2020 Mercedes S-Class Review
  • Car Review

2020 Mercedes S-Class Review

By Autolist Editorial | November 17, 2020

Quick Facts:

Pros:

  • Still sets the bar for luxury sedans.
  • Technology that leads the industry.
  • Most comfortable and luxurious interior available.

Cons:

  • Easily costs six-figures with options.
  • Massive size makes narrow streets difficult.
  • A new S-Class is on the way, with advanced tech.

Would we buy one? If we could afford it.

Vehicle Type: Four- or five-seat full-size luxury sedan.

Price Range: Pricing for the Mercedes-Benz S-Class in S450 trim begins at an MSRP of $95,245; the S560 starts at $105,445. Pricing includes destination charge but no optional equipment.

There are also a plug-in hybrid, coupe, cabriolet, a high-performance AMG S63, and ultra-luxurious Maybach S560 and Maybach S650 versions. It seems there is an S-Class for every luxury buyer.

Powertrain: The base engine on the Mercedes-Benz S-Class S450 is a 362 horsepower, twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6.

S560 sedans get a twin-turbo V8, making 463 horsepower.

A 9-speed automatic transmission backs both engines.

Rear-wheel drive is standard, and 4Matic AWD is an available option.

Competitors: BMW 7-Series, Volvo V90, Cadillac XTS, Audi A8, Lincoln Continental, and Genesis G90.

More Photos

See more 2020 Mercedes S Class Photos.


Overall Score: 8/10

Safety Features: 7/10

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The Mercedes Benz S-Class includes a suite of standard safety features. Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, and lane-keeping assist are standard. Also available is a driver assistance package, including adaptive cruise control, with an autopilot-like semi-autonomous setting.

IIHS and NHTSA do not score the S-Class; thus, there is no crash test data available. Mercedes does have several 'Top Safety Pick' and five-star rated vehicles, and there is no reason to doubt the safety of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.


Value: 9/10

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It's less expensive than a private jet, but options can cost what many middle-class Americans budget for a house. It's hard to grade something this expensive for value, but the Mercedes-Benz S-Class is the crown jewel of its class. That is particularly important when the class is the pinnacle of luxury vehicles.

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class continues to lead in tech, safety, and reputation. The Mercedes-Benz S-class still cannot be beaten for someone who has the money and wants to make an impression with their vehicle.

The standard Mercedes warranty is 4-year/50,000-miles, and there are options for scheduled maintenance services at an additional cost.


Tech Features: 9/10

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The Mercedes-Benz S class has long set the bar for luxury and tech, and the 2020 model year is no exception. Standard features include active parking assist, keyless entry and ignition, 12.3-inch touchscreen to run the infotainment system, and dual-zone climate control. Bluetooth, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and satellite radio are standard, with hands-free operation.

Optional features include a head-up display, a 360-degree camera system, a cabin fragrance system, heated armrests, sunroof, four-person seating with heated/cooled seats and cupholders, and a refrigerated box (for champagne, of course). Many options are only available as part of the Premium Package or another expensive bundle.

Mercedes includes three years of Me Connect service, including valet protection, vehicle location, and predictive navigation.


Practicality: 7/10

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There is a Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan to fit the needs of almost any luxury buyer. Rear-seat fold-down desks and the Executive Package turn the car into a mobile luxury office. In the standard five-seat configuration, a family can ride in top-tier luxury.

Many reviewers found the trunk of the S-Class smaller than expected.


Styling & Design: 9/10

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The exterior of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class delivers a muscular and refined style. Its sheer size and presence bolster its somewhat subtle styling. The standard wheelbase is 124.6 inches, while overall length is 206.9, and weighs in at over 4,500 pounds. For context, a Chevrolet Tahoe full-size SUV is 210 inches long and 5,400 pounds.

Inside, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class meets every desire, with Nappa leather upholstery, various wood trims, and automatic rear window shades to protect the rear-seat passengers from the sun, and massaging front seats to make any commute more relaxing.


Driving Experience: 8/10

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With either engine option, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan can still get up and go, with the slowest option getting to 60 mph in about five seconds. Despite its heft, the S-Class will not struggle to get up to freeway speed and beyond.

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class delivers virtually unparalleled ride smoothness, with standard air-suspension and available Magic Body Control, which scans the road ahead to prepare in advance for any road imperfections. This also translates into decent handling, though the S-Class is never so nimble that the driver would forget its massive size.


Fuel Efficiency: 7/10

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The Mercedes-Benz S450 sedan, with its twin-turbo V6 drivetrain, receives EPA estimated fuel economy of 28/19/22 mpg highway/city/combined. Gas mileage dips slightly for the S450 4Matic AWD.

The S560 sedan, with its V8 engine, receives 27/17/21 mpg. Fuel economy is not lowered by upgrading to the S560 4Matic AWD.

Environmentally minded buyers may want to consider the plug-in hybrid with its electric motor, which delivers slightly improved fuel economy.


More Photos

See more 2020 Mercedes S Class Photos.