2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class

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2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Review

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is an outstanding player in the super luxury car segment. The S-Class impresses in many categories, including its lineup of potent engines and stunning interior. Its midpack standing in our rankings is mostly because of its relatively high cost of ownership.

Pros & Cons

  • Lavish, feature-filled interior
  • Outstanding seats
  • Powerful engine lineup
  • Smooth ride and easy handling
  • Coupe and cabriolet models have small trunks
  • Modest learning curve for infotainment system

New for 2018

  • V6-powered S 450 introduced as base trim
  • More powerful V8 in the S 560 and AMG S 63
  • More active and semi-autonomous safety features

Research & Ratings

Currently, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class has a score of 7.5 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 37 pieces of research and data.




Critics' Rating: 9.6
Performance: 9.2
Interior: 9.3
Total Cost of Ownership: 3.6
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Overview

Is the 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class a Good Used Car?

Yes, the S-Class is a superb used car. It takes some heavy nitpicking to find faults, though it's worth noting that you will likely spend more to buy one of these than many other used super luxury cars. If you can afford it, you can select from three different trims (Mercedes-Benz, Mercedes-AMG, and Mercedes-Maybach) and three different body styles (four-door sedan, two-door coupe, and soft-top cabriolet).

The 2018 S-Class has many positives:

  • Spacious cabin boasts first-class materials and features
  • Fantastically comfortable seats
  • Lengthy list of available safety features
  • Robust engines
  • Smooth ride quality and effortless handling

It has only a few drawbacks:

  • Not much trunk space in coupe and convertible body styles
  • Cumbersome technology
  • Average prices are relatively high
Why You Can Trust Us

Our goal is to make shopping for your next car as easy as possible. You'll find everything you need to know about the Mercedes S-Class in our comprehensive review. It combines concrete data like fuel economy estimates, horsepower specs, and cargo space dimensions with professional Mercedes-Benz S-Class reviews.

The U.S. News & World Report Best Cars team has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007. With more than 75 years of combined automotive experience, our editors, writers, and analysts rank a wide variety of new and used cars and issue three annual awards: Best Cars for the Money, Best Cars for Families, and Best Vehicle Brands. To keep our recommendations unbiased, we decline expensive gifts from carmakers, and a third party handles our advertising.

How Much Is the 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class?

Based on listings for the 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class on our site, the average list price is $96,400. Prices range from $72,800 to $144,800 and vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cost to Own?

The 2018 S-Class’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be around $36,700, or $7,340 per year. This is similar to estimates for the 2018 Audi A8.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New S-Class?

For 2019, the Mercedes S-Class carries over relatively unchanged. You can likely spend less on a used 2018 model while getting a nearly identical car.

Read about the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class »

The current generation of S-Class was launched for the 2014 model year and has undergone only a few changes. A coupe body style was added for 2015, and the cabriolet debuted for 2017. A nine-speed automatic transmission also became available in select trims for 2017. For 2018, a new base trim (S 450) joined the lineup, and some optional safety features became available. If these features or the new V6 engine that was added for 2018 aren't essential, consider an older used S-Class, which will likely cost less.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 S-Class »

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class?

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class has a slightly above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about S-Class reliability »

2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Recalls

At the time of writing, there are four recalls for the 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class:

  • Two recalls address issues with the active steering assist system, which may fail to disengage when the driver takes their hands off the steering wheel
  • Electrical power bars in pre-fuse box may be loose
  • Door may not lock properly

Before buying any used vehicle, make sure all recalls have been addressed.

See more information on Mercedes-Benz S-Class safety recalls »

Which Used Mercedes-Benz S-Class Trim Is Right for Me?

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class comes in two main trim levels: S 450 and S 560. The base S 450 comes only as a sedan, but the rest of the S-Class is available as a sedan, coupe, or cabriolet. The performance-oriented Mercedes-AMG trims are the S 63 and S 65. There are also two ultra-high-end sedan editions, the Mercedes-Maybach S 560 and Mercedes-Maybach S 650.

Each line comes with its own set of luxury features and performance components, and within the line, each trim level offers a unique engine. Overall, there's a lot of variety within the S-Class fleet, and every edition is sublime. We recommend starting with the S 450, and only move up the trim ladder if you find this model doesn't meet your desired level of opulence or performance.  

