2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Overview
Pros & Cons
- Phenomenal quality and comfort
- Extensive high-tech features
- Robust engines
- Superior ride quality
- Slight learning curve with infotainment system
Notable for 2017
- New cabriolet joins S-Class coupe and sedan for 2017
- New nine-speed automatic transmission joins lineup in S550 sedans
Mercedes-Benz S-Class Rankings and Research
The 2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class ranking is based on its score within the Super Luxury Cars category. Currently the Mercedes-Benz S-Class has a score of 9.2 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 28 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.
- #1 in Super Luxury Cars
2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Pictures
2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Review
The 2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is a class-leading super luxury car. It has everything you want in a vehicle, including the latest technology, a powerhouse lineup of engines, a lavish interior, and some of the most comfortable seats you'll find. However, all of this luxury comes at a high price – one of the highest in an already expensive class.
Is the Mercedes-Benz S-Class a Good Car?
The S-Class is a good car with a lengthy list of high-tech features and engines that deliver plenty of power. The S-Class' seats have outstanding comfort, and the car has excellent ride quality. It also comes standard with a generous list of safety features, putting your mind to ease as you take on the road in style. One negative: Since the infotainment system performs so many functions, it may take some time for you to master them all.
Should I Buy the Mercedes-Benz S-Class?
If you're shopping in this category, you're prepared to dish out close to $100,000 for a car. However, you'll have to splurge significantly more for the S-Class. This price is not without its benefits, though; you'll be surrounded with luxurious features and the latest technology. The seats are incredibly comfortable, and the generous list of standard features will make you never want to leave the cabin. Just make sure you take some time to learn how to use the infotainment system, as there is a bit of a learning curve. Also note the S-Class will cost you a little extra at the pump since its mileage isn't as good as others in the class.
We Did the Research for You: 28 Pieces of Data Analyzed
To help you decide if the 2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is right for you, we analyzed 28 different pieces of research. This research includes data points like crash test and reliability ratings from independent agencies, as well as reviews written by professional automotive journalists. In short, we’ve done all your research for you. We use it to inform our expert analysis so that you can make a smart buying decision.
The S-Class' last full redesign was in 2014, and it has been mostly unchanged since. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2014 through 2017 model years.
Why You Can Trust Us
Our team has a combined 75 years of experience writing about cars, and we've been publishing class rankings for nearly a decade. We bring this expertise to each of our reviews, ensuring that you get the most accurate information about the vehicles that interest you. You can count on us to bring you an unbiased assessment of every car on our site because our team members do not accept expensive gifts, trips, or merchandise from automakers, and all advertising is handled by a third party.
How Much Does the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cost?
The S-Class sedan starts at $96,600 for the base S550 sedan, which is one of the highest prices in the class. Its coupe and cabriolet (convertible) counterparts start even higher than that at $122,750 and $131,400, respectively. The top-of-the-line AMG S65 cabriolet starts at $247,900, and a fully loaded S-Class could easily surpass $280,000. For these prices, you get luxurious features like dual 12.3-inch display screens, Mercedes' COMAND infotainment system with a touchpad, a DVD player, and a 13-speaker sound system. There are many a la carte items and packages available in each trim. They range from complimentary trials of entertainment and safety services to a $5,900 package. You can get features such as heated rear seats, massaging front seats, and a 24-speaker sound system.
Mercedes-Benz S-Class Versus the Competition
Which Is Better: Mercedes-Benz S-Class or BMW 7 Series?
The BMW 7 Series is another good car, but it has a much lower starting price than the S-Class, at $81,500. This lower price tag makes it an appealing super luxury car alternative to the S-Class. However, it doesn't quite stack up to the S-Class. The 7 Series' interior has a stylish design with high-quality materials, but it's just not up to par with the S-Class' cabin, which is overflowing with amenities.
The 7 Series and the S-Class both have heated seats, leather upholstery, HD Radio, and a rearview camera. However, the 7 Series' large 10.2-inch display pales in comparison to the S-Class' dual 12.3-inch screens. The S-Class also comes standard with a variety of safety features that the 7 Series does not offer, such as crosswind assist and Magic Vision Control, which integrates the windshield washers into the wipers to eliminate the splash of water that can blur the driver's field of vision. The S-Class also has a more comfortable ride than the 7 Series, especially with its available Magic Body Control feature. Magic Body Control uses a stereo camera to scan the road ahead and make suspension adjustments, ensuring top ride quality. The S-Class also bests the 7 Series by almost 130 horsepower in its base model; the S-Class makes 449 horsepower with its V8 engine compared to the 7 Series' 320 horsepower with its V6. You can close this power gap by upgrading to the BMW 750i. This increases the horsepower to 445, which is similar to the base S-Class. However, the value proposition diminishes, since that model's $94,600 price tag is just slightly less than the S-Class' price. If you can afford to splurge, go with the S-Class for its high-tech features, extravagant interior, and powerful ride.
