How do the Mercedes-Benz GLC, GLE and GL-Class compare?

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Mercedes-Benz is a popular brand among Cartelligent clients and their line of luxury SUVs are always top choices. A number of clients have asked for help comparing the series. To that end, we've compiled the details of the GLC, GLE and GL so that you can weigh the benefits of each and decide which option is right for you.


GLC-Class vs. GLE-Class vs. GL-Class?

In this article, we've configured a sample vehicle for each car and then examined some of the key differentiating factors. We've based our sample models on popular choices among Cartelligent clients.

  • 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC-ClassOur sample GLC is the GLC300 equipped with push-button start, voice navigation, panorama sunroof and a surround-view camera. MSRP as configured is $50,615.

  • 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class: We've chosen a 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE350 with push-button start, voice navigation, panorama sunroof and a surround-view cameraMSRP as configured is $61,880.

  • 2016 Mercedes-Benz GL-ClassWe've equipped a sample 2016 Mercedes-Benz GL450 with with push-button start, voice navigation, panorama sunroof, lane tracking, harman/kardon sound and a surround-view cameraMSRP as configured is $81,510.


Vehicle Comparison

We'll look at the features of each vehicle side-by-side.

Model Type 2016 GLC300 2016 GLE350 2016 GL450
MSRP $50,615 $61,880 $81,510


Engine and Fuel Economy

Engine 2.0L turbo inline-4 3.5L V6
3.0L biturbo V6
Horsepower 241 302 362
City mpg 22 18 17
Highway mpg 28 24 21


The GLC provides the highest fuel economy—especially beneficial for those who spend a good portion of their commutes on freeways. The GL offers the most powerful engine of the three with a 3.0L biturbo V6.



Seating 5 5 7
Cargo volume (behind seats) 20.5 ft3 38.2 ft3 16.0 ft3
Cargo volume (rear seats folded) 56.5 ft3 80.3 ft3 93.8 ft3


The GLC provides about 70% of the GLE's cargo volume when the rear seats are folded down. The GL offers 17% more cargo space than the GLE with both rows of seats folded.



IIHS Rating n/a Top Safety Pick n/a
Rearview camera Available Available Available
Crash prevention Available Available Available


All three vehicles offer a variety of cutting-edge safety technologies among their options; only the GLE is rated a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.


Cost to purchase: GLC vs. GLE vs. GL

First we'll examine the cost of each when purchased. We've assumed a 60 month term and an interest rate of 2.79%. All payments represent pricing based on market conditions at the time of writing. 

MSRP $50,615
$61,880 $81,510
Down payment $2,500 $2,500 $2,500
Monthly payment (inc. tax) $930 $1,105 $1,500
Total of payments over five years $57,370 $67,695 $91,000


The GLC is around $175/month less than the GLE and saves about $10,000 in payments over the course of five years. The GL is about $400 more per month than the GLE and costs about $23,300 more over the course of the loan.


Cost to lease: GLC vs. GLE vs. GL

Next we'll compare the three vehicles on a three year, 12,000 mile/year lease.

MSRP $50,615 $61,880 $81,510
Down payment $2,500 $2,500 $2,500
Monthly payment (inc. tax) $720 $825 $1,110
Lease disposition fee $350 $350 $350
Total of payments over three years $28,050 $31,725 $41,700


The GLC is again the lowest cost option, saving about $100/month and $3,700 over the course of the lease vs. the GLE. The GL is priced higher than the GLE, leasing for a little under $300 more per month, or $10,000 over the three year lease.


Which to buy: GLC, GLE or GL 

All three of these vehicles can be a fantastic options depending on your personal circumstances. Your Cartelligent agent can talk you through the pros and cons of each vehicle (as well as any other brands) to help you make an educated decision.


Whether you want a new Mercedes-Benz SUV or any other new car, Cartelligent can help you get a great deal on exactly what you want. Call our team of car-buying experts at 888-427-4270 or get started today.