Mercedes Model Numbers Explained [ Detailed Answer ]

mercedes model numbers explained

Mercedes may offer some of the most luxurious and high-performing vehicles on the road, but when it comes to their model numbers, they are trickier to remember than most of their competitors.

The Mercedes model numbers tell you more than just the car make and model. Even though it’s easier to remember a model number such as Audi A4 and harder to remember Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG, the Benz model tells you more about the car than Audi.

The Mercedes-Benz nomenclature features alpha-numerical combinations for its models. This is different when it comes to Audi and BMW’s nomenclature. Unlike in the past, Mercedes uses a combination that starts with the alphabet(s), then a two or three-digit number.

If it’s your first time buying a Mercedes car and you don’t understand what the model number means, there’s no need to panic. This article will elaborate on the Mercedes-Benz nomenclature so that you can have an easy time understanding the car names and picking out the perfect vehicle for your needs.

What does the first letter (s) in the Mercedes name mean?

The first letter (s) normally represents the model of the vehicle. It can be made up of one, two, or three letters in uppercase. Additionally, the first letters also represent the body type of the vehicle. A stands for a hatchback, B for a multipurpose vehicle, and C for a coupe.

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The most popular Mercedes models are A, B, C, E, and S. C, E, and S have a long history and meaning behind their model letters. For instance, C means comfort, E-executive, and S-special. A and B don’t have any historical meaning behind their letters.

Other Mercedes models with their meaning include:

  • G-Class: Gelandeklasse – off-road class
  • V-Class: named after the assembly factory in Spain (Vitoria-Gasteiz)
  • X-Class: with X referring to 4X4 or 4WD
  • L: Leicht or lightweight
  • CL: Coupe Leicht – lightweight coupe
  • R: MPV- Multi-purpose vehicle (cross between and van and car)
  • SL: Sport Leicht – lightweight sportscar
  • GL: Gelandewagen Leicht – lightweight SUV
  • GT: Gran Turismo
  • AMG GT: Sportscar

If you understand every letter with its meaning, interpreting Mercedes-Benz car model numbers becomes much easier. For example, GLE-Class means E-Class based lightweight SUV or off-roader, while the GLS stands for S-Class based lightweight SUV or off-roader, and the CLA means A-Class lightweight coupe or 4-door coupe. 

What do the numbers in the Mercedes-Benz stand for?

After familiarizing with the first letters, the next step is to define the numbers that follow the letters. These refer to the engine displacement, which is usually indicated in liters or cubic centimeters. They are the volume of the pistons in a complete cycle, based on the space a piston creates when distant from the shaft.

Engine displacement is different from the capacity of the combustion chamber, where gasoline is burned. But it’s the same as engine size or engine capacity. As noted earlier, engine displacement is measured in liters or cubic centimeters. It also shows the total volume of cylinders in the engine.

In the past, Mercedes multiplied the measurement by 100, but after 1994, it started multiplying the measurement by 10. Therefore, if you want to find out the engine size of a Mercedes-Benz, you will have to multiply it by 10. For instance, the Mercedes E350 will have an engine capacity of 3.5-liters.

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What does the lower-case letter (s) in the Mercedes name mean?

Last but not least, it’s also important to identify the lower-case letter in the model number. Based on Mercedes-Benz E350d, you can easily tell that it’s an E-Class sedan with an engine displacement of 3.5 liters. So, when it comes to the final letter, this can indicate the type of fuel the car uses.

Here are the different types of lower-case letters and their meanings:

  • c: compressed natural gas
  • d: diesel
  • e: electric or plug-in hybrids
  • f: fuel cell
  • h: hybrid or BlueTec hybrid

So, you can now understand all the letters and numbers in the Mercedes-Benz E350d. It means that it’s a Mercedes E-Class sedan with a 3.5-liter diesel engine.

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More questions about Mercedes models

What are the differences in Mercedes-Benz car classes?

The difference in Mercedes-Benz car classes is in their shape and size. The Mercedes A, B, and CLA class models are normally more compact than the C, E, and S-Class models. Also, the latter have more powerful engines than the former. That’s why they are more expensive and sophisticated.

Why are most Mercedes AMG models numbered 63?

In the past, a normal Mercedes-Benz was referred to with a three-digit number. But when AMG with the 6.3L V8 engine, the number 63 came into existence. Therefore, a normal E-Class would be called E350, but its AMG version would be referred to as E63.

This is an indication that the E63 is a high performance and more luxurious car than the E350. Even when the engine of the car changes, Mercedes still refers to it as 63, referring to the high performance and sophistication of the model in its class. As a result, this has made Mercedes’ marketing easier. 

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How many models does Mercedes-Benz offer?

Mercedes have been creating cars for more than 100 years now. Over the years, they have added some models and discontinued others. Some models like the M-Class were changed to GLE-Class. Mercedes has approximately 19 car models. These include A, B, C, E, G, R, S, V, X, GL, SL, CLA, CLS, GLA, GLC, GLE, GLS, SLC, and SLS.

What does 180 mean in the Mercedes-Benz A-Class 180 car?

If it was in the past, the 180 in the Mercedes A-Class could mean the car has a 1.8-liter engine. But today, the 180 in the A-Class means that the car has an M270 engine, a 1.6 liter 4 cylinder, and can produce 75, 90, or 115 kW.

Pick the car to fit your needs

With this detailed guide about Mercedes model numbers, picking your dream Mercedes has been made easy. Although Mercedes model numbers seem difficult to comprehend, they explain more than just the model of the car. Therefore, you’ll get to know more things about the car you want to buy before going through the car’s specifications.

Regardless of the model numbers, all Mercedes vehicles offer exceptional performance, luxury, comfort, reliability, and class. If you want the best versions of every Mercedes model, always go for their AMG version.

mercedes model numbers explained

Edwin Odipo

Why do you love writing about cars? Cars make our lives easy. You can visit your distant friend, relative or even rush to the grocery store a few miles from your home with a lot of ease. Imagine how life was before the invention of cars?? To me, cars are a blessing that made life more convenient.

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