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As Genesis, Tesla, Lucid, and Rivian continue to turn heads, most luxury car brands are struggling to keep up. But at Mercedes-Benz, a singular focus on excellence is allowing the luxury brand to keep pace.

Mercedes wins with design

A bronze/copper Mercedes-Benz EQB luxury SUV model parked on a gravel road near a sunset beach as a family plays
The Mercedes-Benz EQB all-electric luxury SUV | MBUSA

That so many new luxury car brands have made such a big impact is a testament to both their talented teams and the relative ease that comes from a switch to electric power. In the case of Genesis, springing up from a brand that is, by itself, putting out excellent products hasn’t hurt things either.

That said, the team behind Mercedes has done well to fend off these big challenges. But in a world where the newest thing is always the best, how has the oldest luxury car brand on the market kept things competitive? Inspired design, for one.

Just take a look inside a new Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and you’ll see what we’re talking about. It’s not the sparse minimalism of Tesla nor the ho-hum conformity of a Genesis. And while both Rivian and Lucid approach what Mercedes can offer in terms of materials, it’s how the German brand marries both textures and design to create something special.

In most new Mercedes models, the cabin envelops the passenger compartment with a cohesive design that blends all the best bits of old and new-school looks. Wood grains and soft leathers match with brushed metal, carbon fiber, and LED lighting in a way that feels truly unique. From there, everything else just feels derivative.

A wide range of choices for the German luxury car brand

2023 Mercedes-Benz CLA with a Mountain Sunset Landscape
2023 Mercedes-Benz CLA | Mercedes-Benz

While most of the new luxury car brands are focused on EVs, Mercedes has committed to developing across the spectrum. There are the road-ripping AMG models, fuel-sipping hybrids, efficient gasoline-powered four-cylinders, and of course, a selection of high-class EVs within the German brand’s lineup.

Perhaps nothing illustrates this commitment more clearly than the AMG C43, where engineers have managed to wring 402 horsepower from a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. Meanwhile, the EQS and EQE sedans deliver ferocious electric power with nearly 300 miles of range and a premium cabin experience that cannot be denied.

Focused on function

The 2022 Mercedes-AMG GT R Coupe from the performance arm of the luxury car brand.
Mercedes-AMG GT R | Mercedes-AMG

All of the style and performance in the world are nice for press kits and spec sheets, but daily usability is an area where Mercedes truly excels. The Lucid Air comes with 1,000 electric horsepower and can achieve well over 400 miles of range. But it carries a six-figure price tag that is beyond the reach of most buyers. Meanwhile, the Tesla Model S carries big performance figures as well, but with an interior that lacks the premium comfort offered from the German luxury car brand.

That’s not to say that the Tesla isn’t excellent – it is. But in a model like the Mercedes EQS, that excellence comes from blending form and function to make a car that does everything well.

Will Mercedes stay ahead of the new luxury car brands?

In raw sales, probably not. Tesla has already won that war. Even Genesis has eaten into the brand’s market share with a lineup of stunning choices. But in terms of desirability and vehicle diversity, it’s hard to say that Mercedes will fall off the podium anytime soon.

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