Mercedes SUVs 2019: full guide and latest deals

Struggling to choose between the Mercedes SUVs? Our guide will let you know your GLA from your GLE, along with the latest prices

John Evans
Feb 25, 2019

You might have decided on buying a Mercedes SUV, but that's just the start of the challenge.

By the end of the year, you'll have no fewer than nine different sport-utility vehicles (SUVs) to choose from. Some of these are all-new models being launched this year. Others are new 2019 versions of existing cars, and some have been around for a little longer.

Among the new models this year is an electric SUV called EQC, which will arrive in August, and a new version of the large and family-friendly GLE, which has recently gone on sale.

At the bottom of the line-up is the little GLA, which is really a crossover. It shares its mechanical parts with the A-Class hatchback, but combines them with the taller driving position of an off-roader.

The range then goes on to offer sportier models, gargantuan ones, including two with seven seats, as well as increasingly efficient and eco-friendly options.

To add to the complication, Mercedes renamed its SUVs in 2015. Most of their names now start with GL, followed by a letter to indicate their size. So the GLA offers a similar level of equipment and passenger legroom as the A-Class hatchback, while the next largest - the GLC - is the SUV equivalent of the C-Class, and so on. Then there are two exceptions: the G-Class and electric EQC.

Confused? Scroll down for our guide to each model, or click to jump straight to the SUV that you like.

 

Mercedes SUVs

 

Mercedes GLA

✔  Best Mercedes SUV for tight parking spaces

Less good for conquering challenging terrain

Latest Mercedes GLA deals from £14,398
Finance from £193 per month

Mercedes' GLA is the company’s smallest SUV. It’s really a crossover, because it uses the mechanical parts from the A-Class, in a car that’s taller and a little more rugged, with a higher driving position.

It's actually based on the old A-Class, which was replaced last year, so a new model is expected to be launched within the next 12 months, which should bring big improvements, including a more modern interior, with Mercedes' latest dual-screen dashboard, rather than the tablet-like display on the current car.

Some versions of the GLA have four-wheel drive but don't expect to go too far off-road since the car isn't high enough from the ground. Seats are lower than in rival cars such as the Mini Countryman, Audi Q3 and BMW X1. The extra practicality of the GLA is obvious in the boot where there is 481 litres of space, which is 140 litres more luggage capacity than the A-Class hatchback, but 24 litres less than the BMW X1.
Mercedes GLA buying guide

    

Mercedes GLC

✔  Best Mercedes SUV for comfort, practicality and compact size

Less good for sporty driving feel

Latest Mercedes GLC deals from £19,290
Finance from £273 per month

The Mercedes GLC is the size of a Nissan Qashqai and Ford Kuga but offers more comfort and luxury - much like similarly-sized cars such as the Audi Q5 and BMW X3. It feels less nimble and sporty than these rivals, but has the edge when it comes to comfort. When fitted with optional air suspension, the GLC glides over bumps and potholes, while the nine-speed automatic gearbox is smooth and helps keep the economical diesel engines quiet.

Those in need of a little more interior space or seven seats might want to consider the Land Rover Discovery Sport, but the Mercedes GLC is perfectly practical. For more performance, there’s the 362bhp AMG GLC 43, but its rivals include the Jaguar F-Pace and sporty Porsche Macan, both of which will appeal more to thrill-seekers.

An updated version of the car is expected this summer, and is likely to feature an upgraded interior, with improved technology. A plug-in hybrid model will also be available, with a large battery that should be able to power the car for 20 miles or more when fully charged. Low carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, will cut company car tax bills.
Mercedes GLC buying guide

  

Mercedes GLC Coupe

✔  Best Mercedes SUV for cutting a stylish dash

Less good for taller rear passengers

 Latest Mercedes GLC Coupe deals from £25,499
Finance from £312 per month

Swoopy, sporty, coupe-like styling means the Mercedes GLC Coupe is capitalising on one of the more unlikely trends: combining a tall SUV with the design and sporty driving experience of a coupe. Its competition is the similarly curved BMW X4.

It’s longer, lower and wider than the standard GLC. Because the underneath of the car is closer to the ground, it’s more likely to get scraped or even stuck on rugged ground, making it more suited to the tarmac than off-road.

Inside, the GLC Coupe shares the same hi-tech and well-built interior as the GLC. However, there is less room in the back seats and the boot thanks to that curved roof. Like the standard GLC, the Coupe is expected to be updated this summer.
Mercedes GLC Coupe buying guide

 

Mercedes EQC

✔  Best Mercedes SUV for emissions-free motoring

Less good for value for money

Mercedes' all-new electric SUV goes on sale this summer offering a claimed range of 280 miles between charges and swift performance, with acceleration from 0-62mph taking 5.1 seconds.

It has been designed from the ground up as an electric car. This means that the car should be extremely spacious, without the need to accommodate an engine and its related mechanical parts. The batteries are located low down underneath the floor, which reduces the effect of their weight in corners and maximises interior space.

However, the EQC faces tough competition from the likes of the Jaguar I-Pace and Audi e-tron SUVs, especially as reaction to the car's design has been underwhelming and the expected price of more than £60,000 is expensive for a car that's little larger than the GLC.

 

Mercedes GLE

✔  Best Mercedes SUV for carrying bulky loads

Less good for those with shallow pockets

 Latest Mercedes GLE deals from £25,980
Finance from £351 per month

The latest Mercedes GLE has just gone on sale with all-new engines and hybrid technology that bring claims of much-improved fuel economy over the previous GLE. It's longer between the wheels, creating more passenger space, and making room for a seven-seat option, matching rivals such as the Land Rover Discovery, BMW X5 and Audi Q7. With only five seats in place, the 825 litre boot is bigger than you'll find in the BMW or Audi.

