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SALT LAKE CITY - The Mercedes-Benz S-Class has long been one of the most sought after luxury cars, and the new S580 continues this tradition in style. As with previous generations, this new S-Class carries a price tag that’s meant for the 1%, which is too bad considering how truly wonderful this vehicle is. This rolling life of luxury, power and presence is an experience, whether behind the wheel or as a passenger. From its design to its power delivery and comfort, everything about this car is superb — it’s so much more than just a mode of transportation. And while it’s quite expensive, just a few minutes in the new S580 will have you feeling like $130,000 is a relative bargain.

In short, Mercedes-Benz has knocked it out of the park with the new S-Class. It may just be worth the “second mortgage” levels of cash it would take to put one in your garage. Just talk to the spouse first. 

Price and Value 

The new S-Class isn’t cheap, but if you’re looking for a singular driving experience, it might be worth it. The MSRP range for the 2022 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is $111,100 - $117,700. Our tester came priced at $130,190 as optioned. It is available in two trim levels (three, if you include the exclusive Maybach designation), with a suite of standard features that includes an airy suspension, a vault-like construction and Mercedes’ superb MBUX infotainment system. Some of the major differences in trim levels are noted below. 

S500: $111,100 

  • 3.0-liter inline-6 turbo engine
  • Hybrid integrated starter-generator
  • ECO start/stop system

S580: $117,700 

  • 4.0-liter V8 Biturbo engine with mild hybrid drive 
  • Multicontour front seats with massage
  • Available four-wheel steering options

Defining the value of the new S580 is all about perspective. While $130,000 is a large amount of money for something that technically is just for transport — the S-Class isn’t merely about transportation. It’s about having an experience. And if that experience is what you’re seeking in a vehicle, then the new S-Class starts to feel like a real value. The ride, luxury and technology don’t feel all that far off from the types of super-luxury land yachts that cost twice or three times more.

The good news is that all that new tech comes with nice coverage from Mercedes-Benz. The S-Class features a four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty and a four-year/50,000 miles powertrain warranty standard.

a Mercedes-Benz S-Class driving past a green field

Photo Credit: Mercedes-Benz Media Newsroom U.S.A.

Performance 

The S580 might appear to be all about luxury, but don’t let that sales pitch fool you. The new S580 is a rocket, and a lot of fun in every drive mode. It’s a large vehicle, but its German engineering is a thing of wizardry. Like magic, it performs far better than you might assume a 5,000 pound luxury sedan would. 

Engine 

Mercedes-Benz’s Biturbo V8 engine, with 496 horsepower and 516-pound feet of torque, is a wonder to behold. There is so much power available, you’ll never see the unassuming S-Class coming. It’s a stealth bomber meant for Autobahn cruising at speeds only imagined by most of us. From canyon carving to picking up groceries, you’ll look for every excuse to drive this luxury cruiser. 

Fuel Efficiency 

Mercedes-Benz has outdone themselves here. Who would have thought that a 5,000 pound luxury sedan with a Biturbo V8 could be fuel efficient? The EPA mpg estimates for the S580 are 16 mpg in the city, 25 mpg on the highway and 19 mpg combined. Our real world testing proved to be much better than that. On some highway trips we averaged over 30 mpg, and throughout our week of testing, we averaged about 23 mpg. Not bad at all considering the vehicle’s heft and power output. 

Drivetrain 

For the new S-Class, Mercedes-Benz has stuck with a standard 9-speed automatic transmission. It shifts very smoothly and delivers power seamlessly in every gear. The S580 also comes standard with Mercedes-Benz’s 4Matic all-wheel-drive system. Coupled with winter tires, the S580’s all-wheel-drive system did a very admirable job of maintaining traction in every adverse weather condition we encountered. 

Acceleration and Handling 

The S580, even when tipping the scales with a hefty weight, moves with impressive speed and agility. Car and Driver clocked the S580 going from 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds — faster than many sports cars. You feel it when driving, too. With 510 pound-feet of torque under the hood, the thrust is incredible. It’s by no means a sports car, but the S580 does a nice job at tightening things up in the suspension and steering when it’s in sport mode. 

Braking 

The brakes on the S580 are massive and feel great. Not too stiff or soft, the brake pedal feel is confidence-inspiring. Car and Driver measured the stopping distance from 70 mph at just 168 feet. The S-Class also includes various braking assist features that, as expected, worked flawlessly. 

the wheel and dashboard of a Mercedes-Benz S-Class

Photo Credit: Mercedes-Benz Media Newsroom U.S.A.

Interior Comfort and Convenience 

Few vehicles are as specifically crafted to your comfort as is the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. It’s an amazing place to spend time, like a luxury living room you never want to leave. There are acres of legroom in the front and rear, an expensive air purification system, dozens of feet of ambient lighting and so much more waiting to coddle you. My mother-in-law described experiencing the S580’s interior best when she said “It’s like being on vacation.” In short, $130,000 isn’t too bad to put a driveable vacation in your garage. 

Seats 

The seats in the S580 are some of the most comfortable seats I’ve ever sat in. Fully customizable, every contour can be perfected for your body. The leather is exceptionally fine, and the heating and cooling are perfect in their temperature tuning. The seats, front and rear, are an astoundingly comfortable place to spend time. You’ll wish your daily drives didn’t have to end. 

