2005 Mercedes-Benz S-Class

  • 2005 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S430 Sedan

    S430 Sedan

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      4.3L V8
    • MSRP
  • 2005 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S500 Sedan

    S500 Sedan

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      5.0L V8
    • MSRP
  • 2005 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S55 AMG Sedan

    S55 AMG Sedan

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      5.4L V8
    • MSRP
  • 2005 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S600 Sedan

    S600 Sedan

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      5.5L V12
    • MSRP
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  • Review

2005 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Review

A smooth and supremely capable cruising sedan.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 2005 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is part of the fourth generation of this luxury sedan. For the 2005 model year, the 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system is a no-cost option. The full-time all-wheel-drive system has a 60/40 front-to-rear split but can direct power to each wheel independently in slippery conditions.

The Range

Body Style: sedan
Engines: 4.3-liter V-8, 5.0-liter V-8, 5.4-liter V-8, 5.5-liter V-12
Transmissions: seven-speed automatic with overdrive and auto-manual, five-speed automatic with overdrive and auto-manual
Models: Mercedes-Benz S430, Mercedes-Benz S500, Mercedes-Benz S600, Mercedes-Benz S55 AMG

What's New

The 4MATIC AWD system, available as an upgrade to 2004 models, is a no-cost option for the 2005 S430 and S500.


The 2005 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is smaller and lighter than its predecessors, and presents an almost coupe-like profile with a low nose and taller tail. A smooth grille and underbody improve airflow. The styling is sleek and elegant but relatively conservative. Drivers aiming for a sportier look will appreciate the racecar-like aerodynamic body trim and 18-inch wheels on the S55 AMG. Riding on a 121.5-inch wheelbase, the S-Class models measure 203.1 inches overall and stand 57.2 inches tall.

The 2005 Mercedes S-Class is available in four trim levels. The base S430 features a chrome grille, 17-inch alloy wheels, variable intermittent rain-sensing wipers, a power rear sunshade, and a power sunroof with remote operation. Also standard are cargo tie-downs, daytime running lights, front foglights, turn signal mirrors, auto-delay-off dusk-sensing headlamps, power heated mirrors with reverse-tilt passenger mirror, and remote window operation and trunk release. The S500 adds high-pressure washers and Xenon high-intensity-discharge (HID) headlamps. The S600 upgrades to 18-inch alloy wheels with performance tires and self-leveling headlights. The hot-rod S55 AMG features AMG aerodynamic body enhancements, 18-inch Monoblock polished alloy wheels with high-performance tires, and a performance-calibrated suspension.


The 2005 Mercedes S-Class’ interior is elegant and luxurious. A long strip of burl walnut adorns the instrument panel, with curved lines reminiscent of an archer’s bow. The S-Class seats up to five occupants in front bucket seats and a three-place rear bench. The front seats have 14-way power adjustment, and a split rear bench with power adjustments is optional. The rear bench seat offers a generous 40.3 inches of legroom. Another optional layout with rear bucket seats fits four occupants. Full leather upholstery, a navigation system, and a Bose audio system are standard on all models. The one drawback to the interior is the complicated instrument panel with many switches with sometimes inscrutable icons for all the technological features. Voice commands mitigate this problem somewhat.

The 2005 Mercedes-Benz S500 adds premium leather to almost all interior surfaces, including the center armrest and doors. The seating upholstery is upgraded to soft Nappa leather. Multi-level heated front seats are optional on the S430 and standard on the S500. The S600 receives the premium Nappa leather on all the interior panels as well as the seats, and adds massaging seats to the list of standard amenities. The S55 AMG gets sport bucket seats in front with firmer bolstering for cornering at hot-rod speeds.

Performance & Handling

The 2005 Mercedes-Benz S430 is powered by a 275-horsepower, 4.3-liter V-8 that produces 295 lb-ft of torque. It comes standard with the Airmatic self-leveling air suspension and an Electronic Stability Program (ESP). Rear drive with a seven-speed shiftable automatic transmission is the standard setup, but the S430 can also be equipped with 4MATIC all-wheel drive and a five-speed shiftable automatic transmission. The S500 upgrades to a 5.0-liter V-8 that generates 302 hp and 339 lb-ft of torque. The S500 also has the no-cost optional 4MATIC all-wheel drive and five-speed shiftable automatic transmission. The S600 is powered by an ultra-smooth, twin turbocharged 5.5-liter V-12 capable of a whopping 469 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque. The S600 also features the Active Body Control (ABC) suspension. The only available drivetrain is rear drive with a five-speed shiftable automatic transmission.

The 2005 Mercedes-Benz S55 AMG, the top of the line, is powered by a hand-built, supercharged, 5.4-liter V-8 capable of 493 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. According to Mercedes-Benz, the rear-drive hot-rod can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds. SpeedShift buttons on the steering wheel allow manual control of the five-speed automatic transmission. A performance-calibrated of the ABC suspension is standard.


The 2005 Mercedes-Benz S-Class comes with a full array of safety technology, including Mercedes’ exclusive PRE-SAFE system. This system senses an impending collision and automatically adjusts the seats to their safest positions and tightens the seatbelts before the crash occurs. Other standard safety features include front airbags that deploy at variable rates depending on occupant weight and the severity of impact, door-mounted front and rear side-impact airbags, and side curtain airbags for head protection.

EPA Fuel Economy

Mercedes-Benz S430: 16/24 mpg city/highway
Mercedes-Benz S430 4MATIC: 15/21 mpg city/highway
Mercedes-Benz S500: 14/22 mpg city/highway
Mercedes-Benz S500 4MATIC: 14/20 mpg city/highway
Mercedes-Benz S600: 11/17 mpg city/highway
Mercedes-Benz S55 AMG: 13/20 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Spacious cabin
  • Elegant interior design
  • Innovative safety features
  • Performance in S55 AMG and S600

You Won't Like

  • Complicated COMAND system
  • Some low-grade interior materials
  • Mediocre fuel economy

Sum Up

A smooth and supremely capable cruising sedan.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Audi A8
  • BMW 745
  • BMW 760
  • Jaguar XJ

See the New 2017 S-Class.

Front & Driver Side View

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