I sympathize with the reviewers who expected a smooth luxury cruiser, because this car is surprisingly challenging to drive, but that's a big part of its appeal to me.
Step off is balky in C ("controlled efficiency") or S ("sport") modes, maybe because the transmission doesn't have a torque converter.
But it smooths out considerably in M ("manual") mode and, in fact, the car seems considerably happier, although MPG nose dives.
The C and even S modes lug the car unmercifully.
Weird to drive a huge luxury car that needs driver involvement, but I'm the rarity who likes that.
Reminds me of my 2005 Maserati GranSport, although of course the Maserati shifts far more positively.
Power, exhaust note, exclusivity, appearance, feels remarkably nimble for a car this size.
I have every option available on this car.
I have owned S-Class Mercedes for the past 25 years.
This is my 1st 63 and I will never buy another 550.
The performance package is an important option. The car does require oil about every 1000 miles.
For this configuration its normal.(my R8 is every 500)
the sound is great. The speed for this heavy beast is unbelievable!!!!!
The only way that I could possible love this car is if I had never owned a 2008 version.
The "ecco" drive system is a bust.
Luxury sports sedans with this much power should not have to be coaxed out of the starting blocks.
Add to all of this the fact that I have to add a quart of oil every other month and I'm so mad at MB that I could holler!.
Why would you take a perfectly fine luxury sedan(2008-2010) and ruin it like this.
I'm also tikced off at the three delaers who told me that there was major differences between the '08 and '11.(I live in a smaller market and none of the local dealerships had a car I could drive prior to purchasing the '11).
Future S-63 buyers--Save your money!
Go back to the 6.3L engine, dump the "ecco" system and stop messing with perfection>
Very powerful and well built, but the transmission shifting is truly awful on mine...some new "wet clutch" technology that just doesn't work well.
Hesitates badly in confort mode as it rides its clutch, and in sport it hangs on to 1st gear too long and jerks thru 2nd for a nano second on its way to 3rd.
The car is fine if you're pushing it hard, but it just isn't programmed for normal driving.
Previously had an S550 sport and it is a much more enjoyable car, as is an S65 or S600...all these have conventional smooth shifting automatics.
Build quality is excellent.
Seat comfort outstanding.
Power and handling unbelievable for such a large vehicle.
Transmission kills all the joy.
Could use the exhaust volume toned down just a bit.
2011 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S550 4dr Sedan (5.5L 8cyl 7A)
I have been a long time driver of German makes.
From BMWs to Mercedes, I have owned over 6 German made cars.
I have never been more disappointed in the quality and reliability.
Most recently, my 2011 S-Class Mercedes.
Although new with 8,900 miles, I have been back to the dealer 5 times for A/C malfunction, check-engine light, GPS malfunction and much more.
No matter how polite the service department may be, this is the last German car I will ever purchase again.
I am disappointed as I will miss the exceptional performance but I do not have the time nor patience to keep bringing back my German cars to the dealer.
My wife has a Lexus 460 with over 48K with absolute "zero" problems...
Great acceleration, handling and interior/exterior design.
Mercedes-Benz perhaps need to learn a lesson from the Japanese.
They do not compromise quality over performance.
This is the same disappointment I have had with my previous BMW 7-series.
56K miles and numerous trips to the dealer.
Not worth the money and time.