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The S-Class is one of the longest-running in Mercedes history, as its roots date back to the introduction of the 1951 Mercedes-Benz 220. Heading into the 2013 model year, the S-Class has seen huge changes in technology and performance, but it remains the top-flight sedan in the luxury automaker's lineup.
The 2013 model year S600 is effectively a carryover from the 2012 model year, as Mercedes takes care not to mess too much with its previous success. It comes standard with a 5.5-liter V-8 engine with a pair of turbochargers that bump its output to 510 horsepower and 612 foot-pounds of torque. This powerful engine links up to a five-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. This driveline nets the 2013 S600 12 mpg city and 19 mpg highway while launching it to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds.
The 2013 S600 comes in only a single trim level, just as most Mercedes-Benz models do. This base model features a perfect balance of luxury, performance and comfort with standard features, like: leather seating, 15-speaker audio system, paddle shifters and stability control.
Competition for the 2013 S600 is, as expected, fairly thing, but extremely tight. First up is the S600’s annual competitor, the BMW 760i, which comes standard with a 6.0-liter V-12 engine with 535 horsepower, premium leather seating and a 16-speaker, 600-watt sound system. Next up is the Audi A8 L W12 6.3 quattro, which comes with a 6.3-liter W-12 engine with 500 horsepower, 16-way power seats with premium leather and a 630-watt, 14-speaker stereo system. Last on the list is the 2013 Jaguar XJL Ultimate, which comes with a 5.0-liter V-8 engine with 510 horsepower, 20-way power seats with premium leather and a monstrous 20-speaker, 825-watt audio system.
The S600 sits atop the S-Class line of sedans, not including the AMG model, and offers up a great balance between performance and luxury. On the outside, a multi-link suspension electronic stability program, active body control and torque vectoring braking keep the S600 on the road safely. Luxurious exterior features include bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, LED taillights 19-inch alloy wheels and heated headlight washers. Inside the cabin, Mercedes surrounds you in luxury with its semi-aniline leather upholstery, 12-way power front seats, panoramic glass roof and quad-zone climate control. Passengers are kept entertained by a 15-speaker Bang & Olufsen BeoSound sound system with HD radio, six-disc CD/DVD changer, 7.2 GB of music storage and rear-seat LCD screen for viewing DVDs.
Super-powerful V-12, great base price and slightly better mpg, but more sports oriented doesn't separate itself from lesser BMWs
Great base price, good highway mpg and standard AWD, but lacks Mercedes pedigree and not as outwardly luxurious
Good mpg, loaded with awesome features and plenty of power, but Jaguar's black eye in quality still lingers and not as luxurious
Hybrid powertrain, excellent mpg, great base price and 19-speaker audio system, but lacks the pizazz of a Benz and much slower