The Mercedes Benz S-Class is the baseline when car people talk about true, full-size luxury sedans suited for the daily grind. It comes in several varieties of fast, but only one brand of smooth and granite-solid, all-wheel drive optional. The S-Class is huge inside, with a quiet, coddling interior, an expansive array of mostly useful technology, unparalleled safety systems and a lineup that includes everything from a high-mileage diesel to one of the most powerful four-door production cars in the world.
New Car Test Drive correspondent G.R. Whale reported from Los Angeles; J.P. Vettraino reported from Detroit.
dual-stage front-impact airbags, front and rear passenger side-impact airbags, full-cabin head protection curtains, Pre-Safe accident sensing system, active head restraints, mbrace collision-reporting telematics, Active Bi-Xenon headlights with automatic high-beam dimming, electronic stability control (ESC), antilock brake system (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), tire-pressure monitor
Safety equipment (optional):
Active Lane Keeping with Active Blind Spot Assist and brake intervention, Attention Assist drowsiness alert, Distronic Plus adaptive cruise control with automatic braking, Parktronic parking aid, rearview camera, Night View with pedestrian detection
4 years/50,000 miles
Specifications As Tested
Model tested (MSRP):
Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid ($92,725)
leather upholstery, walnut trim, automatic dual-zone climate control, 14-way power adjustable heated front seats with ventilation and memory, GPS navigation with voice-recognition and 40-GB hard drive, harman/kardon Logic7 600-watt audio with in-dash six-CD changer, HD and Sirius satellite radio, SD-card slot and Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control, power windows, power locks with remote, power rear sunshade, interior ambient lighting, power folding auto-dimming side mirrors, trip computer, power sunroof, fog lights, electronic trunk closer, 18-inch alloy wheels
Options as tested (MSRP):
Premium Package ($3,360) includes massaging front seats, Parktronic parking assist and guidance, Keyless Go proximity key, rearview camera; Premium Leather ($2,290) with contrasting stitching ($300); Splitview video monitor ($700); heated steering wheel ($400)
Gas guzzler tax:
Price as tested (MSRP):
3.5-liter dual-overhead cam 24-valve Atkinson Cycle V6 with 20-hp electric motor
Horsepower (hp @ rpm):
295 @ 6000
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm):
284 @ 2400
7-speed torque-converter automatic
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy:
Head/hip/leg room, f:
Head/hip/leg room, m:
Head/hip/leg room, r:
16.4 cu. ft.
independent four-link with air springs, hydraulic shocks and stabilizer bar
independent multi-link with air springs, hydraulic shocks and stabilizer bar
disc/disc with ABS, EBD, Brake Assist and electricity generation
Unless otherwise indicated, specifications refer to test vehicle.
All prices are manufacturer's suggested retail prices (MSRP) effective as of July 08, 2011.
Prices do not include manufacturer's destination and delivery charges.
N/A: Information not available or not applicable.
Manufacturer Info Sources:
800 367-6372 -