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Mercedes S-Class (2014-2020) review - Reliability and safety

With all the options ticked, the S-Class is surely one of the safest cars in the world

Overall Auto Express Rating

5.0 out of 5

Reliability and Safety Rating

4.8 out of 5

Price
£94,195 to £247,200
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Mercedes has forged a strong reputation for building durable cars, and this was backed by an impressive 11th place in our Driver Power satisfaction survey in 2015.

More worryingly perhaps, at least as part of a bigger picture, was the manufacturer’s score for reliability alone, which was rumbling along at 26th out of 30-odd contenders. Fast forward to 2018, and Mercedes has improved to 18th place, ahead of BMW but behind main rivals Audi.

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It’s the lesser Mercs that seem to be letting the side down, though, so we’d be amazed to hear of anyone picking fault with the build quality of an S-Class.

Euro NCAP hasn't crash tested the sixth-generation S-Class, but we'd be amazed if Merc’s technology flagship failed to do the business if it were put through assessment.

As you’d expect, there's plenty of standard safety kit, including eight airbags, a traffic sign recognition camera, a driver drowsiness monitor and a stability control system which incorporates Curve Dynamic Assist and Crosswind Assist.

The S-Class can also be fitted with the Driving Assistance Package (optional on AMG Line models but standard on the Mercedes-AMG cars), which adds blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control, plus a £2,250 night-vision camera and novel £1,230 rear seatbelts that feature integrated airbags. If you want unbeatable safety – and can afford to pick up the bill – then the big Merc has it covered.

Warranty

The standard Mercedes warranty applies to the S-Class, which means three years cover and no mileage cap.

Servicing

Mercedes’ Service Care pack guarantees the cost of routine maintenance for up to four services. The plan is flexible depending on mileage, but if you drive between 15,000 and 30,000 miles a year Mercedes will cover you for £55 a month – including 4 services over three years. 

If you simply want an annual service once a year for two, three or four years, there’s another monthly plan that costs £41. Either way, it’s not a bad deal considering the price of the car, especially when you consider a three-year deal for the smallest Mercedes A-Class is £32 per month.

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Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    S350d AMG Line 4dr 9G-Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £84,360

Most Economical

  • Name
    S580e L AMG Line Premium 4dr 9G-Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £112,715

Fastest

  • Name
    Maybach First Class S680 4Matic 4dr 9G-Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £216,945
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