2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class

#39
in Midsize sedans
2017 MODEL
$96,600 - $170,750 See Inventory Prices

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Detailed Review

Luxury is underrated. If one can indulge in expensive cheese and fine wine, shouldn't they? Same goes for cars as well. If you can indulge in a little something, well, you certainly should. That is exactly the statement Mercedes makes with its luxury sedan, the 2017 S-class sedan.

Mercedes-Benz has always been the first choice for every rich gentleman and lady. The three-point star exudes the kind of power that the upper-class lusts for, and for good reason. They offer only the best of everything, without a compromising on something as small as the tread on the stitching for the seats.


 

7.8/10
Engine

 

6.8/10
Fuel Economy

 

9.4/10
Interior

 

9.1/10
Exterior

 
 
 
 

The S-class has two avatars, the relatively docile S550 with the 4.7-liter V8, and the S600 with the utterly powerful 6-liter V12. Both the S-iblings go up against the best in luxury sedan segment, like the BMW 7 series, Audi A8, and Jaguar XJ. This review shall only cover the smaller luxury limo, the V8 powered S550, and its immediate competitors. So, let's see what this car has going for and against it.

2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Features

With a starting price of just over $96,000, this car is not what you call a modest deal. It has 450 horses under the hood from the 4.7-liter V8. You can have it in either an all-wheel Drive (AWD) or a rear-wheel drive (RWD) format. Although you don’t get a choice of trims, you can choose between 8 upholstery, 8 leather color, and 6 wood insert options.

Trims

S 550

S 600

Engine

4.7L V8 Biturbo engine

6.0 V12 Biturbo

MSRP (RWD)

$96,600

$170,750

MSRP (AWD)

$99,600

-

Features

ECO Start/Stop System

ECO Start/Stop System

 

Dynamic Select

Dynamic Select

 

Power heated front seats with memory

Power tilt/telescoping steering column

 

Power tilt/telescoping steering column Multifunction steering wheel Wood/leather steering wheel

Multifunction steering wheel

 

Dual-zone automatic climate control

Wood/leather steering wheel

 

Power Panorama roof with sliding interior sunshade

Power heated front seats with memory

 

Power rear window sunshade

4-zone automatic climate control

 

Multicolor ambient lighting, illuminated front door sills Air Balance cabin-air purification and fragrance systems

Power Panorama roof with sliding interior sunshade

 

Rain-sensing windshield wipers MAGIC VISION CONTROL® heated wiper/washer system Heated power side mirrors with power fold-in Auto-dimming driver-side and inside rearview mirrors

Power rear window sunshade

 

Power Panorama roof with sliding interior sunshade

Power rear-side window sunblinds

 

Multicolor ambient lighting, illuminated front door sills

   

Air Balance cabin-air purification and fragrance systems

   

designo DINAMICA microsuede headliner

   

Rain-sensing windshield wipers

   

MAGIC VISION CONTROL® heated wiper/washer system

We Recommend

We recommend you go for the V8 since performance isn’t why one should buy the car. The V8 has enough grunt, and rear seat comfort is wonderful on all trims.

2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Engine

7.8/10

Despite its substantial heft, the S-Class remains agile and enjoyable to drive. Its nicely weighted steering and strong brakes deserve part of the praise. The rest goes to Mercedes’ adaptive air suspension (Airmatic), which comes standard in all models.- Cars.usnews

Engine and Transmission

As already stated above, the S550 runs on a beastly 4.7-Liter V8 Biturbo engine. Power comes linearly and without a hiccup, evenly spread over the entire rev-range. The engine redirects a portion of exhaust gases back into the combustion chamber in order to increase power and efficiency. The performance, however, is much gentler than the figures suggest.

When you’re driving around, the surrounding populace would immediately know this isn’t an AMG. Even with the throttle pinned to the floor, the engine simply refuses to growl. There might be a faint rumble, but none that excites. That can also be attributed to the 9-speed Automatic transmission which is tuned for efficiency, and not performance. The shifts are smooth and help the car and the driver for a smooth ride and shifts. Here are some stats for your indulgence.

