These days, it seems like everyone is looking for an SUV. But with that search, sometimes you can get overwhelmed by the options. Mercedes alone makes five different sizes of their GL SUVs and crossovers, and those all have multiple trim and body options. But don’t worry. Once you understand the naming system, it’s a piece of cake to understand where each of them falls in terms of size.
The easiest way to look at it is that the SUVs mirror the passenger cars. For example, the CLA is the smallest and most affordable car, and the GLA is the smallest and most affordable crossover. Likewise, the S class is the big daddy when it comes to passenger cars, and the GLS is the largest SUV. The rest of them all mirror up just as easily. GLC to C Class and GLE to E Class. But as they taught us in school, there is an exception to every rule. That exception is the G Class, or G Wagen, which has no counterpart in the passenger car segment.
So once you know what size the SUV is, there’s just the matter of the trim level to decide. The numbers scale up as the engine grows in size. For example, a GLS450 is more powerful than a GLS550. Then at the top of each range are the AMG variants. These are very specialized vehicles with hand built performance engines, greater performance, and unique styling details.
Another point to keep in mind is that the GLC and GLE are both available as coupes. This does not refer to the number of doors, but instead references the shape of the roof. On the coupes, the roof tapers down drastically at the rear for a much more aggressive look. It still has four doors, but just has a more dynamic roofline.
So now that you understand the system, you can easily decode any model name. For example, when someone mentions the AMG GLA45, you’ll know that this is the smallest SUV, but with the powerful AMG engine. Similarly, the GLC300 would be a mid range sized SUV, with the smaller engine. So now you know, and can dazzle your friends.
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