S-Class

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2020 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Overview

It seems that Mercedes-Benz's S-Class has yet another trick up its special sleeve, bringing hybrid power to the model for 2020. An all-new plug-in variant of the 560 sedan—the 560e—will debut this year, adding an electric motor to its drivetrain to offer a claimed 25 miles of electric-only power to a setup that already delivers turbocharged V6 power. With the addition of the electric motor, power figures actually exceed those you get from the standard 560’s turbocharged 4.0-liter V8. Additionally, keyless entry and ignition and Active Park Assist are now standard across the trim lineup, and the Premium package is now standard for the Coupe and Convertible configurations, bringing multi-contour seats with heat, ventilation, and massage; an upgraded cabin air filtration and fragrance system; power rear sunshades; and a surround-view camera to the party. Sorry, sedan lovers, you’ll still have to pay for your Premium package.

Those are some pretty considerable upgrades for what was already a very popular, and not exactly spartan, vehicle. Beyond the turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine that delivers 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque and is fitted to a 9-speed automatic transmission, the base S 450 offers some pretty substantial driving tech as standard features. Available with rear-wheel drive (RWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD), an air-ride adaptive suspension will deliver that comfortable Mercedes feel, while adaptive LED headlights and auto-dimming power-folding mirrors mean you can keep your mind on the drive. Things get a bit fancy with 18-inch alloys, a panoramic sunroof, power trunklid, and soft-close doors, while genuine leather and a virtual gauge cluster provide an appropriate amount of pomp and circumstance for the S-Class. Seats offer 16-way power with heat and memory, and a power rear sunshade will keep passenger necks cool.

Tech isn’t forgotten here, either. While you’re sadly not getting the new MBUX infotainment system, the old COMAND system is displayed on a 12.3-inch central screen that comes with navigation, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. To handle all your charging needs, you'll get a standard wireless charging pad, a 115-volt household-style outlet, and dual USBs. Audio delivery comes via a 13-speaker Burmester stereo, while safety is handled by a standard suite that includes blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning and lane-keep assist, forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, and a drowsy driver warning system.

If you’d prefer your S-Class to come with eight cylinders instead of six, the S 560 offers a turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 pumping out a commanding 463 hp and 516 lb-ft, while the AMG S 63 turns the dial up a few more clicks by wringing 603 hp and 664 lb-ft out of the same engine. Still not enough? The AMG S 65 shoehorns a 6.0-liter V12 into the engine bay and extracts 621 hp and 738 lb-ft in the smoothest manner possible, and while the AMG S 63 gets a performance-tuned AWD system, the AMG S 65 is available only in a RWD configuration, so you’d better be ready to buy more rubber.

Beyond the aforementioned Premium package, a Driver Assistance package will add adaptive cruise control—a feature that should already be standard at this level—as well as low-level automation, while a Warmth and Comfort package adds a heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated rear seats, and heated armrests throughout. Many standalone options can help you inflate the price of your S-Class. An advanced adaptive suspension, a night-vision camera, ceramic brakes, 26-speaker Burmester stereo, and a dimming sunroof will all help bring the price over 100 grand and in some cases flirt with twice that. Yes, it costs a lot of money, but the S-Class is a lot of car. And this year, it gets substantially better.

Updated

A CarGurus contributor since 2008, Michael started his career writing about cars with the SCCA - winning awards during his time as editor of Top End magazine. Since then, his journalistic travels have taken him from NY to Boston to CA, completing a cross-country tour on a restored vintage Suzuki. While his preference is for fine German automobiles - and the extra leg room they so often afford - his first automobile memories center around impromptu Mustang vs. Corvette races down the local highway, in the backseat of his father's latest acquisition.

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