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Used test: BMW X7 vs Mercedes GLS costs

Big and brash, the BMW X7 and Mercedes GLS make no effort to hide their opulence, but which makes the most sense when bought used?...

BMW X7 front grille

Buying and owning

Costs, equipment, reliability, safety

While the BMW X7 and Mercedes GLS had a near-£20,000 price difference from new, the margin has decreased to £8000 over three years. That's due to considerably heavier deprecation on the GLS – a concern in the long run. It places the GLS at £80,000, while the X7 comes in at £72,000 (for the engine and trim specs featured in this test). 

According to our three-year predicted running costs, the X7 will cost £2696 to service and £3585 to insure, while the GLS will cost £2155 to service and £3585 to insure. Road tax for both comes in at £165 a year.

BMW X7 2022 interior driver display

There's little to substantially separate the pair in terms of fuel economy, either – although the X7 does come out on top. When we conducted economy testing, the X7 averaged 31.7mpg and the GLS averaged 28.8mpg.

The GLS earns some points for having more kit. In Premium Plus Executive trim, it beats the X7 M Sport by providing TV screens for second-row passengers and separate climate control for those in the third.

The X7 isn’t exactly sparsely equipped, though. Adaptive cruise control with lane-keeping assistance is standard, for example, along with four individual climate control zones for occupants in the first two rows. Even if the original owner added optional packs for second-row TV screens and other gadgets, it will have worked out cheaper than the GLS from new.

Mercedes GLS 2021 instruments detail

The bigger difference is in standard safety equipment. Neither car has been tested by the safety experts at Euro NCAP but both are stacked with the latest technology, although the GLS gives you a longer list of preventative safety features as standard. It will automatically assist with steering if you’re trying to avoid a crash, and it can also move occupants away from the doors just before a side impact.

The X7 and GLS were absent from our latest What Car? Reliability Survey but BMW ranked 13th out of 30 manufacturers featured, and Mercedes came 22nd.

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