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The hard truth about SUVs

Although much loved, the driving characteristics, practicality, performance and economy of SUVs often fall short of their estate rivals, and in this video Rory compares two Mercedes SUVs to two Mercedes Estates.

SUVs are popular, but it’s fair to say they’ve had their fair share of backlash over the years. But is it warranted? Rory Reid answers the hard questions and explores the issues surrounding SUVs. Watch the video here!

Are SUVs bad for the environment?

It’s no secret that SUVs have pretty much always had a target on their backs. Anti-car people hate them for being an obvious contributor to climate change with their sheer size and assume they use more fuel than ‘regular’ cars.
The science seems to back that up too. A report from the 2019 International Energy Agency went as far as blaming our love of SUVs for undoing all the good work that’s been done making cars more efficient. Not only that, they say global fuel economy has actually got worse in the last decade thanks to SUVs, holding them accountable for the 3.3 million barrels per day increase in oil consumption between 2010 and 2018. So does it even make sense to own an SUV in comparison to a more traditional car of the same type and purpose, like a family estate car? Let’s compare the Mercedes GLE to the Mercedes E-Class and the Mercedes C-Class.
Mercedes-Benz GLE
Mercedes-Benz GLE
Mercedes GLE vs Mercedes E-Class
When you crunch the numbers, the results are actually quite surprising. The Mercedes GLE SUV retails at £68,000, has 272 BHP and can go from 0 to 60mph in just 6.8 seconds. The Mercedes E-Class Estate, which costs £17,000 less and retails at £51,000,has 265 BHP but goes from 0 to 60 in 6.6 seconds. There are clearly drivers out there that are happy to pay the difference, but is the Mercedes GLE worth that much more?
At first glance both the GLE and E-Class have about the same boot space, but the SUV offers more practicality overall with its seven-seat option, giving you plenty of room in the back. When it comes to weight and fuel economy, the estate weighs in at 2,010 kilograms and the hefty SUV comes in at 2,280 kilograms, and you get an extra 62 meters out of every 50-litre tank in the estate.
Mercedes-Benz C Class
Mercedes-Benz C Class
Mercedes GLC vs Mercedes C-Class
The Mercedes C-Class Estate retails at £4,000 less than the Mercedes GLC SUV, and goes from 0-62 mph half a second quicker. The C-Class Estate has seven miles per gallon better economy too, meaning you get an extra 100 miles per full tank, and it even weighs in at 160 kilograms less than the GLC SUV.
The Mercedes GLC looks great and has a bigger boot, but does the space and aesthetic account for the £4,000 difference? Head over to our YouTube channel and let us know your thoughts.

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