Climate Control 

The climate control settings are also fully customizable. From the temperature to the fan speed (which is always whisper-quiet), the air purification settings and the fragrances emitted, there’s never been a better example of true “climate control.” At times, it feels more comfortable than my house, and has me wondering if all those van-lifers would be better off in one of these. 

Cargo Space and Cabin Storage 

If there is a knock against the S-Class, it’s the somewhat surprising lack of cabin storage. There is some cabin storage, and it's perfectly adequate, but it’s not as welcoming with cubbies as you’d expect for a vehicle this large. The trunk is huge, offering 13 cubic feet of space, but again, not quite as large as you’d assume given how big the vehicle is.

Infotainment System 

The Mercedes-Benz MBUX infotainment system in the S-Class, with its massive 12.8-inch OLED central touchscreen, is incredible. In fact, the only knock on it is that it might be a little too complex for its good. Overall, the system operates well and looks wonderfully refined, but takes some time to get used to navigating the number of menus, submenus and settings. Wireless Apple CarPlay worked flawlessly, and the sound coming from the Burmester 3D surround sound system was incredible. Although it wasn’t the internal sound in the S580’s cabin that won us over, but the incredible lack of external sound. 

door handles of Mercedes-Benz S-Class

Photo Credit: Mercedes-Benz Media Newsroom U.S.A.

Exterior Appearance and Functionality 

The S-Class has never been one for outlandish styling, and that theme continues with this new S580. The AMG appearance line dresses it up a bit with some nice exterior flourishes, but some might think the S-Class looks too subdued and anonymous. Overall, the gorgeous S-Class exudes prestige and presence, with just enough reservation to keep onlookers curious. 

Wheels 

19-inch wheels are standard on the S580, but our tester, which was fitted with the AMG Line, had optional multi-spoke 21-inch wheels that upgraded the S580’s appearance. Our tester was equipped with Pirelli Sottozero winter tires, and while the tread was more aggressive than standard all-season or summer tires, there was still very little tire noise coming through to the cabin. 

Lights and Turn Signals 

The S580 is equipped with some truly wonderful lights, inside and out. The cabin’s active ambient lighting package takes what is already an impressive interior display of materials and upgrades it to a full luxury, private-jet-like experience. Nearly every surface is surrounded by some sort of ambient lighting. It’s truly breathtaking at night. Meanwhile, the headlights are LED and give off the perfect amount of light. 

Cameras and Side Mirrors 

As you might expect from a $130,000 price tag, there are plenty of cameras on the new S580, including a full surround-view system and a dash camera. The resolution is incredible and looks great on the OLED center screen and the 12.3-inch widescreen digital instrument cluster. 

Front and Rear Windshield 

Visibility is excellent in this big boat, thanks in large part to the massive front and rear windshields. Even with the automatic sun shades up, you can see very well. The wipers have an automatic setting and are very effective at clearing up the view in front of you. 

Safety 

The new S580 has so many safety features, it feels like you’d have to be doing something pretty dangerous to get into trouble with this thing. It may not offer the quite the heft of an SUV, but the S580 feels bank-vault secure in its driving experience. 

Features 

You won’t be disappointed with where your money has gone in the new S580. Here are just a few of the amazing safety features that come with the $130,000 price tag.

  • Attention assist
  • PRE-SAFE predictive occupant protection system
  • Lane-keeping assist
  • Active parking assist
  • Blind spot assist

Awards and Ratings 

The 2022 Mercedes-Benz S580 has not been evaluated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety yet. When it eventually is, it should score top marks, given the high levels of engineering and safety technology available in the new S-Class, and the top marks received by other Mercedes models.

a Mercedes-Benz S-Class driving past a green field

Photo Credit: Mercedes-Benz Media Newsroom U.S.A.

Final Impression 

The 2022 Mercedes-Benz S580 is amazing. Everything about it is superb. It offers such a wholly different driving experience than 99% of the vehicles on the road today, and it’s a shame that more people won’t be able to experience it due to the price tag.

Again, being in the new S580is like being on a vacation. A luxurious, melt-your-cares-away vacation. Did you have a long day at work? Give yourself five minutes in the S580 and feel your troubles disappear. Want to get away without getting away? Go for a drive in the S580. Sure, it's expensive, but if you think of it as a vacation on wheels instead of a transportation experience, the hefty price tag starts to make more sense. If you’re looking for one of the best sedans the market has to offer, the new S580 will have you grinning in silence every time you sink into its plush seats, hear the rumble of its V8 and feel the rush of acceleration as you press your right foot down. As Ferris Bueller would say, if you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up. 

Find your next S-Class on KSL Cars today. 

FAQs 

Is the S580 fun to drive? 

Absolutely. It’s rocket-ship fast and handles very well for what it is. What more could you want? 

Is the S580 a good family vehicle? 

Actually, yes. If you have one or two kids, you will have more space in this car than most SUVs or minivans. It rides so well, it would be the perfect car for a family road trip. It’s also very quiet inside, which means kids should be able to fall asleep easily. 

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About the author: Having owned everything from a DeLorean to an E46 BMW M3 and a Toyota Land Cruiser, Jason Bell is a lifelong car enthusiast who loves sharing his passions as a teacher, writer, speaker and social media manager. Contact him at jasonbellcars@gmail.com for comments/questions, or just to say "hi."

The views and opinions expressed here are my own and may not align with KSL.com or KSL Cars.