The local Mercedes dealership was extremely helpful as I expected them to be. The company has many products. I knew they would be expensive, but was pleasantly surprised to find two vehicles within my budget.
1) GLA 250
This is Mercedes's smallest SUV, new to their fleet as of 2015. The car looks small, but was surprisingly comfortable. I'm a big guy and easily fit inside. There is plenty of leg room. The car starts at 31,500 and keeps on going all the way up to 45,000+. I am most interested in the cheaper version of this car. The 4 cylinder engine has plenty of zip for highway driving. The car has many nice features such as key-less entry on all four doors. You can also open the windows with the remote, a really nice feature for summer. The interior is gorgeous. The futuristic screen positioned on the dashboard really caught my eye. Gas mileage is 24/32 and the car takes premium gas. One of the drawbacks is the absence of used GLAs available. The car is still too new to take advantage of depreciation savings on a certified-used car.
2) GLK 350
This car was very roomy and even more comfortable for a big guy like me. Much bigger car. Again, smooth ride with plenty of zip. I loved the panoramic sunroof and control panel. Some really cool features which are probably in the GLA as well are a built-in tire pump, built-in first-aid kit, gloves, built-in toolbox, and built-in generator to keep electronic devices charged. There is also a 911 emergency panic button available for $250/year. Gas mileage is not that great-19/26 with an option for diesel engine. There are plenty of used GLKs that are one or two years old with less than 30K miles in the low 30,000s.
I don't know if I'll end up with a Mercedes, but the GLK350 is at the top of my list so far.