Which Is Better: Mercedes-Benz S-Class or Audi A8?
The Audi A8 starts at $82,500 and gives the S-Class a run for its money when it comes to performance. However, you'll need to upgrade past the A8's base trim to the 450-horsepower V8 engine for $91,500 to get comparable performance. Audi also offers the performance-oriented 605-horsepower S8 model, which accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds. The A8 has an excellent balance of comfort and agility, plus an adaptive air suspension that makes real-time adjustments based on changing road conditions (similar to the S-Class' Magic Body Control). Both cars come with similar standard features, including leather upholstery, navigation, heated front seats, and smartphone integration. The A8's interior also pays great attention to detail and is full of luxurious materials, though it fails to match the standards set by the S-Class in this regard. Overall, the S-Class is the better all-around car, but it comes with a $14,000-plus premium over the A8. If you want to save some cash, the Audi is a lot more attractive.
Which Is Better: Mercedes-Benz S-Class or Lexus LS?
The Lexus LS has a starting price of $72,520, which is $24,080 less than the S-Class. It comes standard with similar features like smartphone integration, navigation, a rearview camera, and HD Radio. However, the S-Class comes standard with many safety features, some of which are only optional – or completely unavailable – in the LS. The S-Class also has superior performance and a nicer interior. It has more powerful engines with stronger acceleration and an incredibly comfortable drive, while the LS has slow acceleration and lackluster handling. The LS' performance is further hindered by its sluggish transmission, whereas the S-Class' transmission shifts seamlessly. The LS is a good car, but the S-Class is superior in every sense. It’s the better buy.
How Many People Does the S-Class Seat?
The S-Class sedan seats five and the S-Class coupe and cabriolet seat four. Leather upholstery is standard, as are heated and cooled 16-way power-adjustable front seats. Heated rear seats, front seats with massage, and reclining, heated and cooled, massage bench rear seats are available.
The S-Class' seats are extremely comfortable and spacious, and the available upgrades provide lavish comfort features for the driver and passengers in both the front and rear. Rear-seat occupants have plenty of legroom in the sedan models, and even the coupe models have spacious seats, which isn't common for a two-door model. Cabriolet models also have good leg- and headroom.
S-Class and Car Seats
The S-Class can fit two child seats in the rear row. It has two sets of lower LATCH anchors in the outboard seats. The lower anchors are located under a flap that runs across the bottom seat and are set deep in the cushions, making them difficult to access. However, once you access them, they are easy to use. Additionally, the S-Class' fixed seat belt buckles make it easy for older kids to buckle themselves in.
S-Class Interior Quality
The 2017 S-Class has truly beautiful interior styling that is full of rich materials and finished with elegant details. Its standard leather and available Nappa leather upholstery is soft and smooth, and the diamond-pattern stitching in the central seat inserts show Mercedes' dedication to design and attention to detail. The S-Class' interior is also extremely quiet, even at high speeds.
S-Class Cargo Space
The 2017 Mercedes-Benz S550 sedan has 16.3 cubic feet of trunk space, which is in line with other sedans in the class. This provides you with enough room for three friends and four golf bags for a round on the links. The S-Class coupe's cargo space shrinks to 10.4 cubic feet. The BMW 7 Series has more room, with 18.2 cubic feet of trunk space. However, the S-Class sedan has more room than the Audi A8, which has just 14.2 cubic feet of trunk space. A power-closing trunk lid comes standard, and an available hands-free trunk feature can open and close the trunk when you wave your foot under the rear bumper.
S-Class Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation
The S-Class comes standard with a proximity key, dual-zone automatic climate control, remote start, a household-type power outlet, and remote access to your car via mbrace Connect. The vehicle's COMAND infotainment system includes dual 12.3-inch screens, a touchpad controller, navigation, HD Radio, satellite radio, Bluetooth, a DVD player, smartphone integration, and a 13-speaker sound system. Available features include heated and cooled cup holders, a 24-speaker sound system, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and the Mercedes-Benz Concierge service.
Mercedes' COMAND system is easy to use, but it may take some time to master it. It is chock-full of features, and its two crisp 12.3-inch screens display visuals and information very clearly.
