Mercedes-Benz SUVs and Crossovers Overview

2016 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG.
2016 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG. Photo (c) Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz has a wide range of sport utility vehicles and crossovers, covering the gamut from rugged off-roader to family-hauling crossover. Several of the SUVs are even available in high performance AMG variants and with diesel engines. The new Mercedes-Benz naming convention has all of the crossovers and SUVs starting with “G.” Mercedes-Benz SUVs balance luxury, performance and utility in unique and interesting ways.

Each Mercedes-Benz SUV comes with a 4-year/50,000-mile warranty.

GLA-Class

The compact GLA-Class crossover vehicle was introduced as a 2014 model. Based on the Mercedes-Benz global “A” and “B” platform, the GLA-class comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine (208 hp/258 lb-ft of torque in GLA250; 375 hp/350 lb-ft of torque in AMG GLA45). A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT) sends power to the front wheels or all four wheels (4MATIC). GLA250 starts at $32,500; GLA250 4MATIC starts at $34,500; and AMG GLA45 starts at $49,580. The EPA estimates fuel economy at 25 mpg city/35 mpg highway for the front-wheel drive GLA; 24/32 for the 4MATIC; and 22/29 for the AMG version.

2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 4MATIC Test Drive and Review.

GLC-Class (formerly GLK-Class)

GLK-Class debuted as a 2010 model. At the time, it was the most compact of the Mercedes-Benz SUVs, built on the C-Class platform.

For 2016, GLK was redesigned and renamed as GLC-Class. Two trim levels are available: GLC300 (starting at $38,950 with rear-wheel drive); and GLC300 4MATIC (starting at $40,950 with all-wheel drive). A 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine powers the GLC-class, producing 241 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque and sending it through a nine-speed automatic transmission.

Fuel economy for the RWD GLC300 is estimated at 22 mpg city/28 mpg highway, while the 4MATIC version is rated for 21 mpg city/28 mpg highway.

2014 Mercedes-Benz GLK250 BlueTEC Test Drive and Review.

2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK350 4MATIC Test Drive and Review.

2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK250 BlueTEC Test Drive and Review.

2010 Mercedes-Benz GLK350 Test Drive & Review.

GLE-Class (formerly M-Class)

M-Class debuted as a 1998 model. The second generation began as a 2005 model, and the current third generation debuted as a 2012 model. For 2016, Mercedes gave the M-Class a facelift and a new name: GLE-Class. GLE is available in six trim levels: GLE300d 4MATIC diesel (starting at $52,500); GLE350 RWD (starting at $51,100); GLE350 4MATIC (starting at $53,600); GLE450 4MATIC (starting at $64,400); AMG GLE63 4MATIC (starting at $99,950); and AMG GLE63 S 4MATIC (starting at $107,100. A Plug-in Hybrid has been announced for 2016, with pricing and details TBA. Four different engines choices are distributed among the GLE models. The GLE350d gets a 2.1-liter twin turbo four-cylinder diesel engine (201 hp/369 lb-ft of torque). The GLE350 FWD and 4MATIC models get a 3.5-liter V6 (302 hp/273 lb-ft of torque). The GLE450 4MATIC comes with a 3.0-liter biturbo V6 (329 hp/354 lb-ft of torque); and the AMG models get a 5.5-liter biturbo V8 (550 hp/516 lb-ft of torque for AMG GLE63 and 577 hp/561 lb-ft of torque for AMG GLE63 S).

Fuel economy ranges from 13 city/17 highway/15 combined for the AMG models to 17/21/19 for the GLE450 to 17/22/19 and18/24/20 for the GLE350/GLE350 4MATIC and 22/29/24 for the diesel.

2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 Test Drive & Review.

2008 Mercedes-Benz ML320CDI Test Drive & Review.

GLE-Class Coupe

A new variant on the GLE-Class emerged for 2016: the GLE Coupe. In essence, it is a fastback version of the GLE450. It is available in two trim levels: GLE450 AMG Coupe (starting at $65,100) and AMG GLE63 S Coupe (starting at $109,300). The GLE Coupe is designed to compete with the BMW X4 and BMW X6, a similarly-styled crossover that is a variant of the BMW X3 and BMW X5. The GLE450 AMG Coupe gets a 3.0-liter biturbo V6 (362 hp/384 lb-ft of torque) and a nine-speed automatic transmission, while the AMG GLE63 S Coupe gets a 5.5-liter biturbo V8 (577 hp/561 lb-ft of torque) and a seven-speed automatic.

The EPA estimates are 14 mpg city/18 mpg highway for the V8 and 17 mpg city/23 mpg highway for the V6.

GL-Class

GL-Class debuted as a 2007 model. The second generation started with the 2013 model. Four versions of the GL-Class are available for 2016: The GL350 BlueTEC (starting at $64,550); the GL450 4MATIC (starting at $66,200); the GL550 4MATIC (starting at $91,300); and the AMG GL63 (starting at $121,100), each with its own engine. GL350 BlueTEC gets a diesel-powered 3.0-liter turbo V6 (240 hp/455 lb-ft of torque); GL450 gets a 3.0-liter biturbo V6 (362 hp/369 lb-ft of torque); GL550 gets a 4.7-liter biturbo V8 (429 hp/516 lb-ft of torque); and the AMG version gets a 5.5-liter biturbo V8 (550 hp/560 lb-ft of torque). The diesel GL350 can achieve 19 mpg city/26 mpg highway. The gasoline GL450 can deliver 17 mpg city/21 mpg highway. The gasoline GL550 is rated for 13 mpg city/18 mpg highway, and the AMG version is rated the same.

2012 Mercedes-Benz GL350 BlueTEC Test Drive & Review.

G-Class

G-Class debuted as a 1979 model, and received its last makeover for the 1991 model year. It is hand-built in Graz, Austria. Also known as the Gelandewagen or G-Wagen, the G-Class has also been sold as a "Puch" model and as a Peugot P4 in other markets under license. Currently offered in three variants: the G550, the G63 AMG and the G65 AMG. G550 gets a 4.0-liter biturbo gasoline V8 that puts out 416 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque through a seven-speed automatic transmission with all-wheel drive. G63 AMG is equipped with a biturbo 5.5-liter gasoline engine that produces 563 hp and 561 lb-ft of torque with a seven-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. G65 comes with a 6.0-liter biturbo V8 that pumps out 621 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque with a seven-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. The G-Class rides on a 112.21" wheelbase. The overall length of the vehicle is 184.5"; overall width is 71.8"; height is 76.0"; and curb weight is 5,622 lbs - 5,721 lbs, depending on options and equipment.

Luggage capacity is 45.2 cubic feet behind the second row; Cargo capacity is 79.5 cubic feet with the second row folded. Pricing starts at $119,900 for G550, $139,900 for G63 AMG, and $217,900 for the AMG G65plus options. Fuel economy is estimated at 13 mpg city/14 mpg highway for the G550, 12/13 for the G63 AMG and 11/13 for the G65.