What Is The Meaning Of the Names Of Different Mercedes-Benz Classes?

We talk a lot about Mercedes cars here on Lifeonfour.co. We actually specialize in reviewing different Mercedes engines and models. Mercedes-Benz has a very specific principle upon which they name their different models of vehicles. Due to an expansion of the product lineup, Mercedes-Benz changed how it named its cars in 2014. For example, during that time, we saw the change from M-Class to GLE, SLK to SLC, etc. 

What they did was keep their core series names (C, E, S, B, A), and upon that, they named their off-road/SUV models with the GL prefix (GLA, GLE, GLS, GLB, GLC) and their 4-door coupes with the CL prefix (CLA, CLS) and finally their roadsters with an SL prefix (SL, SLC).

Today we are looking at what those letters meant, what they used to mean and if they meant anything. Here is the meaning of those names!

Mercedes-Benz Core Class Names Meaning

C-Class Meaning

The C-Class has no special meaning in German or English. Based on the fact that the C-Class is the successor to the once called “baby benz” the 190E, it is presumed that C-Class stands for Compact-Class.

E-Class Meaning

E-Class, believe it or not, does necessarily mean “Executive” it used to stand for “Einspritzung”, which meant petrol direct injection in German. That is why you see many older Mercedes vehicles with the E after the engine tag (W124 300E, 230E). Those categories of cars then became the E-Class. The W124 was the last of the midsize Mercedes sedans that were not officially an E-Class.

S-Class Meaning

The meaning of S-Class stems from the German word “Sonder”, which means Special. This means that S-Class means the Special-Class, which is why it is considered the flagship Mercedes-Benz model.

B-Class Meaning

The B in B-Class has no real historical ties or German expressions behind the name. The letter B indicates it is a bigger car than the compact hatchback that is the A-Class.

A-Class Meaning

The A-Class, like the B-Class, has no real meaning behind it. The first letter of the alphabet indicates that it is the smallest in the Mercedes-Benz lineup.

V-Class Meaning

While it is not officially confirmed, many suspect that the V in V-Class and Vito or Viano stands for Van (it is a van, after all). It makes sense, but it has never been confirmed.

Mercedes-Benz SUV/OFF-Road Class Names Meaning


While many believed that M could stand for “Mountain”, we tend to side with the theory that claims it means “Multi”, as in Multifunctional vehicles capable of covering both tarmac and off-road paths.

G-Class Meaning

The letter G in G-Class stands for “Geländewagen”, translated from German, which means all-terrain or off-road vehicle. 

GL-Class Meaning

GL-Class, which was initially the biggest full-size SUV from Mercedes, probably got its name as a derivative of the G letter, which stands for “Geländewagen” or all-terrain vehicle and the letter L, which indicates Lang (German for long) or large seeing as it is a full-size SUV. Mercedes later used the GL as a prefix for all SUV models.

GLS-Class Meaning

The GLS-Class gets its name by the fact that it is the “Sonder” or special model of the GL lineup. The letter GL indicates that it is an all-terrain vehicle (“Geländewagen”).

GLA-Class Meaning

The GLA is the smallest of the GL (“Geländewagen”) off-road SUV vehicles, which is indicated by the letter A after the A-Class, which is the smallest of the Mercedes lineup.

GLC-Class Meaning

The GLC is the C-Class of the SUV or the GL (“Geländewagen”) all-terrain vehicles. It represents the compact SUV sized comparably to the C-Class core series sedan.

GLE-Class Meaning

The E letter in GLE stands for E-Class of the GL series, the (“Geländewagen”) all-terrain SUV vehicles. This represents the midsize SUV option.

Mercedes-Benz Coupe Class Names Meaning

CL-Class Meaning

CL letters of the CL-Class represent two German expressions, “Coupe Leicht” or, as you might have guessed, Coupe Light. Some people speculate that it might mean Coupe Luxury or Coupe Long.

