2022 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan

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2022 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan Review: Subdued Style, Unrivaled Refinement

As the flagship of the Mercedes-Benz sedan range, the S-Class is a truly luxurious vehicle. And, courtesy of its thrumming turbo inline-six engine, it is remarkably quick, too. If 429 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque aren't enough for you, then the twin-turbo V8 with 496 hp and 516 lb-ft on the S580 model is a good alternative for the power-hungry. Inside, the luxury sedan is sumptuous and spacious, laden with comfort features and a host of advanced driver-assistance tech. But is this enough to maintain the edge over its equally quick and luxurious German rivals like the BMW 7 Series or Audi A8? With year-on-year updates heating up the competition, how hard will the Merc need to work to maintain its place at the head of the full-size luxury sedan segment?

Read in this review:

2022 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan Changes: πŸš™What’s the difference vs 2021 S-Class Sedan?

After its comprehensive update last year, the 2022 Mercedes-Benz S-Class features mostly cosmetic changes. The center console is available in two themes: Metallic Black/Silver or with Black dotted lines. There are also several new exterior paint colors, including Kalahari Gold, Nautical Blue Metallic, Manufaktur Cashmere White Magno, and Manufaktur Selenite Grey Magno.

There is a single new standard feature - MBUX interior assist front - and one new available feature, that being the E-Active Body Control suspension. The latter features Road Surface Scan technology.

Pros and Cons

  • Potent V8 engine
  • Peerless interior comfort and quality
  • Smooth and quiet ride quality
  • Loads of standard features
  • Many customization choices
  • Forgettable exterior styling
  • Tech can be overwhelming for some
  • BMW and Audi have strong offerings

Best Deals on S-Class Sedan

2022 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
S 500 4 MATIC Sedan
3.0L Turbo Inline-6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$111,100
S 580 4MATIC Sedan
4.0L Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$117,700

S-Class Sedan Exterior

Subtle is not a word that should be applied to any luxury vehicle. These cars are supposed to ooze style and sophistication. They speak of success and status. This is something that Mercs of old made clear, but the newer design language is far more subdued. The lines are clean but bland. This is not to say they are particularly boring or ugly, but the S-Class looks like any other Mercedes out there. As a flagship model, we'd love it if it stood out just a little more. The grille is large but plain, but at least all the exterior lighting is high-tech LEDs. An understated rear spoiler is available, either body-colored or in black.

Other standard features include 19-inch alloy wheels, a panorama roof, power-folding side mirrors, an automatic trunk lid, and soft-close doors. Larger wheels are available, however. Both the S500 and the S580 are available with AMG Line features, which see them equipped with AMG twin five-spoke wheels, along with AMG body styling.

2022 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan Front View CarBuzz
2022 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan Rear View CarBuzz
2022 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan Side View CarBuzz
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Dimensions

One thing that really does stand out about the S-Class is its sheer size. It stands an impressive 208.2 inches long and has a substantial 126.6-inch wheelbase. The width of 76.9 inches (excluding the mirrors) can make the sedan difficult to park and the 59.2-inch height doesn't give you the most amazing view of the road.

All of these dimensions add up to make a very heavy car, with the base S500 weighing 4,740 pounds and the S580 topping out at 4,775 lbs.

  • Length 208.2 in
  • Wheelbase 126.6 in
  • Height 59.2 in
  • Max Width 76.9 in
  • Front Width 65.2 in
  • Rear Width 66.3 in

Exterior Colors

There are a shocking number of colors available to the S-Class, but most are varying shades of professional-looking blacks and greys. Plain gloss black is about as basic as it comes, or you can opt for one of the many metallics. These include Obsidian Black, Onyx Black, Nautical Blue, Rubellite Red, Graphite Grey, Mojave Silver, Cirrus Silver, Emerald Green, and Selenite Grey. There are four premium paint colors, with Manufaktur Diamond White and Manufaktur Kalahari Gold costing $1,750, while Manufaktur Selenite Grey Magno matte and Manufaktur Cashmere White Magno matte add $3,250 to the bill. The understated palette plays into the executive nature of the S-Class, but if you wanted a little more aggression, opting for the AMG Line sub-trim and the Night Package, which adds gloss black exterior accents and large wheels, will help you achieve that.

