Deciphering the Mercedes Class System

GLA-Class - Mercedes-Benz Class System

Since last year, all of the new Mercedes-Benz models have been given names using a new nomenclature. The new classification system consists of several letters and numbers which explain exactly what you’re getting when you drive off the lot.

According to Car and Driver, any Mercedes after 2014 follows this new system:

  • A-Class – Hatchback
  • B-Class – Compact/Multi-Purpose
  • C-Class – Wagon, Sedan, and Coupe
  • CL(S/A)-Class – Four-door Coupe
  • E-Class – Executive Wagon, Coupe, and Sedan
  • G-Class – SUV (previously M-Class)
  • S-Class – Luxury Sedan
  • SL(C/K)-Class – Roadster

S-Class Description - Mercedes-Benz Class System


  • “c” – compressed natural gas
  • “d” – diesel
  • “e” – electric/plug-in hybrid
  • “f” – fuel cell
  • “h” – hybrid
  • “4MATIC” – all-wheel drive

Essentially, all you have to do is take the core “Class” and add it to the sub-category. For example: the ‘S 500 e’ is an electric luxury sedan and the ‘E 350 d’ is a diesel sedan. The number indicates the size of the engine in liters multiplied by 100. So the ‘E 350 d’ has a 3.5-liter engine.

Mercedes also changed the M-class models to the G, GLS, GLE, GLC, and GLA models. The letter “G” indicates that it is an off-road/SUV model, and the last letter indicates which model it is closest to. For example, the 2016 GLS is a luxury SUV and the GLE is a mix between a coupe and an SUV.

Although older Mercedes-Benz models don’t follow this system, you can figure out how new Mercedes are classified just by looking at the names.

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