CLS-Class Meaning

The 4-Door coupe based on the E-Class platform is named the CLS, which in German stands for “Coupé Leicht Sport” or Coupe Light Sport in plain English.

CLC-Class Meaning

Though they do not make the CLC-Class anymore, the CLC used to be the shorter, 2-door, compact version of the C-Class. CLC, therefore, meant Coupe Light Compact or C as in C-Class.

CLA-Class Meaning

The letters CLA in CLA-Class stand for Coupe Light A-Class. It is the smallest of the Mercedes 4-door coupes.

Mercedes-Benz Roadster Class Names Meaning

Mercedes SL-Class Meaning

The SL-Class gets its name from the abbreviation of the German words “Sport Leicht”, which means Sporty and Light.

Mercedes SLC-Class Meaning

What used to be the SLK-Class is now SLC which stems from the German words “Sport Leicht”, and the C indicates that it is Compact or Midsize compared to the SL.

Mercedes SLK-Class Meaning

Like the SL, the SLK-Class gets its name from three German words, “Sport Leicht Kurz”, which means Sport Light Short.

Mercedes SLR Meaning

If we draw conclusions from the 1950s SLR, which in German meant “Sport Leicht Racing”, there is no doubt that the same meaning of its name represents the 2004 SLR. It is most definitely Sporty Light and meant to be Raced, so Racing.

Mercedes-Benz Electric Vehicle (EQ) Class Names Meaning

Mercedes EQ is the prefix for all the electric models released by Mercedes-Benz. EQ stands for emotion and intelligence, which was officially announced by Mercedes themselves.

Mercedes EQE-Class Meaning

The EQE is considered to be the electric equivalent to the petrol, diesel, and hybrid E-Class. The EQ in EQE stands for Emotion and Intelligence, similarly to IQ, intelligence quotient. The E in EQE means that it is directly related to the E-Class; despite the different design, it is the midsize luxury electric sedan.

EQS-Class Meaning

EQ in EQS stands for emotion and intelligence, and the S stands for “Sonder” or special class. The EQS is the electric equivalent of the well-known S-Class.

EQA-Class Meaning

The EQA is the electric version of the GLA. EQA stands for emotion and intelligence and A for A-Class. This is the smallest car in the EQ range.

Mercedes EQB-Class Meaning

The electric version of the GLB named the EQB is named under the same prefix as all other electric Mercedes vehicles. EQB stands for emotion and intelligence, and B as in B-Class.

EQC-Class Meaning

The EQC is a part of the EQ (emotion and intelligence) electric family from Mercedes-Benz. The C in EQC indicates that it is the electric version of the compact SUV, the GLC.

What Is The Meaning Of Mercedes-Benz AMG?

“AMG” is part of the name of the subsidiary of Daimler AG: “Mercedes-AMG”. We all know that AMG stands for performance and power. But what does it really mean?

“AMG” stands for the founders of the company and the place where it was founded. Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher founded AMG on June 1, 1967 in Großaspach. A = Aufrecht + M = Melcher + G = Großaspach. Großaspach was the original company headquarters and birthplace of Hans Werner Aufrecht. The company has been based in Affalterbach in Baden-Württemberg since 1976.

What Is The Meaning Of Mercedes-Benz Unimog?

In German, Unimog means “UNIversal-MOtor-Gerät” or the Universal Motor Device in English.

Unimog was born in hard times immediately after the end of the Second World War, and the indestructible Unimog has long been one of the living legends of the automobile industry. The Unimog does not let itself be defeated, neither when used under the most demanding conditions nor by changing economic conditions and changing groups of buyers. No wonder: the Unimog masters extreme terrain, pulls entire freight trains, can be used as a two-way vehicle, and has attachment areas for a large number of implements. 


It is hard to keep up with all the latest models that seem to be flying out of Mercedes factories these days, but we do think that the 2014 reorganization of the names made things much clearer at Mercedes. Let us know in the comments if you disagree with any of our guesses, as not all abbreviations are confirmed by Mercedes.

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