2012 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Hybrid

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2012 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Hybrid Review

Note: This review was created when the 2012 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Hybrid was new.

Reviewers say that its top-notch interior and composed ride make the 2012 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Hybrid a compelling choice, but newer competitors offer better fuel economy.

Pros & Cons

  • Least expensive S-Class
  • Safety features unmatched in its class
  • Luxurious interior
  • Quiet ride
  • Confusing cabin electronics
  • Numb steering
  • Expensive for the class
  • Spongy brake feel

Research & Ratings

Currently, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Hybrid has a score of 8.6 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 15 pieces of research and data.




Critics' Rating: 8.6
Performance: 7.5
Interior: 8.9
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2012 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Hybrid Overview

The 2012 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Hybrid offers all the luxurious trappings that test drivers find in its gas-only sibling, the Mercedes S-Class. Although new hybrid rivals have hit the streets, critics agree it’s hard to beat an S-Class. Edmunds says, “Its competitors are impressive, but the 2012 Mercedes-Benz S-Class remains the quintessential premium luxury sedan.”

While its performance is beaten out by the BMW 7-Series Hybrid and the Porsche Panamera Hybrid, the hybrid S-Class continues to offer a value proposition compared with these competitors. It’s not only less expensive than the BMW and Porsche; it’s also the least expensive S-Class. Still, Mercedes has introduced a new diesel version of the S-Class for 2012, and many critics agree that if you’re looking for the S-Class with the best fuel economy, the new S350 Bluetec diesel might be a better choice.

Inside, many reviewers say that the S-Class sets the bar for other super luxury cars. Its spacious, comfortable cabin is among the best available, and the expanses of wood, metal and leather trim are top-notch. Unlike other hybrids, the S-Class Hybrid’s battery is mounted under the hood. As a result, the S-Class Hybrid has a large trunk, just like its non-hybrid siblings. However, some reviewers comment that its electronic features take time to master.

Other Cars to Consider

You don’t need to sacrifice performance just because you’re shopping for a hybrid. If you want a super luxury car with athletic handling and great fuel economy, consider the Porsche Panamera Hybrid. The Panamera Hybrid costs just a bit more than the S-Class Hybrid, but offers acceleration and agility that the S-Class can’t match. Granted, the Panamera Hybrid only seats four, but reviewers rave about its spacious, high-quality interior.

While the S-Class Hybrid has an opulent cabin and hybrid fuel efficiency, its newest sibling may be a better choice for shoppers who want first-class luxury and great fuel economy. The 2012 Mercedes S350 Bluetec diesel has all the comfort and luxury of the S-Class Hybrid, but it also offers better fuel economy and standard 4Matic all-wheel drive.

Mercedes-Benz S-Class Hybrid: The Details

The 2012 Mercedes-Bens S-Class Hybrid comes in just one, well-equipped trim level: the S400 Hybrid. The S400’s V6 engine and electric motor are paired to a seven-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. The S400 Hybrid does not see any changes for 2012. Gas and diesel versions of the 2012 Mercedes-Benz S-Class are reviewed separately.

See the full 2012 Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid specs.

  • "Our Best Buy choices are the ‘base’ S400 Hybrid, S350 BlueTEC, and S550 versions. They deliver such high levels of performance and luxury that it is difficult to justify paying so much more for other S-Class models." -- Consumer Guide  
  • "Luxury sedan customers who are also interested in decent mileage would be foolish to ignore the six-cylinder BMW 740Li, which costs a whopping $15,000 or so less than this Benz, earns competitive EPA numbers (17/25 mpg), and is significantly quicker." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "While the S-Class is a large car, it’s easy to drive and offers a superb ride - just the ticket when the open road beckons and you have a lot of miles to cover without stopping." -- Road and Track

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