2010 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Review

Pros & Cons

  • State-of-the-art luxury features, top-notch interior, handling and performance of a smaller sedan, eye-popping performance from AMG models, available all-wheel drive, famed S-Class prestige.
  • Expensive options, COMAND interface could be more intuitive.
List Price Range
$12,995 - $23,995

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Its competitors are impressive, but the 2010 Mercedes-Benz S-Class remains the definitive premium luxury sedan.

Vehicle overview

Since 1954, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class has represented the pinnacle of European automotive engineering, design and trendsetting. Features like crumple zones, disc brakes (later of the antilock variety), air suspension, airbags, radar-based cruise control and navigation were just some of the things popularized by the Mercedes flagship over the years. Like watching a fashion runway show to see what'll be in your closet next fall, the S-Class is like looking into what you'll be driving in the future.

The 2010 Mercedes-Benz S-Class brings innovation to this fabled car nameplate, thanks to the new S400 Hybrid. Featuring the world's first application of a lithium-ion battery in a production hybrid, this allows the usual bulky battery pack to be packaged in the engine bay where the regular battery would be rather than taking up valuable real estate in the trunk. This also keeps weight down, and indeed, the S400 Hybrid weighs less than the S550. However, the S400 is considered a mild hybrid, meaning that the electric motor only aids the 3.5-liter V6 rather than being able to provide propulsion by itself like the Lexus parallel hybrid system. Even so, the Benz manages to match the combined fuel economy of the Lexus LS 600h while costing almost $20,000 less. Purchasing a hybrid model rarely makes financial sense and sometimes not much environmental sense either, but the S400 could be an exception to both.

Elsewhere in the S-Class -- which ranges from the hybrid to the 604-horsepower S65 AMG über-flagship -- a minor exterior redesign keeps things fresh. A few lines are sharper, and available LED daytime running lamps give the front end a more modern appearance. The meticulously crafted interior was left alone, and that's just fine by us, considering how great everything looks and feels.

The 2010 Mercedes-Benz S-Class remains a trendsetter despite being in a class full of them. The BMW 7 Series and Jaguar XJ have recently been redesigned with phenomenal success, and an all-new Audi A8 is just around the corner. Porsche's new Panamera is an astonishing sedan that drives like a proper Porsche, and the Maserati Quattroporte is yet another worthy competitor. It's hard to say a bad thing about any of those, but the S-Class provides the sort of engineering, design and high-tech features that we've come to expect for 55 years.

2010 Mercedes-Benz S-Class models

The 2010 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is available as the S400 Hybrid, S550, all-wheel-drive S550 4Matic, S600, S63 AMG and S65 AMG. Standard equipment on the S400 Hybrid includes 18-inch wheels, air suspension and adaptive damping, automatic wipers, a sunroof, automatic headlights, power-folding heated mirrors, a power rear sunshade, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, 14-way power front seats, front seat memory functions, heated front seats and leather upholstery. Also standard are Bluetooth, a navigation system, the COMAND electronics interface and a 14-speaker Harman Kardon stereo with six-CD changer, auxiliary audio jack, an iPod interface, HD radio and satellite radio. The Premium 1 package adds adaptive bi-xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights, adaptive high beams and ventilated front seats. The S550 comes standard with the Premium 1 package but is otherwise equally equipped.

Fitting the S400 and S550 with the Premium 2 package gets you upgraded front seats, keyless ignition and entry, front and rear parking sensors, and a rearview camera. An upgraded Active Body Control suspension is offered on the rear-drive S550. All the above equipment comes standard on the S600, S63 and S65. The Sport package adds to the non-AMG models a sport body kit and 19-inch AMG wheels, while the Sport Package Plus upgrades to 20-inch rims. The S63 and S65 AMG models have AMG-calibrated adaptive suspension, high-power brakes, 20-inch wheels, styling enhancements, a sport exhaust and a sport steering wheel.

The following packages are optional on the S400, S550 and S63 and standard on the S600 and S65. The Driver Assistance package adds a blind-spot warning system, lane departure assist and adaptive cruise control. The Rear Seat package adds eight-way power outboard rear seats, four-zone automatic climate control, and heated and ventilated rear seats. The Rear Seat Entertainment package includes a pair of headrest-mounted screens and two remote controls.

Power rear side window sunshades are standard on the S600, S63 and S65 and optional on the S400 and S550. A heated steering wheel is optional on all but the S600, which has it standard. A panoramic sunroof and infrared night-vision assist are standard on the S600 and S65 and optional on other models.

2010 Highlights

The Mercedes-Benz flagship gets a mild restyling for 2010, though the big news is that the S-Class gains a hybrid model that features the industry's first production use of a lithium-ion battery. There are also several new or enhanced electronics features.

