Generally I loved to drive this car. Reasonable performance for a full-size sedan. However, it's exceedingly thirsty. As always, the published fuel economy is way more optimistic than real world driving condition. A typical mix of city and highway gets about 450km out of a 100l tank. Do the math -- consumption is generally high teens per 100km.
After just over 4 years of age, and about 52000 kilometers, the transmission failed. The cost of parts and labour to replace the entire transmission was over $14,000. So where's the "legendary reliability, to quote Mercedes? It's a legend!
This is my 5th S-Class, second one from this generation. Over the years the car has grown be the real luxury sedan it is known to be. If you're looking for a sport sedan, go for the AMG or Panamera. If you're looking for the most relax daily driver on the market, you can't go wrong with this. The pedal feels firm where you can feel the power through each inch you press. For 13" front and 11" rear brakes, the car stops effortlessly. The 7-spd transmission is one of the best I've driven so far. The car has been flawless over the years. The only problem I've ever had, was to replace the wiper blades.
I don't know if there's active steering, but at higher speeds the steering stiffens, allowing more precise cornering and lane changes. The LCD instrumental panel is so precise and there is no lag between screen changes. The 19" wheels on the AMG package are stunning.
On the W220, the rear-view mirror position was saved, along with the seating position, in the seat memory - they should bring back that feature. Offer a black headliner option. Can't believe it's not included in the AMG package.
I switched from an Audi A8L to this magnificent ride-what a difference. Driving this car makes you feel so calm and relaxed. Very minimal road noise. This car is so great-I don't know what I will upgrade to, when time to change it will come
Grand exterior styling. Fantastic interior-makes you feel like a king.
Paddle shifters -really how many time does one really use it?
Waited 10 yrs to responsibly afford this car. WELL WORTH IT. My wife and I treat this vehicle like a family heirloom. A recent VA-NY road trip was blissful... too short even. Getting acquainted w/ the onboard systems is a fun adventure. Upgrading to the 2009 S550 4Matic (from our 2000 E320) was like being selected from an overcrowded coach class seat by a pretty flight attendant and being led by the soft, well-manicured hand to posh first class seats. Straight forward power is embarrassingly obliging. Leather, wood and interior touches are like a private men's club lounge that even a discerning lady can appreciate. Play it cool on long runs and flirt w/ 30 mpg. NY ice/snow: no problems!
HK sound system: Clean, responsive bass. Love the heated/cooling seats. Love the feel of the leather/wood steering wheel. 4MATIC feels so sure footed ALL THE TIME, not just in snow/ice/rain. Show room black paint is a pleasure to keep like a mirror. Love the center console "arm rest". Love it!
I'm sure this vehicle will be expensive to maintain, but we waited till we could not only afford the car but also the unexpected maintenance costs. Wish the city mpg was better. Wish gas wasn't so expensive. Don't believe Mercedes could've done much differently to please us. We're very smitten!
I'm happy to have it because it is the best car I have ever owned. The interior is plush, glitzy, and a bit ostentatious, but this is required in a huge Mercedes-Benz Saloon car. The sat nav is intuitive, but the COMMAND system takes around a week to fully master. Driving this car is interesting. You feel the huge size, but the 4Matic system, just seems to make it feel smaller. The power is easily accessible an the torque can be accessed in the low rev range. The steering is good, for a huge saloon car, but it takes to many turns of the wheel. The paddle shifters on the side feel awkward and hard to use, they also feel cheap. Overall this car is probably the best car on the market today.
Interior, night vision is amazing, massaging seats, the feature that moves the sides of the chair during turns to keep you centered in your seat. Power is amazing when you put your foot down.
Steering takes to may turns to turn the car, paddle shifters feel cheap and aren't intuitive.