Models

Mercedes-Benz S 550 Sedan

BMW 740i Sedan

Audi A8 3.0 TFSI

Jaguar XJ R-Sport

MSRP

$96,595

$81,500

$82,500

$74,400

Engine

4.7L V8 Biturbo engine

3.0-liter BMW TwinPower Turbo inline 6-cylinder

Engine

3.0-Liter TFSI 6-Cylinder

Engine

3.0-liter Intercooled Supercharged V-6

Transmission

9G-TRONIC automatic transmission

8-speed automatic

8-speed automatic

8-speed automatic

Power

449hp

320 hp

333 hp

340hp

Torque

516 lb.-ft

330lb-ft

325 lb-ft

332 lb.-ft

Unlike the Mercedes, BMW, Audi, and Jaguar have proper “small” offerings for the base models in their luxury sedan lineup. All three sport a 3-liter engine in either a ‘V’ or an inline configuration. The smaller engine helps cement the other budget offerings as a better alternative for the money conscious buyer.

Acceleration

The engine’s power fights the heft of the car when setting off the line. The S550 isn’t nimble or agile. What it is, is a huge luxury sedan for passengers in the back seat. The acceleration isn’t slow though; it takes under 5 seconds to reach 60 mph from a standstill, and just under 13 seconds for a quarter mile.

Models

Mercedes-Benz S 550 Sedan

BMW 740i Sedan

Audi A8 3.0 TFSI

Jaguar XJ R-Sport

0-60 MPH

4.8 sec

5.4 sec

5.5 sec

5.4 sec

Quarter mile

12.9 sec

13.4 sec

13.8 sec

14 sec

Engine

4.7L

3.0L

3.0L

3.0L

Emission

(Tons/yr. of CO2 Emissions @ mi/year)

8.4

7.4

8.1

8.4

In a Quarter mile race, the competition loses owing to their smaller engines. The emissions though are also lower, with BMW being the most environmentally conscious of the lot.

Ride and Handling

If you expect the S-class to offer anything other than a magic carpet tide, then raise your expectations. It uses its air suspension along with active dampers to great effect. Like a cruise ship, the S550 floats on the tarmac, smoothening every little bump.

Usually, good ride quality comes at the expense of handling. This isn’t exactly the case with S550 though, with only the sharpest of turns inducing body roll. Thankfully, the steering is extremely responsive effortless, but consequently, lifeless. There isn’t much fun to be had here, due to the lack of feedback.

Braking

The S550 has some really impressive braking performance for a car of such massive dimensions. The pedal feel is extremely lacking though with a long travel. You can never know how hard the calipers are biting down the discs, although the ABS would save you in case you lock the wheels.

Model

Mercedes-Benz S550 Sedan

BMW 740i Sedan

Audi A8 3.0 TFSI

Jaguar XJ R-Sport

Brake Front(in)

13.2

17.7

15.0

14

Brake Rear(in)

11.8

14.5

14.0

12.8

Curb Weight(lbs)

4773

4195

4464

3891

60-0 MPH (ft.)

117

112

118

122

The Beemer and the Jag both have great feedback from the brakes, although XJ’s braking distance disappoints a little. Overall, the competition performs just as good as the S550.

2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Fuel Economy

6.8/10

Although fuel efficiency isn’t the first concern for a person buying an S550, it helps to know the figures, especially if you drive around a lot. The city efficiency is a moderate 18 miles per gallon, while the highway efficiency rises to 26 miles for every gallon.

Model

Mercedes-Benz S 550 Sedan

BMW 740i Sedan

Audi A8 3.0 TFSI

Jaguar XJ R-Sport

MPG (City)

18

21

19

18

MPG (Highway)

26

29

29

27

MPG (Combined)

21

24

22

21

In terms of both city and highway efficiency figures, BMW 740i knocks everyone out of the park. Audi A8 follows behind closely, while the Jaguar XJ R-Sport offers the same figures as the S550.

