Unlike other websites and magazines, our ratings are not based solely on a singular road test, but rather a more encompassing batch of criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value. When comparing vehicles using our Rating System, it's important to note that the rating earned by each vehicle correlates only to the models within its class. For example, a compact car cannot be compared to a SUV—They are different vehicles altogether.
You can interpret our ratings in the following way:
5-Star: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.
4-Star: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.
3-Star: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.
2-Star: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.
1-Star: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.
2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class OVERVIEW
The Mercedes-Benz S-Class is one of the most luxurious cars money can buy, boasting elegant craftsmanship, a smooth and comfortable ride, and the most innovative technology and safety features. While the BMW 7-Series and the Audi A8 have certainly made great advancements over the years, the S-Class remains in a league of its own.
What's New for 2018
The S-Class has been given a facelift for 2018, that includes an updated engine roster, a slight exterior tweaks, a restyled cabin, and of course, even more technology.
Choosing Your Mercedes-Benz S-Class
The S-Class is available in three trim levels — S450, S560 and S63 AMG – although that range will likely grow to include an S65 AMG, as well as at least one Maybach variant. While the S-Class Coupe and Cabriolet will also adopt the changes for the 2018 S-Class Sedan, those new models haven't debuted quite yet.
The S450 is the new base model and gets a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine that makes 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the rear wheels as standard, but Mercedes' 4Matic all-drive system is available for $3,000. Look for 19 miles per gallon in the city and 28 mpg highway for rear-wheel drive models and 18/28 mpg for the S450 4Matic.
Moving up to the S560 gets customers a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 pushing out 463 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. All-wheel drive is standard and the fuel economy is rated at 17/27 mpg.
The S63 shares the S560's V8, but it's a much more potent tune, with 603 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque on tap. All-wheel-drive comes standard and the added traction allows a 0-60 miles per hour time of 3.4 seconds. Despite the extra performance, the S63 AMG's fuel economy isn’t far off the S560’s, at 17/26 mpg.
A nine-speed automatic transmission is standard across the S-Class range.
The option sheets for all three S-Class sedan variants are broadly similar. The non-AMG models offer a Premium Package for $5,000 that adds ventilated, heated, massaging front seats, proximity entry, an automatic parking system, surround-view monitoring, and power rear sunshades. A $2,600 Warmth and Comfort Package heating and ventilation to the rear seats, replaces the standard arm rests with heated units, adds a heated steering wheel, and includes a memory function for the outboard rear seats. Heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel are available as standalone options, a head-up display, a $6,400 Burmester audio system, and Mercedes' innovative Magic Sky Control Panoramic roof ($4,950), and a night vision system ($2,260).
Speaking of those rear seats, there are three separate packages dedicated to making them even more comfortable. Available on all three S-Class Sedan trims, these packages range in price from $1,700 for the Rear Seat Package (a power footrest on the passenger-side seat, four-zone climate control, and rear head restraints) to $3,500 for the Executive Rear Seat Package (adds a massage function, a passenger-side seat that reclines to a La-Z-Boy-like 43 degrees, and an integrated airbag). Adding the $3,500 package requires both the $1,700 Rear Seat Package and the Premium Package, while the $1,950 Executive Rear Seat Plus Package requires all three – it adds a pair of tray tables, heated and cooled cupholders, and a center console instead of the standard middle seat.
A $2,250 Driver Assistance Package is available on all three trims and adds quite literally every active driving feature Mercedes offers. Tack this package onto your S-Class and you have arguably the most advanced semi-autonomous vehicle on the planet.
The S560 with the Driver Assistance Package is our pick. It gives you a plethora of comfort creatures, a lovely V8 engine, the all-around practicality of all-wheel drive, and one of the most advanced self-driving systems on the market.
Best Mercedes-Benz Deals & Lease Offers In January
January is here and deals from Mercedes-Benz don't see much change. The 2019 entry-level A-Class has one of the best finance offers, featuring 1.99% APR for 72 months. Those... View All Mercedes-Benz Lease Deals