  • Mercedes-Benz S 450: The S 450 comes with a 362-horsepower, twin-turbocharged V6 engine and a nine-speed automatic transmission. Standard features include a panoramic sunroof, heated front seats, leather upholstery, driver drowsiness monitoring, blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, a Burmester audio system, satellite radio, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, wireless phone charging, and the COMAND infotainment system with a 12.3-inch touch screen and navigation. There are a number of available features and option packages, including massaging front and rear seats, heated rear seats, a refrigerator box for the rear cabin, a Wi-Fi hot spot, a 26-speaker Burmester 3D audio system, a rear-seat entertainment system, and a litany of active safety features.
  • Mercedes-Benz S 560: Under the hood of the S 560 is a 463-horsepower, twin-turbocharged V8 engine. For the most part, standard and available features for the S 560 are the same as the S 450.
  • Mercedes-AMG S 63: The AMG S 63 comes with a 603-horsepower twin-turbo V8 engine and all-wheel drive. It also has performance features such as an adaptive sport suspension and high-performance brakes. Sedan models have cornering assist and a cylinder management system that deactivates cylinders to improve fuel economy. As for comfort, convenience, and tech features, offerings for the AMG S 63 match those of the other trims.
  • Mercedes-AMG S 65: A 621-horsepower, twin-turbo V12 engine powers the AMG S 65. It also features an enhanced sport suspension system and upgraded set of wheels.
  • Mercedes-Maybach S 560 and S 650: The Mercedes-Maybach S 560 comes with the same engine as the Mercedes-Benz S 560, and the Mercedes-Maybach S 650 runs the same power plant as the AMG S 65. Among the highlights of these ultraluxe editions are executive rear seats with a power calf rest, extensive leather trimmings, and upgraded suspension systems.

See 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class trims and specs »

What Does Mercedes-Benz's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Mercedes-Benz offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 75,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. Mercedes-Benz certified pre-owned vehicles come with the balance of the original four-year/50,000-mile new-car warranty, plus an additional one-year/unlimited-mileage warranty. This warranty can be renewed for a fee. If the new-car warranty has expired, you’ll receive the one-year warranty with unlimited mileage. Every Mercedes-Benz CPO vehicle must pass a 165-point inspection.

If you’re unsatisfied with your CPO vehicle, Mercedes’ Exchange Privilege program allows you to exchange it for another CPO vehicle of equal or lesser value within seven days or 500 miles. Additional benefits like towing and 24-hour roadside assistance may be available, so read the Mercedes-Benz warranty page carefully.

Among luxury car manufacturers, Mercedes-Benz’s CPO program is about average. It’s better than BMW’s but not as robust as Jaguar’s or Lexus’, according to our analysis.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the S-Class?

Neither the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety nor the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has crash tested the 2018 S-Class. This is typical for a super luxury car.

Standard advanced safety features:

  • forward collision warning
  • automatic emergency braking
  • driver drowsiness monitoring
  • blind spot monitoring
  • lane keep assist
  • crosswind assist
  • rearview camera
  • Mercedes’ Pre-Safe (automatically does things like tighten seat belts and roll up windows if it detects an imminent collision)

Available advanced safety features:

  • head-up display
  • active lane keep assist
  • adaptive cruise control
  • active steering assist
  • evasive steering assist
  • route-based speed adaptation
  • active blind spot monitoring
  • lane change assist
  • rear cross traffic alert
  • night vision assist
  • surround-view camera system
  • parallel and perpendicular park assist
  • Pre-Safe Plus (extension of the standard Pre-Safe system)

See S-Class safety scores »

2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class or 2018 BMW 7 Series?

The 2018 BMW 7 Series is certainly a fine automobile. Similar to the S-Class, it has an authoritative lineup of engines, a rich interior, and an impressive set of infotainment features. When it comes to technology, the 7 Series has a leg up on the S-Class. However, the Mercedes outclasses the BMW in almost every other area – but it also costs almost $32,000 more, on average. If you don't want to spend the extra dough, roll with the 7 Series.

Which Is Better: 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class or 2018 Audi A8?

