Buying Guide

2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class

Fair Market Price $67,398 S550 Sedan
Motor Trend Rating


17 City / 26 Hwy

Horse Power:

449 @ 5250


516 @ 1800

New for 2015

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class, redesigned for 2014, is joined by an S-Class Coupe. Otherwise, the physical keyboard interface is replaced with a touchpad that supports swiping.

Vehicle Overview

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class is the automaker’s flagship full-size sedan, and now coupe. The sedan comes in varieties from the capable S550 4Matic, to the wild S65 AMG, and the ultra-luxury Maybach-branded S600. The S-Class sits above the E-Class and the CLS-Class as the biggest and most expensive sedan in the Mercedes-Benz lineup.


The 2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class sets the bar in the full-size luxury sedan segment, leading the way with technology, luxury, comfort, and power. A number of powerplants motivate the S-Class, while a seven-speed automatic is found throughout the lineup.

Model: S550, S550 4Matic, S550 4Matic Coupe

Engine and Transmission: Twin-turbocharged 4.6-liter V-8 – seven-speed auto

Power: 449 hp/516 lb-ft

EPA-rated fuel efficiency: 17/26 mpg – 16/26 mpg (4Matic) – 16/24 mpg (4Matic Coupe)

Model: S600

Engine and Transmission: Twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter V-12 – seven-speed auto

Power: 523 hp/612 lb-ft

EPA-rated fuel efficiency: 13/21 mpg

Model: S63 AMG 4Matic, S63 AMG 4Matic Coupe

Engine and Transmission: Twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V-8 – seven-speed auto

Power: 577 hp/664 lb-ft

EPA-rated fuel efficiency: 15/23 mpg

Model: S65 AMG, S65 AMG Coupe

Engine and Transmission: Twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter V-12 – seven-speed auto

Power: 621 hp/738 lb-ft

EPA-rated fuel efficiency: 13/20 mpg – 13/21 mpg (Coupe)

The 2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class earned the distinction of being our 2015 Design of the Year with the introduction of the S-Class Coupe. The Mercedes-Benz S-Class comes will all the features one would expect on a luxury flagship sedan, such as heated/ventilated seats (front and rear), sumptuous leather, Magic Ride Control, and a driver assistance suite that can nearly drive the S-Class for you. Other worthy-of-note features include the heated armrests and door panels (front and rear), heated/cooled rear cupholders, a fragrance atomizer in the climate control, and massaging front/rear seats (six massages, with a hot-stone massage function).

The 2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class has not yet been crash tested by the NHTSA or the IIHS.

What We Think

The 2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is the world’s most popular full-size luxury sedan for a reason, and with the introduction of the S-Class Coupe it becomes even more desirable. The S-Class has long been the platform Mercedes-Benz has used to introduce its latest and greatest technology. No flagship luxury sedan is complete without a supple ride, and the S-Class is no exception. In a 2014 Driven review, we drove an S-Class Sedan and noted, “Because bad pavement is hard to find in this part of Germany, Mercedes set up a demonstration with two five-inch-tall speed bumps. First we drove across them at 25 mph with Magic Body Control deactivated, and the effect was about what you’d expect: a gentle rise and fall. Then we repeated the exercise at the same speed with the system working, and it was almost as if the bumps had been erased.”

Another plus we noted with the redesign was that “the [new Mercedes-Benz S-Class] switches to electric power assist, but Mercedes has done a remarkable job exactly imitating the action and effort of the previous hydraulic system.”

“None of the interior features have the wow factor of Steering Assist, part of the available Distronic Plus adaptive cruise control,” we wrote in a review. “With Distronic engaged and a button on the lower left of the dash switched on, a green steering-wheel icon appears to indicate that autonomous steering is ready. Using the stereo cameras behind the rearview mirror, the S-class can follow the car ahead, autonomously steering through curves. If the car ahead pulls off or changes lanes, the system will pick up the lane markers, although the driver might have to grab the wheel.”

In a three-way comparison among the Mercedes-Benz S600, Rolls Royce Ghost, and Bentley Flying Spur we argued that the Mercedes-Benz was the most logical purchase and said, “Harder to measure, but more important, are presence and a sense of occasion. If you like Teutonic flair paired with overkill engineering (motorized buckles, airbags for the rear belts, perfume dispenser, etc.), you will appreciate the Mercedes-Benz S600 … So where would the lottery win go? The brain buys the Benz. It’s the cleverest high-end sedan by a long shot, capable of spoiling you with a bouquet of creature comforts yet involving you on a high-speed drive.”

We’ve also driven the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S550 Plug-In Hybrid, the first of 10 plug-in hybrid vehicles the brand will introduce between now and 2017. We noted, “The biggest sacrifice versus the V-8 car is the sound that accompanies the push in the back. We fault not the electric motor but the rather pedestrian sounding V-6.” We also said, “The [hybrid] identity becomes clearer when the trunk lid opens, revealing the lithium-ion battery pack. This junk in the trunk takes up 3.4 cubic-feet of cargo space and prevents a pass-through from the back seat. A plus side of having batteries on board is that the S550 hybrid can cool the interior to a preset temperature and/or preheat your seats, steering wheel, and arm rests … Otherwise, this is just your run-of-the-mill, $95,000+ S-class cabin, replete with massaging chairs, a digital instrument panel, and an automatic perfume spritzer.” The S550 Plug-In Hybrid moves easily through town and does so in complete silence, without the usual tire and road noise that often become noticeable in a typical EV. Drivers can reach 87 mph in all-electric mode, and can travel up to 20 miles without using any gasoline.

We drove the eight-cylinder S63 AMG and S550 sedans back to back and said, “The S550 is elegant, bold, and graceful. We think it’s one of the best-looking sedans you can buy. If for whatever reason you think it needs more machismo, then by all means option it with the $6650 sport appearance package, you loon … The S63 AMG is impressive, no doubt about it, but also completely excessive. Its bigger, badder, 577-hp, twin-turbo V-8 may shave a second off of the sedan’s zero-to-sixty time, it may look more sinister, but the S550 is a status symbol that perfectly fuses performance and luxury under some seriously sexy sheet metal. To want more anything than that would, well, take a special kind of someone.”

From the “base” S550 to the supremely powerful and luxurious S65 AMG the Mercedes-Benz S-Class sets the bar in the luxury sedan segment, and now provides a land-yacht Coupe with room for four adults.

“The price of superiority may be high, as is frequently the case with the cars we select as Design of the Year,” we wrote in our 2015 Design of the Year article about the S-Class Coupe. “But being first, being able to stand apart and above other designs, justifies the cost and makes this car worthy of our respect.”

You’ll Like

  • Luxurious cabin materials
  • Heating for almost every surface a passenger will touch
  • Magic Ride Control

You Won’t Like

  • The Comand infotainment system could be easier to use
  • Some features are excessive (perfume atomizer, hot-stone massage function)
  • Who worries about fuel economy? No compelling reason to buy the Plug-In Hybrid

Key Competitors

  • BMW 7 Series
  • Audi A8
  • Lexus LS
  • Rolls Royce Ghost
  • Bentley Flying Spur



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