Review: Mercedes-Benz S-Class (2014)
Supremely comfortable with an elegant yet modern interior. Handles impressively well for such a big car. Reasonable economy and emissions.
S300 has a 2.1-litre diesel which can be noisy at times.
Mercedes-Benz S-Class (2014): At A Glance
- New prices start from £97,480, brokers can source from £58,169
- Contract hire deals from £641.56 per month
- Insurance Groups are between 45–50
- On average it achieves 68% of the official MPG figure
Mercedes has long vied for the title of Best Saloon in the World with its S-Class models. Over the generations, the S-Class has always been at the forefront of comfort, space and driving finesse, as well as introducing many technologies we now take for granted.
So it is with the latest S-Class that offers luxury car buyers all they could ever want in a discreetly stylish package. For some owners, it will be their only means of transport as it covers so many bases, while for others the S-Class will be one of many choices of car at their disposal.
However, many of the S-Class models you will see on UK roads will be plying their trade as upmarket cabs. This is a role to which the Merc is superbly well suited thanks to a range of fuel-efficient engines and lower carbon dioxide emissions than you would think possible for such a large car. There is also the option of hybrid and plug-in hybrid models.
At the other end of the scale, Mercedes has not forgotten about its customers who are not concerned in the slightest about running costs. For them, the S63 AMG and S65 AMG models provide the ultimate in luxury and performance thanks to their tuned engines.
Inside every S-Class is a cabin offering masses of space for four or five passengers, depending on which seating configuration you prefer. While comfort may be the overriding ethos, the driver is just as well looked after with an ideal driving position, clear-cut controls and the chance to enjoy the S-Class’ wonderful handling.
This is one of the most surprising facets of the S-Class, that it can be so cosseting yet still be fun to drive. Every S-Class has pulled off this clever trick and the latest model is helped by Magic Body Control that scans the road ahead for bumps and potholes to adjust the suspension in anticipation to ensure the smoothest ride possible.
What does a Mercedes-Benz S-Class (2014) cost?
Buy a used Mercedes-Benz S-Class from £39,999
Mercedes-Benz S-Class (2014): What's It Like Inside?
- Boot space is 395–530 litres
Few cars are more able than the Mercedes S-Class to shut out the hubbub of the rest of the world the moment its soft-close doors pulls to a close. As the outside world recedes to a distant hum, the inhabitants of the S-Class cocoon can relax in very considerable comfort.
There is a choice of standard and long wheelbase models of S-Class, though not all engines options are offered with both. This reflects the number of S-Class models used for high-end private hire work where cosseting the person in the rear of the car is more important the driver’s welfare.
Even so, anyone who finds themselves behind the wheel of an S-Class is a very fortunate individual. For starters, the leather-clad seat is hugely supportive and has more than enough electrically worked adjustment for anyone to find the right seating position. There are also heated front seats in all S-Class models as standard and long wheelbase models also enjoy heated rear pews.
Mercedes has done away with normal dials in the S-Class in favour of a digitally created screen the driver can configure in various ways. It mirrors the satellite navigation screen that is in the centre of the dash and helps to give the Merc’s dash a clean, uncluttered look.
Most of the functions on the dash screens are worked by a rotary control in the centre console, so you scroll through various menus to get the information or system you need. It’s simple to work, intuitive and Mercedes has now positioned the shortcut buttons for your favourite functions next to the dial in the centre console to be within easier reach than in the previous model.
Slide into the back seat of the S-Class and you instantly feel like a million dollars. If it happens to be the long wheelbase model, you’ll also enjoy the sort of the legroom even the Harlem Globetrotters would regard as generous. Back here, the S-Class is every inch the luxury limo.
Life can get even more opulent with the host of optional extras Mercedes offers, including its Executive Rear Package that brings reclining rear seats, electrically operated blinds and individual air conditioning controls. You can also add the Individual Rear Seat Package that turns the S-Class into a four-seater and the rear compartment into something more akin to first class luxury air travel.
Other options include rear privacy glass, panoramic glass roof, ambient lighting and upgraded stereo system, as well a wide variety of trim colours and finishes to make your S-Class your own.
Child seats that fit a Mercedes-Benz S-Class (2014)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Mercedes-Benz S-Class (2014) like to drive?
As with previous Mercedes S-Class generations, the latest model comes with a variety of engines. Where the current S-Class differs is that most of the mainstream models major on delivering economy and low emissions. While the AMG models may grab the headlines with their 5.5 V8 and 6.0 V12 engines, it’s the S300, S350 BlueTec and S400 models that will be the best sellers.
The S300 and S400 models use hybrid power, while the S350 BlueTec has a more traditional 3.0 V6 turbodiesel engine. In the S300 BlueTec hybrid, power comes from a 2.1-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel engine with assistance from a 27PS electric motor.
Together, they see the S300 from 0-62mph in 7.6 seconds, so even this entry point model is far from being a slouch. It’s all the more impressive when coupled to 61.4mpg claimed economy and emissions as low as 120g/km depending on which wheels you choose.
