Mercedes S-Class review - Reliability and safety
The S-Class is laden with safety tech, and should be bullet-proof mechanically
As ever, the Mercedes S-Class is loaded with the most advanced safety features but has yet to be tested by Euro NCAP, so we can’t say how safe it’ll be. However, with all of this kit, we’d be surprised if it came away from independent crash testing with anything less than excellent scores.
Meanwhile, we have to put our trust in a spec sheet that includes every safety feature you can think of, and a raft of semi-autonomous driver assistance features. An example is the DISTRONIC adaptive cruise control system designed to keep you at a safe distance from the car ahead and works at speeds up to 80mph.
Mercedes continues to roll out bigger innovations, including industry-first rear seat airbags that provide flexible protection for all sizes of occupants, from kids in child seats to corpulent corporate magnates.
Good reliability for the mechanical elements of the new S-Class should be assured, but only time will tell how long the many electronic systems will last. It’s worth noting also that Mercedes only managed to finish in a disappointing 25th out of 32 brands in our 2023 Driver Power manufacturer rankings, falling well short of rivals such as Jaguar and Lexus.
All Mercedes-Benz cars come with a standard three-year warranty with unlimited mileage, and a 30-year warranty against corrosion for anyone intending to keep their new S-Class for a while. Mercedes also provides pan-European breakdown cover for up to 30 years, should you request it.
The separate battery warranty for the plug-in hybrid lasts for only six years or 62,000 miles, which is a little short compared with the longer eight-year policies provided by rivals.
You’ll need a fairly chunky budget to maintain an S-Class as it ought to be, but Mercedes makes it simpler with flexible ServiceCare arrangements that allow you to spread the cost of up to four services into a single package. You can add it to your monthly finance cost or pay the full amount up front.
In this review
- 1Mercedes S-Class review The once imperious quality of the Mercedes S-Class may have slipped a little, but the technical highlights are typically eye-catching
- 2Engines, performance and driveOnce impressive performance pales beside electric rivals, but ride and handling are typically well-composed
- 3MPG, CO2 and running costsAll engines offer reasonable economy, but the plug-in hybrid S 580 e is the best option for company car drivers
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe S-Class cabin offers up a technological feast, but it’s not quite the usual masterclass
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe S-Class provides all the comfort and space you’d hope for from a Mercedes flagship
- 6Reliability and safety - currently readingThe S-Class is laden with safety tech, and should be bullet-proof mechanically