The 2018 Audi A8 also costs far less on average than the S-Class. The A8 is more athletic, delivering a more thrilling experience. Its cabin is replete with state-of-the-art technology and handsome materials, but the Audi doesn't pamper its occupants at nearly the same level as the Mercedes. The choice comes down to picking the car that best fits your personality.

Compare the S-Class, 7 Series, and A8 »

2018 S-Class Performance

How Does the 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Drive?

The base V6 engine moves the hefty S-Class with relative ease. Unsurprisingly, the more powerful V8 and V12 engines give this super luxury car even more oomph. The standard automatic transmission provides smooth, well-timed shifting.

The car's easy handling also belies its weight. The steering requires only a light touch. The suspension system helps the car maintain an even keel on curvy roads while delivering a smooth ride.

  • Base engine: 362-horsepower turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 (S 450)
  • Available engines:
    • 463-horsepower turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 (S 560)
    • 603-horsepower turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 (AMG S 63)
    • 621-horsepower turbocharged 6.0-liter V12 (AMG S 65)
  • Drivetrain: standard rear-wheel drive; available all-wheel drive
  • Transmission: standard nine-speed automatic; available seven-speed automatic
Does the 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Get Good Gas Mileage?

The base S 450 provides a typical fuel economy rating for a super luxury car. Moving up to the S 560 will cost the average driver an additional $100 in fuel every year, and the AMG S 63 adds an additional $250. The difference in fuel economy between rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive models is trivial.

  • V6, RWD: 19/28 mpg city/highway
  • 4.0-liter V8, RWD: 17/27 mpg
  • 4.0-liter V8, AWD: 17/27 mpg
  • V12, RWD: 13/22 mpg

Read more about S-Class performance »

2018 S-Class Interior

How Many People Does the 2018 S-Class Seat?

The 2018 S-Class sedan seats five people, while coupe and convertible models seat four. In addition to being supremely comfortable, S-Class seats provide an appealing amount of space and adjustments. The executive-style back seat in the sedan is roomy, and the coupe and cabriolet models have adult-friendly rear seats. The interior is one of the most opulent in the class, with top-shelf materials and high-brow options.

Standard seating features:

  • leather upholstery
  • 16-way power-adjustable front seats
  • heated front seats

Available seating features:

  • Nappa leather upholstery
  • rapid-warming front seats
  • ventilated front seats
  • massaging front and rear seats
  • heated and ventilated rear seats (with rapid-warming feature)
  • power-adjustable rear seats
  • folding tables for rear seats
  • heated armrests
  • heated and cooled rear cup holders
  • heated steering wheel
How Many Child Car Seats Fit in the 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class?

The 2018 S-Class has two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the rear outboard seats.

2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Features

The S-Class is brimming with technology. The standard infotainment system comes with a large, crisp display. There's no touch screen, but once you get used to using the touchpad controller, the system is reasonably easy to use. This is especially true for smartphone users who take advantage of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which come standard.

  • Standard infotainment features: the COMAND infotainment system, a 12.3-inch display, a navigation system, a 13-speaker Burmester audio system, satellite radio, HD Radio, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, two USB ports, wireless phone charging, and Mercedes-Benz mbrace Connect (lets you control some vehicle functions from your phone and includes a Wi-Fi hot spot)
  • Available infotainment features: rear-cabin wireless phone charging, a 26-speaker Burmester 3D audio system, a split-view front entertainment system, and a rear-seat entertainment system
  • Additional standard features: a panoramic sunroof and dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Other available features: quad-zone automatic climate control and a refrigerator box for the rear cabin

See 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class specs »

Read more about S-Class interior »

2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Dimensions

Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cargo Space

The Mercedes S-Class sedans have 18.7 cubic feet of trunk space, which is large enough to hold a medium-size suitcase from everyone on board. Luggage space slims down to 10.4 cubic feet in the shorter coupe models. The S-Class cabriolets have 12.4 cubic feet of trunk space when the top is up and 8.8 cubic feet with the top down.

These cargo dimensions are for comparative purposes. There is no substitute for visually examining the storage area in any car you’re considering.

2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Length and Weight
  • Length: 16 feet, 6 inches to 17 feet, 11 inches
  • Curb weight: 4,553 to 5,324 pounds

Where Was the 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Built?

Mercedes-Benz built the S-Class in Germany.


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