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3/4 Front Glamour 2013 Mercedes-Benz S550

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MPG 15 City / 25 Highway
Pros
  • Powerful engine options
  • Smooth and quiet ride on highway
  • Refined and luxurious interior
  • Spacious back seat
Cons
  • Not easy to park
  • Questionable reliability history
, Automotive Editor -
As the flagship model for one of the premier automakers, the S-Class has rather large shoes to fill. It features a long and storied history that dates back to its initial release in 1972. Heading into its 41st year of production, the 2013 model year, the S-Class again carried the S550 as it mid-range product, stuffed between the S350 BlueTEC and the S600.

Introduction

Coming into the 2013 model year, the S550 is a carryover from the 2012 model year. Within the single trim level, however, there are five package groups to choose from. The Rear Seat Entertainment Package offers up a pair of 7-inch monitors on the backside of the front headrests with seperate DVD players and remotes. The Rear Seat Package is another option and it adds in eight-way power outer seats in the rear, five-passenger seating, quad-zone auto climate control, and heated and ventilated rear seats.

Next up is the Driver Assistance Package, which tosses in DISTRONIC PLUS with PRE-SAFE braking, blind-spot assistance and lane-keeping assistance. The next option group is the Sport Package and it features 19-inch AMG five-spoke wheels with all-season tires, and a sport body kit that includes new front and rear bumpers, and side skirts. The final package is the Sport Package Plus 1, which includes 10-inch AMG five-spoke wheels with performance rubber and a sport body kit that includes the front and rear bumpers, and side skirts.

See our picks for best luxury cars in the CarsDirect 2012 Luxury Car Buying Guide.

The luxury sedan market has limited competition, but what competition is there is rather fierce. First up is the 2013 BMW 750i, which carries an $86,300 base price tag, a 445-horsepower, 4.4-liter V-8 engine and a slew of standard features to go along with its 4.7-second sprint to 60 mph. Next up is the 2013 Audi S8 and its $110,000 base MSRP, 4.0-liter V-8 engine with 530 horsepower, ultra-luxurious interior, and 3.9-second sprint to 60 mph. An unexpected addition to the mix is the $66,250 Hyundai Equus Ultimate, which features a 5.0-liter V-8 engine with 429 horsepower, tons of luxury features that put the Mercedes to shame and an acceptable 5.7-second run to 60 mph.

As you can see, the competition ranges across a wide spectrum of prices and features, but the S550 has a reputation to uphold and Mercedes needs to break out everything it has to fends off the competition.

Which Style To Buy?

2013 Mercedes-Benz S550
Starting price
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2013 Mercedes-Benz S550 Base

Recommended for: Buyers that want a top-of-the-line luxury sedan for under $100K

The S550 comes standard with a 4.6-liter twin, turbocharged V-8 engine that produces 429 horsepower and gets this luxury sedan to 60 mph in only 4.8 seconds. This engine links up to a seven-speed automatic transmission. On the outside, the S550 Base comes standard with: bi-xenon headlights with Active Curve Illumination, headlight washers, automatic high-beam adjust, LED daytime running lamps, LED taillights, 180inch alloy rims, PARKTRONIC, rearview camera, power heated exterior mirrors, adaptive braking, ABS, and rain-sensing wipers. On the inside, the S550 comes with: full-leather upholstery, 12-way power front seats with memory and massage feature, heated and vented front seats, power sunroof, HomeLink, COMAND with an 8-inch LCD screen, Bluetooth integration, hard-drive-based navigation, and Harmon/Kardon 15-speaker surround-sound system with 600 watts, six-disc CD/DVD player, 7.2 GB music storage and HD/AM/FM/SiriusXM/CD/MP3 capabilities.

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