Mercedes has adopted a new naming convention for its car range, and although the company cites a need to simplify things for the consumer, it has led to some confusion.

The company’s core models all remain unchanged – that’s the A-Class, B-Class, C-Class, E-Class and S-Class.

However, many other models will have their names changed to fit in with a three-letter system.

The first two letters depict the type of vehicle, while the last letter indicates the ‘class’ it fits into.

For example, all SUVs will begin with GL, a nod to the venerable G-Class (or G Wagon), so the GLA is an SUV in the A-Class segment.

Four-door coupes are to be known as CL models, so the range starts with a CLA, and is topped by the CLS.

Roadsters, meanwhile, will use the SL name.

It gets mildly confusing when existing models have their names realigned with the new convention.

The ML (or M-Class) is now known as the GLE (that’s a GL E-Class), the GLK becomes the GLC, and what was the seven-seat GL is now the GLS.

The familiar SLK will become the SLC, prompting some to speculate that a smaller SLA may therefore be on the cards.

Core modelSUV4-door CoupeRoadster
C-ClassGLC (was GLK)SLC (was SLK)
E-ClassGLE (was ML)
S-ClassGLS (was GL)CLSSL

Some of the core models still have their coupe variants, such as the C-Class Coupe, S-Class Coupe, and even the (now) GLE Coupe.

The more iconic models in the range, such as the G-Class and SL, will continue to use their existing names.

Mercedes has also standardised its drivetrain naming convention, too, with a single letter after the engine number.  CNG (compressed natural gas) models use ‘c’, diesels continue to use ‘d’, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles use ‘e’, fuel cell vehicles are denoted by ‘f’, while conventional hybrid models use ‘h’.

AMG models are now branded as Mercedes-AMG, and generally continue to use a single letter followed by an engine number, i.e. Mercedes-AMG C63.