The venerable flagship model of Mercedes-Benz has long provided luxury, safety, performance, and prestige, while giving the buyer a vast number of choices in regards to interior options, engines, and transmissions. The 2013 Mercedes-Benz S-Class stays the course, with an incredibly roomy and luxurious interior that manages to be modest at the same time. It is powered by a variety of engines that span the gap from a fuel-sipping hybrid that still has impressive power and a nice little diesel with great range, up to a massive fire-breathing twelve-cylinder powerhouse that can get the large and heavy luxury sedan moving quicker than some sport coupes despite weighing in at hundreds of pounds more. The S-Class continues to amaze and to lead the high-end luxury sedan class.
New For 2013
Very little has been changed in the 2013 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, with nothing being implemented across the model line as a whole. The lower-end models such as the S350 Bluetec 4matic, the S400 Hybrid, and the S550 all now are equipped with the Premium 2 option package as standard, where it was an option before. The Premium 2 package makes the following options now standard on these models:
- Parking assistance
- Back-up camera
- Keyless push-button start
- Massaging front seats with adjustable head restraints
The outside of the 2013 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is clean, understated, and smooth, with no outlandish flares. It has remained the same since the most recent redesign in 2007, and has aged gracefully, especially when put alongside its peers. The lines are simple and precise, with curves that are sleek and unobtrusive. It is quite plain, but a welcome departure from the boxy Mercedes-Benz products of earlier years and the overly-contoured sedans of today.
Interior & Cargo
The interior of the 2013 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is luxurious in its simplicity. It feels more like a high-end living room of leather and wood accents and less like a vehicle. Head, hip and leg room in the rear seat is incredible, with plenty of room for adults of any size. The ride itself is quite comfortable thanks to a superior suspension and a number of driving assists that help compensate for poor roads or poor weather. The trunk is cavernous, with plenty of room for golf clubs and luggage.
There are plenty of features and creature comforts that come standard on all S-Class models. Locks, windows, mirrors, sunroof, steering wheel adjustments, and both front seats are powered. The audio system comes with USB and Bluetooth connectivity. The infotainment system is comprehensive, though not always easy to operate. A central LCD screen is the access point for features such as a navigation system that also has four gigabytes for music storage that connects to the audio system. The screen itself is split-view, meaning that depending on which angle it is seen from, different features can be seen and accessed. While this screen is a great central point and keeps the dash from being cluttered with knobs and buttons, it also is not intuitive and makes it easy to get lost in the submenus.
The 2013 Mercedes-Benz S-Class comes filled to the brim with safety features, even on the lowest models. All of the models of the S-Class available come with dual front, front side, read side, and curtain airbags, as well as active head restraints and a preparation system for imminent accidents. Called PRE-SAFE, this system automatically locks doors and tightens seatbelts while preloading the brakes for immediate and full application. Models equipped the Mercedes’ ABC suspension are equipped with programming that helps the vehicle compensate for heavy crosswinds. The stability control that is standard in all but the S400 Hybrid model has advanced programming for torque-vector steering that applies more braking to a wheel on the inside of a turn to help tighten the turning radius. Also standard on all but the S400 is Attention Assist, which senses drowsy drivers and signals them to pull over. Available on all models are other safety features such as Nightview Assist, Lane Keeping Assist that uses electric power steering to push the vehicle back into the lane when it senses drifting, blind-spot monitors, automatic headlights, and adaptive cruise control. This vast menu of safety features makes the S-Class one of safest vehicles on the road, with the vehicle historically having one of the lowest fatality rates of any production car.
The 2013 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is available with a great number of engines, ranging from V-6 engines available as hybrids or diesels, on up to the massive 6.0-liter, V-12 in the S65 AMG model that produces 621 horsepower. The V-6 engines are capable of getting the hefty vehicle up to speed in an adequate amount of time and cruise effortlessly, all the while providing incredible gas mileage. The V-12 in the S65 AMG model manages to provide the S-Class with power and speed that allows for the 4600 pound machine to produce a zero-60 time of 4.3 seconds and top out at an electronically limited 186 miles per hour.
The cars come in a variety of five- or seven-speed automatic transmissions, with varying levels of programming. The transmissions in the AMG models are programmed to mirror manual-shift performance instead of the gas-saving programming set up in the lower models. The S550 and lower are available in rear-wheel drive, with the higher models being all-wheel drive.
Key Competitors For The 2013 Mercedes-Benz S-Class
- Audi A8
- BMW 7-Series
- Bentley Continental Flying Spur