The 2015 Mercedes-Benz S550 4MATIC is exactly what a large, expensive luxury car should be – bold, brash, and brimming with luxury features that no one really needs but anyone would want.
The big Benz lists at $97,400 to start, with an as-tested price of $128,935. That’s a large chunk of change to lay down just for one vehicle. That much money could buy two Corvettes, five Miatas or 12 very nice motorcycles. Heck, it could even buy a pretty nice house in some markets. So is the S550 worth it?
Outside, the S550 looks like it is. It has a large, bold chrome grille with a genuine three-pointed-star hood ornament that reminds the driver of just what it is they’ve bought with their 128 grand. The profile is grand, with a long, sloping hood and large doors, especially in the rear. Plus it has some of the tightest panel gaps in the business.
All four doors have a soft close system that means no more pedestrian door slamming, such a faux pas at the country club.
Once inside, the driver and passengers are bathed in swaths of luxury. Soft leather covers the seats, doors and even the dash. The air is even scented – although with all that leather, one has to wonder why. The dash is dominated by two 12.3-inch screens, one behind the wheel to project gauges and other driver-oriented displays and the other for the infotainment system and navigation.
In the console is Mercedes’ COMAND interface, with the combination touchpad and rotary knob that controls the entertainment and navigation. The entire system takes some time to learn, and the overwhelming technology in the car is more of a negative than a positive.
There are no complaints under the hood, though. The S550 is motivated by a 4.7-liter, twin-turbocharged V-8 that produces 449 horsepower and 515 lb-ft of torque. Power goes to all four wheels through a seven-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters.
The engine provides effortless power and propels the big sedan with enough grunt to push driver and passengers into their seats.
For such a large car, it has a sporting side, thanks to the air suspension that keeps the car level regardless of the passenger or cargo load and lowers itself at speed for better aerodynamics.
All that power and luxury doesn’t come with a penalty at the gas pumps. The S550 is rated at 17 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. Not bad for a 4,630 pound car.
For the full report, check out this TFLcar video review of the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S550 4MATIC: