Buyer's Guide

2022 Mercedes-Benz S-class
Select a Different Model (2 Available): S500 4MATIC Sedan
Horsepower $ 429@5,500
Torque 384@1,600
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2022 Mercedes-Benz S-Class MODEL OVERVIEW

Pros

  • Level 2 semi-autonomous driving tech
  • Augmented-reality navigation
  • Plush, controlled ride

Cons

  • More expensive than rivals
  • Big display isn't for everyone

Mercedes-Benz introduced the seventh-generation S-Class luxury sedan for 2021. For the 2022 model year, it adds an even more luxurious Maybach model, with an available twin-turbo V-12 engine in addition to a twin-turbo V-8. The regular S-Class competes against BMW 7 Series, Audi A8, Lexus LS, Genesis G90, and Tesla Model S while the Maybach S-Class variants straddle the upper echelons of the full-size luxury sedan segment and the ultra-luxe tier occupied by Bentley and Rolls-Royce. 

What's New

  • MBUX Interior Assist front now standard
  • Center console in metallic black/silver now available
  • Center console with black dotted lines now available
  • New paint options include Nautical Blue Metallic, Kalahari Gold, Manufaktur Cashmere White Magno, Manufaktur Selenite Grey Magno
  • E-Active Body Control suspension now available, featuring Road Surface Scan and Curve drive program
  • All-new Maybach S680 4Matic 

What We Think

Traditionally, the S-Class has been the benchmark for the luxury full-size sedan segment. It deserves to retain this reputation as Mercedes-Benz nailed the execution on the latest installment of its gas-powered flagship (read about the EQS-Class electric flagship here). All variants of the S-Class are stuffed with cutting-edge technology, including Level 2 semi-autonomous driving capabilities, augmented-reality navigation, and a 3-D gauge cluster. These features are integrated into the driving experience seamlessly. 

Mercedes didn't let the S-Class' driving dynamics fall by the wayside while cramming all that tech into its flagship, either. This full-size luxury sedan exhibits excellent on-road poise and treats occupants to a comfortable ride. Aside from having what could possibly be too much tech for some folks, the only other downside to the S-Class is its segment-topping starting price.  

The 2022 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class variants exhibit all these great characteristics while adding flair to the exterior styling and unique touches to the interior. It has a lot of bling, but it also delivers in all the departments needed for a luxury vehicle at its price point. Speaking of price, the Maybach sedans represent somewhat of a good deal in the ultra-luxury world. The top-spec S680 starts at less than half the price of the Rolls-Royce Phantom while still exuding the glitz its target buyers expect. 

Not sure which flagship Benz to spend your six figures on? In a comparison against the EQS580, the S-Class took the win thanks to its elegant styling, generous rear seat accommodations, and lengthy driving range.

Performance and Fuel Economy

A nine-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard across the entire Mercedes-Benz S-Class lineup. The base engine, which powers the S500, is a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six coupled with the EQ Boost mild hybrid system. Output comes to 429 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque.

At the next step up, the S580 gets its motivation from a mild hybrid 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 that develops 496 hp and 516 lb-ft. The Mercedes-Maybach S580 uses the same powertrain, differentiating itself with a Maybach-specific drive mode rather than with different power figures. An S560e plug-in hybrid is also on the way. We expect it to combine an inline-six with an electric motor for close to 500 hp and up to 60 miles of electric range. 

At the pinnacle of the S-Class hierarchy there's the Mercedes-Maybach S680 that touts a potent 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-12 engine under the hood. It churns out 603 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque, hustling this 5,200-pound sedan down the road without breaking a sweat, as we described in our First Drive review

What Makes the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class Special? 

Aside from the available V-12 engine, the Maybach stands out from the regular S-Class with a variety of design changes. It receives a new grille and hood, a higher roofline, and a revised C-pillar. The exterior is a lot flashier than the more understated Mercedes-Benz S-Class models, especially with a variety of standard two-tone paint options. There are plenty of Maybach touches inside the cabin including Maybach pedals, Maybach seat graphics, and even a Maybach-specific scent. Of course, the S680 wouldn't be complete without a refrigerator and champagne flutes, so Maybach throws all of that in, as well. 

