As of right now, Mercedes offers seven different SUVs that encompass every segment you might imagine. The range kicks off with the GLA which is the smallest SUV, and goes up to the colossal GLS, a seven-seater behemoth.
So, if you are buying new, choosing from such a wide variety is rather tricky. Besides, if you take the used market into consideration and many models that have ceased production, but still offer amazing features, choosing the best used SUV by Mercedes is about finding the perfect balance between your needs and wants.
Smaller Mercedes SUVs
If you are in the market for a smaller Mercedes SUV, you are able to choose between the GLA, the GLB, the GLK/GLC, or the stylish GLC Coupe.
A brand new GLA will cost you around $36k, but a previous-gen used GLA, in production between 2016-2020 will cost you anywhere between $13k or $17k. The previous-gen GLA offers features fairly comparable to the newest one, and as such, it does seem like a tempting proposition.
The GLB just started production and finding a used one might be a bit trickier. The GLB is comparably priced to the GLA, and a similar used price is to be expected.
Probably the best SUV from this segment is the GLC, or the previous model, the GLK. The new GLC starts at around $43k, and a used model can be found at a price north of $28k. For such a price, the GLC is an amazing SUV, and buying a used GLC offers a lot more than a brand-new GLA.
But, if you are tight on the budget, and you want a compact SUV, the GLK is also o great option. The GLK is widely praised for its above-average reliability results as compared to other Mercedes models. The GLK can be bought for as low as $11k, but you can expect to find a great one around $16k.
Midsize Mercedes SUVs
If you think that the aforementioned Mercedes SUVs are rather too small, or you want a “real” SUV, there is plenty to choose from in the midsize segment.
The best midsize Mercedes SUV is the GLE, a spacious SUV more akin to an E-class on stilts. As such, the GLE offers everything an SUV should, and because of this, and many other reasons, the GLE is the best midsize family SUV.
A new GLE is priced around $55k, but a used one can be bought for anywhere between $27k-60k depending on the condition, the trims, and the year of production. But, if you want a midsize Mercedes SUV on a budget, you should check out the older ML Mercedes.
The ML-class ceased production in 2016 and was later renamed the GLE, but this SUV is still a competitive SUV in the used midsize segment, especially since one can be bought for anywhere between $19k-$25k.
Large Mercedes SUVs
But, if all of these are too small, or you truly want the biggest SUV Mercedes could ever sell you, then you should check out the GLS which is the largest Mercedes SUV, or the legendary G-class which is the most capable.
A brand new GLS will set you back around $76k at a minimum. And for that price you are getting a brand spanking new flagship SUV by Mercedes, which is more akin to the S-class on stilts. But, choosing a used one seems more logical due to the inflated entry price.
A used GLS will set you back anywhere between $31k-$87k, depending on the condition, trims, mileage, and many other specifics. A Mercedes GLS depreciates as much as 60% in the first 5 years after production, and because of this, choosing a used one is a smarter investment.
You could also check the GL-class, which was the predecessor of the GLS, before Mercedes changed its nomenclature in 2016. A used GL can be bought for anywhere between $7k and $33k, and this shows how stiff the depreciation rate is for these big Mercedes SUVs.
The G-class, also known as the G-Wagen is big and boxy. If you want a G-class you have to be ready to spend. A new G-class costs around $131k and the G-class loses around 50% of the original value after 5 years. Buying a used G-class is also rather advisable, but not the pre-facelift generations because they are not anywhere near to being considered “good cars.”
Used prices for the G-class start at around $43k for the older models, and they go up well over $100k for the most popular AMG models.
Buying a second-hand Mercedes
What are the benefits of buying a used Mercedes SUV?
Well, the obvious advantage is the price. The starting price for pretty much every Mercedes SUV is rather hard to swallow. Mercedes SUVs, in general, are expected to lose an average of 54% of the original value in the first five years after production.
Furthermore, the second-hand market is brimming with tempting offers of less than 3-5-year-old SUVs that are still under warranties and service packs, but with a price that is a lot more attainable.
What are the dos and don’ts of buying a used Mercedes SUV?
You should gather as much information as possible about what each price category gets you. You should set a strict budget with some money on the side for any unforeseen circumstances as you can never be too sure about buying an expensive SUV that might not prove to be as reliable as it was when it left the factory.
You should also search for SUVs that are in good condition and have been treated in a dignified manner, with warranty and service packs if possible. You should not punch above your weight limit and overspend on an SUV that you cannot afford comfortably. Furthermore, acquiring all the documentation about the ownership of the car is also advisable, as is the pre-purchase inspection.
How to strike a perfect balance between your needs and wants?
Just be honest with yourself. Do you truly need a 600-horsepower 7-seater SUV that will cost a fortune after a couple of years? Chances are that you don’t. You should not go for badge hunting; you should hunt for reason and logic instead.
Try to gather as much information about the model you are interested in, especially in the reliability and additional costs segment, as these can often be overlooked due to the sheer excitement a new car purchase might entail.
You should also consult your family members, an independent dealer, and many online outlets. All of these will help you understand the specifics of the model you are interested in.