Used 2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Hybrid
Edmunds' Expert Review
The 2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is a step above other elite full-size luxury sedans in terms of refinement, technology and luxury, while the coupe version is every bit its two-door equal. It is truly one of the world's finest automobiles.
For decades now, Mercedes-Benz flagship sedans and coupes have been benchmarks for the rest of the automotive industry, representing engineering excellence, opulent luxury and state-of-the-art features that often not only trickle down to cheaper Mercedes models, but to other brands as well. That certainly applies to the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, a car that feels every bit as special and potentially groundbreaking as its illustrious predecessors.
After the current, all-new generation debuted last year, 2015 sees some previous family members return. The V12-powered S600 and S 65 AMG models rejoin the S-Class lineup after a year off, with the former boasting a bigger and more powerful engine than the previous generation's version. Most notably, though, the S-Class coupe name makes its return after nearly two decades. Like the CL-Class it replaces, though, the new S-Class coupe provides the same opulent interior quality and driving experience as the S-Class sedan, but with sleeker, two-door styling highlighted by a lack of a central B-pillar. As a result, there's really nothing like windows-down motoring in a big Benz coupe.
These new additions only bolster the S-Class' status as one of the finest cars on the road. Indeed, the latest-generation sedan feels like a step above traditional, admittedly cheaper competitors like the Audi A8 and BMW 7 Series in its design, quality, technology and overall luxury ambience. Instead, it seems far closer to an upper-echelon brand like Bentley -- especially the coupe, which stands as the only real apples-to-apples competitor for the Bentley Continental GT. No matter what you compare them to, however, the 2015 S-Class sedan and coupe definitely can be considered benchmarks.
2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class configurations
The 2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is a full-size sedan and coupe available in a number of variants, which correspond to engine. Both body styles are available as an S550, S 63 AMG and S 65 AMG, while the sedan adds an additional S600 and S550 Plug-In Hybrid.
Standard equipment on the S550 models includes an adjustable air suspension, all-LED lighting (including adaptive headlights), automatic wipers (with advanced washers and heated blades), cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control (with air purification and cabin fragrance systems), 12-way power front seats (with heating and memory settings), leather upholstery, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, MB-Tex synthetic leather interior trim, auto-dimming mirrors, soft-close doors, a power trunk lid and a power rear sunshade. A panoramic sunroof is standard on both body styles, but the coupe's features Magic Sky Control, which applies varying degrees of tint at the push of a button.
Standard electronics features include the COMAND interface (with two 12.3-inch display screens and a touchpad/rotary knob controller), a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a navigation system, real-time traffic and weather, voice controls, an in-car WiFi hotspot, Mercedes mbrace telematics and a 13-speaker Burmester surround-sound audio system with a six-CD changer, two USB audio inputs, an iPod interface, HD and satellite radios, TuneIn Internet radio and 10GB of digital music storage. The sedan has 18-inch wheels. The coupe has 19-inch wheels, front and rear parking sensors, an automatic parallel parking system, keyless ignition and entry and upgraded leather upholstery. All are available on the sedan.
The sedan's Premium 1 package adds the front and rear parking sensors, automatic parallel parking system and keyless ignition and entry. It also includes a hands-free trunk opening, power rear side window shades and heated and ventilated active multicontour front seats (with additional adjustments, six massage programs and rapid-heating functionality).
The coupe's Premium 1 package adds the active multicontour front seats, a head-up display and a surround-view parking camera system.
The S 63 AMG includes all of the above, but gets a different engine and transmission, 20-inch wheels, sport-tuned suspension components, more aggressively bolstered seats and styling differences.
The following are options on the S550 and the S 63 sedans. The Driver Assistance package adds adaptive cruise control (with steering assistance and automated braking and accelerating) and a variety of electronic safety aids detailed in the Safety section below. The Rear Seat package adds four-zone automatic climate control, rear seatbelt airbags, upgraded headrests and power-adjustable rear seats (available separately). The Warmth & Comfort package also provides the power-adjustable rear seats, but adds heating and ventilation, front and rear heated armrests and a heated steering wheel. The Executive Rear Seat package adds "multicontour" rear seat adjustments and a passenger-side rear seat that features extra reclining and an extending footrest.
The S550 and S 63 coupes also can be had with the Driver Assistance package and their own Warmth & Comfort package, which has heated rear seats and a heated wood and leather steering wheel.
Stand-alone options on the S550 and S 63 sedans and coupes include a night vision system, upgraded leather upholstery, a 24-speaker Burmester 3-D surround-sound audio system and a heated steering wheel. Magic Body Control suspension, the surround-view camera and heated rear seats can be added separately to the sedan models.
