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2012 Mercedes-Benz S-Class

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2012 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 8.0

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan isn't just a means of transport, it's a status symbol, a message to all who look upon it that its owner has arrived and arrived big. Setting the benchmark for the industry, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan comes in a variety of flavors, although the S550 is so loaded with features and power it's absurd to classify it as a "base" model. The S-Class lineup includes a super car in the V12-powered S600, the all-new clean diesel S350 BlueTEC, the environmentally-sensitive S400 Hybrid and two Teutonic terrors outfitted by AMG, the S63 and S65 AMG. In all, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz S-Class line continues to offer the best in performance, safety, comfort and prestige. Then again, for a car with a starting price for the least-expensive model well over $90,000, one would expect no less.

You'll Like This Car If...

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class is the ultimate and universal automotive badge of style and success. With its rich interiors and plethora of amenities, the 2012 S-Class is one of the few cars that might be more enjoyable to ride in than to drive.

You May Not Like This Car If...

While the 2012 S-Class sedan's luxury credentials are not in question, some may find the car's image more Wall Street than Rodeo Drive. If you're a young entrepreneur who has made it big, a more exotic Maserati Quattroporte, or even the Audi S8, might feel a little less conservative.

What's New for 2012

Diesel power comes to the 2012 Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan with the introduction of the new S350 BlueTEC sedan. The S550 receives a new 4.6-liter twin-turbocharged engine producing more power and better fuel economy than last year's 5.5-liter V8.

Driving the S-Class
Driving Impressions

When driving the 2012 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, one experiences two very distinct personalities. On the one hand, the S-Class is a surprisingly agile automobile, contradicting its enormous size with a highly...

... responsive chassis and such clever electronic assists as MB's Active Body Control. On the flip side, there is the passenger experience which, for some owners, means they experience the S-Class only from the back seat. The 2012 S-Class sedan floats over road imperfections and cocoons its occupants from nearly all external noise. The new 4.6-liter V8 is silky smooth, delivering its 429 horsepower through a newly-improved 7-speed automatic transmission. The 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system (AWD) is standard on the S350 BlueTEC, which offers better fuel economy and acceleration than the S400 Hybrid. Those who equate performance with prowess will likely enjoy the S600's V12 engine or, better still, the 4.3-second zero-to-60-mph run and 186-mph top speed of the S65 AMG. Those with strong environmental concerns can still ride in luxury in the 2012 Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid. With its seamless mild hybrid powertrain and modest 3.5-liter V6 engine, this green luxury car offers a nice, easy feel with ride and handling similar to the S550.

Active Body Control (ABC) with Crosswind Stabilization
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan's active suspension continually adjusts to the irregularities of the road, allowing the S-Class to optimize driving dynamics while offering an unprecedented level of ride quality. Crosswind stabilization adds further balance to the car by distributing wheel loads in order to maintain directional stability through strong lateral wind gusts.

Splitview
Located atop the 2012 S-Class' center stack, this innovative dual-screen interface allows the driver and front passenger to view different content at the same time. For example, the front passenger can watch a movie while the driver utilizes the navigation system.
2010 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Details

2012 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Details
Interior

Following the tradition of the great European sedans, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz S-Class interior is a study in reserved elegance and clean design. Seating in the S-Class provides exceptional head, hip and legroom plus nearly prefect seating positions and ergonomics. If you can't get comfortable in an S-Class, you should take up walking. Technology is the buzzword for the S-Class interior, with such interesting features as an available Splitview display that allows the driver to view one source, such as navigation, while the passenger can enjoy another, such as a DVD movie. The S-Class seats are covered in premium leather with elegant sewing and stitching patterns. Rear-seat passengers can enjoy a host of amenities, including DVD entertainment and climate and audio controls.

