The Differences in the Classes of Mercedes Carsby Laurie Junkins
Mercedes Benz began importing cars to the United States in 1952 and, as of 2010, has 348 U.S. dealerships. Known for luxury and engineering, Mercedes offers 13 different classes of automobile, from midsized sedan to military-style utility vehicle. Though several model levels appear within most of the classes, those models' differences are primarily in engine size and/or fuel type.
Sedans and Coupes
As of the 2011 model year, Mercedes offers three sedan classes and two coupe classes. The C-Class sedan is Mercedes' most affordable car, available in four models: the C300 luxury sedan, C300 and C350 sport sedans, and the "extreme performance" C63 AMG. The next class up is the E-Class full-sized sedan, which is available in the E350 sedan or coupe, E350 BlueTEC turbo-diesel sedan, E550 sedan, coupe or wagon, and the high-performance E63 AMG. The S-Class is Mercedes' flagship full-sized luxury sedan. The S sedan is available in the S400 hybrid, the S550 sedan and the S600 sedan. It also comes in two high-performance models, the S63 AMG and S65 AMG. Mercedes offers two dedicated coupe classes, the CL-Class and the CLS-Class. The CL is a two-door coupe available in CL550 and CL600, as well as the CL 63 AMG and CL65 AMG. The CLS is a four-door coupe in two models, the CLS550 and CLS63 AMG.
SUVs and Crossovers
Mercedes offers four classes of sport utility vehicle, plus a crossover class reminiscent of a minivan. The GLK350 is the most compact SUV, followed by the M-Class of mid-sized SUVs. The M-Class includes four models: the ML350, ML BlueTEC diesel, ML450 hybrid and ML550. The M-Series is also available in the super-performance ML63 AMG. The full-sized Mercedes SUV GL-Class is available in three models: GL350 BlueTEC diesel, the GL450 and the GL550. The G-Class is an off-road utility truck originally developed for military use and available in two models, the G550 and the G55 AMG. Finally, the R-Class is Mercedes' answer to the minivan with its R350 crossover and R350 BlueTEC diesel crossover.
Roadsters and Supercars
The SLK-Class replicates the design of a Formula 1 racecar, and comes with a retractable hardtop that takes the SLK300 or SLK350 from coupe to roadster in seconds. The SL550 is Mercedes' flagship roadster and, also featuring a retractable hardtop, still retains an echo of its original style. Finally, the SLS AMG is the ultimate Mercedes-Benz supercar, featuring an unmistakable long hood and gullwing coupe body style.
Laurie Junkins has been a writer since 1985 and has been published in "Literary Mama," "Rattle" and numerous other journals. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Best New Poets and Best of the Web. Junkins holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Washington and a Master of Fine Arts in poetry from the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts.