2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Review
Pros & Cons
- Ample power with any engine choice
- Opulent interior with plenty of customization options
- A smooth ride no matter what the road surface
- Silent cabin that insulates occupants from the outside world
- Not as engaging to drive as some rivals
- Some driver assistance options have questionable value
List Price Range
$51,999 - $89,995
Used S-Class for SaleSee all for sale
Which S-Class does Edmunds recommend?
Even though the term "entry-level" may not be readily relatable to "premium luxury," the latest model addition to the stately 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class lineup is our pick. The new S 450 makes about 100 fewer horsepower than the S 560, but it still has more power than most drivers will ever need. Sure, there's something to be said for one-upmanship at this lofty level, but exchanging a bit of power for the cost savings is worth it in our opinion. Plus, the S 450 has all of the S 560's standard features and is eligible for just as many options.
Edmunds' Expert Review
It's not enough for a luxury car to simply wrap its occupants in leather and wood trim anymore. Today's luxury cars have to handle themselves just as well in traffic as they do at autobahn speeds. The S 450 does exactly that with communicative, powerful brakes and a nearly transparent drivetrain.
Mercedes blends traditional luxury, using wood and leather, with modern technology to create one of the most luxurious automobiles on sale today. We could do without the overpowering air freshener and its gimmicky mood scents. But from the seats to the ride, this Benz is hard to top.
The highest priority in the S-Class is passenger comfort, and it doesn't matter whether you sit in the front or the back to soak it all in. From the moment you get in to the moment you get out, the S 450 takes care of its occupants like almost nothing else.
Passengers' comfort is clearly prioritized over cargo space, but the S 450 still offers a nicely sized and easy-to-open load-and-close trunk. Storage inside is ample, and most everything can be hidden away behind the attractive, if slightly plasticky, wood veneer.
This is where the S 450 distinguishes itself from the competition. And even though our test car wasn't fully optioned, it still offered a mind-boggling array of entertainment and safety features. The fully configurable digital dashboard is second to none, as is the remarkable audio system.
|Overall||8.4 / 10|
Most helpful consumer reviews
S 450 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 9A)
This is a truly refined automobile. I traded in my 2017 BMW 740i for the 2018 S450. There is very little comparison to the two cars. The Mercedes is quick, smooth riding and handling, stays in a straight line with little driver input which was not the case with the BMW 7 Series. The vehicle corners precisely and does not handle like a 4500+ pound luxury sedan - but more like a 3800 pound vehicle. This car is, without doubt, the most beautiful, fun-to-drive and most comfortable luxury sedan I have every driven - and I have owned more than 40 luxury sedans in my lifetime. The pricing on this car is about $10,000 less than the S560 - mostly due to the V6 bi-turbo as opposed to a V8 bi-turbo. I drove both models and found the S450 to be a bit more nimble. Be prepared to surround yourself in the epitome of luxury, performance, audio, as a well as a myriad of driver safety features like adaptive cruise, adaptive lane departure, adaptive blind spot monitoring (which cause the car to remain in the lane if a car is detected on either side of you. Self-steering is precise as is the adaptive cruise. I'll update my review as I build up the miles. In summary, this is a luxury sports sedan while the BMW 7 series tends to be a more sporty handling vehicle. The new 9 speed transmission and driver-selected ride and handling options (Comfort, Sport, Economy) make the world of difference in this new S Class entry. Audio System is not to be believed - like listening to a live performance.