  • MANUFAKTUR Diamond White Metallic
  • MANUFAKTUR Kalahari Gold
  • MANUFAKTUR Cashmere White Magno
  • MANUFAKTUR Selenite Grey Magno
  • Black
  • Obsidian Black Metallic
  • Onyx Black Metallic
  • Nautical Blue Metallic
  • Rubellite Red Metallic
  • Kalahari Gold Metallic
  • Mojave Silver Metallic
  • Cirrus Silver Metallic
  • Emerald Green Metallic
  • Selenite Grey Metallic
  • Graphite Grey Metallic
See all 23 colors

S-Class Sedan Performance

Mercedes-Benz doesn't know how to make a lethargic car, and while the S-Class may be more of a comfort-focused executive sedan, it definitely knows how to hustle. The base engine in the S500 is a turbocharged six-cylinder with mild-hybrid assistance that sends 429 horsepower and 384 lb-ft to all four wheels, launching the large vehicle from 0-60 mph in just 4.9 seconds. But, for those who don't want to waste even a single second in their work commute, the S580's burly biturbo V8 shaves half a second off this sprint time. This is thanks to outputs of 496 hp and 516 lb-ft. There are AMG variants of the S-Class on the way if this isn't quick enough. Regardless of the model you opt for, the top speed is limited to 130 mph.

2022 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan Front Angle View Mercedes-Benz
2022 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan Driving Back View Mercedes-Benz
2022 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan Engine Bay Mercedes-Benz

Engine and Transmission

Under the hood of the S-Class, you'll find either of two highly capable turbocharged engines. The first is a 3.0-liter inline-six in the S500 that develops a healthy 429 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of twist. This is sent to the 4MATIC all-wheel drivetrain via a nine-speed automatic transmission. A large portion of the power is unlocked as low down as 1,800 rpm and, along with the EQ Boost system, this allows it to accelerate extremely quickly. Getting around town is a breeze and even overtaking on the highway is nearly effortless.

The engine in the S580 is even more potent. The 4.0-liter V8 makes use of two turbochargers and its own 48-volt mild-hybrid system to increase outputs to 496 hp and 516 lb-ft. It uses the same drivetrain and the same silky-smooth nine-speed auto 'box. This perfectly manages even these enormous levels of power and makes the S-Class feel like an absolute beast, especially on the highway where it can let loose and get up to the legal top speed with no effort whatsoever. While the V8's soundtrack is muted in this application, this nevertheless suits the nature of the S-Class.

  • Engines
    3.0L Turbo Inline-6 Gas, 4.0L Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
  • Transmission
    9-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrain
    AWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class is an enormous luxury liner, so don't expect it to handle like a CLA. That said, it's an extremely confident vehicle so long as you respect its limits. The last thing you want to do is lose control of five tons of steel. There are Sport and Sport Plus driving modes that stiffen up the suspension and tighten the steering a little, but that isn't really what this car was made for, so don't expect too much.

So what was it made for then? Sublime luxury and comfort, of course. It has the power to get up to top speed in a matter of seconds, but what really impresses is how the suspension perfectly smooths the ride no matter how fast you are going. Normally, 21-inch wheels would be counter-intuitive on a comfort-focused vehicle, but they work really well here. It doesn't hurt that they look great, too. The standard 19s are silky smooth, of course. Rear-axle steering and E-Active Body Control are available to improve maneuverability and handling.

The cabin is a world of its own. Not only does it prevent any unseemly bumps and jolts from upsetting its occupants, but it also makes sure that any unwanted sounds are completely dampened. This includes road, wind, and engine noise.

S-Class Sedan Gas Mileage

Even mild-hybrid assistance can't save such a large and heavy vehicle from an equally huge fuel bill. The smaller six-cylinder is naturally a little bit more frugal and the S500 can get up to 21/30/24 mpg across the city/highway/combined cycles, according to the EPA. Equipped with a larger, more powerful V8, the S580 manages a less impressive but understandable 16/25/19 mpg. Of course, when you're spending $100k plus on a car, what's an extra $5k on yearly gas bills, right?

Both models get the same 22.2-gallon tank, so even with their middling economy figures, the S500 can travel up to 533 miles and the S580, around 422 miles.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    22.2 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 21/30 mpg
* 2022 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S 500 4MATIC Sedan

S-Class Sedan Interior

If you were tasked with finding a Mercedes-Benz with an unappealing, low-quality interior, you would no doubt return empty-handed. This is especially true when it comes to the brand's flagship sedan model. The S-Class is luxury and style incarnate. While the outside may look a little bland in comparison to sportier or more imposing executive sedans, the interior is in a class of its own. From the seating to the dash and door panels, every surface is coated in high-quality, plush materials, and the aesthetic is one of sophisticated refinement. Mercs are especially on the ball when it comes to tech, although some shoppers may feel that it can be overbearing. The dash is simply awash with screens and form takes a back seat over function. The lack of any sort of analog interaction may disappoint old-school purists. Apart from all the various woods and metals, the center console is now also available with a Metallic Black/Silver theme, or with Black Dotted Lines.

