KBB Editors' Overview
By Richard Homan - Updated Date: 3/23/2014
The 5-passenger 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan is both a luxury icon and a technological powerhouse, scarily close at times to being a self-driving car. Available in rear-drive and all-wheel-drive forms, the S550 starts close to $100,000. Exquisite in execution, the new S-Class casts a long light that luxury sedans like the BMW 7 Series, Audi A8, Jaguar XJ and Lexus LS are constantly trying to bask in. In luxury and technology terms, the S-Class more than delivers, but if you also have to be considered performance royalty, the S63 AMG bows at $140,000. And while its options may not deliver palm fronds and grapes, the 2014 S-Class can give you the equivalent of a hot-stone massage and an aroma-therapy session.
You'll Like This Car If...
Let's say your time has finally come and you're determined to have the most toys, but you're also a practical sort. You love to drive, but you love being driven. And you spend a good deal of your time at "the club." S-Class, my friend.
You May Not Like This Car If...
You've owned S-Classes, but you're not addicted to the brand, the competitive set of full-size luxury sedans is rich with overwhelmingly good possibilities.
What's New for 2014
The 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is an all-new iteration of Germany's most revered full-size luxury sedan.
With a good bit of its structure built out of aluminum, the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class feels light for its size as you maneuver it through its paces. As quiet inside as an empty cathedral, the new sedan also feels stiffer – in the positive "moving-as-a-single-unit" way. The ride of the standard S-Class's Airmatic cushion-of-air suspension with adaptive damping is even – firm without being jarring and comfortable without slurring drunkenly into corners. The S550's twin-turbocharged V8 engine is a model of healthy acceleration, smoothed out into elegance with the help of its 7-speed automatic transmission, which engages the now nearly ubiquitous fuel-saving stop/start feature (the engine shuts off when you pull up to a red light, starting again when you lift your foot off the brake pedal). If you need your S-Class to breathe fire, the 2014 S63 AMG 4Matic or the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG (621 horsepower) will endear.
MAGIC BODY CONTROL + ROAD SURFACE SCAN
Imagine driving at speed over one of those extra-wide, flat neighborhood speed bumps and never even noticing it. Rear-drive 2014 S-Class models can be equipped with a stereoscopic-camera setup that can "read" the road ahead and instantaneously adjust the S-Class suspension to make some pretty dramatic road imperfections just disappear.
CIRCUS-QUALITY DAY-SPA OPTIONS
Who says an S-Class has to be serious all of the time? Beyond-all-reason options include a hot-stone-massage setting as one of the multicontour-seat massage functions, and – are you sitting down? – a glovebox-mounted fragrance atomizer that lets you infuse a choice of scents throughout the S-Class cabin. Yes, seriously.
For vehicle details and pricing notes…