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2009 Mercedes-Benz S-Class

Overview
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2009 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Review

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The flagship sets the standard for a carmaker's lineup, as it's a showcase for the best the company has to offer. Though there are a couple of higher rungs on Mercedes' sedan ladder (the rare, V12-powered S600 and the even more-rare AMG performance models), the 2009 Mercedes-Benz S550 is the mainstream top of the list. With the premium V8 and recently redesigned 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system, the vehicle is equipped with arguably the most popular combination of features to be found on a big Mercedes in the U.S. market.

You'll Like This Car If...

The 2009 Mercedes-Benz S-Class offers its owners a masterful vehicle. Drivers will enjoy the smooth powertrain and taut handling. Passengers will appreciate the first-class legroom and sumptuous creature comforts. The question becomes: Is it better to drive, or to be driven?

You May Not Like This Car If...

This is a big car in all respects – particularly the rear seat and trunk areas. If you don't regularly carry passengers in back (or don't plan on spending much time there yourself), you're carrying around a lot of surplus sheet metal in an S-Class sedan.

What's New for 2009

New for 2009 is the addition of paddle shifters to the S-Class' steering wheel, while the S550 receives heated and ventilated front seats, a power trunk lid, wood and leather steering wheel and new 18-inch wheels. The optional Distronic Plus system now includes Blind Spot Assist and Park Assist. Among Park Assists many features is the ability to inform the driver if the vehicle will fit into an intended parallel parking space.

Driving the S-Class

Driving Impressions With premium luxury cars, owners might likely be in the rear seat, being driven, instead of up front, being drivers. It's a rare car that is equally...

satisfying in either role, but the 2009 Mercedes-Benz S-Class certainly qualifies. The 5.5-liter V8 makes effortless power and the seven-speed automatic transmission shuttles from gear to gear seamlessly. The combination of the Airmatic Semi-Active air suspension and other details effectively insulates the occupants from outside noise, while not isolating the driver from road conditions, and the 4MATIC, in concert with the Electronic Stability Program and the vehicle's relentless mass, makes the S550 a reassuringly stable winter driver.

Cabin Comfort/Ride Quality
Whether in the front seats or the rear, the S550 is an enormously comfortable car. The interior is quiet, spacious and accommodating, and the long wheelbase and Airmatic suspension system smooth the edges off the roughest pavement.

Drivability
The responsiveness of the 2009 Mercedes-Benz S-Class belies its size. The silky drivetrain and supple chassis conspire to make this full-size car drive as if it's something smaller and sportier than its dimensions indicate.

2009 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Details
2009 Mercedes-Benz S-Class photo Interior

Understated elegance is the theme on the inside of the 2009 Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Amber ambient lighting rings the front cabin and, in the rear, passengers stretch out with 42.3 inches of legroom. One of the challenges that a luxury automaker faces is how to provide access to all the features of a high-end vehicle without undue frustration or driver distraction. The S-Class interior houses a busy but logical array of switchgear. Many functions (navigation, sound system, phone, vehicle) are displayed on an eight-inch color screen in the center of the dash. They're accessed by Mercedes-Benz's COMAND system, through a turn-and-push, aluminum knob on the center console. With a modest amount of study time, drivers soon learn to use the mouse-style controller to change navigation, audio, telephone and vehicle settings. Inside storage spots are numerous, if small, and the big trunk is a trip-friendly luggage swallower.

Exterior

Longer, taller and wider than the average luxury sedan, the 2009 S-Class has a polished, sleek shape that is unmistakably Mercedes-Benz. In profile it has a slight nose-down rake, capped by a curvy, coupe-like roofline and with flaring fenders that stretch over wheels positioned near the corners. The sloping front end features a set of asymmetrical headlamps framing the traditional Mercedes shield-shaped grille. C-pillar, fenders and deck lid all converge gracefully at the tri-section, vertical tail lamps. The short deck in back hides the big trunk beneath. In all, it's a refined, modern look that's somewhat deceptive. The S-Class doesn't appear to be all that large – until you park it next to something that isn't.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Notable among the standard appointments on the Mercedes flagship is a fine-sounding 14-speaker, 600-watt harmon/kardon surround-sound system that plays CDs, DVDs and MP3s and has a compact flash memory card slot. The hands-free communication system has voice controls for telephone, audio and navigation features. The GPS navigation system includes a 20-GB onboard hard disc and an eight-inch screen that tilts for easier viewing. The power glass sunroof adds a splash of sunshine or starlight, while the power rear-window sunshade affords more privacy. Bi-xenon headlamps include Active Curve Illumination with cornering lights and heated washers.

Optional Equipment

The list of available features on the S550 includes the Night View Assist system, which extends the driver's nighttime forward vision by projecting infra-red light onto the road ahead and displaying the reflected image on the eight-inch screen on the instrument cluster. Adaptive seats offer four levels of massage and active controls that monitor driving conditions, adding lateral support to seat bolsters to hold passengers in place while cornering. Radar-based Distronic Plus Adaptive Cruise Control and Parking Guidance systems help the driver maintain a safe distance from other vehicles and objects. The stylish designo Editions continue in Espresso, Graphite and Mystic White.

