The classic 2006 Mercedes-Benz S-Class represents the brand’s flagship luxury sedan, with all the creature comforts of a full-size, four-door, plus top performance features and high-tech safety equipment to round out the package. This S-Class generation debuted in 2000, with a more streamlined design, updated technology, and improved performance. A number of further upgrades have been made since then, particularly in the areas of safety and performance.
Practicality has the final word in the S-Class’s technological equipment. Notable features include the 4Matic all-wheel drive, which boosts tire grip in wet conditions and the PreSafe system, which makes automatic adjustments to protect occupants when an imminent collision is sensed. The standard COMAND system, which operates the audio and navigation systems, could use some revision, however. Drivers find its controls too complex.
Mercedes expands the 2006 S-Class lineup with the new base S350 and a number of standard and optional high-tech accessories available across the board. Whether you prioritize safety, performance, or rider comfort, the versatile S-Class has plenty to offer any buyer.
Body styles: four-door sedan
Engines: 3.7-liter V-6 (S350), 4.3-liter V-8 (S430), 5.0-liter V-8 (S500), 5.4-liter V-8 (S55 AMG), 5.5-liter V-12 (S600), 6.0-liter V-12 (S65 AMG)
Transmissions: five-speed automatic overdrive, seven-speed automatic overdrive
Models: S350, S430, S430 4Matic, S500, S500 4Matic, S600, S55 AMG, S65 AMG
Mercedes introduces the entry-level S350 to the S-Class family for 2006, modestly powered by a 241-horsepower V-6 engine. 2006 also brings some updates to the S600, for which Keyless Go, rear side window blinds, a power trunk closer, and heated steering wheel come as standard offerings. The Hands Free Communication system, meanwhile, has transferred to the options list.
The 2006 S-Class cuts a sleeker profile than past models. While it’s still nothing less than a full-size sedan, the S-Class’ narrower styling makes it seem much less cumbersome.
Standard exterior features for all models include power windows, heated power exterior mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, a power trunk lid, foglights, and a rear window defogger. Splashguards remain optional on all models except the S350, while HID headlights come optionally on the S350 and S430 and standard on all higher models.
The 2006 Mercedes S-Class holds little back when it comes to interior luxury and convenience. Leather upholstery and genuine wood trim come standard in all models. High-tech conveniences include individual climate controls, power front seats, a leather steering wheel with mounted controls, a tire pressure monitor, a trip computer, a telematics system, a premium Bose audio system, and navigational aid. A number of further trim packages and interior options include upgrades such as dynamic, multi-contour front seats; power rear seats; four-zone climate control; and different wood and leather combinations.
Performance & Handling
The new entry-level S350 contains a sturdy V-6 with 241 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. The power and muscle only increases from there, with a 275-hp V-8 in the S430 and a 302-hp V-8 in the S500. The peak-performance S600 boasts a twin-turbocharged V-12, packing 493 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. Capable of accelerating from zero to 60 mph in under five seconds, the S600 competes easily with any sports car. Yet for buyers interested in a real athletic driving experience, the supercharged S55 and S65 AMG models provide the best options.
The S-Class is as much about a comfortable ride as impressive power. This full-size sedan feels much lighter and smaller than one might expect from such a large vehicle. The seven-speed automatic transmission in the S430 and S500 provides particularly smooth acceleration, while all models enjoy firm handling.
The most notable safety feature of the 2006 S-Class lineup remains the Pre-Safe system. This system will detect if a collision seems unavoidable and immediately respond by tightening the seat belts and moving power seats into the most protective positions. It will also automatically close the sunroof if the car begins to skid. If the driver averts collision, the seats automatically shift back to their original settings, and seat belts loosen.
The S-Class’ complete list of safety equipment also includes four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, seat-mounted side-impact airbags in the front, and side curtain airbags for both the front and rear seats. All S-Class models also provide a first aid kit and a vehicle anti-theft system.
EPA Fuel Economy
Mercedes-Benz S350: 16/23 mpg city/highway
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
Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG: 11/18 mpg city/highway
- Luxurious, roomy interior
- Light handling
- Safety features
- Good resale value
You Won't Like
- Some lower-quality cabin materials
- Confusing COMAND system
A true classic in the world of full-size luxury sedans.
If You Like This Vehicle
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