S-Class Engine: Power House
All base models come standard with a 449-horsepower twin-turbocharged 4.7-liter V8 engine and a quick-shifting nine-speed automatic transmission. The 4Matic sedan also comes with this engine. All AMG S63 models come with a 577-horsepower twin-turbocharged AMG 5.5-liter V8. All S65 models come with a 621-horsepower twin-turbocharged AMG 6.0-liter V12 engine. The S600 sedan comes with a twin-turbocharged 523-horsepower 6.0-liter V12 engine. The S550e plug-in hybrid comes with a 436-horsepower 3.0-liter V6 engine with an electric motor. AMG models and the plug-in hybrid model have a seven-speed automatic transmission, which also shifts rapidly.
The base engine is plenty powerful and rockets from zero to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds. If that's not fast enough for you, the 5.5-liter engine accelerates from zero to 60 in 3.8 seconds. The S550's engine provides effortless acceleration, and the AMG models offer blistering acceleration and a louder exhaust note.
S-Class Gas Mileage: Gas Guzzler
The S550 gets 18 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway with its base engine. This is slightly below the class average. With the 6.0-liter V12 engine in the S65 models, it gets as low as 13 mpg in the city and 21 on the highway, which will cost you up to $2,500 in gas annually. The Audi A8 L gets better fuel economy: up to 19/29 mpg city/highway ($1,850 for gas each year). The S550e plug-in hybrid can travel up to 12 miles on electricity alone and gets 58 mpg-e. Filling it with gas will cost you about $1,400 annually, and the plug-in hybrid has the same starting price as the base S550 ($96,600).
For more information on mpg-e, read Decoding MPG-e.
S-Class Ride and Handling: Magic Show
The S-Class comes standard with front-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive is available. The standard Airmatic suspension does a great job at soaking up bumps and dips in the road to provide a smooth ride. Additionally, the available Magic Body Control uses a camera to scan the road ahead, looking for imperfections. It then adjusts the suspension to accommodate the changes before riding over them, keeping your ride as smooth as possible. Overall, the S-Class has an excellent ride quality with light steering and fairly nimble handling, despite its size.
Is the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Reliable?
The 2017 S-Class has a predicted reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power and Associates. This is better than most other cars on the road. The Lexus LS receives a score of five out five for predicted reliability, and the BMW 7 Series receives a 3.5.
Mercedes-Benz S-Class Warranty
S-Class Crash Test Results
There are no crash test results for the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Expensive cars often do not undergo crash tests.
S-Class Safety Features
Standard safety features in the S-Class include driver drowsiness monitoring, Collision Prevention Assist Plus (which automatically applies the brakes if it senses an imminent collision) a rearview camera, crosswind assist, brake assist, and Magic Vision Control, which eliminates vision-obscuring windshield spray across the windshield. Also included is Pre-Safe, which closes the windows and sunroof and tightens the seatbelts if it detects a crash is imminent. Available safety features include blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, steering assist, Pre-Safe with pedestrian detection, speed limit assist, a 360-degree camera, lane keep assist, active park assist with automatic parking, cross traffic assist, and Night View Assist Plus, which projects infrared beams in the dark to detect pedestrians or animals in the road and alerts the driver by displaying the images on the digital instrument cluster.
Which Mercedes-Benz S-Class Model Is Right for Me?
The 2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class comes in three body styles: sedan, coupe, and cabriolet (convertible). Each body style offers several different models. The sedan offers six trims with various engines and drivetrains, as well as a plug-in hybrid version. The coupe comes in three trims with multiple engines and drivetrains, and the cabriolet also comes in three different trims with multiple engines available.
