Mercedes-Benz S-Class Review logo

Mercedes-Benz S-Class Review

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heycar review

      Launch year
      2014
      Body type
      Luxury
      Fuel type
      Petrol, Diesel, PHEV
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
“ S-Class retains the luxury crown”

Best bits

  • Elegance and style
  • Top drawer comfort
  • PHEV model

Not so great

  • Infotainment ease of use
  • Fussy steering wheel buttons
  • Expensive AMG models

Read by

Mercedes S-Class Coupe frontright exterior

Overall verdict

Mercedes S-Class Coupe front interior

On the inside

Mercedes S-Class Coupe frontright exterior

Driving

Mercedes S-Class Coupe backright exterior

How much does it cost to run

Mercedes S-Class Coupe leftside exterior

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"The old chestnut of who builds the best luxury saloon in the world is somewhat moot nowadays when there are some that go so far beyond anything the mainstream Mercedes S-Class can offer. Even Mercedes does this with its Maybach model, yet the S-Class still has a claim on this title, especially if you introduce rational decisions such as value for money and running costs into the equation."

Mercedes S-Class Coupe frontright exterior

So, the latest S-Class offers luxury car buyers all they could ever want in a discreetly stylish package. For some owners, it will be their only means of transport as it covers so many bases, while for others the S-Class will be one of many choices of car at their disposal. Either way, you are in for a treat with one of the most comfortable and capable cars every made.


However, many of the S-Class models you will see on UK roads will be plying their trade as upmarket cabs. This is a role to which the Merc is superbly well suited thanks to a range of fuel-efficient engines and lower carbon-dioxide emissions than you would think possible for such a large car. There is also the option of a plug-in hybrid model that means even this large saloon can provide economy and emissions to shame most superminis.


At the other end of the scale, Mercedes has not forgotten about its customers who are not concerned in the slightest about running costs. For them, the S63 AMG that only comes in long-wheelbase form provides the ultimate in luxury and performance thanks to its 612PS twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 engine.


Inside every S-Class offers masses of space for four or five passengers, depending on which seating configuration you prefer. The driver is just as well looked after with an ideal driving position, clear-cut controls and the chance to enjoy the S-Class’ wonderful handling.


This is one of the most surprising facets of the S-Class, that it can be so cosseting yet still be fun to drive. Every S-Class has pulled off this clever trick and the latest model is helped by Magic Body Control that scans the road ahead for bumps and potholes to adjust the suspension in anticipation to ensure the smoothest ride possible.


There’s plenty of other tech inside the S-Class and it uses Mercedes’ large widescreen infotainment set-up as standard. This puts the S-Class ahead of most rivals straight away as it’s easy to read and use, as well as suiting the prestige of the car whether you’re sat in the front or back seats.


So, the S-Class is world class. Of that, there’s no doubt. Some might find its approach misses a bit of the drama of a Maserati Quattroporte or heft of a Bentley, but the S-Class earns its accolades through being relentlessly good at everything it does.


Is the Mercedes S-Class right for you?

Regardless of whether you enjoy the Mercedes S-Class from the driver’s seat or the back seat, this is a luxury saloon that more than lives up to that title. Its draped in the finest materials, is built like a bank vault, and comes with plenty of tech to make life easier that is also simple to use.


This is underpinned by those most important of luxury car attributes: a supreme ride and top-class refinement. Using a computer-controlled suspension set-up means the S-Class glides along on a seemingly never-ending bed of smooth tarmac, even if the outside world is rutted and ragged. It also fends off all exterior noise from the cabin with diligent ease to make it a hushed, calming place to spend any journey.


There’s also a good spread of engines, from the blaringly fast AMG 63L to the popular diesel models. There’s also a petrol-electric hybrid that makes a whole lot of sense for anyone who travels in town most of the time thanks to its electric range of up to 27 miles.

What’s the best Mercedes S-Class model/engine to choose?

All Mercedes S-Class models – with the exception of the AMG versions – come in the single Grand Edition trim, so picking the best version is more down to how you specify the car to your needs. Only the popular S350 d comes with the choice of standard or long wheelbase forms as all the others have the longer gap between front and rear wheels for greater rear seat space.


If you drive yourself most of the time, the normal S350 will meet all of your needs with aplomb. It’s quiet, powerful, smooth and efficient for a car of this size. For those who spend a lot of time driving in town, the 560 e petrol-electric hybrid makes a great deal of sense thanks to its 56g/km carbon dioxide emissions and ability to drive up to 27 miles on battery power alone. Only its list price at £20,000 more than the S350 d might put you off.


As for speccing the S-Class, those with a chauffeur to take care of driving may well prefer the Rear Lounge seats with electrically adjusted back rests. In the AMG models, this can be further upgraded to the Individual Rear Seats pack with aircraft-style separate chairs and fold-out tables.


What other cars are similar to the Mercedes S-Class?

The German triptych of luxury cars has the Mercedes S-Class faced by the Audi A8 and BMW 7 Series. The BMW is the one for keen drivers thanks to handling that makes it feel smaller than it really is, while the Audi is every bit as able when it comes to wafting along is near silent comfort. 


There’s also the Jaguar XJ and Maserati Quattroporte for those who want something sporting as an alternative to the AMG S63. Or, you could spend a bit more and have a Bentley Flying Spur for greater exclusivity and bragging rights.


Learn more

Mercedes S-Class Coupe front interior

On the inside

Mercedes S-Class Coupe frontright exterior

Driving

Mercedes S-Class Coupe backright exterior

How much does it cost to run

Mercedes S-Class Coupe leftside exterior

Prices, versions and specification