Under the Hood

As befits a top-line luxury car, the S550 has a wonderful powertrain. The 5.5-liter V8 is rated at 382 horsepower and 391 pound-feet of torque, and its silken power flow meshes well with the smooth, silent shifting of the seven-speed automatic transmission. The combination is capable of accelerating from zero to 60 mph in well under six seconds, which is quite impressive for a car that weighs nearly 4,700 pounds. The S550's fuel economy is slightly less than its contemporaries, but that's probably not a major purchase issue.

5.5-liter V8
382 horsepower at 6000 rpm
391 lb.-ft. of torque at 2800-4800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/22 (RWD), 14/21 (AWD)

5.5-liter V12 Twin Turbocharged
510 horsepower @ 5000 rpm
612 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1800-3500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 11/17

6.3-liter V8
518 horsepower @ 6800 rpm
465 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 11/17

6.0-liter V12 Twin Turbocharged
604 horsepower @ 4800-5100 rpm
738 lb.-ft of torque @ 2000-4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 11/17

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2009 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.5
Out of 10

Based on 51 Ratings for the 2007 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.3/10
    Quality
    9.7/10
  • Reliability
    9.5/10
    Performance
    9.7/10
  • Comfort
    9.8/10
    Styling
    9.7/10

Fabulous car

By on Thursday, July 31, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,800

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"As soon as I test drove the car I knew it was terrific. Smooth drive; terrific acceleration; beautiful design; very responsive; overall one if the best cars we have ever owned; sorry it's time to trade it in"

2 people out of 5 found this review helpful

I love the car! It has comfort and character!

By on Tuesday, July 01, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 124,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Excellent price, priced to sell ASAP (relocating)"

Cons: "Takes time to discover all the options!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

Custom 19" wheels

"Most people think it's a brand new model Mercedes! It rides smooth on all roads but on the Interstate?!...it's an unreal experience. The leg room whether in the front seat or backseat is amazing. My family of 5 travels long distances with no problem. The trunk space is also incredible. The sound system, built in phone, 6-pack CD player, MP3, Navigation System, Bluetooth etc,, make it an entertainment system on wheels. Heated seats are nice but this car has Air Conditioned seats too!"

9 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Custom 19" wheels

Understated elegance and comfort

By on Sunday, June 01, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "High quality, comfort, safety, handsome design."

Cons: "Lack of interior storage space, avg trunk space."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I searched every make and model for a car that would fit my needs - this far exceeds my expectations. It rides and drives like no other. There are others that come close, but for safety, comfort and reliability, you cant ask for more. I got the Designo Espresso Mocha Black, premium black and sand leather interior, rear seat package, night vision (very handy on dark roads). AMG Sports plus one package. Every passenger has their own space and doesn't feel cramped. Excellent touring car and despite its size, its fun to drive in the city. MPG is averaging at 17 MPG in city - not bad for this type of car. The rear seat package also reduces the trunk size, but trunk is adequate. You also lose the lower level of front center console storage space due to rear seat climate control system and venting system. I miss a deep place to put "stuff", but it keeps me from accumulating excess stuff. lots of storage in side doors and under arm rests. Multicontour/massaging seats also eliminate storage drawers under the front seats. However, the trade-off for all the comfort options make up for lack of storage space. You cant beat the seating comfort and support they give you. They certainly hold you in place as you turn corners. Although you can use voice commands for just about everything its not simple. Still not a fan of the Comand module/mouse for most of the controls. I like simplistic buttons, knobs, and switches. Sure the car was pricey at $125,000, but I plan on keeping it for a long time and consider it an investment as far as safety, quality, build and dependability. Don't get me wrong - I LOVE the car and feel its the best car on the road - its just a lot of car with lots of features - I probably don't know half of what the car can actually do!! The craftsmanship of this car is remarkable."

16 people out of 32 found this review helpful

Incredible machine

By on Thursday, May 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fair price for the value and service."

Cons: "I have nothing to complain about."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This automobile is massive inside with all the creature comforts one could want. It has a tremendous amount of power, handles well and is practically unstoppable in the snow. It is my third S Class Mercedes. I would buy another in a flash."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

2010 S550 Mercedes AMG Sport

By on Monday, May 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 57,680

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Pricey but worth it."

Cons: "None."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I'm compelled to say this, I just purchased a CPO 2010 S550 and I'm very satisfied with the car technology and mechanical advanced features. The ride is presidential and outstanding. The S550 is an engineering marvel no other car on the planet meets the level of comfort and driving dynamics. Congratulations to team Mercedes Benz"

this is the finest automobile I have ever owned

By on Monday, May 19, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,380

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "comfort, performance, reliability ,quality =10"

Cons: "electronics can be confusing if not used regularly"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I found this car to be extremely satisfying in all catagories especially performance and comfort. the electronics should have been simplified a bit. the stereo, navi. and Bluetooth can be a little confusing if you don't use them regularly. In spite of that I would still rate this car 10 of 10."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?