Exterior

The 2012 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is little changed from last year, retaining its athletic bulging fenders, graceful arching beltline and aero grille with stand-up hood ornament. LED-style daytime running lights (DRL) line the lower half of the headlamps, while integrated turn signals reside outside the side mirrors. Toward the rear, there is a slight hint of BMW in the raised bustle-style trunk lid, but the horizontal-striped tail lights are pure Mercedes-Benz. The S400 Hybrid and S350 BlueTEC trims wear additional badging to set them apart from the V8 trim levels.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The roster of notable standard equipment for the 2012 Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan begins with Mercedes' COMAND multi-media interface with CD/DVD player, SD card slot and USB interface. Music is piped in via 14 speakers wired to a 600-watt harmon/kardon Surround Sound system. Seats are covered in rich leather, and the automatic climate control includes separate settings for the front footwell area. Standard safety features include Attention Assist, which monitors driver alertness; Torque Vectoring Brake, which initiates rear-wheel braking for greater stability through corners; a Pre-Safe pre-collision system; and a knee airbag for the driver. The S400 features a hybrid gauge and an animated flow-of-power graphic display.

Optional Equipment

The 2012 Mercedes-Benz S550 sedan has an enormous list of optional equipment and features, many of which fall under the category of Assistance Systems, high-tech driver aids that primarily have a focus on safety. There's Speed Limit Assist, which recognizes speed limit signs and alerts the driver of the posted miles per hour. Crosswind stabilization counters the effects of gusty weather and helps keep the car on its intended path. Night View Assist Plus spots pedestrians in low-light situations, and radar-based Distronic Plus Adaptive Cruise Control helps maintain a safe distance with traffic ahead. This sedan is nothing short of a technological showcase and masterpiece.

Under the Hood

The 2012 Mercedes Benz S-Class sedans now offer the broadest range of power, performance, and fuel economy to date. The S550 will, to many, be the most appealing of the model line due to its smooth and strong 4.6-liter twin-turbocharged gasoline direct injection V8, yielding 429 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque, and its lower price; it's neither under- nor over-powered. The S600 and the AMG models can be a bit overwhelming, while the S400 Hybrid feels somewhat labored during harder acceleration. A nice middle ground is the S350 BlueTEC, which features a V6 turbodiesel with 455 lb-ft of torque and an impressive 31 mpg highway fuel economy rating. For those who prefer an eco-friendlier alternative, they should opt for the S400 Hybrid, but expect a significant compromise to performance.

3.0-liter turbodiesel V6
240 horsepower @ 3,600 rpm
455 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600-2,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/31

3.5-liter V6 Mild Hybrid
295 horsepower (net) @ 6,000 rpm
284 lb-ft of torque (net) @ 2,400-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/25

4.6-liter twin-turbocharged V8
429 horsepower at 5,250 rpm
516 lb-ft of torque at 1,800-3,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/25(rear-wheel drive), 15/24 (AWD)

5.5-liter twin-turbocharged V12
510 horsepower @ 5,000 rpm
612 lb-ft of torque @ 1,800-3,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/19

5.5-liter twin-turbocharged V8
536 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
590 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/23

6.0-liter twin-turbocharged V12
621 horsepower @ 4,800 rpm
738 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000-4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/19

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2012 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.3
Out of 10

Based on 66 Ratings for the 2007 - 2013 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.1/10
    Quality
    9.6/10
  • Reliability
    9.3/10
    Performance
    9.6/10
  • Comfort
    9.7/10
    Styling
    9.7/10

Nicest Vehicle I have ever driven

By on Monday, June 13, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 127,000

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: "superb automobile, now relatively inexpensive,"

Cons: "2007 technology, expensive to maintain"