All of the above options are standard on the S600 and S 65 AMG. The latter also gets the S 63's AMG-specific performance items.
Stand-alone options on all S-Class sedan models include a head-up display, a refrigerated rear center console, a heated windshield and a split-view front center display screen (also available on the coupe: driver and passenger can see different things). A fixed center console with heated and cooled cupholders and two airplane-style fold-out tables can be added to the Executive Rear Seat Plus package. There are also a variety of special "designo" paint, leather colors and trim types available.
Carbon-ceramic brakes can be added to the AMG models.
Performance & mpg
The 2015 Mercedes-Benz S550 is powered by a turbocharged 4.7-liter V8 engine good for 449 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard on the sedan. 4Matic all-wheel drive is optional on the sedan and standard on the S550 coupe. At the Edmunds test track, a rear-wheel-drive S550 sedan went from zero to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds, which is quick but ultimately on par with similarly powered flagship luxury sedans. A S550 coupe 4Matic in our testing reached 60 mph in 4.7 seconds. EPA-estimated fuel economy for the S-Class varies by engine, and is 20 mpg combined (17 city/26 highway) for the S550 sedan. Opting for 4Matic all-wheel drive lowers those figures to 19 mpg combined (16/26). The coupe is rated at 19 mpg combined (16 city/24 highway).
The S600 has a turbocharged 6.0-liter V12 good for 523 hp and 612 lb-ft of torque. The seven-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive are standard, and 4Matic is unavailable. Mercedes estimates it will reach 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 15 mpg combined (13 city/21 highway).
The S 63 gets a turbocharged 5.5-liter V8 that produces 577 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque. A more performance-oriented version of 4Matic and a different, specialized seven-speed automatic transmission are standard. In Edmunds testing, the S 63 sedan hit 60 mph in 4.6 seconds. Mercedes estimates the S 63 coupe will get there in 3.9. Fuel economy estimates for the sedan and coupe stand at 18 mpg combined (15 city/23 highway). The sedan achieved 16.5 mpg on the Edmunds mixed-driving evaluation route.
The S 65 gets a different turbocharged 6.0-liter V12 good for 621 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque. It gets the same performance-oriented transmission as the S 63, but rear-wheel drive is standard on both the sedan and coupe. Mercedes estimates they will both reach 60 in about 4 seconds -- a number that doesn't really speak to their prodigious power. Fuel economy estimates are 15 mpg combined (13/20) for the sedan and 16 mpg combined (13/21) for the coupe.
Finally, the S550 Plug-In Hybrid features a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine and an electric motor integrated within the seven-speed automatic transmission. Together, they generate a total of 436 hp. A lithium-ion battery resides under the trunk floor and should be recharged in less than three hours. This S-Class Plug-In Hybrid can drive using only electric power, unlike the previous-generation's mild-hybrid S400. Expect an electric-only range of about 20 miles and a 0-60 time of about 5 seconds. No EPA fuel economy estimates were announced at the time of this writing.
Every 2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class comes standard with traction and stability control (with crosswind mitigation), antilock brakes, front and rear side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and a driver knee airbag. Standard electronic safety features include a rearview camera, a driver inattention warning system and a collision prevention system that will warn the driver of a potential collision and fully apply the brakes if necessary.
The Driver Assistance package (standard on the S600 and S 65) includes an active blind-spot warning system (will steer you back to your lane if you fail to heed its warning), an active lane-departure warning system (ditto), pedestrian recognition for the collision prevention system, a rear-impact detection and preparedness system and an advanced adaptive cruise control system that not only matches the speed of the car in front of you, but will also apply the brakes and accelerator in stop-and-go traffic and keep you in your lane. Effectively, it drives for you on a gridlocked freeway.
Other options include a night vision system (detects pedestrians and animals through infrared sensors and displays them in the instrument panel) and a surround-view parking camera system. Mercedes' mbrace emergency telematics includes automatic collision notification, stolen-vehicle location assistance, alarm notification, an SOS emergency services button, geo-fencing for valets and teenage drivers and remote vehicle controls (via mobile app or computer) that can unlock or lock the car, for instance.
In Edmunds brake testing, an S550 sedan with all-season tires came to a stop from 60 mph in a short 115 feet. The S550 coupe with summer tires stopped 2 feet shorter. An S 63 AMG sedan stopped in 108 feet, which is typical for a performance car on summer tires.
Effortless. That's how the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class feels when you're behind the wheel. The steering is fairly light, and when equipped with lane-keeping assist and/or Distronic Plus cruise control, it will even subtly steer the car for you. Still, you'll be surprised at how adeptly this very large sedan and coupe will hunker down and go around a corner. So well-rounded is the S-Class Sedan that it earned an Edmunds "A" rating for both the S550 and S 63 AMG. It should come as no surprise then, that the S550 Coupe also earned our top "A" rating as well.