The Maybach S-Class comes standard with seating for five, but an executive four-seat arrangement is also available. Mercedes treats rear passengers to a special center console with controls and storage. Then it adds folding tables, heated and chilled cupholders, and additional USB and HDMI ports. There's also Maybach-specific trim to round out the luxurious atmosphere. 

Safety

Mercedes loaded up its full-size luxury sedan with safety features. Not only does it have Level 2 semi-autonomous capabilities, it also has stop-and-go adaptive cruise control with active lane centering, lane change assist, automatic emergency braking, and active parking assist. It also has a standard 360-degree camera system and dashcam.  

Cargo Space and Interior Room

There's 12.9 cubic feet of cargo space in the S-Class' trunk. There's also tons of space in the cabin. Front headroom is 42.1 inches for the regular S-Class, and rear headroom is 39.4 inches. Front legroom is 41.7 inches, and rear legroom is 43.8 inches. Maybach models have a 7-inch wheelbase extension, so rear passengers can stretch out while reclining their seats from an initial 19-degree angle to a relaxed 43 degrees.

Legroom (first/second rows):

  • Mercedes-Benz S-Class: 41.7/43.8 inches
  • BMW 7 Series: 41.4/44.4 inches

Technology

Technology is a hallmark of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Its MBUX system identifies the driver via a facial scan, voiceprint, fingerprint, or typed PIN, and applies the individual's presets the moment they enter the vehicle. The ​​3D Technology package adds a head-up display with augmented reality navigation and a 3-D instrument cluster.

A lot of tech affects the vehicle dynamics, too. The S-Class has standard air spring suspension, but now for 2022, available E-Active Body Control suspension promises an even more luxurious and composed ride; stereo cameras scan the road and communicate with the car's computers so the suspension can predictively damp pavement imperfections. There's also rear steering with 4.5 degrees of turning or an upgraded system with a whopping 10 degrees of flex. 

Maybach models get even more luxury-centric technology. Heated and cooled cupholders ensure a more luxurious rear-seat experience. On the roof, switches open and close the back doors. Mercedes even places standard infotainment displays on the backs of the front seats for the enjoyment of the rear-seat passengers. 

Recommended Trim

The entire S-Class line is compelling, but given the V-12 engine's endangered status, we're going to recommend springing for the Mercedes-Maybach S680. So few cars come with such a dazzling array of high-tech features while also offering 12-cylinder propulsion that the top-spec S-Class is a foolproof avenue to sheer, unadulterated luxury. Those with the means to hire a chauffeur will love the executive rear-seat appointments, and the latest suspension tech ensures a comfortable and relaxed journey. Mercedes-Benz prides itself on being "The best or nothing," and the Maybach is the best of the best, at least this side of a Rolls-Royce Phantom. 

Key Competitors: 

2022 MERCEDES-BENZ S-CLASS SPECIFICATIONS
OVERVIEW
FEATURES
WARRANTY/RECALL
SAFETY
Engine Name
Engine: 6-Cyl Turbo 3.0 Liter
Transmission Name
Transmission, 9G-TRONIC 9 Speed Automatic Mode Select with Manual Mode
Trim
S500 4MATIC Sedan
Class
Luxury Passenger Car
Horsepower
429@5,500
Standard MPG
N/R
Body Style
Sedan
Drivetrain
AWD
Fuel Type
Unleaded Premium
Seating Capacity
5/5
Package Invoice Retail
Show Full Specs
Corrosion Warranty Miles
50,000
Maintenance Warranty Months
none
Corrosion Warranty Months
48
Powertrain Warranty Miles
50,000
Full Warranty Miles
50,000
Powertrain Warranty Months
48
Full Warranty Months
48
Roadside Assistance Miles
50,000
Maintenance Warranty Miles
N/R
Roadside Assistance Months
48
IIHS Best Pick
0
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Rated
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
N/R
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Rated
IIHS Front Small Overlap
N/R
NHTSA Rating Front Side
Not Rated
IIHS Overall Side Crash
N/R
NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Rated
IIHS Rear Crash
N/R
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
Not Rated
IIHS Roof Strength
N/R
NHTSA Rating Rollover
Not Rated