What's your research sample, 2 of your friends?
I agree that Mercedes is better overall as a manufacturer because they produce so many different types of car, also trucks, buses and they have dominated F1 for few years. Moreover, they have very solid engines.
But you said that placing bmw suv over merc suv is bullshit, but it was bmw which made first SUV Coupe (X6) and have the most luxury one (X7). And BMW has offered 2 electric vehicles for 6 years.
So overall Mercedes > BMW, I can't disagree but it isn't much better and Merc loses in some categories.