Mercedes-Benz S 550 Review & Buyers Guide

Mercedes-Benz S 550 Review & Buyers Guide

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For many years, the Mercedez-Benz S-Class has been one of the finest full-size luxury sedans on the market.

With an ideal combination of refined style, sophistication, German engineering, the Mercedes S-Class contains all of the classic elements that drivers expect and, with a full update in 2021, offers even higher levels of comfort and performance.

Here's our Mercedes-Benz S 550 review and the reasons why it's one of the best luxury cars available.

Mercedes-Benz S-Class prices

Currently, Mercedes manufactures two S-Class models:

  • S500 — $112,150 MSRP
  • S580 — $118,750 MSRP

Several updated specs make the already high-tech S-Class even more impressive. 

The optional E-Active Body Control suspension system continually adjusts level control and damping for each wheel, enhancing ride quality and cornering. 

MBUX Interior Assist understands hand gestures on the touchpad or touchscreen for various functions. 

On the surface, several new paint tones allow you to customize your S-Class to reflect your style. Available colors include Manufaktur Cashmere White, Kalahari Gold, Nautical Blue Metallic, and Manufaktur Selenite Grey Magno.

Your center console also comes customizable in either black with dotted lines or metallic black and silver.

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class is an excellent luxury car, and its price reflects that. Buying a used version can save you thousands, but finding a pre-owned S-Class in excellent condition can feel like a hassle. Driving around town and looking at different vehicles can be time-consuming and unproductive. Even if an advertisement looks nice, how can you be sure a pre-owned car isn't hiding mechanical issues? And stressful negotiating can take the fun out of purchasing a new-to-you vehicle. But when you buy a car from Shift, you don't have to worry about that.

You can buy any of Shift's cars directly online from the comfort of your home, know it has no hidden issues (from our 150-point inspection) and get a fair, up-front price. Shift's website has a large selection of fully inspected cars located across the country that are ready to go. The website’s user-friendly, and you'll be able to find various makes and models to suit your needs and budget.

Mercedes S-Class horsepower and performance

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan has a high-tech powertrain that utilizes turbocharged engines, a hybrid system, and all-wheel drive.

The S 500 4Matic uses a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine producing 429 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque. The S 580 4Matic comes with a more powerful twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 motor making 496 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque.

Both engines come with Mercedes' EQ Boost, a 48-volt mild-hybrid system featuring nine-speed automatic transmissions and the company's 4Matic all-wheel-drive system.

Contributing to the S-Class' excellent ride and handling are air suspension and the E-Active Body Control that angles the car inward during cornering. And you can also add an optional four-wheel steering system that makes the S-Class maneuver like a much smaller vehicle despite its wider wheelbase.

Mercedes S-Class fuel economy

The S 500 returns an EPA-rated 21 mpg city and 30 mpg highway gas mileage.

When you opt for the V8-powered S 580, those numbers decrease to 16 mpg city and 25 mpg highway.

Mercedes S-Class interior

The interior of the Mercedes S-Class emphasizes luxury, comfort, and technology. 

A 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster relays essential vehicle information, while a 12.8-inch OLED center touchscreen allows you to control various functions like the entertainment system, satellite radio, and connectivity.

The digital gauges feature a 3D display effect, but you can also view them more conventionally if you prefer. 

A new-generation heated steering wheel with capacitive touch control buttons allows you to focus on the road while adjusting various settings.

The center touchscreen is powered by Mercedes' MBUX software, utilizing voice commands, fingerprint scanning, and facial recognition. Popular features like Apple Carplay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, and wireless charging all come standard. And with the standard Burmester 3D sound system or optional Burmester 4D sound system, you can enjoy your favorite songs with fantastic clarity.

A heads-up display lets you follow navigation system instructions while viewing the road, with illuminated arrows shown in your field of vision.

The current S-Class follows the model's long tradition of premium materials and build quality, providing a refined and luxurious atmosphere for you and your passengers.

Passengers in the rear seats of the S 500 enjoy spacious legroom, optional dual 11.6-inch screens for entertainment, interactive LED lighting, and available reclining seats with massage and heating.

2015 Mercedes-Benz S 550 (from $49,450)

2015 Mercedes-Benz S 550 (from $49,450)
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2015 Mercedes-Benz S 550 (from $49,450)
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Mercedes S-Class safety features

The S-Class uses various safety features to keep you safe and secure while driving.

Each trim level comes standard with driver assistance technology that helps you detect and avoid collisions. And a self-parking feature ensures you don't bump into adjacent vehicles while maneuvering in tight spaces.

Available safety features include rear-seat airbags and active suspension that raises the vehicle during a collision to minimize damage.

Standard driver-assistance technology on the Mercedes S-Class includes:

  • Lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
  • Adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go technology
  • Forward-collision warning with automated emergency braking
  • Active blind-spot assist

2016 Mercedes-Benz S 550 (from $46,950)

2016 Mercedes-Benz S 550 (from $46,950)
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Mercedes S-Class review in summary

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class is a superb full-size luxury sedan that offers first-rate comfort, performance, and technology.

Whether you go with the S 500 or S 580, you'll drive away in a vehicle with an innovative powertrain that uses turbocharging, a hybrid system, and AWD.

And even with the S-Class' powerful engines and quick acceleration, its fuel efficiency is excellent for long trips. With fewer gas stops, you can cruise with ease.

The interior of the Mercedes S-Class blends high-quality materials, sleek design, and long-range comfort. Modern technology like MBUX software, a Burmester sound system, and other excellent rear passenger amenities make it a treat for the driver and passengers alike.

And with its extensive list of safety features, including standard driver's assistance technology, the S-Class ensures your safety and security no matter where you drive. Standard features like adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and automated emergency braking give you the tools to avoid collisions, whether on the highway or back roads.

When you’re in the market for a luxury car, like a Benz, Audi, Lexus, Porsche, or BMW, you’ll probably want to sell your old vehicle. But that can be a time-consuming hassle, and how can you know if you receive fair value? But when selling your car to Shift, all you'll have to do is enter the make, model, year, and mileage on our easy-to-use website, and you'll instantly receive a purchase offer that's valid for seven days.

You can get a fair offer, better than at the dealership, driven by powerful machine learning algorithms and tons of data. And with Shift, there is no need to spend the extra time waxing and washing the car. A little dirt won’t affect the quote, as we fully detail the cars ourselves before listing them for sale.

2013 Mercedes-Benz S 550 (from $26,950)

2013 Mercedes-Benz S 550 (from $26,950)
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Author
Shift Editorial Team