The car has been transformed with Mercedes' latest dashboard technology, with two 12.3in screens stretching from the driver's door to the middle of the dashboard and there's also the gimmicky option of gesture control that allows you to change a radio station, for example, by pointing at the screen.

Advanced air suspension is available - at a price. It's linked to a forward facing camera that monitors the road surface, and controls each wheel individually, adjusting them for potholes and road bumps a split second before the car drives over them. It can also lean into corners like a tilting train. Mercedes claims that this suspension delivers excellent levels of comfort and nimbleness in corners.

it should be a vast improvement over the previous GLE, which was feeling old against more modern competition, but makes more sense as a cheaper used car.

 

Mercedes GLE Coupe

✔  Best Mercedes SUV for adding glamour to your drive

Less good for looking out of the rear window

 Latest Mercedes GLE Coupe deals from £34,980
Finance from £439 per month

The Mercedes GLE Coupe is at the glamorous end of the Mercedes SUV range, providing a beautifully built, upmarket interior, plenty of luxury gadgets and distinctive styling. There’s no budget end to the big car, either – your only diesel option is a big 3-litre diesel, which is around £5,000 more expensive than the equivalent BMW X6.

Other models include the petrol-powered Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S. This last produces a colossal 585 horsepower – as much as many supercars – but comes with an equally colossal price of around £100,000 - before any Mercedes GLE Coupe discounts.

The downsides are a swooping roofline that severely limits rearward visibility, and a ride that’s slightly on the firm side. It's also based on the previous-generation GLE, so lacks the modern interior and latest comfort standards that are offered on other Mercedes SUVs. An all-new GLE Coupe is expected to arrive in autumn this year.

 

Mercedes GLS

✔  Best Mercedes SUV for seven people - and their luggage

Less good for poky parking spaces

Latest Mercedes GLS deals from £38,980
Finance from £545 per month

SUVs don’t come much bigger – or plusher – than the GLS. In fact, Mercedes calls it the “S-Class of SUVs”, linking it clearly to Mercedes’ own S-Class limousine. It’s certainly luxuriously appointed inside and provides ample room for up to seven occupants, while its ride is smooth and comfortable.

Unfortunately for the GLS, compared with rivals such as the Range Rover and smaller seven-seat cars like the Volvo XC90, it’s beginning to feel dated inside and is significantly more expensive. In fact, the GLS’s price tag puts it right in the heart of Range Rover territory, which plays the part of super-luxury SUV somewhat better than the GLS. If you're looking for a new car, then you could be better off waiting for an all-new GLS this summer.

  

Mercedes G-Class

✔  Best Mercedes SUV for off-road expeditions

Less good for soothing long journeys

Latest Mercedes G-Class deals from £59,895
Finance from £905 per month

Originally created as a rugged off-roader for the German army way back in 1979, the G-Class has since morphed into a glitzy go-anywhere luxury car. These days, instead of being driven by soldiers, it’s more likely to be bought by rap artists, professional footballers and anybody with a fair bit of cash and an extrovert personality.

You’ll struggle to see its utilitarian roots when you step inside. It’s more private jet than Saving Private Ryan: rear-seat entertainment, electric everything and digital radio are all available.

But its boxy looks cover a tall, sturdy and sophisticated machine that’s seriously capable off-road. If you really need to tackle the rough stuff, then this is easily the best Mercedes. That off-road ability comes at a bit of a price, though – the G-Class suffers from an uncomfortable ride and a lot of wind noise at higher speeds, but the latest 2018 model is a big improvement over the previous-generation version.

  

Mercedes SUVs coming soon

2019 Mercedes GLE Coupe

Hard on the heels of the all-new GLE, now on sale, comes this, the new GLE Coupe. It goes on sale in the autumn featuring many of the changes and improvements from the GLE but wrapped in a curvier and sportier design.

The downside of such an approach is that a swooping roof restricts rear headroom, but there are plenty of buyers willing to sacrifice some practicality for a different style, and who will also be considering the BMW X6 and Audi Q8.

A big 3-litre diesel and a hybrid petrol are likely to be the only mainstream engine choices. They’ll be joined by a high-performance Mercedes-AMG version.
Ask about reserving a 2019 Mercedes GLE Coupe  

2019 Mercedes GLB

The new GLB goes on sale towards the end of 2019. It's designed to fill a small gap in the range, between the GLA, which has little more space than a standard Mercedes A-Class hatchback, and the GLC, which can accommodate tall adults comfortably in the front and back.

It's likely to have a rugged design that marks it out as a more practical version of the GLA, with extra boot and passenger space for drivers who are looking for a flexible vehicle that's not as large as Mercedes' family models.
Ask about reserving a 2019 Mercedes GLB  

2019 Mercedes GLS

This new version of Mercedes’ largest SUV goes on sale in the summer. It's likely to be crammed with luxurious fittings and the latest driver assistance technology to compete with the Range Rover and BMW X7. A hybrid option is expected too, with lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to reduce company car tax.
Ask about reserving a 2019 Mercedes GLS  

2020 Mercedes GLA

A taller version of the new Mercedes A-Class, the replacement GLA will offer the same blend of efficiency and technology, with Mercedes' increasingly familiar dual-screen dashboard. The extra height is unlikely to bring much more interior space, though.

As other small alternatives, such as the BMW X2 and Audi Q2 offer a compelling alternative, Mercedes will need to improve both comfort and stability on bumpy roads, compared with the existing GLA.
Ask about reserving a 2020 Mercedes GLA  

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