Opt for the more expensive S350 and 0-62mph comes up in 6.6 seconds, while fuel is supped at a rate of 49.6mpg and emissions register at 148g/km. Curiously, the S300 comes as a long wheelbase model only, as does the S400 Hybrid, while the S350 BlueTec is offered in both standard and longer wheelbase versions.
For the S400 Hybrid owner, economy of 44.8mpg along with CO2 emissions of 154g/km make the petrol-only S500’s 31.7mpg and 208g/km simply look profligate. However, for those wanting the waft with lower running costs, Mercedes has gone the extra mile to offer the S500 Hybrid.
Contrary to what the name might lead you to think, the S500 Hybrid has a 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine aided by a 116PS electric motor. It sweeps from 0-62mph in 5.2 seconds while still being able to give an incredible 100.9mpg and 65g/km of CO2 emissions - according to the official figures. This is achieved as the S500 Hybrid is the only S-Class with Plug-In recharging for its battery, which also means it qualifies for the government’s £5000 Plug-In Car Grant.
Amid all the parsimony and performance, Mercedes also continues to offer a good old fashioned S500 and S600 models, the latter with a whopping big 6.0-litre V12 motor for those old fashioned plutocrats. Given the S600’s eye watering price tag, economy of 25.5mpg and 268g/km emissions probably look quite reasonable.
Definitely more than reasonable is the way any of these S-Class progresses along the road. Acceleration ranges from the S300’s sufficient to the S65’s outrageous and all can overtake with serene ease.
Cruising on the motorway or swishing through town is a forte of all S-Class models, though the AMG models allow a little tyre noise into the cabin’s hushed amphitheatre due to fat, low profile tyres. SE Line models are a tad quieter than AMG Line models too, but there’s very little in it and you certainly wouldn’t complain about the noise in either. Only the S300’s 2.1-litre engine lets the side down a little with its tell-tale diesel chatter.
It’s hard to fault the standard suspension of the more affordable S-Class models. They ride beautifully and handle with an agility that seems uncanny for a car of this size, helped by accurate steering with variable assistance.
Then you step into the more expensive S-Class iterations available with the optional Magic Body Control, which reads the road ahead to make the ride as smooth as possible. This is a marvel and makes the Mercedes the most cushy, comfortable car in its sector by some margin.
10-12-2018: 2019 Model Mercedes Benz S500L EQ 48v mild hybrid driven on UK roads. Tech details in the intro section. It was recommended that we drive in 'Eco' dynamic drive mode to experience the regenertive effect of the petrol engine shutting down completely and seamlessly when coasting or descending hills and the starter/generator putting power back into the 48v battery. Astonishingly smooth, making ia an ideal, relatively low emission chauffeur car. Over 28 miles we 'gained' 0.3 of a mile.
The other benefit over previous hybrids and the old 500L PHEV is a much bigger boot with a 530 litre capacity.
|S 300 Lh||59–61 mpg||7.6 s||120–121 g/km|
|S 350 d||47–51 mpg||6.0–6.8 s||139–158 g/km|
|S 350 d L||-||-||158 g/km|
|S 350 Ld||47–52 mpg||6.0–6.8 s||139–157 g/km|
|S 400 d L||-||-||158 g/km|
|S 400 Ld||47 mpg||5.4 s||153 g/km|
|S 400 Lh||40–45 mpg||6.8 s||147–161 g/km|
|S 450 L||38 mpg||5.1 s||169 g/km|
|S 500 L||32–41 mpg||4.8 s||157–208 g/km|
|S 500 Le||101 mpg||5.2 s||65 g/km|
|S 560 AMG||28–28 mpg||4.6 s||188–204 g/km|
|S 560 e L||-||5.0 s||57 g/km|
|S 600 L||25 mpg||4.6 s||259 g/km|
|S 600 Maybach||24 mpg||5.0 s||274 g/km|
|S 63 AMG||26–28 mpg||4.2–4.4 s||203–237 g/km|
|S 63 AMG L||27 mpg||4.0 s||237 g/km|
|S 63 L||20–28 mpg||4.3 s||199–279 g/km|
|S 65 AMG||20 mpg||4.1 s||272–279 g/km|
|S 65 AMG L||24 mpg||4.3 s||279 g/km|
|S 650 Maybach||20 mpg||4.7 s||289 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Mercedes-Benz S-Class (2014)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
What have we been asked about the Mercedes-Benz S-Class (2014)?
Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.
What's the best car polish to use?
What Cars Are Similar To The Mercedes-Benz S-Class (2014)?
Unclear on what your next car should be? Use our Car Chooser to pick something that suits your needs.
What do owners think?
Our view gives your our opinion, based on driving hundreds of cars every year, but you can't beat the views of someone who lives with a car day-in, day out.
- 5 star 50%
- 4 star
- 3 star
- 2 star 50%
- 1 star