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

"I bought this car with 73,000 miles from a Mercedes dealership in February of 2012. It had been ridden hard and poorly maintained. I have repaired, replaced or refurbished everything that needed work, including work recommended by non-mandatory manufacturer TSB's. Repairs and maintenance are quite expensive. I budget about $3000 per year for upkeep and use a qualified independent mechanic to control the cost and quality of repairs. The dealership is astronomically pricey and not very competent except for trivial repairs. I follow the manufacturer's maintenance schedule. As a result, the car continues to be reliable. A bluetooth OBD-II scanner installed in the automobile enables me to monitor, record and compare engine performance periodically. The car is comfortable and effortlessly rewarding to drive. I use it for solo trips of up to 9 hours per day as well as for my short (2.4 mile) daily commute. Long trips are not at all tiring largely because of the adaptive cruise control and the excellent seats. Gas mileage is only fair. My average mileage over 54,000 miles has been 17.6 mpg. EPA combined mileage is 16 mpg. My trip mileage is about 26 mpg Acceleration is awe inspiring. Handling is excellent and tight. All wheel drive (4Matic) is very good in upstate New York winters. The car was very technologically advanced at its debut, but its dashboard software is dated now by comparison with my wife's 2015 luxury SUV. The mechanical engineering and performance of the normally aspirated 382 horsepower, 5.5 liter M273 engine and the 7-speed automatic transmission is far superior to the newer SUV, however. The Airmatic suspension is the least reliable major system in the car, and I have had to replace both the front and rear level detection systems. The original air shocks are still intact, but the compressor and the compressor relay were replaced prior to my purchase at about 45,000 miles. The original camshaft position sensor design was defective on this car, and all four have been replaced. I replaced one of them at about 80,000 miles. The other three failed and were replaced prior to my purchase. The transmission fluid had not been replaced prior to my purchase even though the manufacturer recommends replacement every 40,000 mile, but no apparent damage occurred to the transmission. The car will easily cruise at over 100 mph and feel and sound like it is traveling at half that speed. Oil consumption is within expected limits. This by now venerable chariot is a lot more comfortable and rewarding to drive than any of the other luxury vehicles I have owned or driven. I expect to replace it with the next model S550 if that model is self-driving. I would recommend the 2007 to any aficionado of beautiful automobiles who has the money and the interest to maintain it in top condition. It will reward that kind of owner with exhilarating and reliable service."

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Excellent condition. Maintained by MB of Austin

By on Friday, April 15, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 49,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Great price. Pleasure to drive."

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

"Car has front and rear seats motorized controlled. Non smokers. Has front night vision camera. Chrome wheels and spare. Rear tires brand new."

1 person out of 4 found this review helpful

Wolf in a sheep's clothing

By on Saturday, April 9, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 57,000

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: "Blast to drive, not flashy"

Cons: "Uses tons of gas but who cares"

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

"Complete and total luxury in this performance beast of a car. Beat up on all the other performance cars out there while you are on total comfort and absolute quiet. I like to see the total surprise on the driver's faces of Camaro's, Mustang's, BMW's, Chargers and Vette's when I give them a total beat down with a 5,800 Benz. Complete and total comfort, sound proofed windows and lots of rooms marries performance and luxury."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

The S600 is a full on luxury rocket ship

By on Friday, January 29, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Style, tech, comfort, sports car acceleration"

Cons: "Gas mileage, reliability"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I purchased this S600 from CA in late 2014 with just 24k miles. The car is a dream to drive as it is more comfortable than anything I've ever been in, including several Lexus LS's I've owned in the past. It's a 5000 lb car that will rip to 60 in the low 4's in extreme comfort and quietness. The ABC suspension works like magic to keep the car flat around corners, yet absorbs bumps like they aren't there. It makes this big monster handle like a mid-sized sport sedan. The S600 comes with every option the S-class offers as standard equipment, including leather covered everything. Reliability is only avg or slightly below and is far from Lexus levels. If in the market for one, find the lowest mileage one available and buy the longest warranty coverage you can get as a warranty is a MUST. High mileage cars without warranty coverage will kill you on repair costs and are not worth the lower cost of entry. Also, the car is a pig on gas with the V12 bi-turbo motor...even when you're light on the pedal or on a long cruise. The car is an incredible value used, even with very low mileage as they depreciate rapidly like all ultra luxury cars."

9 people out of 14 found this review helpful

definetely has the most bells and whistles..

By on Tuesday, December 8, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 81,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "confort/power and looks/ handling all excellent"

Cons: "wish it was better on gas"

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

"my first merc-benz. we love the car.. a $140K car for almost 10%. rides like a dream.. handles the road so smoothly. comfort is off the scale.. and all the toys..."

9 people out of 14 found this review helpful

This is a great car

By on Wednesday, November 4, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "great fun to drive, practical for a luxury hot rod"

Cons: "high price and high service costs"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"If anyone wants a discrete hot rod for affluent adults, the AMG S-63 certainly fits the bill. This is a great car that handles like a sports car, yet is hidden under a luxury 4 door sedan with a huge trunk. You can easily keep up with the muscle cars at the stop light and be prepared for black tie events on the way while listening to the best exhaust notes since the 1960's"

9 people out of 24 found this review helpful

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