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New And Old Mercedes-Benz Naming Systems

Whether you are in the market for a new Mercedes-Benz model, or exploring the pre-owned Mercedes-Benz models in our extensive inventory, you may have noticed some name changes from one year to the next. For the 2016 model year, the company streamlined its naming conventions, which should allow customers to know, just looking at a model name, roughly what kind of vehicle it is. However, in the short term these new and old Mercedes-Benz naming systems can make it difficult to parse things like “Is a GLC the same as a GLK?” or to know exactly where the M-Class went.

Read More: Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe Release Date and Features

Is a GLC the same as a GLK?

The Mercedes-Benz vehicle naming system before 2016 had evolved slowly over more than a century, and some letters and constructions no longer had a lot of relation to the capability or size of a vehicle. Especially the K in models like the Mercedes-Benz GLK no longer related clearly to the model. Now, specific model letters (S, E, C, B, and A) indicate a core model, while other designations show branches. (Clear as mud? Check out the infographic to the right for more clarity.)

The GLK model has dropped the K and added a C, to become the GLC. A GLC and a GLK are different because they are from different model years, but they represent a similar class of vehicle. The GLC is also related to the compact Mercedes-Benz C-Class compact sedan. The GL in the front, however, indicates that the model is an SUV or an off-roader.

infographic showing Mercedes-Benz vehicle model names from the 2016 model year (with previous names in parenthesis)

Previously Know as Mercedes-Benz M-Class

Likewise, the previous Mercedes-Benz M-Class is a midsize luxury SUV. It has been renamed the Mercedes-Benz GLE to indicated its body style, and also tie it to the midsize Mercedes-Benz E-Class model.

What has changed in Mercedes-Benz vehicles? While newer models always come out with new technology and options, the essential value of a Mercedes-Benz remains unshaken. Just as a rose by any other name smells just as sweet, a Mercedes-Benz vehicle, whether new or pre-owned, delivers premium quality and value to the luxury buyer.

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