- Image credit: Newspress.com

Here's why the Mercedes line-up needs fixing

There's no need for confusion

31w ago

16.7K

In an ideal world, I'd make sure that it's perfectly legal for anyone to give a wedgie to youths who have their tracksuits positioned below their arses.

At the same time, I'd also love it if politicians would stop being children and got on with their campaigns like adults rather than spew out allegations and useless perception for brownie points.

But most of all though, I'd love to live in a world where the German giant, that is Mercedes Benz, went back to simpler times and built genuinely durable cars that oozed engineering quality. Sadly though, it's not the 1970s anymore and they need to be competitive with other brands in order to get the money rolling in.

However, there are several cars in Merc's current range that are just... unnecessary. In my opinion, they make too many cars and quite a lot of them clash with one another. While trying to break it down as best I can: here's what I think needs to be amended.

The SL identity crisis

Image credit: Favcars.com

Image credit: Favcars.com

Sport Leicht - or sport light in English. Those were the two words used to describe the glorious 300SL Gullwing, and that car lived up to the name like Elvis did to the term, legend.

After that though, the SL wasn't really a sports car anymore. From the 190SL and Pagoda onwards, it was a style piece that was tailored more towards a comfortable, open-top cruiser.

The AMG models did reinstate the sport in SL, but they're certainly not light. Now, I don't know about you, but doesn't anyone else think the AMG GT should've been the new SL?

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Think about it: the GT is sporty, it's much more of a lightweight than most of the Mercedes range. They even use it for GT3 racing.

It would've made perfect sense to call this the SL. It's priced around the same as the generic SL and offers quite a lot more cool for the money. The actual SL has been rendered pointless in my opinion.

With that said though, the next generation SL is said to use the GT's platform and allegedly evoke the spirit of the 300SL. I guess we'll see how that pans out.

4-door coupe, what?

Image credit: Wikipedia

Image credit: Wikipedia

The CLS came along in 2004 as a more premium, sleeker version of the E-Class saloon. It was very nice and quite a lot of people were tempted by it. Today however, I'm not seeing the point of it.

Why? Because the 4-door AMG GT thing exists. That shares the E-Class' platform, engine options and so on. It's essentially what the CLS is, and was when it first came out.

Image credit: Newspress.com

Image credit: Newspress.com

So, why on earth do both cars still exist? I think to avoid confusion, they should drop the CLS and just offer a 3.0 litre diesel in the AMG 4-door. That would make things so much easier.

Unfortunately however, Mercedes seems to have taken the niche tactic way too far.

Two of the same thing

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

I get it. Making a small entry-level saloon is great for attracting mass markets and generating huge bulks of cash. There is however, no need to make two versions of the same thing.

The A-Class saloon is the saloon variant of the A-Class hatchback. The CLA - while it bears a different name and slightly different styling cues - is also the saloon variant of the A-Class saloon. You've got to ask yourself: why on earth did they make both?

Image credit: Newspress.com

Image credit: Newspress.com

They say the CLA has more of a coupe-like profile with the sloping roof line, but even that - for me at least - is too weak to justify making two of the same cars with a different nameplate. Especially considering both cars share exactly the same purpose.

I think it's a bit silly.

Thanks for reading

So, there we are: those are the examples of the current Mercedes range that I'd adjust to avoid confusion. It's important that buyers understand their proposed cars as much as possible before buying, and frankly, Mercedes isn't doing a lot to help with that in my opinion.

If you want to say anything or provide more suggestions, please don't hesitate to leave a comment.

Thanks.

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Comments (27)

  • Agree with you on all points! The SL thing had been bothering me a bit too for a while.

      7 months ago
    • When humans get drunk with success they want too show how smart they are sometimes you need to get out a clean piece of paper and think.Like Patton said if we all are thinking alike somebody isn’t thinking

        7 months ago
    • So are you implying I couldn't be having the same thought as Aaron? 😂

        7 months ago
  • Three things.

    The A-Class saloon is not available in all places, some only get the hatchback, and that's where the CLA comes in. But still I agree with you on that, as I don't see the point of making a new A-Class saloon when you already have the CLA though.

    Secondly, the CLS and the AMG GT 4dr do not overlap each other except for the 53 AMG. The CLS is meant to be a family saloon, while the AMG GT 4dr was meant to deny its identity as a 4 door. The AMG GT has different suspension setup compared to the rather comfy CLS even in its 53 AMG form, which is firmer and harder despite they kind of advertise it as a 'family performance saloon'. The CLS is for people who want a sleek looking comfortable saloon, and the AMG GT is for people who want a proper performance saloon. If there was a need to minimize the overlap, it should actually be the E63 AMG that should be gone, not the CLS 53 AMG. Furthermore, I don't see the point of adding 2.0L and 3.0L diesel engines under the name of the AMG GT 4 door when it is already named AMG and GT.

    Finally, the 300SL was a 'supercar' when compared to the cars of its era. But I'm pretty much satisfied with the relaxed nature of the post Pagoda era SLs. The real problem isn't the SL not being sporty, but the SL and the S Class Cabriolet. Thankfully, the S Class Coupe and the cab will be gone in the next-generation S Class, but I still want the SL to be more of a relaxed grand tourer instead of a sharp sports car. When considering the fact that the SLS AMG was the spiritual successor to the original 300SL (note the gullwing doors), and the non-4-door GT being the successor to the SLS AMG. I'm pretty sure you don't really have to make the current SL into something sportier when you have other cars that succeeded the spirit of the 300SL.

      7 months ago
    • The A-Class saloon is being primarily sold in southern and western Europe (Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy, Turkey, etc.) where it is sold as a Mercedes with a very small engine. It is also more practical than a CLA, because of less of a Coupe...

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        7 months ago
    • I understand your points, but regarding the CLS/GT query; the original CLS (even in lower-trim, not even the AMG V8s) had a very similar ethos to the 4-Door AMG. It was attuned for more of a sports saloon feel rather than the floaty E-Class it...

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        7 months ago
  • Most car brands need to have a cull of models. Small and large hatchback small and large saloon, small and large SUV (or no SUV) a cheap coupe and a outright sports car maybe a luxury car.

      7 months ago
    • Agreed, but as far as businesses go, some bring out more to make as much cash as possible.

        7 months ago
  • The reason why there is a CLA and the A-Class Limusine is because when the first generation CLA came out it was very controversial. Some people loved it but same hated it, so Mercedes-Benz made the A-Class sedan for people that don’t like the CLA but still want a compact, 4 door Mercedes-Benz. Also, the SL has also been bothering me.

      7 months ago
    • Weird how it was controversial when the two newer ones aren't much different...

        7 months ago
    • For some buyers styling is everything. Also the rear suspension on some A-Class sedans is torsion beam setup (the 4Matic versions get independent suspension), while all CLAs get independent suspension, so that’s another difference but...

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        7 months ago
  • Their lower line is unadulterated trash. Utter rubbish. I rode in a friend’s C Class, and he asked me what I thought. “No offense, but it feels like a complete sh*tcan compared to my GTI.” I said. He disputed, but ultimately took my suggestion to do his own comparison. Within days he sold that Benz.

      7 months ago
    • I totally agree; the C-Class from 2014-on feels ridiculously cheap. It's a shame because the old 190E was a masterpiece for its price and segment. Proper build quality.

        7 months ago
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