Performance & mpg

The 2010 Mercedes-Benz S550 sports a 5.5-liter V8 that makes 382 hp and 391 pound-feet of torque. In testing, we've found that this is enough for a 5.7-second 0-60-mph time. A standard seven-speed automatic transmission routes power to the rear wheels. The S550 4Matic is all-wheel drive. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 15 mpg city/23 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined with rear-drive and 14/21/17 with 4Matic. All V8-powered S-Class models get a seven-speed automatic transmission, while V12s are attached to a five-speed capable of handling their prodigious torque.

The S400 Hybrid features a 3.5-liter V6 coupled to a mild hybrid system (an electric motor provides additional boost for acceleration but cannot motivate the car by itself). The result is 295 hp and 284 lb-ft of torque and an estimated 0-60 time of 7.2 seconds. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 19/26/21.

The S600 gets a twin-turbo 5.5-liter V12 that pumps out 510 hp and 612 lb-ft of torque on its way to a Mercedes-estimated 0-60 time of 4.5 seconds. Fuel economy is 11/17/13.

The S63 AMG features a 6.2-liter V8 with 518 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque. It goes from zero to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds and achieves fuel economy of 11/18/14. The S65 AMG has a twin-turbo 6.0-liter V12 that produces an earth-orbit-altering 604 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque. It hits 60 in 4.4 seconds. Fuel economy is 11/17/13.

Safety

The 2010 Mercedes-Benz S-Class comes packed with antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front and rear side airbags, side curtain airbags and a driver fatigue and inattention warning system. Also standard is Mercedes' PreSafe system, which can sense an impending crash and automatically tighten the seatbelts and reposition the power seats for maximum airbag protection. Optional features, depending on the trim, include a lane departure warning system, a blind-spot warning system, infrared Night Vision Assist and PreSafe braking, which uses the optional adaptive cruise control radar system to sense an impending crash and automatically apply the brakes.

In Edmunds brake testing, the S550 came to a stop from 60 mph in an excellent 108 feet. Surprisingly, the S63 and S65 took longer to stop (though not a lot) at 118 and 111 feet, respectively.

Driving

Ride and handling on the 2010 Mercedes-Benz S-Class are compliant and fitting for a luxury sedan, yet the heavyweight four-door's capabilities go beyond what you'd expect. The Airmatic suspension system does a fine job gliding over bumps and ruts, and body lean is effectively kept in check. The steering is fairly quick and precise with a decent heft to the wheel, though most competing luxury sedans are more fun to drive. Nevertheless, the S-Class feels smaller than it is, even if we wouldn't exactly call it athletic.

The AMG nameplate takes the civilized S-Class and turns it into a suit-wearing goon who'll frighten your mother and make you think twice about messing with it. The S63's warbling V8 is blisteringly fast; the S65's twin-turbo V12 -- well, that's actually under consideration by NASA for its new Ares rocket. With 738 lb-ft of torque being sent to the rear wheels, you'll be going through an awful lot of rubber if you keep the traction control turned off.

Interior

The Mercedes flagship embodies craftsmanship and attention to detail. Panels are precisely placed, and materials quality is beyond reproach. Burnished wood and pliant leather gloss almost every nook and cranny, and the plastics used are soft and pleasantly textured. The COMAND electronics system uses a control knob and screen to operate most entertainment and navigation functions, but lacks the physical dash buttons of the more recent E, C and GLK Classes that make calling up frequently used functions easier. It may come as a shock, but we actually think the BMW 7 Series' latest version of the once-vilified iDrive is better.

Space is plentiful in the S-Class, even if there's no extended-wheelbase version like what is offered for some of its competitors. The front and rear seats can be equipped to heat you, cool you and massage you. Adjustable bolsters up front keep you in place through corners. The trunk offers 16.2 cubic feet of space, more than enough for golf clubs and a few suitcases.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2010 Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Love what you drive...and I love the S550
minh tran,05/19/2016
S550 4dr Sedan (5.5L 8cyl 7A)
For the 2010, everything you need (and then some) is included in this car. Engine is strong and accelerating with ease. The ride is quiet and smooth. Sport mode brings the car back alive with both acceleration and handling. Only downside for me is bluetooth: voice only and no music streaming Updates: i got the car 2.5 years ago with 50k miles and it is now 127k miles... still run smooth as the day I got it. Cost abit for maint though. Her’s what I spent $3400 for 4 shocks...all went dead around 105k miles and the car was sagging 2 set of tires aound $2500 total Oild change every 7k miles with full synthentic ( $115x 10 = $1,150). I bought the oil and filter and have a mechanic close to where I live change and top off fluids and rotate tires 2 alignments (one paid for by Mercedes, the other one is $99) so just say $100 since labor only nonparts A brandnew windshield - $100 deductible Water pump and belt = $600 So all maint is about $8,000 not too bad for a S550 Now this the part that it will shock you Fuel/gas = almost $15,000 but I did drive over 75,000 miles so about 30,800 miles a year... It’s a nice car to drive but as you can see, cost about $23,000 to maintain it if you drive as much as I do. Hope this realistic review helps ya ... Gas is about
Exellent vehicle
Bob Whalen,05/29/2010
This car seems like it was pulled straight out of the autobahn, fast but comfortable. Test drove the 7 series, Maserati Quaduellete, and Porsche Pannera, none of which could nearly compare. I commute between Miami and Tampa every day, and this car is simply unbelievable. Beware though- Sometimes I forget in a American highway and not in the autobahn and find myself doing 130 something in a 75 zone. The rides THAT good.
It does not get any better than this!
ben makowski,01/16/2010
traded 08 S550 4matic, third S class in a row and I have to honestly say, they just keep improving! The lighting on the 10 is very...well 2010! I think for the money you can not honestly buy a better car at this price point. If you can afford BUY IT!
flagship with great mileage
davidcpeck,02/20/2010
had 2007 s-600. this is same car, but softer ride and less torque. so it took less time to learn all the toys. night vision now has added thermal. lane drift actually vibrates steering wheel like road bumps. at 70 mph, in cruise, i get 29-30 mpg, at 2,000 rpm. blind spot warnings in mirrors are great.

