Mercedes-Benz S-Class (2006 – 2014) Review

Mercedes-Benz S-Class (2006 – 2014) At A Glance


+Wonderfully luxurious. High-class cabin. Superb refinement on the move. The best looking saloon this size. Improved again from 2010.

-Feels as big as it looks. Sophisticated systems expensive to maintain and replace. Costly servicing and tyres.

Insurance Groups are between 46–50
On average it achieves 91% of the official MPG figure

The old W220 S-Class was to most eyes a beautiful looking car, the svelte lines of which belie its bulk. It was a great favourite, selling 17,852 in the UK alone, the most common car parked kerbside outside the embassies and consulates of Kensington. Now you can pick one up used for around £12,000 they are even gracing the station taxi ranks of posh suburbs like Walton-on-Thames.

I liked the car very much. Always felt at ease behind the wheel of a big Benz, especially the twin-turbo S600 and the LHD only S500 4-Matic that cornered in the wet as you might imagine a Mitsubishi Evo limousine.

But the car had its critics. Not enough boot room was one complaint. Quite a lot of niggles. And a perception that quality of build and materials used was progressively downgraded. Add to that extremely high servicing and repair costs and there had to be another reason why 70% - 90% of owners stayed loyal to the model rather than desert to Audi, BMW, Lexus or Jaguar.

The looks? The 3 pointed star? The way the car drives? What it says about them? Make your up own mind if you aren't already an S-Class owner and know.

Real MPG average for a Mercedes-Benz S-Class (2006 – 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.

Average performance


Real MPG

16–48 mpg

MPGs submitted


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.

Satisfaction Index

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Ask Honest John

Should I buy trade my Mercedes-Benz 190E in for a newer S-Class?

"I do one trip of about three non-winter months in the UK per year where I keep my Mercedes-Benz 190E (no problems) garaged. I am considering replacing it with a W221 S-Class. The car is home garage stored for nine months of the year. My budget is £8-14k. Is this a bad idea?"
I think you're asking for trouble, to be honest. An S-Class is a complicated car that won't like being stored for nine months of the year. I'd be tempted to keep the 190E - not only is it a much simpler car that'll be okay left for long periods, but it will also appreciate in value with a bit of care.
Answered by Andrew Brady

Used car caught fire after just 3 miles - Can I sue?

"I recently bought a 2010 Mercedes S-Class 350CDI 7G-tronic from a local independent garage. I collected the car, but was forced to pull over after just three miles due to an engine fire. I called the fire brigade, but the despite their rapid response the car is a write-off. Can you advise with regard to my rights with the supplier? Otherwise, without GAP insurance I stand to lose a significant amount. "
It will be extremely difficult for the supplying dealer to deny full responsibility for this: All you have to do is demand your money back and tell them if it is not immediately forthcoming you will sue.
Answered by Honest John

Mercedes-Benz S-Class - a good used buy?

"I am looking to buy a 2006 S-Class W221 which has done 98K miles and comes with 1 year dealer warranty. it has been converted to LPG. Can I ask how expensive is it to maintain and service the car. Are parts fairly cheaply and easily available these days from third party? Are these quite reliable cars?"
Very expensive to maintain, which is why values of S-Class drop so heavily. Not particularly reliable. And if it is an S350 petrol model that engine is very suspect even without being converted to LPG. So save yourself a lot of money and heartache by not buying it.
Answered by Honest John

Buying a used S-Class - petrol or diesel?

"I'm thinking of buying a used (2011) Mercedes-Benz S-Class, but am worried about the recent bad press of diesels. Which engine should I opt for? "
S500 L petrol plug-in hybrid:
Answered by Honest John
More Questions

What does a Mercedes-Benz S-Class (2006 – 2014) cost?