2022 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan Dashboard CarBuzz
2022 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan Steering Wheel Controls CarBuzz
2022 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan Interior Details CarBuzz
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Seating and Interior Space

You can't be comfortable without enough space, and the S-Class makes sure there is plenty, no matter where you are sitting. In fact, the back seat is even more accommodating than the front. The same is not true of headroom, though. In the front, there is 42.1 inches of headroom and 41.7 inches of legroom. If you have the luxury of being chauffeured around, you can enjoy 43.8 inches of legroom and 39.4 inches of headroom.

Comfort is also assisted by the standard inclusion of advanced features such as power-adjustable seats with heating and ventilation, and Mercedes' Energizing kinetics for the front perches. Finding a perfect driving or resting position should be a simple task, and outward visibility is good, despite the large size of the car. Any small blind spots are covered by the inclusive driver-assist features.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 41.0 in
  • Front Head Room 39.3 in
  • Rear Leg Room 44.0 in

Interior Colors and Materials

Only the best materials are used in the construction of a Mercedes cabin, and the S-Class gets the best of the best. Leather is the standard upholstery, available in a choice of colors that includes Black, Sienna Brown/Black, and Macchiato Beige/Magma Grey. Nappa leather is available in the same hues, but you need to pay an extra $2,290 to have it installed. There is also Exclusive Nappa leather if you are willing to spend even more - $5,400 to be exact. This option will require you to add the Warmth & Comfort Package for another $3,800. Color choices here comprise the same three themes, as well as Carmine Red/Black and Silver Grey/Black. Being the more premium and expensive model, the S580 skips over standard leather and starts you out with Nappa. The exclusive palette is available, too, but it only adds $3,110 to the bill; once again, this requires the Warmth & Comfort Package, though.

Both models share the same trim options, including standard Slate Poplar wood, Brown Burl Walnut wood, or Natural Grain Anthracite Fineline wood. For $1,300, you can opt for the Black Piano Lacquer, if you never intend on touching your dash with bare hands. The Silver Aluminum/Fanned Walnut combo is also available if you like something with a more metallic flair. This will cost you an additional $3,200. Exclusive to the AMG Line sub-trims is Black/Silver blended stainless steel, which replaces Brown Walnut. It does cost an extra $850, though.

S-Class Sedan Trunk and Cargo Space

Despite their large dimensions, executive sedans usually allocate almost all of their interior space to their passengers. This leaves only a little room for their luggage in the trunk. The S-class supplies a mere 13.8 cubic feet, which is a bit less than your average sedan, and a pittance in comparison to the popular SUVs and crossovers dominating the roads. The GLS, which is the S-Class equivalent SUV, comes with three rows of seats and still has 17.4 cubes in the back for stuff. Still, the sedan supplies enough room for a suitcase or two medium-sized ones, and you can fit a day's shopping in the trunk.

The cabin is more generous with small-item storage, courtesy of a large center armrest cubby, accommodating door pockets, several cupholders, seatback pockets, and a standard glove box.

2022 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan Trunk Space CarBuzz
2022 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan Maximum Trunk Space CarBuzz
2022 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan Armrest Storage Mercedes-Benz
  • Trunk Volume
    12.9 ft³

S-Class Sedan Infotainment and Features

Features

The number of features found in a Merc S-Class is quite staggering, so the fact that there are still some extra-cost extras may seem ridiculous. As standard, you get 12-way power front seats with heating and ventilation, and memory settings. For tired backs, the front seats also have a massage function. You get all the expected conveniences, too, such as keyless entry and ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, a hands-free trunk lid, soft-close doors, and interior LED lighting. The driver-information display is 12.3 inches.

If you expect to spend more time in the back than the front, the optional rapid-heating and ventilated rear seats might be worth the investment. The S580 even offers rear-seat neck heating as part of the Executive Line specification. As standard, those seated at the back do get power rear-side window sunshades.

The standard safety specs are great, too. These include a surround-view camera system, forward collision avoidance, adaptive cruise control, attention assist, evasive steering assist, parking sensors, and blind-spot monitoring. Crosswind assist, exit warning assist, lane change and lane keep assist, as well as stop-and-go assist are also included. A head-up display is available.

