Mercedes currently offers an SUV for every imaginable purpose. The SUV range starts with the smallest SUV crossover, the GLA, and goes all the way up to the full-size 7-seater GLS, and the G-class.
Choosing the best one depends on a strict balance of your needs and wants. But you would not be mistaken by thinking that the G-class is the best SUV to buy in the current Mercedes range. The G-class starts at $132k, but the demand for these is as high as the price tag.
On the other hand, the best Mercedes SUV for you to buy might be the GLC because it offers almost everything a Mercedes SUV can offer, but at a more attainable entry price.
Large Mercedes SUVs
Larger Mercedes SUVs are the way to go if you need a spacious, comfortable, feature-packed SUV capable of occasional or even frequent off-road use with an enjoyable status upgrade. These SUVs are pricey. The previously mentioned G-class starts at $132k, but is fairly safe when it comes to depreciation compared to other larger Mercedes SUVs.
Lower tier G-class models lose up to 50% of their value after 5 years. This may seem like a bad investment, but these numbers are the best ones as far as depreciation for large Mercedes SUVs is concerned. For example, a base trim GLS costs around $80k, and depreciates around 60% or even more in the first 5 years.
If you need more seating space than the G-class, then it makes more sense to consider the GLS, which fits comfortably 7 passengers.
If G-classes are not your cup of tea, and you are not in a need of a 7-seater behemoth like the GLS, choosing the GLE might be your best option.
A base trim GLE 350 costs around $55k, but it does lose more than 60% of its value after 5 years.
As these numbers might suggest, the G-class costs more up front, but may a better investment after a couple of years. The G-class is the most desirable Mercedes SUV that only increases in popularity, is the most capable off-road, and offers great on-road performance as well.
Mid-size compact SUVs
Mid-size and compact SUVs are becoming more and more popular, and Mercedes keeps on expanding its SUV offerings in this segment.
The most popular Mercedes SUV in this segment and one of the best Mercedes SUVs on the market is the GLC. The GLC is a recently developed Mercedes model, a result of a thorough redesign of the late GLK. Mercedes has realized that these types of SUVs are incredibly popular, and with the GLC, Mercedes really did their homework.
The GLC starts at around $43k, and the depreciation effects of the GLC equal around 60% of the value of the car in 5 years.
The GLC offers comfortable seating for 5 passengers, a refined design inside and out, and a sophisticated driving experience that is not far from the larger Mercedes offerings.
The GLC certainly is one of the best Mercedes SUVs to buy at the moment, especially in the smaller SUV segment as it offers most features that larger models do at a more modest price tag.
Recently, Mercedes also released the smallest SUV in its catalog named the GLB-class. And since then, the GLB is shaping up to be a hit. The GLB already won multiple car magazine awards for being the best family car out there, and that’s for a reason. The GLB is fairly large and roomy, mostly due to its boxy shape, and offers great value at around $38k.
SUV market considerations and older models
Judging the SUV market in general, it’s rather obvious that there are no signs of slowing down in the sheer popularity SUVs generate nowadays.
A couple of years back, the consumer car market was mostly situated around sedans. But nowadays, SUVs are becoming the most desirable cars, and models such as the GLC are skyrocketing in popularity. But, if you think that new Mercedes SUV prices are quite inflated, you can opt for a more proven option in the used car market.
Models like the GLK, or the newest ML and GL models have seen a fair share of depreciation and can be acquired at modest prices these days. These SUVs might not deliver everything the new ones do, but for the most part, you will get your money’s worth.
A good reason to consider a time-tested used model is because the depreciation effects associated with newer models have not yet been remedied.
More about SUVs
What are the alternatives to a Mercedes SUVs?
If a three-pointed star does not suit your fancy, you could always opt for the competition. BMW and Audi offer as good, or sometimes even better options. Models like the X6 and the Q8 are incredibly popular and are being sold in higher quantities than the GLE coupe.
The largest SUV BMW currently offered is the X7. As of right now, you would not be mistaken if you opt for either the GLS or the X7, because both of these are amazing large SUV flagships, but the X7 certainly seems more exciting, at least for now while we wait for a new GLS to arrive.
What is the best Mercedes electric SUV?
In the EV SUV segment, Mercedes currently offers the EQC, and many new EV SUV models are soon to be released. This segment is somewhat of a showcase for proven German manufacturers and you could expect a hefty increase in available models in the next couple of years.
The EQC is a somewhat electrified version of the GLC, and most pros and cons of the GLC apply here too. The EQC starts at around $68k and is a decently priced alternative if you are looking for a planet-friendly Mercedes SUV.
What’s the difference between driving an SUV and a sedan?
If you are someone who hasn’t made the transition towards SUVs from the lower center of gravity automobiles, you should consider these points as a reference on how to use an SUV on a day-to-day basis.
SUVs offer a higher center of gravity which greatly impacts the way an SUV drives, so if you are a performance-oriented driver, and tend to enjoy sporty driving, SUVs are not for you. Furthermore, SUVs are less efficient, heavier, and larger in every dimension.
Moreover, SUVs are not as comfortable as sedans or smaller cars. That’s mostly because SUVs have stiffer suspensions to counter-effect the lean a car with a higher center of gravity endures in the corners.
On the upside, you are going to feel more commanding driving on the road, and you are going to be able to traverse all kinds of terrains that a sedan or a smaller car never could.