Features & Specs

MPG
15 city / 23 hwy
Seats 5
7-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
382 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
14 city / 21 hwy
Seats 5
7-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
382 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
19 city / 25 hwy
Seats 5
7-speed shiftable automatic
Hybrid
295 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
11 city / 17 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
510 hp @ 5000 rpm
See all Used 2010 Mercedes-Benz S-Class features & specs
More about the 2010 Mercedes-Benz S-Class
More About This Model

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class is a magnificent automobile. Everything looks, feels and sounds as if it were meticulously engineered to a degree that's a step above everything else. This is the car that introduced us to the antilock brake and the navigation system: an automotive trend-setter if there ever was one. The latest family member -- the 2010 Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid -- is no exception, but in a way, it's seems like a Rube Goldberg machine.

You know Rube Goldberg machines, those projects they make you do in physics class -- an overly complex solution to a simple goal. Think the game Mouse Trap. Instead of capturing a plastic rodent, though, the S400's goal is twofold: achieve better fuel economy and make a cheaper entry-level model.

To do the first, the S400 utilizes a mild hybrid system that consists of a 3.5-liter V6, a small electric motor and a lithium-ion battery. Automatic engine shut-off, regenerative braking and electrohydraulic power steering are also part of the package. A mild hybrid system is inherently cheaper than a Prius-like full hybrid system, so it's not that expensive to produce, and thus Mercedes actually charges $1,400 less for it than a comparably equipped S550.

So goal achieved, except Mercedes could have met the same goal simply by selling its non-hybrid V6-powered S350 model that it sells in Europe. Fuel economy and acceleration of the two S-Class models are roughly the same, while the S350's price would theoretically be even cheaper.

Ergo, the 2010 Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid is indeed an overly complex solution. However, there is a third goal: Sell something with a badge that says "Hybrid." There's a certain cachet in that, a cachet far greater than any base model S350 could ever have. Heck, there's a certain element that will look upon the S400 Hybrid as something greater than the range-topping S65 AMG. Taking that into consideration, the S400 Hybrid would seem to be a necessary Rube Goldberg project -- one that is nevertheless still a truly magnificent automobile.

Used 2010 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Overview

The Used 2010 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is offered in the following submodels: S-Class Sedan, S-Class S65 AMG, S-Class Hybrid, S-Class S63 AMG. Available styles include S550 4dr Sedan (5.5L 8cyl 7A), S550 4MATIC 4dr Sedan AWD (5.5L 8cyl 7A), S400 Hybrid 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 7A), S600 4dr Sedan (5.5L 12cyl Turbo 5A), S63 AMG 4dr Sedan (6.2L 8cyl 7A), and S65 AMG 4dr Sedan (6.0L 12cyl Turbo 5A).

What's a good price on a Used 2010 Mercedes-Benz S-Class?

Price comparisons for Used 2010 Mercedes-Benz S-Class trim styles:

  • The Used 2010 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S550 4MATIC is priced between $18,500 and$23,995 with odometer readings between 53822 and89244 miles.
  • The Used 2010 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S400 Hybrid is priced between $12,995 and$12,995 with odometer readings between 94985 and94985 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2010 Mercedes-Benz S-Classes are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2010 Mercedes-Benz S-Class for sale near. There are currently 6 used and CPO 2010 S-Classes listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $12,995 and mileage as low as 53822 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2010 Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

Can't find a used 2010 Mercedes-Benz S-Classs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Mercedes-Benz S-Class for sale - 3 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $20,295.

Find a used Mercedes-Benz for sale - 6 great deals out of 7 listings starting at $16,414.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mercedes-Benz S-Class for sale - 1 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $9,616.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mercedes-Benz for sale - 3 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $20,010.

Should I lease or buy a 2010 Mercedes-Benz S-Class?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Mercedes-Benz lease specials
Check out Mercedes-Benz S-Class lease specials