450 which gets a more fitting 3.0L inline 6-cylinder turbo engine with EQ mild-hybrid technology. This gives the GLE450 362hp which makes the GLE450 the best GLE you can buy.
You can also go for GLE AMG models but the GLE450 is likely the best model you can go for. The GLE offers enough space for both children and adults to travel in the third row of seats. However, if you want the most amount of space possible, you should go for the GLS.
Mercedes Benz GLS-Class – The full-size Mercedes seven-seater SUV
If you want the very top-end Mercedes SUV that offers the most space in every aspect, the GLS is the way to go. The GLS is designed as an “S-Class on stilts”, but the truth is that the GLS is just a slightly larger GLE. Therefore, the differences between the two are not huge, except for the space.
Either way, the GLS450 starts at $78,000 and gets the same powertrain as the GLE450 with the very same specs. The GLE can also be had with a few V8 options, but most people don’t bother and just go for the GLS450. The GLS rivals the likes of the BMW X7 which means that it is the staple Mercedes SUV.
Packing seven people in the GLS is as easy as it gets because the GLS offers more space in the third row of seats than some hatchbacks do in the front two rows. Therefore, the GLS does not lack any space and can comfortably accommodate seven fully grown adults even on longer journeys.
Should I buy the Mercedes GLB?
If you love the Mercedes badge and you want to combine luxury, comfort, and practicality, the GLB is a decent option. If you are after seven seats and you are not willing to compromise on that, the GLB is a bit more questionable.
Even though it is technically a seven-seater, it is not all that spacious and the third row of seats does hamper cargo space quite a bit. All in all, the GLB is a good car and is certainly worth the attention, but only if the practicality aspect suits you perfectly.
Should I buy the Mercedes GLE?
Recommending the Mercedes GLE for someone who wants a luxurious SUV with seven seats is as easy as it gets. For starters, the GLE has all of the fundamentals just right. It looks great inside and out, it is safe, it is quiet, it comes with powerful engines, and it retains its value really well.
Secondly, the GLE is a mid-size SUV, a segment of SUVs that typically gets the most attention from those who want something larger. Therefore, the GLE is in my opinion the best Mercedes seven-seater SUV because it feels like a slightly smaller GLS, but with a more attainable price tag.
Should I buy the Mercedes GLS?
The Mercedes GLS is the largest family flagship SUV that tries to be a Mercedes S-Class on stilts but is just a slightly larger Mercedes GLE. Therefore, choosing the GLS over the GLE only makes sense if the space you get on the GLs over the GLE truly does make a difference in your personal circumstances.
The GLS is considered way too large for many people because it is one of the largest luxury SUVs out there, especially in Europe. Maybe you should wait for the next generation of the GLS to come out before you decide to go for it as the next GLS could very well be an S-Class on stilts.