In-depth reviews

Mercedes S-Class review - MPG, CO2 and running costs

With no plug-in options yet, there’s lots of tax to pay and no big economy wins

With very few S-Class sales made to private individuals and most through companies, it’s unlikely anyone is going to stumble into ownership with their eyes anything but wide open. And while a car priced towards the thick end of £100k is never going to be cheap to run, with hefty bills for servicing and maintenance all on the agenda, at least the fuel costs shouldn’t be too outrageous. 

In fact, Mercedes claims a best theoretical range of 32.4-34.5mpg for standard-wheelbase S500 models, but the longer version knocks that down to 32mpg or less. The S350 d claims a mixed consumption of 40.4-42.8mpg for the swb, but it drops to a sniff under 40mpg in lwb guise. You can knock another couple of mpg off your range with the S400 d, but a big 76-litre tank means all models have a considerable potential range.

The news isn’t quite so good from a company car tax point of view thanks to CO2 emissions starting at 173g/km for the S350 d, especially if you’re comparing the S-Class with cleaner hybrid or EV options. You’ll be hit with the top rate of 37 per cent for Benefit-in-Kind tax calculations, and of course the S-Class also attracts the luxury vehicle road tax supplement.  

Insurance groups

The insurance group ratings have been set at 50 for all variants of the S-Class, but many owners will have multiple vehicle or business insurance policies that mean the premiums can be amortised.

Depreciation 

Always a sore point for large and luxurious saloon cars, the crashing falls in value for expensive S-Class models at least shouldn’t be any worse than for the obvious rivals. Our data suggests that the S-Class should retain around 45% of its value after a typical three-year/36,000-mile ownership period, but higher mileage cars will obviously suffer more come resale time.

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