What's New for 2012:
- Diesel-powered S350 Bluetec model new to lineup
- More powerful and efficient V-8 engine for S550 version
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is a 5-passenger, full-size luxury sedan available in two trim levels and with three different powertrains. S-Class models are offered with gasoline, hybrid, and diesel engines, while the significantly more expensive AMG models provide greatly enhanced performance capabilities compared to the base models.
All Mercedes-Benz S-Class models provide 10-way power front seats with heating, ventilation, lumbar adjustments, and memory. Other standard amenities include leather upholstery and extensive interior trim, auto-dimming mirrors, power rear sunshade, Bluetooth connectivity, navigation system, voice controls, iPod interface, and a 15-speaker Harman Kardon audio system.
Both the base Mercedes-Benz S-Class models and the more expensive AMG models feature a range of amenities, from parking sensors to 8-way power rear seats. AMG models also offer 20-inch wheels and specific styling cues, as well as performance-tuned suspension, steering, brakes, and exhaust. Optional interior features on AMG models include a sport steering wheel, shift paddles, enhanced instrument cluster, and upgraded leather trim.
Under the Hood
Each version of the 2012 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is powered by a different engine. The S550 is fitted with a twin-turbo, 4.7-liter V-8 engine rated at 429 horsepower and mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission. The S600 comes with a twin-turbo, 5.5-liter V-12 engine rated at 510 horsepower and mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission. The new S350 Bluetec features a 3.0-liter, V-6 turbo-diesel engine rated at 240 horsepower, with a 7-speed transmission and standard all-wheel drive (AWD). The S400 Hybrid features a 3.5-liter V-6 engine paired with an electric motor rated at 295 horsepower that works with a 7-speed transmission. The S63 AMG is powered by a twin-turbo, 5.5-liter V-8 engine rated at 536 horsepower. The S65 AMG is fitted with a twin-turbo, 6.0-liter V-12 engine with 621 horsepower.
EPA fuel-economy figures for the 2012 Mercedes-Benz S-Class are:
- S550 with RWD: 15/25/19 mpg (city/highway/combined)
- S550 with AWD: 15/24/18 mpg
- S600: 12/19/14 mpg
- S350 Bluetec: 21/31/25 mpg
- S400 Hybrid: 19/25/21 mpg
- S63 AMG: 15/22/17 mpg
- S65 AMG: 12/29/14 mpg
Standard safety features on the Mercedes-Benz S-Class include the PreSafe system, which, according to the company, senses an impending crash and positions seats and belts for maximum protection.
To date, neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have tested the 2012 Mercedes-Benz S-Class.