1995 Mercedes-Benz S-Class

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$62,700

starting MSRP

1995 Mercedes-Benz S-Class

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

8 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

  • S600 Coupe

  • S500 Coupe

  • S 600

    $130,300

  • S320 LWB

    $62,700

  • S350 Turbo Diesel

    $65,900

  • S320

    $65,900

  • S420

    $73,900

  • S500

    $87,500

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 1995 Mercedes-Benz S-Class trim comparison will help you decide.

1995 Mercedes-Benz S-Class review: Our expert's take

By

The verdict:

Versus the competiton:

Since being redesigned in 1991, Mercedes’ flagship sedan, the S500, has been improved every year it has been on the market.

But is it good enough?

Despite incremental improvements in handling, performance, weight reduction and fuel economy, the S500 is still fuel thirsty and massively heavy.

The S500 is the automotive equivalent of a luxury ocean liner. It coddles its occupants in supreme comfort, offers them all the room and luxury features they could possibly need, and conveys them to their destination in as safe a package as one can reasonably hope for in an automobile.

But there is something about this big Benz that makes it feel out of touch and out of sync with today’s world.

Maybe it’s the price, which would be far more than the sticker $92,032 indicates. That’s because of the 10 percent luxury tax applied to all cars with prices greater than $33,000.

Maybe it’s the S500’s considerable girth – it is just more than 17 feet long and it weighs 4,760 pounds.

For some reason, this car – impressive as it is – left me cold.

PERFORMANCE

The biggest sedan in the Mercedes-Benz lineup is offered with a 315-horsepower, 32-valve V-8 and a four-speed automatic transmission.

As with many of the other cars in the Mercedes lineup, the S500 is not particularly quick from a start. It really only begins to deliver stellar performance when the engine is revved high and the car is moving at about 50 mph.

The cars Mercedes ships to the United States are not geared for American driving conditions. Because there are many roads in Germany with very high speed limits, good 0-to-60 mph performance is not as important as sustained high-speed driving. So a Mercedes doesn’t really get moving until you reach 50 or 60 mph.

But responsiveness from a stop and strong performance to 60 mph is important to many drivers in the United States. The S500 starts out in second gear. A Mercedes spokesman said it does so to helpthe S500 meet emissions requirements. It will start in first if you bury the accelerator in the carpet, but its shift from second gear to first is somewhat rough. The ’96 model gets a five-speed automatic, so maybe it’ll be a bit more responsive.

Several times during my 300 mile test-drive, I moved the shifter into first and manually changed gears. Doing so changed the character of the car. Instead of lethargic acceleration, it moved away briskly from stop lights.

The 5.0-liter V-8 is about as smooth and quiet as they come. However, it has a tremendous appetite for unleaded premium. Our test car guzzled fuel. I got 13mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway, though I did drive with a fairly heavy foot.

HANDLING

The S500 is one of those cars that generates very little noise as it goes down the road. On a rough surface, such as a brick street, you might hear the sound of the tires, but that’s all.

At this juncture it must be said that Lexus ac complishes the same sensation in its LS400 for about$40,000 less.

However, the S500 has a feeling of granite-like solidity that no car I’ve ever driven can match. It’s as if the S500 is carved from single block of steel. Indeed, Mercedes-Benz builds the stiffest car bodies in the industry.

A stiff body prevents the car from flexing as it encounters rough roads. It also makes the car safer by enabling it to absorb more energy in a crash. Another benefit of a rigid body is that it allows the suspension system to be very finely tuned.

However, the great weight of the S500 may be too much for the suspension system. The S500 has four-wheel independent suspension, but the ride is anything but sporty. The car is so heavy that it almost feels unwieldy. Yes, it’ll turn a corner quickly and without leaning, but I never felt comfortable driving this car quickly, as I would a sports sedan.

The steering, which uses an outdated recirculating ball system instead of the more modern and efficient rack-and-pinion type, is heavy and somewhat dull. When you round a corner, the wheel is very slow to return to center.