2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Interior

9.4/10

The S550 is so capable and smooth that anything more seems, well, silly.-MotorTrend

Seating and Comfort

Comfort is where the Merc excels. Seating only five people in such a huge space leaves plenty of room for everyone. Most of the luxury is centered around the rear passengers, as this car is meant to be chauffeur driven for the majority of its life. Even the tallest of passengers would appreciate the leg and headroom inside.

There are 8 options for seat upholstery, 8 different colors for the leather, and another 6 colors for the wooden inserts. The potential for customization is high, and you are sure to find the perfect cabin according to your taste. Fans of chilled beverages will find joy in the optional refrigerator, although the storage capacity in it is very limited.

Model

Mercedes-Benz S 550 Sedan

BMW 740i Sedan

Audi A8 3.0 TFSI

Jaguar XJ R-Sport

Passenger capacity

5

5

5

5

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg)

(In.)

39.7/59.7/41.4

39.9/59.2/41.4

37.2/59.1/41.4

39.5/57.6/41.5

Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg)

(In.)

39.2/59.1/43.0

38.9/57.7/44.4

39.1/57.8/42.9

37.2/56.6/38.9

BMW 7 series offers just a little more space than the S-Class, especially in the back seats. The A8 has the same interior space as the Merc, and the Jaguar comes dead last, with the least impressive rear seat room.

Infotainment System

For 2017, S-class uses its signature COMAND infotainment system with a knob, touchpad, and dual 12.3-inch display setup. Some standard features on offer are:

  • 4G LTE
  • Bluetooth Audio and Phone connectivity
  • Real-time traffic navigation
  • Real-time Weather and traffic
  • Voice Command

Sadly, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto aren’t on offer, even as optional extras.

Cargo Capacity

Trunk volume for S550 is somewhat disappointing, as 16 cubic feet is just average for this segment. The optional refrigerator, which might rob the trunk space even further, although you can fit all you might need for a weekend getaway.

Model

Mercedes-Benz S550 Sedan

BMW 740i Sedan

Audi A8 3.0 TFSI

Jaguar XJ R-Sport

Volume (ft cube)

16.3

18.2

14.2

15.2

BMW engineers have cunningly designed the 7-series with just a bit more space in the trunk than its competitors. The XJ and A8 fare poorly, with their cargo capacity falling well below average.

2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Exterior

9.1/10

Sedan, coupe and convertible alike show a clean, smooth face to the wind, with graceful lines flowing from nose to tail.-Kelley Blue Book

Dimension and Weight

The dimensions remain the same as the previous model, in both length and width. The near 125-inch wheelbase liberates large amounts of space inside, although the turning circle gets compromised. The weight is the same story, and the vast expanses of metal tip the scales at almost 4800 pounds.

Model

Mercedes-Benz S 550 Sedan

BMW 740i Sedan

Audi A8 3.0 TFSI

Jaguar XJ R-Sport

Curb weight(lbs.)

4773

4195

4464

3891

Length(in)

206.5

206.6

207.3

202

Width(in)

(w/o mirror)

74.8

74.8

76.7

74.8

Height(in)

58.7

58.2

57.9

57.5

Ground clearance(in)

5.0

5.8

4.9

6.3

Wheelbase(in)

124.6

126.4

122.9

119.4

Track width(in) F/R

63.9/64.5

63.5/64.6

64.7/64.4

64/63.1

The Jag is the lightest of the bunch here, although that offers no advantage in terms of performance. Its wheelbase is also the smallest, helping the handling a little at the expense of rear legroom.

2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Safety

One of the biggest appeals of this luxury sedan is its safety equipment onboard. Below is a list of standard safety features for this car.

