Mercedes SUVs: full guide and latest deals

Mercedes makes one of the widest range of SUVs around – so here’s our guide to the best Mercedes SUV deals

Matt Rigby
Apr 19, 2021

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

Whether you want a large seven-seat luxury model, an electric car or a more compact and affordable crossover model, Mercedes has an SUV model to fill practically every niche. So whatever your budget, size requirements or seating needs, you’ll find a Mercedes SUV to suit you. And with petrol, diesel, hybrid and electric options, there’s every type of power available too.

The GLA is the Mercedes SUV that’ll suit the smallest budgets, although it’s really more of a crossover than a full-blown SUV. It shares its mechanical parts with the A-Class hatchback, but combines them with the taller driving position of an off-roader. Also based on similar running gear to the A-Class is the slightly larger, chunkier GLB.

Moving up a size brings you to the GLC, which is a medium-sized SUV roughly equivalent to the C-Class saloon and estate range and comes in ‘standard’ form or as a swoopy-roofed coupe.

Going bigger again puts you in a GLE, some of the latest versions of which come with seven seats. This is also available as a coupe. At the top of the Mercedes SUV tree is the Range Rover-rivalling GLS luxury model.

There’s also the Boxy-but-blingy G-Class, which is designed as a seriously luxurious hardcore off-roader. Mercedes also makes two electric SUVs: the EQA, which is similar to the GLA model, and the larger EQC – which is about the same size as a GLC.

Scroll down for our guide to each model, or click to jump straight to the Mercedes SUV that you’re interested in like.

Mercedes SUVs

1. Mercedes GLA

Best Mercedes SUV for tight parking spaces

Less good for conquering challenging terrain

Used deals from £12,990
Monthly finance from £205*

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.

The latest version was launched in 2020 and, like its predecessor, it's based on the A-Class family hatchback, so it inherits some of the best aspects of that car, including an attractive and modern-looking interior, with Mercedes' latest dual-screen dashboard set-up, rather than the tablet-like media display found on the older cars.

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 495 litres of space (though diesel models have 10 litres less than that), which is 40% more luggage capacity than the A-Class hatchback, but still a little less than you’ll get in a BMW X1.

MERCEDES GLA BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Mercedes EQA

Best Mercedes SUV for eco-friendly motoring

Less good for long journeys

Used deals Limited stock

The Mercedes EQA is the brand’s first stab at an ‘affordable’ electric car. We put those quotation marks in because, with a starting price when new of more than £40,000, it’s probably stretching the definition of affordable. But that is in the same sort of ball-park as the price of a mid-spec Range Rover Evoque.

It’ll do a respectable 263 miles on a single charge, according to official WLTP figures – though in practice you are unlikely to get more than 220 miles from it before it needs a top-up of electricity.

As for the car itself, it’s closely related to the GLA, which means you get a smart, high-tech interior, great build quality and plenty of room for passengers and luggage. You also get a smattering of EV-specific design features such as a gloss-black plastic covering for the grille area and full-width light bars front and rear.

3. Mercedes GLB

Best Mercedes SUV for interior space combined with compact dimensions

Less good for pillow-soft ride

Used deals from £32,500
Monthly finance from £420*

The GLB went 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.

Its chunky, boxy design 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.

MERCEDES GLB BUYERS' GUIDE

4. Mercedes GLC

Best Mercedes SUV for comfort, practicality and compact size

Less good for driving feel

Used deals from £20,199
Monthly finance from £249*

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 AMG GLC 43 or even more powerful GLC 63, 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 arrived in summer 2019, 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 BUYERS' GUIDE

5. Mercedes GLC Coupe

Best Mercedes SUV for cutting a stylish dash

Less good for taller rear passengers

Used deals from £26,499
Monthly finance from £340*

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 was updated in summer 2019.

MERCEDES GLC COUPE BUYERS' GUIDE

6. Mercedes EQC

Best Mercedes SUV for emissions-free motoring

Less good for value for money

Used deals from £56,999
Monthly finance from £909*

Mercedes' large electric SUV went on sale in summer 2019 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 rather than modified from an existing petrol or diesel model. This means that the car offers plenty of space, as the location of the battery packs have been considered from the outset. These batteries are set 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 EQC BUYERS' GUIDE

7. Mercedes GLE

Best Mercedes SUV for carrying bulky loads

Less good for those with shallow pockets

Used deals from £24,429
Monthly finance from £336*

The latest Mercedes GLE went on sale in 2019 with new engines and hybrid technology that claims 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, too, with two 12.3-inch 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's a vast improvement over the previous-generation GLE, which was feeling old against more modern competition, but makes more sense as a cheaper used car.

MERCEDES GLE BUYERS' GUIDE

8. Mercedes GLE Coupe

Best Mercedes SUV for adding glamour to your drive

Less good for looking out of the rear window

 Used deals from £30,000
Monthly finance from £535*

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 3.0-litre turbodiesel, which is around £5,000 more expensive than the equivalent version of the BMW X6.

Other models include the petrol-powered Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S. This last produces a a colossal 612hp – as much as many supercars – but comes with an equally colossal price of around £100,000.

The downsides are a swooping roofline that limits rearward visibility as well as rear headroom, and a ride that’s slightly on the firm side.

 

9. Mercedes GLS

Best Mercedes SUV for seven people - and their luggage

Less good for poky parking spaces

Used deals from £38,304
Monthly finance from £566*

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.

The GLS’s price tag puts it right in the heart of Range Rover territory, which plays the part of super-luxury SUV a little better than the GLS. However, the 2019 update brought along the latest technology to the GLS, including Mercedes’ clever MBUX voice assistant, which works much like Amazon’s Alexa home assistants.

10. Mercedes G-Class

Best Mercedes SUV for off-road expeditions

Less good for soothing long journeys

Used deals from £59,995
Monthly finance from £1,065*

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.

*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:

48 monthly payments of £192
Deposit: £0
Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
APR: 9.9%

BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.

 

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