The 2009 S550 is a real monster, great powerful and excellent to drive. This is the best car I have ever owned. I just clocked 66531 miles on this baby she is smooth as silk and powerful like a lion. I have owned 5 other MBZ but this is the one to die for. You feel the safety, the handling and a big body benz will never leave you empty handed. The S- Class is fully loaded and more the Interior is well laid out with all controls within easy access. I am averaging over 25 MPG in mixed city and highway driving. 4 Matic works great in all weather. This S550 is truly a a dream to drive and exceptional ride. The Eagle has landed.
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.
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!
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!
Ok after 2 years of owning my S550 I am still very pleased. Everyday it give you total luxury and plenty of power when you need it. Still learning all the bells and whistles but I have to smile everytime I see a new one knowing what they paid for it vs one a few years old. My advise be patient find a good one and then keep it for a long time. You will not regret your purchase. Most people can't tell my 2009 from a new one and just assume it is has to be new. I love it.
Sport Package ($5,690 -- includes 19-inch AMG five-spoke wheels, sport body styling); Premium Package ($4,990 -- includes rearview camera, Parktronic, Keyless Go, Drive-Dynamic multicontour front seats with massage feature, Night View Assist); Active Body Control ($3,960); Distronic Plus Package ($2,880 --includes Distronic Plus with Parking Guidance and Blind Spot Assist); Savanna/Cashmere Premium Leather ($1,330); Panorama Sunroof ($1,050); iPod Integration Kit ($425)
Responds well to brake-torque but not too much wheelspin. Smooth linear power delivery, with an aggressive exhaust note. Shifts are buttery smooth, but not very quick.
Crazy-powerful brakes that don't fade a bit. Very little dive but the pedal is a little soft (always). Belt cinches tightly when ABS engages.
In both skid pad and slalom tests, I couldn't detect a bit of difference with ESP on or off. Also, the Active Body Control is very strange, but works amazingly well -- keeping all four tires firmly planted on the ground. ABC in the skid pad means zero body roll. Very slight corrections from ESP keep it spot-on in the circle. Steering feels a tad light. On the slalom course, ABC leans the car INTO the turn like a slalom skier. Strange! In the end, ABC and ESP made every run highly repeatable and easy-peasy. Same speed with ESP off or on.