  • ECO Start/Stop system
  • DYNAMIC SELECT
  • Electronic Stability Program (ESP®)
  • Adaptive braking technology: Predictive Brake Priming,
  • Automatic Brake Drying, Hill-Start Assist, brake HOLD feature
  • Emergency-sensing Brake Assist (BAS®)
  • Advanced Tire Pressure Monitoring System
  • 11 airbags
  • Rearview camera14
  • Antitheft alarm system with remote panic feature

2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Competition

Mercedes-Benz S550 vs BMW 740i

BMW has endowed the 7-series with their and priciest tech and luxury. Even with the smaller engine, the 740i holds its own against the S550, not that the target demographic would care. The appeal lies in the rear seat comfort, and that is well taken care of.

If you are the kind that looking for respect on the road, both the Merc and the Beemer will do you proud. There is really not much difference between the two, and the final decision could be based on personal preference.

The Audi A8 3.0 TFSI

The Audi A8 combines relatively plain looks on the outside with extreme comfort on the inside to give you the ultimate understated luxury car. It wouldn’t attract much attention on the road, perfect for the distinguished gentleman and lady.

On the downside, it doesn’t attract much attention, which could be a problem for the people who like to announce their arrival. If you are looking for a statement rather than a set of wheels, the A8 would be the poorer choice.

The Jaguar XJ R-Sport

Based solely on visual appeal, XJ wins without even a fight. The chiseled headlamps, the beautifully symmetrical proportions, the flowing lines on the exterior, all come together to form one handsome car. The interiors are lively, the seats hug you like your mother, and its speakers play the exhaust tune inside the cabin for a more engaging experience.

The interior space is the worst in class though, especially in the rear. If you are to be chauffeured around, it's better to be chauffeured around in the S-Class.

2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Final Verdict

The lowest model in Mercedes’ luxury lineup, the S550 works hard to hide its shortcomings which, to be honest, are many. It makes for a great alternative to the more premium S600, and possibly better value for money too.

If you ever find yourself in the market for ultimate luxury and three-point star branding but don’t feel like shelling out more money than necessary, the baby S-class is the car for you. If you do feel like spending more, well, we have a review for the 2017 Mercedes-Benz S600 here as well.

Pros

Utterly luxurious Interior

Equipment on offer

Best safety features

Extremely comfortable ride

German Build quality

Cons

Unintuitive Infotainment system

Fuel economy that quickly drains the bank balance

Relatively poor brakes

What's New?

The S-class gets an overall upgrade in equipment

The 9-speed dual clutch automatic replaces the previous 7-speed gearbox in the S550

Variable opacity sunroof

Mercedes calls it Magic Sky control



Styles

 2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class in Verde Brook Metallic color  2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class in Selenite Gray Metallic color  2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class in designo Diamond White Metallic color  2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class in Black color  2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class in Anthracite Blue Metallic color
Verde Brook Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Engine

7.8

Fuel Economy

6.8

Interior

9.4

Exterior

9.1

Driving

8.5

8.3

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S 550

S 550

power
449 hp @ 5250 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (required)
mpg
20 combined

$96,600 - $99,600


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
S 550 4dr Sedan (4.7L 8cyl Turbo 9A) Starting at $96,600 MSRP (18/21/26) 449 hp @ 5250 rpm, 4.7 L, V8, premium unleaded (required)
See Full Specs
9-speed automatic rear wheel drive 5 NA
S 550 4MATIC 4dr Sedan AWD (4.7L 8cyl Turbo 9A) Starting at $99,600 MSRP (16/20/25) 449 hp @ 5250 rpm, 4.7 L, V8, premium unleaded (required)
See Full Specs
9-speed automatic all wheel drive 5 NA

 2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S 600

S 600

power
523 hp @ 4900 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (required)
mpg
16 combined

$170,750


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
S 600 4dr Sedan (6.0L 12cyl Turbo 7A) Starting at $170,750 MSRP (13/16/22) 523 hp @ 4900 rpm, 6 L, V12, premium unleaded (required)
See Full Specs
7-speed automatic rear wheel drive 5 NA