You may think you've enjoyed a comfortable ride before, but it most likely pales in comparison to the adjustable air suspension fitted as standard to the S-Class. Not only does it iron out bumps, it does so without a hint of floatiness. Plus, the ride gets even better with the sedan's optional Magic Body Control. Utilizing a windshield-mounted camera, the car detects bumps and other imperfections in the road ahead and automatically adjusts the air suspension to compensate. We're not exaggerating when we say that large speed humps can feel more like pebbles.
The way the regular S550 gets up to speed is also, well, effortless. Acceleration from the turbo V8 is ferocious, yet its noises are reduced to a whisper inside the cocoon-like cabin. You're more likely to hear the AMG models, but they're not as vociferous as other AMG models. You're also more likely to get into trouble with Johnny Law since they get up to speed quicker than many sports cars.
The cabins of most flagship luxury cars feel like bigger, fancier versions of "lesser" models, sharing a general design aesthetic and many control components. Not so the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Even within the company, there is a clear differentiation between it and other Mercedes models, indicating that this is a special car that exists above the rest. Even things like the seat control buttons are bespoke to the S-Class. More important, however, there is an elegance and sense of opulence here that make it feel more like a competitor for a Bentley than a BMW.
Beyond aesthetics, few cars can approach the new S-Class' comfort and infotainment features. The standard seats are lovely, but you'd be nuts not to select the Premium 1 package's multicontour seats with their additional adjustments, ventilation and six massage settings. That's right, six. One even simulates a hot stone massage by utilizing the seat's heating elements. And just in case your rear passengers are the jealous sort, the same opulent front seat features (including adjustments) are available in the sedan's enormous backseat. Plus, you can add an entertainment system, airplane-style pop-out tables and even a fridge. Those aren't available on the coupe, but even its backseat is pretty generously sized for a two-door car.
All of its many infotainment functions are controlled by the latest iteration of Mercedes' COMAND system, which remains one of the most user-friendly around (even if its immense number of functions renders it a tad overwhelming at first). Compared with the setup in other Mercedes-Benz models, the S-Class' upgraded COMAND interface features a colossal central screen, unique graphics, a new-for-2015 touchpad controller and a different physical button layout (buttons for frequently used functions are grouped around the main control knob rather than on the dash). Immediately adjacent to the infotainment screen is the instrument panel, which itself is an equally large display screen complete with simulated digital gauges.
The trunk, as you might expect from a 17-foot-long sedan, is sufficiently large at 16.3 cubic feet. Note, however, that the available 24-speaker Burmester high-end sound system "significantly" reduces trunk space, according to Mercedes. The S550 Plug-in Hybrid also has a smaller trunk (12.2 cubic feet) because of its battery pack.
Features & Specs
More About This Model
Known previously as the CL coupe, the new 2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe is a two-door version of the recently redesigned S-Class sedan. It combines all of the brand's latest technology into a tastefully designed two-door with equal amounts of comfort and performance.
What Is It?
The 2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe replaces the previous CL coupe in the brand's lineup. Calling it a two-door version of the S-Class sedan is a bit oversimplified, as the S-Class coupe gets its own unique styling in addition to riding on a wheelbase that is 8 inches shorter than the sedan's.
Unlike the Mercedes-AMG GT which is a single-minded sports car, the S550 coupe is an all-around performer that's well suited for everyday use or weekend getaways. It is fast in a straight line and capable in corners, but its best asset is the ability to remain supremely comfortable and quiet in any kind of driving environment.
There are three versions of the S-Class coupe: the base S550 4Matic, a high-performance S 63 AMG 4Matic and the top-of-the-line S 65 AMG. The S550 and S 63 AMG both come standard with all-wheel drive (4Matic) while the S 65 is rear-wheel drive only. Pricing for the S550 coupe starts at $120,825, while the S 63 starts at $161,825. The S 65 has a base price of $231,825.
Power in the S550 is delivered by a 4.7-liter, twin-turbo V8 that delivers 449 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. Stepping up to the S 63 AMG ups the ante to a 5.5-liter V8 rated 577 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque. Both models use a seven-speed automatic but the S 63 uses an AMG-specific version with multiple shift modes. The S 65 is powered by a twin-turbo V12 that develops 621 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque. It uses a slightly modified version of the AMG-tuned seven-speed automatic found in the S 63.
How Does It Drive?
The S550 coupe is designed to isolate you from anything that might make noise, jostle the cabin or otherwise interrupt the serene interior environment. It rides on a standard air spring suspension with multiple drive modes that allow you to dial in varying degrees of responsiveness.
