Product Reviews

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The Mercedes-Benz flagship is a showcase of luxury, comfort and technology. Each new model continues this tradition. In almost every important attribute for a luxury car, every iteration of the S-Class has been a benchmark of excellence. This version brought a host of advanced technology, while upping the luxury ante on many levels.
Alerts
There are 6 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
NA
2004
NA
2005
NA
2006
NA
2007
NA
2008
NA
2009
NA
2010
NA
2011
NA
2012
NA
2013
NA
2014
NA
2015
2016
2017
2018
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
NA
2004
NA
2005
NA
2006
NA
2007
2008
NA
2009
NA
2010
NA
2011
NA
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS and front side air bags standard. ESC, rear side and head protection air bags standard from 2000.
Road Test

The Mercedes-Benz flagship is a showcase of luxury, comfort and technology. Each new model continues this tradition. In almost every important attribute for a luxury car, every iteration of the S-Class has been a benchmark of excellence.

This version brought a host of advanced technology, while upping the luxury ante on many levels. The driving experience is first class, with an extremely hushed cabin, a supremely comfortable ride and effortless power delivery. If you prefer to drive yourself, you'll be happy to know this 5,000-pound super sedan behaves like a ballerina in the corners. And, if the complicated controls distract you, the Mercedes will nudge you back into your lane and even stop itself in an emergency.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD , Rear
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
coupe
sedan
Transmissions Available
  • 7-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 3-liter V6 hybrid (436 hp)
  • 4.7-liter V8 turbo (449 hp)
  • 5.5-liter V8 turbo (577 hp)
  • 6-liter V12 turbo (621 hp)
  • 6-liter V12 turbo (523 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Display screen goes blank

“blank And covered by Mercedes at no charge while out of warranty”

Anonymous, PA (2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S550 5.5-L V8 turbo)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

“Looses connection going from a call to music sometimes”

Anonymous, PA (2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S550 5.5-L V8 turbo)
Display screen freezes up

“nav screen froze and was unresponsine”

Anonymous, NJ (2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S550 4.7-L V8 turbo)
External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

“Thumb drives and my iPod do not seem to be recognized by the car”

Dean M., CA (2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S550 4.7-L V8 turbo)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

“navigation locked up, and was unresponsive. rebooting did not help. system eventually reset on its own. service at dealer found nothing”

Anonymous, NJ (2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S550 4.7-L V8 turbo)
Radio

“does not always follow commands”

Anonymous, AZ (2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S600 6.0-L V12 turbo)
Voice control commands

“voice commands & other electronics fail at times”

Anonymous, AZ (2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S600 6.0-L V12 turbo)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Rotors

“I assume that the noise from the brakes may be related to the rotors, at least partially. The brake pads may be to blame”

Anonymous, AB (2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S63 AMG 5.5-L V8 turbo)
Squeaking

“Very expensive car yet the brakes squeal most of the time, quite loudly. Dealer said that high performance brakes tend to be noisy!”

Anonymous, AB (2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S63 AMG 5.5-L V8 turbo)

“Every morning when backing out of garage it would squeal a loud noise. They came out with new brake pads and charged me 8oo.. dollars to instal. So far ok”

Jerry C., FL (2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S550 5.5-L V8 turbo)

“The brakes squeak in cold weather, especially while backing”

Scott G., FL (2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S550 4.7-L V8 turbo)
Premature brake wear

“After driving 6000 miles the car needed front disc brakes and rotors replaced”

Gregory W., GA (2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S550 5.5-L V8 turbo)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

“I prepaid for maintenance and the dealer is now telling me alignments are not maintenance. Great car, bad dealer”

Dennis B., CA (2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S550 4.7-L V8 turbo)

“Both front tires were worn out before 20k miles which was surprising. I understand the trade off with performance tires however dealer Service Department handled it so poorly it is a lasting stain against a really great and trouble free car”

Dennis B., CA (2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S550 4.7-L V8 turbo)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

“My touchpad on the center console does not work. A replacement has been ordered”

Scott G., FL (2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S550 4.7-L V8 turbo)

“The communication pad on the console had to be re-booted. (The touch-sensitive unit that "reads" figures inscribed by finger motions.)”

Anonymous, CA (2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S550 4.7-L V8 turbo)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Battery (not hybrid or electric)

“The battery did not maintain charge as well as it should. As a result, the Start-Stop system did not work as designed. The battery was replaced on warranty. Everything has been working OK since then”

Anonymous, FL (2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S550 4.7-L V8 turbo)
Electronic ignition

“In less than 2 months: fuel tank and its imbedded fuel pump had to be replaced (8 days in shop); car would not start and the main electronic computer system had to be replaced (2 days in shop)”

Anonymous, TX (2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S550 5.5-L V8 turbo)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Squeaks or rattles

“Right rear reclining seat squeaked when someone leaned back on it”

Anonymous, KY (2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S550 4.7-L V8 turbo)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Transmission sensor or solenoid

“While driving car would drop out of gear whereupon no gear (front or reverse) could be selected until restart”

Jan P., CA (2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S550 4.7-L V8 turbo)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

“replaced sensors and fuel tank due to emissions warning signal”

John W., VA (2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S550 4.7-L V8 turbo)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Heated or cooled seats

“Massage and lumbar, side bolster etc. functions not working right from delivery”

Jan P., CA (2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S550 4.7-L V8 turbo)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Condenser

“Something very tiny punctured the condenser, causing the refrigerant to leak out and the system shut down. Mercedes-Benz refused to cover u dear warranty, but I feel the condenser was not properly protected”

Anonymous, CA (2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S550 4.7-L V8 turbo)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

“post delivery i discovered a botched touch up on front of car that dealer did not disclose”

Michael G., TX (2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S550 5.5-L V8 turbo)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

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