The 2001 Mercedes-Benz S-Class provides the elite sedan for successful movers and shakers. It’s fast, aristocratic, and technically advanced. The S-Class comes engineered for hard driving while projecting confidence, distinction, and elegance.
The S-Class, Mercedes’ largest and priciest sedan, got redesigned in 2000 with a smaller, lighter configuration. For 2001 the S-Class consists of four models: the S430, with a 4.3-liter V-8 engine; the S500, with a 5.0-liter V-8; the new S600, with a 6.0-liter V-12; and the new S55 AMG, with a 5.5-liter V-8.
Performance aficionados should check out the S55, but non-S55 buyers can opt to upgrade to the S-Class Sport package. This package offers 18-inch Monoblock AMG alloy wheels and a flashy front and rear fascia that make the S-Class look more fashion forward.
Body Styles: sedan
Engines: 4.3-liter V-8, 5.0-liter V-8, 5.8-liter V-12, 5.4-liter V-8
Transmissions: five-speed automatic
Models: Mercedes-Benz S430, Mercedes-Benz S500, Mercedes-Benz S600, Mercedes-Benz S55 AMG
The S-Class offers two new models for 2001: the S600 and S55 AMG. The S600 contains a powerful 12-cylinder engine, standard Active Body Control, and Internet access. An active suspension system arrives as a new feature for all models, along with Distronic Intelligent Cruise Control.
The 2001 Mercedes-Benz S-Class measures shorter than the previous generation of S-Class cars, but it gets more spacious, faster, lighter, and more efficient. The S-Class gets described by Mercedes as “a sedan with a coupe-like profile, marked by a low nose and higher rear tail.? Even with the shorter length, the S-Class still measures six inches longer than the Lexus LS430. With a coupe-like profile and a traditional Mercedes oval-headlight front end, the 2001 S-Class has evolved into a svelte sedan after shedding nearly 500 pounds. The S55 AMG, with its sport suspension, larger tires, and aerodynamic body trim, comes ready for high speeds.
The 2001 S-Class’s interior looks designed to wow, and it delivers. The handsome, curved dash gets underscored by a slim line of burl walnut wood trim. The side-glass windows use double panes to reduce wind noise, and air bladders provide a smooth ride. Other high-end touches include ambient lighting, one-touch up/down windows, and an infrared ignition switch that replaces the more traditional metal key. A Bose sound system also comes standard, along with a touch-screen navigation system and the TeleAid system that puts drivers in touch with help in case of emergencies, need of roadside assistance, or general information.
In the cabin, the 2001 Mercedes-Benz S-Class offers the COMAND (Cockpit Management And Data) system, which takes direction by voice commands, steering-wheel controls, or buttons near the display screen. The system controls the navigation program, hands-free cell phones and stereo controls, but it still needs to work out a few kinks. The current offerings have a roomier cabin than previous models and 15.4 cubic feet of space in the trunk.
Performance & Handling
The 2001 Mercedes-Benz S-Class offers three V-8 engines and a behemoth V-12. The V-8s come in the S430, which contains a 275-hp 4.3-liter; the S500, with a 302-hp 5.0-liter; and the S55 AMG, with a 5.5-liter with 349 hp. The new S600 contains a 6.0-liter V-12 with 362 hp. All engines pair with a five-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode.
An active suspension system, Active Body Control, comes standard on the S600 and the S55 AMG. This system has electronic controls that constantly adjust the firmness of the suspension for optimum driving. Distronic Intelligent Cruise Control provides a new option for all models. It adjusts the car’s speed to maintain a preset distance from the vehicle directly ahead.
The 2001 Mercedes-Benz S-Class offers eight airbags as standard equipment: two in front, side-impact airbags in each of the four doors, and inflatable curtain-type airbags along both sides that protect passengers’ heads. The front-passenger airbag detects the severity of the crash and deploys accordingly, with lower force in low-speed collisions and with maximum force in higher-speed impacts. Other standard safety features include four-wheel ABS, emergency braking assist, electronic brake force distribution, and stability control. All S-Class vehicles have a four-link front and five-link rear suspension, ABS and brake assist, an Electronic Stability Program (ESP), and BabySmart child-seat protection.
EPA Fuel Economy
Mercedes-Benz S-Class: 17/24 mpg city/highway
- Exceptional design
- Roomy interior
- Powerful engine
- Numerous high-tech features
You Won't Like
- COMAND system needs improvement
- Pricey routine maintenance
- Some competitors more fun to drive
The car you want to drive to your high school reunion.
If You Like This Vehicle
- BMW 7 Series
- Lexus LS430
- Jaguar XJ-Series