The base S550 sedan starts at $96,600, making it one of the most expensive cars in its class, but also one of the most powerful. It boasts a 449-horsepower base engine. It also comes with a hefty list of standard features, like smartphone integration, heated and cooled front seats, and driver drowsiness monitoring. If you feel the need for more features, there are over a dozen packages and a la carte items that you can add to spice up your ride, such as traffic sign assist, dual power rear seats, and multicontour rear seats with massage. For the same price as the base model, you can go green with a plug-in hybrid and get the same features as its gasoline-only counterpart. If you need all-wheel drive, you'll have to upgrade to the S550 4Matic for an additional $3,000. All upper trims have steep price hikes to go along with their stronger engines and superior performance. However, they don't add many features. The base model should satisfy most buyers, but if you're looking for the best performance at the best value consider the…
The base S-Class model is the S550 sedan. It starts at $96,600 and comes with a 449-horsepower 4.7-liter V8 engine, a nine-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive. The S550 comes standard with leather upholstery, heated and cooled 16-way power-adjustable front seats, a household-type outlet, electronic trunk closer, dual 12.3-inch screens, the COMAND system with a touchpad, navigation, HD Radio, satellite radio, Bluetooth, a DVD player, smartphone integration, a 13-speaker sound system, remote start, and remote access to your car via mbrace Connect. Standard safety features include driver drowsiness monitoring; a rearview camera; crosswind assist, which applies brakes on one side of the car to keep it on course in cases of strong crosswinds; Collision Prevention Assist Plus, which automatically applies the brakes if it senses an imminent collision; Pre-Safe, which closes the windows and tightens the front seat belts when it detects a rollover is imminent; and Magic Vision Control, which features wiper blades that spray washer fluid in front of the moving wipers to eliminate vision-obscuring spray across the windshield.
There are dozens of a la carte items and packages available in the S550 trim. They range from complimentary trials of entertainment and safety services, to a $5,900 package. They add features like blind spot monitoring, heated and cooled cup holders, heated rear seats, front seats with massage, and Magic Body Control, which uses a camera to scan road conditions ahead and adjust the suspension to accommodate them.
The S550e plug-in hybrid starts at $96,600 and comes with a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine and an electric motor. Together they make 436 horsepower. The S550 4Matic starts at $99,600 and comes with the V8 engine and all-wheel drive. The AMG S63 sedan starts at $144,700 and comes with a twin-turbocharged AMG 5.5-liter V8 engine that makes 577 horsepower. These models all come with similar standard features.
The S600 sedan starts at $170,750 and comes with a twin-turbocharged 523-horsepower 6.0-liter V12 engine. It includes lower-trim features and adds reclining heated and cooled massage bench rear seats with power-adjustable headrests, adaptive cruise control, and a 24-speaker sound system.
The AMG S65 sedan starts at $226,900 and comes with twin-turbocharged 621-horsepower AMG 6.0-liter V12 engine. It comes standard with lower-trim features and adds active parking assist with automatic parking.
The S-Class coupe base model starts at $122,750. It comes with the V8 engine, 4Matic all-wheel drive, and S550 sedan features. The AMG S63 coupe starts at $164,750 and comes standard with the AMG 5.5-liter engine and S550 coupe features. The AMG S65 coupe starts at $236,250 and comes standard with the AMG 6.0-liter engine and lower-trim features. It adds a 24-speaker sound system and adaptive cruise control.
The S-Class cabriolet base model starts at $131,400. It comes with the base V8 engine and base S550 features. The AMG S63 cabriolet starts at $176,400 and comes with the AMG 5.5-liter engine, 4Matic all-wheel drive, and lower-trim features. The AMG S65 cabriolet starts at $247,900 and comes with the AMG 6.0-liter engine and lower-trim features. It adds a 24-speaker sound system and adaptive cruise control.
The Final Call
You'll sit in the lap of luxury as you drive the 2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Its whisper-quiet cabin has some of the most comfortable seats you'll find in any car. You'll also be surrounded by top-quality materials and high-tech features. However, there is a bit of a learning curve with its infotainment system, and it gets slightly below-average fuel economy for the class. It also has one of the highest starting prices for a super luxury car. If you want to cruise around feeling like royalty – and you can afford to – then the S-Class is for you. However, the BMW 7 Series and Audi A8 are also highly ranked, with lower starting prices.
Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.
- "Simply put, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is one of the finest cars in the world. There's no need for qualifiers like 'for the money' or 'within its class.'" -- Edmunds
- "Luxury cars claim to be the envy of the world's elite, but those cars envy the 2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Acclaimed by CEOs, heads of state, or just those who want to feel like one, the combination of power, technology, luxury, sophistication and exacting attention to detail leaves the S-Class without equal. Are there alternatives? Yes, and the BMW 7 Series, Audi A8 and Lexus LS are all impressive, yet perpetually a step behind the S-Class. This flagship sedan, coupe and new drop-top Cabriolet offer driver-assist aids and luxury trappings that are second to none, justification enough for its nearly $100,000 base price. In its most elite form, the V12-powered AMG S65 impresses beyond reason, while the eco-friendly super-rich can opt for the S550e plug-in hybrid." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "This S550 is just as luxurious and stately as anything on the road, sitting proudly among the titans at the top of Mercedes-Benz's lineup and upholding the gravitas of the S-class name." -- Car and Driver
Research Prices: 2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class
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