For such a large car, the S500’s 41-foot turning radius is impressive. Not many cars this size could turn such a tight circle. The four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes are industrial strength, but they have to be because of the car’s weight.

A traction control system is standard.

FIT AND FINISH

I don’t understand how seats that are so hard and firm could be so comfortable. But they are. The S500’s electrically adjustable front bucket seats are amazingly stiff. They don’t give much when you sit on them, and initially you feel a bit uncomfortable because you are not used to such rigid seats. Yet on two occasions I spent two hours behind the wheel and felt no fatigue at all. The seats offer support in all the right places.

As one might expect for this car’s high sticker price, the S500 is loaded with high-tech features.

One such item is the built-in, hands-free cellular phone. Once it is programmed, it will dial automatically when you call out numbers or give it verbal commands, such as ”call home” or ”call office.”

Simplicity in a complex object also can be considered a luxury. Yet the dual zone air-conditioning system in the S500 has more than 20 buttons and switches. Thank goodness it has an automatic setting.

Counting the clock, there are seven instruments in the gauge package. That’s a bit much. Particularly useless is a fuel economy gauge (anyone who spends $100,000 on a car likely could care less how much fuel costs).

Also, the gauges are fairly plain. One passenger who owned a ’70s era Mercedes said the gauges hadn’t changed much. For such an expensive car, a classy set of instruments would do much to add a bit of ambiance to the inside.

Some of the car’s best features include plenty of room for rear passengers; a six-disc CD player; a massive trunk; afull menu of power accessories; thick, beautiful carpeting, and leather seat covers.

Perhaps I would feel better about the S500 if it were more agile, weighed less and was tuned for American roads. But virtually no one I chauffeured in the S500 felt it was worth about $100,000, and I would have to agree.

Truett’s tip: The S500, the biggest Mercedes-Benz sedan, is a heavy-duty luxury cruiser. It is exceptionally smooth and quiet, but a bit ponderous to drive.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 5.0
  • Interior design 4.9
  • Performance 4.6
  • Value for the money 4.9
  • Exterior styling 4.9
  • Reliability 4.6

Most recent consumer reviews

5.0

My favorite car, period.

I've clocked in around 40k miles on my S320, and bought it at 110k miles. Overall, its the best car I have ever drove. Aside from regular maintenance and a tune-up at the 130k mark, it's been my pleasure to own. Not only this, but the straight-six engine has plenty of room to work, and mine being a 1995 model it's quite easy to find parts online. While there aren't many aftermarket parts for this model, it's by far been a pleasure owning. I should specify that the one I got was in fact armored, so my suspension is a bit more washy and body roll a bit more of a downside. But I digress, I love this car, and for the price I paid ($7k usd) it's nearly impossible to get something this good, and it has many amenities that even many modern cars dont have. I've never really "loved" a car before this, and wasn't much of a car guy. After owning this majestic boat, I can see why people love cars. It may have low fuel economy and drink premium, but this thing is magical to me and I fell in love. Plus, the mechanicI went to actually told me it's built more like a truck than a car underneath, making many things like the transmission easy to access for servicing. I love this car, and it honestly has a "Timeless look" as Doug DeMuro said in his video. It's a classy car that feels like a rolling couch, and overall is an amazing vehicle if given regular maintenance.

5.0

Most reliable car ever

Car exceeds all needs and expectations ...mid size with great mpg and safety with comfort I got over 300,000 miles on the last one... 1990's models are the best

5.0

Masterpiece

Bought new in 1994. Traded in on a 2015 s550 sedan AMG Edition. Car only had 93,000 miles. A real pleasure to own. Was still a head turner until the end.

See all 14 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Mercedes-Benz
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
6 years old or less/less than 75,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
1 year/unlimited miles
Powertrain
1 year/unlimited miles
Dealer certification required
164-point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

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