Performance


Crunching the numbers on Mercedes-Benz model variants.

February 2022

Wondering what’s the difference between a 250 and a 350? Or a 53 and a 63? Here’s your guide to the Mercedes-Benz model variants.

Performance


Crunching the numbers on Mercedes-Benz model variants.

February 2022

Wondering what’s the difference between a 250 and a 350? Or a 53 and a 63? Here’s your guide to the Mercedes-Benz model variants.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Understanding the system of letters and numbers denoting each specific Mercedes-Benz badge will help you find your dream vehicle faster. Image: Mercedes-Benz Group AG.

When choosing your next Mercedes-Benz, you probably instinctively know what features are most important to you, be it luxury, power, utility, sportiness, sustainability or family-friendly aspects.

Understanding the system of letters and numbers denoting each specific Mercedes-Benz badge can help you quickly home in on your ideal model and simplify the buying process.

We’ve already deciphered the letters that differentiate each distinctive variant in the Mercedes-Benz range. Learn ‘The ABCs of Mercedes-Benz’ to better understand the difference between an A, C, E or S-Class, plus many more. Once you’ve discovered the type of car or SUV that fits your needs, the next question is which model to purchase. What’s the difference between a 250 and a 350, for example? Or a 53 and a 63?

The lowdown on engine size

Once upon a time, the numbers in a Mercedes-Benz model name would more-or-less directly reflect engine size – 190 for a 1.9-litre engine, 350 for a 3.5-litre engine, and so forth. But the increasing use of fuel-efficient turbocharging, which can achieve different power outputs from smaller capacity engines, required a rethink.

Mercedes-Benz GLE

The Mercedes-Benz GLE SUV, for example, is currently available in five variants with an array of outputs. Image: Mercedes-Benz Group AG.

These days, it’s still true that a smaller number typically denotes smaller engine output. The Mercedes-Benz GLE SUV, for example, is currently available in five variants with an array of outputs. Two diesel variants, denoted by a ‘d’ at the end of their badge, include the GLE 300 d 4MATIC (180kW of power, 500Nm of torque) and the GLE 400 d 4MATIC (243kW, 700Nm). In both cases ‘4MATIC’ refers to the all-wheel-drive system.

When it comes to the GLE, the choices don’t end there. It’s also available in three petrol-powered variants, including the GLE 450 4MATIC (270kW, 500Nm) and two versions by Mercedes-AMG – the GLE 53 S 4MATIC+ (320kW, 520 Nm) and the range-topping GLE 63 S 4MATIC+ (450kW, 850 Nm). You’ll notice these Mercedes-AMG model designations comprise two numbers, instead of three. This is a hallmark of the performance brand, where vehicles are tuned towards higher outputs and sportier dynamics.

Higher numbers, higher specs

It’s also worth noting that while a higher number typically indicates more power, it often correlates to a higher level of standard specification as well. Depending on the model, this could indicate added comfort features, extra luxurious appointments, premium equipment levels, increased driver assistance or enhanced ride and handling capabilities.

EQA 250 from Mercedes-EQ

The immensely popular EQA 250 will be joined by the EQA 350 4MATIC, which ups the ante with a more powerful electric motor. Image: Mercedes-Benz Group AG.

This also neatly extends to the Mercedes-EQ family, which encompasses the rapidly growing number of fully electric and mild-hybrid vehicles in the Mercedes-Benz range. The EQA 250, a fully electric SUV, has already proven immensely popular; its thrifty electric motor generates a healthy 140kW and 370Nm, yet also delivers a real-world driving range of up to 400km. It will be joined by the EQA 350 4MATIC, which further ups the ante with electric motors at each axle delivering 215kW and 520Nm to all four wheels, in addition to a beefed-up specification skewed towards a sportier presence both inside and out.

So there's a method to the system of letters and numbers comprising every Mercedes-Benz or Mercedes-AMG badge: higher alphabetical lettering typically denotes a larger vehicle, while higher numbers indicate increased engine output and equipment specification. Now you have everything you need to get shopping and find your perfect model.

Use the Mercedes-Benz online car configurator to build your perfect vehicle.

By Steve Colquhoun