Buyer's Guide

2021 Mercedes-Benz S-class
Select a Different Model (6 Available): S500 4MATIC Sedan
Horsepower $ 429@5,500
Torque 384@1,600
See All Specs
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2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class MODEL OVERVIEW

Pros

  • Level 2 semi-autonomous driving tech
  • Augmented reality navigation and 3-D instrument cluster
  • Plush, controlled ride

Cons

  • Higher expected pricing than competitors
  • Huge control screen may intimidate some buyers

The S-Class has long been the best-seller among large luxury sedans, and Mercedes-Benz is introducing a fully redesigned seventh-generation model for 2021. to the 2021 S-Class will compete against segment contenders including the BMW 7 Series, Audi A8, Lexus LS, Genesis G90, and Tesla Model S.

Go in depth on the new S-Class sedan's tech here.

What We Think

It's hard not to be impressed with a new S-Class. The seventh-generation car features an iterative, evolutionary design over its predecessor with elegant details like flush pop-out door handles and a sharp shoulder line. Step inside, and the new OLED center touchscreen and digital instrument cluster make the current BMW 7 Series and Audi A8 seem dated by comparison. The instrument panel's clever 3D functionality and the head-up display's advanced augmented reality navigation are true technological show-stoppers. The interior's quilted leather and metal detailing whisper luxury, and those yearning for even more can opt for the Mercedes-Maybach S580.

No surprise, the S-Class drives great, too. The semi-autonomous driving, steering, lane changing, and parking are all eerily effective, and left to its drivers inputs, the big, quiet sedan delivers remarkable grip and balance alongside effortlessly plush ride quality. Steering and brakes feel just right, too, and the torquey mild hybrid inline-six feels perfectly at home smoothly and quietly propelling the base S500. The available rear-steer system provides exceptional maneuverability to boot. This is a car that gives drivers mechanical precision, opulent luxury, and outstanding futuristic tech.

Engines (Horsepower and Torque)

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz S 500 will offer a version of the mild hybrid 3.0-liter turbo inline-six currently offered in the E-, CLS-, GLE-, and GLS-Class, with 429 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque. Above the S 500 is the S 580, which uses a mild hybrid 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 that's good for 496 hp and 516 lb-ft. Mercedes-Benz will offer a plug-in hybrid S560e combining its inline-six with an electric motor for close to 500 hp and up to 60 miles of electric range, but a fully-electric powertrain is being saved for a model inspired by the EQS concept. All 2021 S-Class models have a nine-speed automatic and 4Matic all-wheel drive.

Safety

The new S-Class will offer Mercedes-Benz's full suite of driver-assist active safety content. That means stop-and-go adaptive cruise control with active lane centering, lane change assist, automatic emergency braking, active parking assist, and just about every other feature you can think of. We expect the 2021 car will also offer available Level 2 semi-autonomous driving capability.

Technology

As the trend goes, the new S-Class will be packed with massive screens. In addition to the horizontal screen behind the steering wheel, Mercedes-Benz will employ a large 12.8-inch OLED vertical screen in the center of the dash. The 2021 S-Class sedan's tech is incredibly advanced; learn about it here.

S-Class History: How Do the 2021 Model's Predecessors Drive?

Curious how good the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class' predecessors are to drive? Angus MacKenzie has driven them all; find out his favorite generation in this entertaining story. Read our First Ride of the 2021 S-Class here.

Key Competitors:

  • BMW 7 Series
  • Audi A8
  • Genesis G90
  • Porsche Panamera
  • Lexus LS

2021 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