The 2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan embodies everything that a luxury car should be. It's built like an Austrian vault, packs in more technology than a Japanese robotics lab and operates with the silence of a Canadian monastery. So, of course, it's very, very German.
And yes, it's spectacularly expensive.
If there's a feature you can imagine, Mercedes has probably already installed it as standard equipment on the S-Class. Most of the stuff that you can't imagine is already on the options list. After all, the S-Class will scan the road ahead for divots and bumps and then adjust the suspension in anticipation of the impact. The seats have a six-way massage system built in. And if how a car smells is a top consideration, the S-Class offers four different aromatic fragrances that will permeate the cabin.
Mercedes offers the S-Class with five different powertrains. The "base" S-Class is the S550 with a 4.7-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 under its hood, rated at a healthy 449 horsepower. An alternative to that is the S550e plug-in hybrid with a twin-turbo, 3.0-liter V6 and a supplementary electric motor fed by a battery pack that is rated at a combined 436 hp. Third up is the S600, which has a massive 6.0-liter, twin-turbo V12 rated at 523 hp and a stupendous 612 pound-feet of peak torque. Getting into the high-performance models built by AMG, the automaker's in-house tuning shop, there's the AMG S 63 sedan. It has a handcrafted 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 beating within it to the tune of 577 hp. And finally, at the summit of this intimidating peak is the AMG S 65, which thunders with a tuned version of the 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12 rated at a stupefying 621 hp and 738 lb-ft of peak torque. The S550 is also available with Mercedes 4Matic all-wheel-drive system: as if snow would dare to fall upon your majestic presence and make the roads sloppy.
For many buyers, the S-Class represents a class unto itself. There is no substitute, no alternative and no car that comports itself with such dignity and comfort. It's something special. And it's the only Mercedes vehicle sold in the United States that still uses a three-pointed star hood ornament. It isn't available with an oversize star in the front grille.
At this rarefied level, it's easy to forget that the S-Class is still a real car and that it takes real money to buy it. You know that, and so does Edmunds. Use all the buying tools we have to get the best deal on the 2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class that's perfect for you.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.