- No S-Class is particularly inexpensive to run
- Diesels make for the best all-round buys
- Ensure your pockets are very deep for a V12
Until the S 500 e plug-in hybrid returns, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Saloon with the lowest running costs is, unsurprisingly, diesel-fuelled.
Officially the S 350 d will return 52.3mpg in both standard and long wheelbase forms, so expect around 40mpg in the real world when driven sensibly.
The worst offender in the line-up? No prizes for guessing it’s the heavy, V12-engined Mercedes-Maybach S 650, with an official figure of 22.2mpg. In the real-world you’ll be lucky to break out of the high-teens mpg-wise.
All petrol S-Classes suffer in terms of depreciation, too, potentially retaining only a third of their value after three years and 36,000 miles-worth of driving. Diesels perform better, but still only hover around the 40% mark.
If you’re of the opinion you’ll be able to run an S-Class inexpensively, think again before you make a serious mistake. This is a big, heavy and powerful car, meaning consumables such as tyres and breaks, let along services, will be wallet warping.
Gargantuan luxury cars such as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Saloon aren’t generally famed for their eco friendliness, and so it is here – at least until the plug-in hybrid S 500 e returns for 2018.
In the meantime, it’s the diesel-engined S 350 d that leads the pack with CO2 emissions of 139g/km.
That contrasts starkly with the Mercedes-Maybach S 650 that churns out more than double that figure at 289g/km of CO2.
- A dozen recalls so far for this S-Class
- Seven of those relate to stop/start system
- No issues so far with raft of safety kit
Think Mercedes-Benz and you invariably think of its high-quality range of cars, with premium prices to match, yet this generation of S-Class Saloon has so far been subjected to 12 recalls by the vehicle inspectorate, the DVSA. That’s both eye-opening and disappointing.
By now these issues should have been remedied by a Mercedes-Benz dealer, but it’s worth confirming this if you’re considering buying a used S-Class.
Somewhat alarmingly, seven of the recalls relate to problems with the stop/start system, while a further two concern the automatic transmission.
Two more recalls were airbag-related, while there was another one linked to the seatbelts.
Searching for some good news, none of the recalls relate to the raft of electronics for the cabin or the safety-related equipment.
We've heard of several electrical problems blighting S-Class owners too along with some rattling trims after not many miles at all.
Estimated fuel cost per year
|Fuel type||Pence per litre||Estimated cost per year *|
|Unleaded||128p||£1,531 - £3,063 *|
|Diesel||131p||£1,145 - £1,267 *|
* The estimated fuel cost figure is based on an annual mileage of 10,000 miles and is a guide to how much this model will cost in fuel each year. It's calculated using the model's average MPG (calculated from both town centre and motorway driving) and the average fuel price from around the country. Actual fuel costs will vary based on driving style and road conditions.
Highest and lowest CO2 emissions
|Engine||CO2 emissions||Road tax (12 months)|
|Petrol/PlugIn Elec Hybrid||57 g/km (Min)||£455|
|6.0 Petrol||325 g/km (Max)||£465|
Ongoing running costs
|Road tax (12 months)||
£0 - £570
See tax rates for all versions
44 - 50
How much is it to insure?
Vehicle excise duty (VED) varies according to the CO2 emissions and the fuel type of the vehicle. For cars registered before 01 March 2001 it is based on engine size. For cars registered on or after 01 March 2001 the VED or road tax is based on the car's CO2 emissions.