Mercedes-Benz S-Class (2014 – 2020) Review

Mercedes-Benz S-Class (2014 – 2020) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
Mercedes has long vied for the title of Best Saloon in the World with its S-Class models.

+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.

Insurance Groups are between 45–50
On average it achieves 71% of the official MPG figure

The Mercedes S-Class has become a barometer for the luxury class that all others look to. It shows the standard that everyone else must meet to even be considered worthy of a place at the top table and it’s achieved this through a process off continual evolution. The result is this generation of S-Class that was launched in 2014 and continues to give rivals like the Audi A8 and BMW 7 Series headaches. That’s no surprise when you travel in an S-Class and experience its smooth, cultured manners in every situation that lets its occupants relax and enjoy the ride.

The old chestnut of who builds the best luxury saloon in the world is somewhat moot nowadays when there are some that go so far beyond anything the mainstream Mercedes S-Class can offer. Even Mercedes does this with its Maybach model, yet the S-Class still has a claim on this title, especially if you introduce ration decisions such as value for money and running costs into the equation.

So, the latest S-Class 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. Either way, you are in for a treat with one of the most comfortable and capable cars every made.

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 a plug-in hybrid model that means even this large saloon can provide economy and emissions to shame most superminis.

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 that only comes in long wheelbase form provides the ultimate in luxury and performance thanks to its 612PS twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 engine.

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.

There’s plenty of other tech inside the S-Class and it uses Mercedes’ large widescreen infotainment set-up as standard. This puts the S-Class ahead of most rivals straight away as it’s easy to read and use, as well as suiting the prestige of the car whether you’re sat in the front or back seats.

So, the S-Class is world class. Of that, there’s no doubt. Some might find its approach misses a bit of the drama of a Maserati Quattroporte or heft of a Bentley, but the S-Class earns its accolades through being relentlessly good at everything it does.

Ask Honest John

My car has XL tyres - can I change them?

"In 2020 I replaced my 13 year old Mercedes S Class for a 2 year one with a premium pack. On my last one I replaced the Continental Tyres with what I thought were identical new ones but noticed they were much noisier. At a service I mentioned this to the technician and he looked at the tyres and immediately diagnosed the problem - the tyres fitted were Extra Load which he said were really only for very heavy vehicles, vans etc. As soon as I replaced them with non XL tyres I noticed a difference. The drive was much quieter. On my new S Class which I bought with 6,000 miles on the clock, I looked at the tyres and saw these were XL which because of the low mileage I am assuming they were fitted from new. The road noise is louder than my last S Class. Can I use non XL replacements or is it advisable to stick with XL because of the car's spec? "
Having done some research it appears that Mercedes fitted Extra Load tyres to some S-Class models out the factory, depending on spec and wheel size. This wouldn't be done without a reason. It's worth speaking to Mercedes and to a tyre specialist to see if it's possible to fit non-XL tyres. Fitting tyres with the wrong load rating can mean the sidewall deteriorates more quickly, which is dangerous.
Answered by Lawrence Allan

Which used luxury cars are best?

"What are the best used luxury cars for about £14,000?"
A Lexus could be a good option – they're extremely reliable and owners love them. You could find a Lexus RX 450h in budget or a GS. Alternatively, a Mercedes-Benz S-Class is probably the ultimate luxury car but be prepared for high running costs.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What's the best car polish to use?

"Can you recommend the best polish to use on my Mercedes-Benz S-Class please?"
Take a look at our Top 10: Car polishes:
Answered by Georgia Petrie

What are the best five cars for cabin quietness and insulation from wind and road noise at speed?

"What are the best five cars for cabin quietness and insulation from wind and road noise at speed?"
The most surprising I have ever driven was the Peugeot 407 Coupe. Astonishingly quiet even at high speed. Otherwise, a Mercedes-Benz S500e, a Lexus LS600h (new Lexus hybrid next week), new BMW 7-Series, Citroen C6.
Answered by Honest John
More Questions

What does a Mercedes-Benz S-Class (2014 – 2020) cost?