S 450 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 9A)
My S450 now has 6350 miles on the odometer. It continues to be problem free - never have had to return it to dealership for any adjustments or problems. Fuel economy continues to excellent - 31.5 mpg highway - 21 mpg around town - 23.5 mpg average. The twin turbo V6 engine continues to awe me because I still can’t believe the power and acceleration in this car. It still rides and handles the same as the day I picked up the car new. I really can not recommend any changes to this vehicle - it is smooth riding, handles effortlessly, is comfortable to sit in any seat (front or back), the audio is crisp and clear like sitting in a music hall, 360 degree camera shows your car’s position relative to the surroundings, interior is exquisite and functional for driver and passengers, and the adaptive cruise control is a treasure when driving on the interstate for an extended period of time. I’ve tried the self-parking feature but prefer not using it since I never have to parallel park. Technology is impressive - but I caution those interested in this vehicle that the learning curve for the myriad of technologies and their use is long. I would estimate that it took me 3 months of driving it to master most of them. Every so often I come across something new that I did not know existed. I guess it kind of awes you as you learn more and more about this car’s capabilities. This one’s a KEEPER! I LOVE THIS CAR!
S 560 4MATIC 4dr Sedan AWD (4.0L 8cyl Turbo 9A)
This is by far the finest luxury car I have ever driven. Read all the owner reviews. When Mercedes redesigned the S560 in 2015 they had to get it right to reclaim their status at the top of luxury cars. They did get it right and even owners of a Bentley and Rolls have told me it is superior to their sedans. It is perfection on wheels and the awesome technology wraps you in safety as well as comfort. The refined Distronic Plus allows you to sit back and relax and let the car drive itself for you on the highway. It has been upgraded from my 2015 and is far more refined on the highway tracking your lane exactly. You will not be disappointed in the car. It is truly amazing.
Dissatisfied in Tennessee,11/11/2018
S 560 2dr Convertible (4.0L 8cyl Turbo 9A)
I bought this car new in September from a Sonic dealership. Gorgeous car. By the first week of October, it was in the shop. The convertible top started to raise, then froze with the boot open. The top could not be raised or lowered. After 8 days, service manager of dealer called to explain that it could not be repaired, that this was a problem with 2018 S class cabriolets. He says that production has been canceled and that MBUSA had just bought about 10-12 of the cars back. I asked about a loaner and was promised one -- three separate times. I never got one -- apparently they know this will be a long process. Service manager advised that Mercedes wanted me in any other car ... just not an S class cabriolet. I researched and made a selection. At one point, my sales person even sent me a link to the proposed replacement car, at another Sonic dealer. After a couple of weeks, I called and asked where the car was. Difficulty dealer trading for it, I was told. Furious, I called MBUSA, who denied knowing anything. Then my dealer sales person texted that MBUSA was going to buy me out, and it would be an "ordeal." MBUSA denied when I called, said they had issues with the dealer, and said they would be back in touch. Days go by before I hear back (despite a promise to call me the next day). Eventually, I am told that they are recommending a buyout, but it will be 2-4 weeks for regional "approval." Fortunately, after pitching a fit, I hear the next day that I will be bought out, but it the process will be turned over to a third party logistics firm to handle. I got all documents to them within 24 hours, and have yet to hear anything; they advised process will take up to 4 weeks. In sum, I bought a new Mercedes flagship vehicle; it was operated over about 2.5 weeks before it ceased to function; my dealer tells me it's defective and promises a new, slightly more expensive and different car (but never responds to requests for a loaner); I call MBUSA; dealer and manufacturer point fingers at each other; eventually I am promised a buyout (MBUSA never answers directly the question of whether this is a recurring defect for S class cabriolets); and I am still waiting on my money, paying insurance since I still own the car, more than 5 weeks after the car left my possession and almost four weeks to the day I was promised a new car. I've owned a Porsche, a Range Rovers, BMW M3, 2 Audi A8Ls, an early Infinity Q45, and two Hondas in my life. All great cars. This has been the single worst customer experience for any product, let alone the most expensive car I've ever bought.
Features & Specs
Our experts like the S-Class models:
- Active Brake Assist
- Warns if a forward collision is imminent and will automatically apply the brakes if the driver doesn't respond in time.
- Evasive Steering Assist
- Warns if an obstacle is in the path of the vehicle and will automatically steer around it if there is adequate space.
- Active Blind-Spot Assist
- Warns if a vehicle is in your blind spot and will attempt to prevent you from steering into that lane.