Big fun, big luxury, big price. The 2020 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is a big rig in just about every way imaginable. Sure, it’s big in stature, but it's also big on luxury and performance, matching the wants of just about any luxury car shopper.

The problem is that it’s also big on price, making its alternatives seem like relative bargain bin discounts. Here’s how it stacks up against these cheaper rivals.

Style for miles, but needs an update. There's no denying that the Mercedes S-Class is a stunning model with its long and luxurious body, slick roof and body lines, and soft edges. It oozes luxury from every corner and feels special when walking up to it.

Inside, this stunning look continues quilted upholstery, classy use of metallic trim, dual LCD screens, and more. The S-Class shows a dose of sportiness with its metallic-rimmed steering wheel and circular air vents. The latter features play exceptionally well in the muscular AMG variants.

While it looks great inside and out, the S-Class is one of the oldest models in Mercedes’ lineup. It still looks incredible, but comparing it to newer models at the dealership may leave you wondering why pay so much for a rig with last-generation brand design.

Mercedes-Benz S-Class

How do you like your power? Power comes in gobs in the S-Class, starting with the smooth but potent 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 that delivers 362 horsepower. This is far from the most power you’ll see in the class, but it gets the S-Class sedan to 60 mph in a respectable 5.4 seconds.

Moving into the S 560 gets you a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 with 463 hp. This engine delivers an impressive 4.6-second 0-60 mph time in the sedan variant without the help of the performance junkies at AMG.

Bumping up to AMG-blessed models nets you the S 63 AMG, which uses the same V8 in the S 560 but its 'roided up to 603 hp. This delivers an eye-popping 3.5-second 0-60 mph time.

Folks who opt for premier luxury can pick up the Mercedes-Maybach S 560. In its base setup, it uses the same engine as the standard S 560. Optionally, buyers can add an AMG-tuned V12 that delivers 621 hp. This gets this fully loaded rig to 60 mph in just 4.6 seconds.

These powertrains match up nicely against its V6 and V8 rivals, but none have the power to match the mighty AMG or range-topping V12 Maybach model.

Entry-level that’s not so entry-level. The S-Class is a flagship luxury car, so premium features are expected. But this car goes beyond, even in its so-called entry-level trim.

Standard features include dual 12.3-inch LCD screens (one infotainment and one gauge cluster), 64-color ambient lighting, automatic emergency braking, LED headlights, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and more.

While Android Auto and Apple CarPlay seem like no-brainers in this pricey segment, they're not. For example, the BMW 7-Series offers Apple CarPlay but charges you a yearly fee to use it.

While the S-Class ranges from luxurious to ridiculously loaded, it also comes at eye-watering prices that range from $95,245 to $236,595 including destination. The 7-Series offers a little relief at $87,445 to $158,695. The Audi A8 also offers some help at $86,195 to $97,795. Buyers seeking to leave even more cash in their wallet can opt for the Lexus LS at $76,475 to $101,890.

Final thoughts. The 2020 Mercedes S-Class is nothing short of a dream machine with its insane powertrains, an endless list of features, smooth ride, and surprising agility for a 5,000-pound vehicle.

But this comes at a hefty price that keeps it a dream for nearly every buyer. Those looking for similar luxury and can pass on some of the range-topping performance will find this at BMW, Audi, or Lexus dealers.

Check prices for the 2020 Mercedes-Benz S-Class »