Mercedes-Benz has been competing in this segment for years, previously with the GL-Class SUV. Three-row SUVs are not unfamiliar to the Stuttgart-based brand. However, they are relatively unfamiliar to BMW, as the new X7 is the brand’s first ever SUV with three dedicated rows of seating. So it’s interesting to see how the BMW X7 takes on the latest big SUV from Mercedes-Benz — the GLS-Class. Which is exactly what Car and Driver finds out in this latest test.

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Without spoiling too much of C&D’s comparison, as it’s worth reading if you’re in the market for a three-row SUV, the two cars are similar but offer different attributes that will be attractive to customers. In other words, there’s really no a clear-cut winner, as the BMW X7 is hugely appealing to a certain customer set and the same goes for the Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class.

If you actually like driving but just so happen to need three rows of seating, the BMW X7 is the better car for you. In this test, both cars were equipped with 3.0 liter turbocharged I6 engines and the Bimmer’s is the sweeter of the two. Not only is it the better engine to use, it’s also the more economical engine. The X7 is also just better to drive as a whole and it’s a car that’s more enjoyable to drive than a lot of enthusiasts might think. That’s not to say that the GLS is bad, because it’s lovely, but the X7 is just a bit better.

Mercedes Benz GLS Class 1 of 8 830x550

 

On the flip-side, if interior space, cargo space and practicality are more important to you (which is likely, considering the class of vehicle these two compete in), it’s the Mercedes-Benz that’s the better choice. The BMW X7 has a surprisingly decent second and third row but there’s just more space in the Benz. What’s impressive about that is that its second and third row are larger while also having a larger trunk.

In the end, Car and Driver does choose the BMW X7 but notes that anyone prioritizing practicality will want to pick the Benz. Still, it’s impressive that the big Bimmer can even compete, never mind exceed, a Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class, considering it’s BMWs first attempt at such a car.

[Source: Car and Driver]