As comfortable as the S550 coupe feels around town, it's capable of surprising speed when you open it up on the highway. Our S550 test vehicle might have weighed in at a substantial 4,737 pounds, but it still turned in a 0-60-mph time of 4.7 seconds. That's quick for any car, let alone a coupe the size of the S550.
It's hard to tell that you're going that fast. There's barely any road, wind or even engine noise even at full throttle, and what does manage to come through to the cabin is only noticeable in the background.
That level of refinement extends to every interaction you have with the car. From the feel of the steering to the action of the brakes, everything works precisely and with little effort. Again, such refinement masks its ultimate capabilities. As supple as the brake pedal feels, the S550 managed to stop in just 113 feet from 60 mph during our testing. It also weaved through our slalom at 66.5 mph. Both numbers are excellent for a car of its size.
If you prefer a coupe that delivers a little more feedback, the S 63 AMG will be more to your liking. Everything about the S 63 is dialed up a notch, so even in its standard settings it has an edge to it that the standard model lacks. The exhaust has a rumble to it at full throttle, while the suspension adds some road feel that the standard model only delivers at its most aggressive settings.
How Does It Rate in Terms of Interior Comfort?
This is easily one of the most luxurious and accommodating coupes on the road today. From the large doors that open wide to ease entry to the seats that offer heating, cooling and multiple massage options, the S550 looks and feels first-class in every respect.
As aggressive as the styling may look on the outside, there's still enough glass to give you a great view from the driver seat. Rearward visibility is slightly compromised, but the back-up camera helps alleviate any issues when backing up in tight spaces.
Like the S-Class sedan, the coupe has an elegant cabin design that does away with numerous buttons in favor of a central controller on the console and a large display screen on the dash. It takes some getting used to, but the interface is well designed and stocked full of features. Simple functions like temperature and fan controls can still be adjusted through the line of switches that bisects the dashboard.
Unlike those in some coupes in this class, the rear seats in the S550 coupe are surprisingly comfortable for adults. A center console divides the space into two well-contoured bucket seats and there's enough leg- and headroom for an average-size passenger to sit comfortably.
What Unique Features Does It Offer?
Although our test car didn't have it for us to try out, the S-Class coupe offers a new feature called Active Curve Tilting that is unique in the industry.
It's designed to lessen the centrifugal force exerted on passengers when the car rounds a corner by leaning the vehicle into the turn much like a motorcycle. So if you're turning right the car will lean to the right, but only by a few degrees.
Other features you might not expect include an optional Air Balance package that combines air filtration, ionization and a fragrance emitter with multiple scents. Then there are the optional heated armrests to assure that no surface you touch on a cold day ever actually feels cold.
How Safe Is It?
Because of its price, you're not likely to see any crash test results for this car. Don't worry, though, as the S-Class coupe incorporates every last piece of safety technology Mercedes offers.
Standard safety equipment includes Collision Prevention Assist Plus, a system that provides various levels of autonomous braking depending on the car's speed and the speed of cars around it.
There's also a Driver Assistance package that adds additional features like lane-keeping assist, Distronic Plus (Mercedes' name for adaptive cruise control), a cross traffic alert system and an identification radar for animals and people on the side of the road. Add to all that this coupe's substantial size and weight, and it's safe to say that you're not likely to find a safer two-door on the road.
What Are Its Closest Competitors?
Although extremely capable in terms of performance, the closest competitors for the S-Class coupe are grand touring cars that emphasize comfort and luxury over all-out speed.
The BMW 6 Series is similar in size and performance, yet it starts at a lower price. Available in both coupe and convertible body styles, as well as a six-cylinder model, the 6 Series matches the style of the S-Class if not its level of overall comfort.
The Bentley Continental GT starts at well over $200K but its largely hand-made interior reflects its asking price. On the downside, there isn't much room in the backseats and it lacks some of the sophisticated electronic features found in the Mercedes.
For pure style, it's worth considering the Maserati GranTurismo. Beautiful to look at inside and out, it's also powered by a 4.7-liter V8 engine that sings an Italian song unlike any other car in this category.
Why Should You Consider This Car?
This is a no-compromise coupe. It has more performance than you'll ever need and the kind of comfort that every driver wants. There's all the latest technology, too, and all of it comes tastefully wrapped in top-quality materials and a striking design.
Why Should You Think Twice About This Car?
As capable as it is, the S-Class coupe, even in S 63 AMG form, is no sports car. If you want something to toss around on a mountain road, there are other two-doors that will prove more satisfying.
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.
Used 2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Hybrid Overview
The Used 2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Hybrid is offered in the following styles: S 550 Plug-In HYBRID 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 7A).
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Should I lease or buy a 2015 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.