Exploring the Tip of the Mercedes-Benz Class Hierarchy
The class system by which Mercedes-Benz organizes their vehicles can be puzzling to even the most dedicated acolytes. Sure, Mercedes-Benz claims they have a formula, but it’s kind of like how NASA has a formula for how they build rocket ships; it’s not all that easy for the average person to wrap their brain around.
Today we’re going to take a journey in search of the best-of-the-best. What’s the highest Mercedes-Benz class?
The top-tier, flagship class of the Mercedes-Benz brand is typically considered to be the S-Class. Originally introduced in 1972, the S-Class moniker has remained in use to denote some of the automaker’s most impressive rides ever since. Mercedes-Benz describes the current S-Class Sedan as, “a leader in luxury, performance and safety – and of an entire industry.”
That’s not to say that Mercedes-Benz doesn’t sell more expensive or higher-end vehicles than the S-Class, however. The S-Class only comes as a sedan (after 2021), so bigger vehicles like the GLS SUV hold higher starting prices (although, do note that the “S” in “GLS” plays a similar role in denoting that it is a top-tier Mercedes-Benz SUV). Then there’s specialized vehicles like the uniquely styled and outfitted G-Class SUV, which looms over even the GLS.
What about the Mercedes-Benz sub-brands?
In addition, Mercedes-Benz further complicates things with its sub-brands like Mercedes-Maybach and Mercedes-AMG®. The Mercedes-Maybach moniker designates an “ultra-luxury sub-brand,” with the Mercedes-Maybach sedan starting at nearly double the price of Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The automaker describes the Mercedes-Maybach as, “Like a private jet for the road, an experience beyond first class.”
Then there’s the Mercedes-AMG® sub-brand. Vehicles under this moniker add special performance and styling elements to their version of Mercedes-Benz models, and thus could be considered “higher” by some.
What body-types is the Mercedes-Benz S-Class available in?
From the 2022 model year onwards, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class will only be available in a sedan body type. Until recently, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class was available as a sedan, coupe and cabriolet. For 2021, however, the sedan model received a thorough redesign. The coupe and cabriolet did not get redesigned, instead being carried forward in their 2020 incarnations entirely unchanged. This is the last year that the coupe and cabriolet will be on the market for the foreseeable future.