Infotainment

If you're looking for one of the most high-tech and comprehensive infotainment suites in your sedan, then look no further. The S-Class has a pristine 12.8-inch OLED central touchscreen and has a fingerprint sensor for saving and loading driver profiles. Operating the infotainment is simple enough, once you get used to the menus and the firm hand required to register inputs.

Standard features include wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, HD Radio, SiriusXM, and navigation. The 15-speaker Burmester 3D surround sound system includes body-mounted subwoofers. However, if all that isn't enough, there is an optional high-end 4D system with 30 speakers and seat-integration resonators.

Exclusive to the S580 Executive Line, options include a rear-seat infotainment system, rear wireless headsets, and a rear-cabin MBUX tablet.

S-Class Sedan Problems and Reliability

There aren't enough consumer reviews of the 2022 Mercedes-Benz S-Class for J.D. Power to consolidate a reliability rating. Hopefully, it'll achieve a higher rating than the BMW 7 Series and Porsche Panamera, as the previous S-Class was rated lower than these rivals. A couple of recalls also tarnish the luxury sedan's legacy. The 2022 model has already been recalled twice for a disabled emergency call system and an infotainment system that could distract the driver. The 2021 model was worse, with seven recalls at the time of writing including problematic ECU software and a jet pump in the fuel tank that could fail, both potentially leading to an engine stall.

Every new S-Class is covered by a four-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper and powertrain warranty, as well as 24-hour roadside assistance.

Warranty

  • Basic:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles

S-Class Sedan Safety

Mercedes-Benz doesn't usually submit its higher-priced vehicles for a comprehensive crash test review. Thus, you will find no official rating from the NHTSA or IIHS. However, the sheer number of standard active and passive systems installed in any S-Class sedan should quell any doubts buyers may have.

Key Safety Features

It's pretty hard to crash a Merc S-Class with all the crash mitigation and avoidance features, but even if you somehow manage it, there are nine airbags, including dual front, driver's knee, front side, and side-curtain bags. The S580 Executive Line gets additional rear-seat airbags and beltbags as standard.

Factory-installed features include forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, active lane-keep assist, lane change assist, active steering assist, attention assist, blind-spot monitoring, evasive steering assist, and Mercedes Pre-Safe. Instead of the standard rearview camera, the S-Class gets a complete surround-view camera, along with front and rear parking sensors with active parking assist. Unlike in lesser Mercs, you don't have to pay extra for advanced safety systems. They are all included as standard, with the exception of an augmented reality head-up display that comes courtesy of the available 3D Technology Package.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2022 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan a good car?

When it comes to true opulence and luxury in the full-size sedan segment, your options aren't as plentiful as you might think. Sure, there are Bentleys and Rolls-Royces to consider, but they are ludicrously expensive. The Mercedes-Benz S-Class, however, is merely ridiculously expensive. Only the BMW 7 Series and Audi A8 really compete on the same level within the classification, and while they each bring something to the table, the S-Class has them beat in some key areas.

There is simply no matching the interior of a Merc. These German luxury liners are pure opulence on wheels. The cabin of the S-Class is masterfully crafted to optimize comfort and mitigate exterior annoyances. The tech is also something to behold, though older Mercedes fans may find it a bit overbearing at times. And while this may be where the S-Class truly shines, it would be foolish to underestimate its firepower. Even the base six-cylinder is strong, but the twin-turbo V8 will keep up with almost any competitor on the road, though the S580 may fall behind in the bends.

However, there are some other downsides apart from negligible shortcomings in handling and sportiness. The trunk is a joke for a car this size, and some of the interior trimmings are just too pretty. You may not even want to touch them when you realize how easily they pick up oily fingerprints and smudges. Ultimately, these are small potatoes, though. The S-Class is a glorious feat of engineering, especially in S580 guise, and anyone would be proud to own one.

🚘What's the Price of the 2022 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan?

A Mercedes-Benz S-Class is the kind of vehicle that you sign for without even looking at the price tag, because if you have to ask, you probably can't afford one. The cheaper of the two trims in the S500 with the six-cylinder engine, but even that will cost you more than $100k. The base model, if you can call it that, is the Luxury Line with an MSRP of $111,100. The AMG Line variant goes for $115,400.

The S580 is presented in three different lines, starting with the standard $117,700 Luxury Line. The AMG Line bumps the price up to $122,000, and the Executive Line tops it off at $129,100. These prices are MSRP and do not include the $1,050 destination charge or any other administrative fees.

