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The five best Mercedes of all time

Considering the number of outstanding models Mercedes has made, picking a top five is no easy task, but motoring journalist Rob Griffin offers his opinion.

For many people a Mercedes-Benz is the epitome of class and sophistication. One of the premier marques of all time, the German manufacturer has produced a dizzying array of luxury motors down the years.

While some are pure adrenaline rushes others have been designed to virtually soothe their passengers to sleep.

Mercedes SLS AMG

Mercedes Benz SLS AMG

This beautiful two-door machine has been dubbed the "spiritual successor" to the 300 SL Gullwing (see below) for obvious reasons – the way the doors open. A luxury grand tourer, the SLS AMG made its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show back in 2009 and is also available as a roadster as well as a coupe. Various versions have been made of this V8 supercar while the latest – named Final Edition – will set you back almost £200,000. It is the car that simply comes with everything you need: style, speed, comfort, performance and a huge amount of kudos.

Mercedes 380 SLC

Mercedes Benz 380 SLC

Back to the 1970s/early 1980s for the next one on our list and quite a rarity. The 380 SLC was a stylish two-seater machine that struck a balance between luxury and sportiness. Winning praise for its elegance, its sleek lines are still enough to catch the eye today. This was a lovely car in every respect and a real driver’s Merc. The model pictured was registered in 1981 and is powered by a throaty 3.8 litre V8 engine that provided more than enough power under the right foot.

Mercedes 190E

Mercedes Benz 190e

One of the classics and a particularly important machine as it was the first car used by Mercedes to break into the small saloon arena and start a battle with BMW, having previously been focused on larger, luxury machines. The company poured millions into developing the 190 and succeeded in designing a car that was strong, reliable and brimming with the latest technology. Making its debut in the early 1980s, it enjoyed strong sales in Europe and is viewed with affection today. As well as diesel models – which won praise for being able to clock up in excess of 500,000 miles without work being needed - there were also limited edition versions of the 190 made in the 10 years it was in production before it made way for the C-Class.

Mercedes SLR McLaren

Mercedes Benz SLR Mclaren

It’s hard to believe but this grand tourer actually made its debut more than a decade ago but its gorgeous styling and performance has ensured it has a timeless appeal. Easily one of the most iconic cars of recent times, the SLR McLaren was an exhilarating ride, even though it failed to really capture the imagination of the media. More accessible – in both financial and practical terms – than the famed McLaren F1 supercar, variants have included the Stirling Moss Limited Edition version. However, even buying an older SLR requires deep pockets. Expect to pay at least £165,000 for one from 2004 – and you can add another £100,000 if it’s five years younger.

300 SL Gullwing

Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing

There have been some beautiful Mercedes models down the years but few have come as close to visual perfection as the stunning 300 SL Gullwing. Despite being introduced back in the 1950s, this two-seater sports car still looks unique, largely due to the distinctive way in which its doors open. Understandably, the Gullwing is regarded as one of the most desirable and collectible machines of all time, with models changing hands for more than £500,000.

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Rob Griffin

Rob Griffin

Rob Griffin is a freelance journalist who regularly appears in national publications, including The Independent and Daily Express. He covers motoring, business, and personal finance issues.

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