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The Auto Trader expert verdict: ★★★★★ ★★★★★

A grand tourer in the truest sense, the S-Class Coupe provides effortless luxury, and unrivalled comfort and refinement. But do its head-turning looks justify the price jump over its saloon equivalent?

Reasons to buy

  • Stunning looks
  • Incredible refinement
  • Prodigious engines
Pick of the range
Most economical
Best avoided

Running costs for a Mercedes-Benz S Class 2/5

While the S-Class saloon is aimed at company directors with one eye fixed on keeping costs down, the Coupe makes no great concessions to bettering its fuel consumption; as a result, there are no hybrids, diesels or plug-ins with dazzling mpg figures.

That being said, the Mercedes is still as efficient as most of its rivals, with combined economy figures ranging from low twenties to low thirties. On a long drive in the S560, you can probably expect around 28mpg, but this figure drops rapidly in town, while the S63 will achieve even less. As with all cars of this price, heavy depreciation, costly servicing, insurance and maintenance are all facts of life, but if you can afford to buy a car this opulent, then you can probably afford to run it, too.

Reliability of a Mercedes-Benz S Class 3/5

Mercedes as a marque finished below average in the most recent JD Power vehicle dependability study, which is not a good start. However, if previous versions of the S-Class are anything to go by, there’s no reason to expect anything other than excellent reliability from this car. Owners of previous-generation cars are almost uniform in their praise of their cars’ reliability.

Safety for a Mercedes-Benz S Class 5/5

The S-Class Coupe is so chock-full of safety equipment that it’s almost easier to list what’s missing. It’d be a short list. Every model comes with six airbags, anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control, the latter also including the Curve Dynamic Assist system that uses the brakes to limit understeer (the tendency for the car to plough straight on even if the wheels are turned) when accelerating out of a bend.

Beyond that, you also get Attention Assist (to alert the driver to potential fatigue), Crosswind Assist (to help control the car if it’s caught by a sudden gust of wind) and a tyre-pressure monitoring system.

AMG versions also have the Driving Assistance package, which includes the Blind Spot- and Lane Keeping Assist systems, adaptive cruise control and Pre-Safe Brake, which can automatically initiate emergency braking at speeds of up to 30mph if it detects an imminent collision.

How comfortable is the Mercedes-Benz S Class 5/5

Even by the extraordinary standards of its class, the S-Class impresses. The leather that clothes the seats gives a suitably luxurious feel to an interior that features the very latest in connectivity and gadgetry, as well as all the classic sophistication and comfort you would expect of something in the S-Class family.

That includes a fabulous dashboard (which can be finished with horizontal pinstripes reminiscent of decking on Riva motorboats), complete with two crystal clear 12.3-inch display screens. There's a row of buttons underneath the four central air vents, as well as Merc's normal rotary dial controller, in order to operate all the car's various functions through various on-screen menus. It all works well and, with loads of room up front and a fine driving position, there aren’t many better places to be a driver.

Although Mercedes bills this as a full four-seater, legroom in the two rear seats is rather too tight for adults to want to spend any significant amount of time there, although they will be fine for two children or teenagers. Boot space is bettered by the BMW 8 Series, but there’s more than enough room for a couple to pack their bags for a weekend away.

What impresses you the most about this car, however, is how smoothly it rides, especially when you consider just how fast it can go and how sharply it handles. You’d expect something capable of such pace and grip through bends to offset that with a grimace-inducing ride, but not a bit of it.

The air suspension that is standard on every model smothers pretty much every lump, bump or rut that our roads can throw at it, even when you choose sport mode. Ok, so the soft-ish reactions mean this is still more a grand tourer than sports car, but it’s still an enormously rewarding and enjoyable car to drive. Throw in the exemplary refinement inside the car, and the result is one of the most luxurious driving experiences you can imagine.

Features of the Mercedes-Benz S Class 5/5

The standard equipment reflects the car’s position in the upper echelons of the Mercedes range. The S560 Grand Edition is the cheapest way into an S-Class Coupe, but it comes with heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, full leather upholstery, 'intelligent' climate control, 19-inch alloys, LED lights front and rear and satellite-navigation, as well as DAB, a DVD-player and Bluetooth. Beyond that, the AMG models also have an upgraded stereo, smarter nappa leather upholstery and massaging front seats.

While the ‘basic’ S560 has slightly less overt styling than the AMG models, it still looks a million dollars.

If you do stretch to one of the AMGs, they have a full bodykit and chrome-plated tailpipes. You can upgrade further, should you wish, to the Premium version, which adds larger wheels, heated seats and armrests in the front, and an upgraded sound system.

Power for a Mercedes-Benz S Class 5/5

The S-Class is not intended to be a dedicated sports car, but even so, its performance is still considerable, more so when you remember that this is a car that weighs well over two tonnes. To cut a long story short, even the engine in the ‘basic’ S560 has no trouble shifting such a big car, while the even more potent engines in the AMG cars just make it all that little bit easier still.

You can hustle the Coupe along, yet it’s much more fun to simply make brisk, composed progress without troubling the upper reaches of the rev-counter. Every engine pulls off that wonderful combination of being docile, but responsive, at low speeds, while also offering genuinely sporting reactions when you want them.

Likewise, the standard automatic gearboxes have an uncanny knack of being in the right gear at the right time, as well as swapping beautifully smoothly between their seven ratios. As a result, this is car that feels effortless around town, but is also stunningly fast across country.