Have you looked at Mercedes and said they have too many models? Well, you would be right. Mercedes has a lot of vehicles and sub vehicles in each category.
Maybe you’ve wanted to know which one you could afford (they’re quite expensive) or how many models there are. This guide helps take you into the world of Mercedes-Benz and discovers the fastest, most luxurious, and the best overall.
AMG-specific builds like the SLS, AMG GT, and GT 4 door models are excluded. We focus on just Mercedes Class models and the AMG variants.
Table of Contents
Which Mercedes-Benz Class is the Best Overall?
The Mercedes E-Class is the best overall. Being a full-size luxury sedan lends itself well to this vehicle. You can have it as a family car or as an executive vehicle, and it works great in both respects.
With a variety of body styles to choose from, the E-class can be a regular sedan, coupe, convertible, or wagon. Having this as a wagon opens up the usability of this car. And the fun part is, you can still have the most powerful AMG trim and have your family car and luggage hauler intact.
Newer models also have a switchable drivetrain from all-wheel drive to rear-wheel drive. This can make the car capable in wet and slippery conditions and a fun rear-wheel drive smoke machine if you wish.
The E-Class can do it all and still offer S-Class levels of luxury to go with it. Price also puts it a lot closer to the C-Class than the S-class.
My current favorite E-Class is an old 2004-2005 Mercedes E55 AMG. It has a supercharged V8 with 490+ horsepower and rear-wheel drive. With slight mods, this can make 600 horsepower and still be a reliable unit. Next to that is a 2008-2014 C63 AMG.
Also read: 6 Mercedes-Benz Models to Avoid (with Years)
What Mercedes-Benz Classes are there?
Mercedes has a large lineup. They include the entry-level A class, B class, C class, E class, G class, V class, X class, and the most expensive S class.
All of these variants form the Mercedes lineup. These are not to be confused with the AMG and Maybach variants. Those are part of the performance and ultra-luxury division respectively.
Let’s briefly discuss the role of each vehicle class:
A-Class: This is the entry-level vehicle, it is meant to be the most affordable model in the lineup. It is also the smallest and most basic Mercedes you can buy. Although, you can add a few pricey options to make it nice.
B-Class: Sits above the A-class as a more spacious option. It is considered an MPV (Multi-Purpose Vehicle). It is very popular in Europe but was hardly sold in the US, only the electric version came stateside.
C-Class: The compact executive car in the lineup. It offers almost any feature found on the bigger vehicles but in a smaller and more affordable package.
E-Class: This is historically the bestselling vehicle in the lineup. It is built as an executive vehicle and has the perfect balance of speed and luxury.
G-Class: Off-roader and SUV. The G Wagon is the most recognized vehicle in this class and is a capable off-roader. It has become more luxurious over the years but retains its boxy shape and off-road capability.
S-Class: The most expensive, luxurious, and technologically advanced vehicle in the lineup. The S Class is the pinnacle of luxury and technology for Mercedes. This car usually gets all the new upgrades and technology before any other model. It is also the most expensive.
V-Class: Mercedes sells vans too, and the sprinter van falls in this category.
X-Class: This is new to the lineup and represents trucks/pickups.
What is the Best Mercedes-Benz Class in Terms of Performance?
The E-Class is the best in performance. It offers a variety of engine configurations, with the most powerful being the 4.0 twin-turbo V8. It has 600 horsepower with a 0-60 time of 2.8 seconds.
The sprint to 60 mph is just as fast as any supercar on the planet, even those with more horsepower. Older models are a bit slower, but the same class-leading performance is true no matter the generation.
It blends the best of both worlds with the handling of the C-Class and the luxury of the S-Class, with power levels beating both. The S-class has more power in similar trims, but it is geared more towards more comfort than speed.
What is the Best Mercedes-Benz Class in Affordability?
The most affordable Mercedes is the entry-level A-Class. It is the cheapest to buy, maintain and insure. It’s still not the most reliable vehicle but costs less to own than the more expensive models.
An entry-level A-Class starts at $33,650 while the C-Class starts at $41,600. That’s almost a $10,000 difference between both vehicles. This is a great price advantage as it allows you to cross-shop between other non-premium brands in this price range. If the 3 pointed star is a must-have for you then the A-class gets your foot in the door.
The maintenance cost is also cheaper than the rest. Now, it is still a Mercedes, so they’re not the most reliable vehicles and repairs are not cheap even for the base model. But owning and maintaining the A-class is significantly less than higher models.
The average Mercedes owner pays around $1,000 a year in maintenance, but the A-Class sits at $400. An oil change costs $140-$150 plus labor, and full-service costs from $210-$315. Compare that with a C-Class full service which costs $500 or an S class which costs $1,400 or more.
Insurance rates are also less than other models. The national average insurance for an A class is $1,786 which isn’t so bad when compared with rates from other brands. Rates aren’t too high because Mercedes vehicles score top points with safety ratings. But being a luxury brand still adds a little premium.
What is the Most Reliable Mercedes-Benz Class?
The Mercedes E-Class has been the most reliable vehicle in the Mercedes lineup. It is not the cheapest to fix when things go wrong, but previous generations have been known to be quite reliable.
The Mercedes E-Class has always had reliability built into it. According to Motor biscuit, the E-Class series has been considered as one of the most reliable used luxury vehicles in the market. The E30 in particular is the vehicle of choice.
The newer models seem to be doing great and are still a favorite among Benz lovers.
What is the Best Equipped Mercedes-Benz Class?
The S-Class is a class leader in technology, even amongst rival brands. It will always get the best technology fitted to it. Most technological advancements will always be featured on the S-Class first before trickling down to less expensive models.
Manufacturers always test the best and newest technology on their most expensive models. For Mercedes, it’s with the S Class, voice command, blind spot assist, cruise control, massage seats, etc.
All of these are standard on most Mercedes vehicles, but if any improvements are made, the S-class will be the first to have it before any other model.
What is the Most Luxurious Mercedes-Benz Class?
Manufacturers always make the top trim the most luxurious. This means for outright luxury, the S-Class is hard to beat even compared to other luxury brands.
Mercedes has been an innovative automaker from its inception, leading the competition in innovation and technology. The S-Class is the pinnacle of luxury for Mercedes, and this has been a fact for many years.
The interior has the finest leather and cabin materials with the top-notch build quality. Metal finishes, wood inlays, and overall layout give an air of opulence and relaxation. A variety of ambient colors to choose from to help fit your current mood.
Also read: Is Mercedes W212 Reliable? (Important Facts)
Its infotainment in the 2021 S-Class boasts some industry-leading tech. A very large center display cuts through the entire dashboard and center console, with almost no physical buttons. The car even recognizes the body and head movement and adjusts functions depending on your focus.
Standard 15 speaker Burmester sound system with an optional 30 speaker setup for a more enhanced sound experience. A host of other luxury features like a sunroof, quad-zone climate control, and many more are standard with the S-Class. The best part is that most of these features are standard on the S-class.
What is the Safest Mercedes-Benz Class?
The obvious answer would be the S-Class, as it always has the best technology and safety features. But I would give this to the E-Class, as it offers almost every safety feature offered by the S-Class in a slightly smaller and affordable package.
The S-Class is the best in class for safety for the Mercedes models. Offering every safety option available for buyers to feel comfortable and safe inside their vehicle.
But let me turn your attention to the E-Class. It starts at half the price of an S class and already offers more than half the safety features offered on the S-Class. Tick a few safety options and your E-Class is as safe as an S-Class with a shorter wheelbase and better handling.