2022 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan Models

Two distinct models make up the 2022 Mercedes-Benz S-Class range: the S500 and the S580. The former is powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six, while the latter gets a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8. Both engines come mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission and are all-wheel drive as standard.

The standard features on both are essentially identical but there are several sub-trims that alter this list somewhat. The exterior is accentuated by full LED lighting and 19-inch alloy wheels. The cabin is dressed in leather and comfort is ensured with dual-zone automatic climate control, 12-way power front seats with heating and ventilation, and power rear side sunshades. A 12.8-inch OLED touchscreens grants access to wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, HD Radio, and SiriusXM, all paired with a 15-speaker Burmester sound system. Safety is ensured by a surround-view camera, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, front and rear parking sensors, and forward collision avoidance.

The AMG Line sub-trim adds unique exterior styling, 19-inch twin five-spoke wheels, and brushed stainless steel pedals. The Executive Line sub-trim for the S580 includes heated and ventilated rear seats with massage functions, as well as quad-zone climate control and rear-axle steering.

See All 2022 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

There is very little left off your standard S-Class luxury sedan, so the list of options is not very long. The few things left to add include a heated steering wheel ($250), the 30-speaker high-end Burmester sound system ($6,730, but requires the Warmth & Comfort Package detailed below), and a more comprehensive 3D Technology Package ($3,000). The latter installs an MBUX augmented reality head-up display and facial recognition software, which works alongside eye-tracking enhancements in the attention assist system. It also upgrades the digital instrument cluster to a 3D model.

A $3,800 Warmth & Comfort Package is also available, comprising power-adjustable, heated and ventilated rear outboard seats, the heated steering wheel, heated armrests, and front-cabin Energizing Comfort. AMG Line sub-trims get access to a Night Package, which equips larger 20-inch AMG wheels and recolors the exterior accents in a bolder gloss black. E-Active Body Control features road surface scan and curve drive technology. It costs $6,500.

πŸš—What Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan Model Should I Buy?

When you're already spending over $100k, why settle for second best? We suggest going for the brutishly powerful and lavishly appointed S580. The V8 engine is irresistible, moving the large luxury sedan with absolutely no effort. The AMG Line is a nice cosmetic package that makes the otherwise bland-looking S-Class stand out, but the larger 20-inch alloys aren't necessary. The 19s help to ensure the best ride quality possible. Furthering this, the Exclusive Nappa leather also broadens your color options and includes the Warmth & Comfort Package. Passengers in the back will definitely thank you. The total price of a 2022 Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan with all these additions is $123,050 including the destination charge.

2022 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan Comparisons

BMW 7 Series BMW
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedan Mercedes-Benz
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan429 hp21/30 mpg$111,100
BMW 7 Series 375 hpTBC$93,299
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedan 255 hp23/31 mpg$54,950

2022 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan vs BMW 7 Series

Perhaps the most direct competitor to the S-Class is one of its countrymen, the BMW 7 Series. These two luxury liners have been neck and neck for decades. Since Mercedes usually releases a new model before BMW, the S-Class enjoys a few years of dominance but even with time to prepare, the 7 Series doesn't surpass its rival easily. We won't know for sure if the 7 Series will steal the lead until BMW releases its most recent answer to the S-Class, but we know what to expect. The BMW is the sportier of the two executive sedans, but its interior can't match what Mercedes brings to the table. Then again, the 7 Series starts at a much more affordable $86,800 for the 740i in RWD form. Both are usually on par in terms of tech, though the S-Class's updates will be hard to top. However, if you are a BMW fanboy at heart, nothing Mercedes-Benz can do will sway you, and the same is true of the reverse.

See BMW 7 Series Review

2022 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan vs Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedan

Comparing two cars from the same brand will most often come down to size and power. The E-Class is smaller than the S, and while it uses a four-pot as standard, the same six-cylinder engine found in the larger sedan is available. However, the inline-six only produces 362 hp and 369 lb-ft here. The interiors show the family resemblance best. The same elaborate MBUX infotainment suite is present, and while synthetic leather is the standard, it can be upgraded to the real thing easily enough. In truth, the E-Class is the 'poor' man's S if you can call a starting price of around $55k affordable. It's hardly comparable to the flagship S-Class, but it's a great way to experience luxury without completely bankrupting yourself.

See Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedan Review

Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan Popular Comparisons

The most popular competitors of 2022 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan:

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