From GLK to GLC and more: Mercedes-Benz’ model names explained

May 31 2017,

From GLK to GLC and more: Mercedes-Benz’ model names explained
It is never easy for a manufacturer to find the right nomenclature for its models.

It is never easy for a manufacturer to find the right nomenclature for its models. First of all, there are a lot of new vehicles on the market today, and therefore there are far fewer names and numbers or even combinations of letters and numbers still available. Secondly, manufacturers do not want to risk confusing their customers by changing an established naming strategy.

Mercedes-Benz GLK, ML and GL become GLC, GLE and GLS

Mercedes-Benz made the ambitious decision in 2014 to review the nomenclature of some of its models, including the Mercedes-Benz GLK, Mercedes-Benz ML and Mercedes-Benz GLS sport utility vehicles.

Although these models had established themselves in their respective segments and changing their nomenclature was perhaps a risky gamble, the German manufacturer decided to standardize its SUV lineup. Ultimately, the goal was to simplify things for prospective buyers interested in the brand and to help them better understand the positioning of each model within the range, and in the end establish some logic to how each model is named.

So the Mercedes-Benz GLK became the Mercedes-Benz GLC while the Mercedes-Benz ML would now be called Mercedes-Benz GLE. As for the GL, one more letter was added and it became the Mercedes-Benz GLS.

These changes become much easier to understand when looking at the range of cars offered by Mercedes-Benz.

No change for the Mercedes-Benz C Class, E Class and S Class

Indeed, the majority of consumers are familiar with Mercedes-Benz cars and the C Class (compact), E Class (midsize) and S Class (full-size) hierarchy. From C to S, the price goes up, and so does interior space, technology, luxury and performance. This same hierarchy has been applied since 2014 to new Mercedes-Benz SUVs.

The GLK is Mercedes-Benz’s compact SUV, so it became the GLC (the K is replaced by a C to mean that it's the compact model, as in C Class). The ML was the midsized luxury SUV, so it became the GLE (GL to designate an SUV, and E to designate it as the midsize model just like the E-Class).

Then, finally, the GL became the GLS because it is the most high-end SUV offered by Mercedes-Benz (with the exception of the G-Class which is so legendary that Mercedes-Benz did not dare to change its name). The GLS carries the letter S to make the link with the high-end S Class sedan.

The same change was made in the convertible lineup as the SLK became the SLC, as it is the most compact model in the Mercedes-Benz family of convertibles.

Summary of Mercedes-Benz’ new nomenclature for its sport utility vehicles

New Mercedes-Benz SUVs in order of price, space and luxury:

Mercedes-Benz GLA, Mercedes-Benz GLC, Mercedes-Benz GLE, Mercedes-Benz GLS

New Mercedes-Benz sedanss in order of price, space and luxury:

Mercedes-Benz CLA, Mercedes-Benz Class C, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Mercedes-Benz Class S

To learn more about the new Mercedes-Benz sport utility lineup, contact us today at Mercedes-Benz Ottawa!

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