• (4.6) 10 reviews
  • MSRP: $569–$14,153
  • Body Style: Sedan
  • Combined MPG: 19-21
  • Engine: 275-hp, 4.3-liter V-8 (premium)
  • Drivetrain: Rear-wheel Drive
  • Transmission: 5-speed automatic w/OD and auto-manual
2001 Mercedes-Benz S-Class

Our Take on the Latest Model 2001 Mercedes-Benz S-Class

2001 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Reviews

Posted on 4/15/02
Vehicle Overview
New S600 and S55 AMG models expand the S-Class offerings from two to four, and an active suspension system arrives as a new feature. While the S600 is the ultimate luxury sedan, the S55 AMG is equipped for high-speed travel with a sport suspension, larger tires and racy aerodynamic body trim. The S-Class, Mercedes’ largest, most expensive sedan, was redesigned last year to a smaller, lighter configuration and came as the S430 with a 4.3-liter V-8 engine and the S500 with a 5.0-liter V-8. The new S600 has a 6.0-liter V-12 engine with 362 horsepower, and the S55 AMG uses a 5.5-liter V-8 that generates 349 hp.

Active Body Control, an active suspension system, is standard on the S600 and the S55 AMG. Electronic controls continuously adjust suspension firmness to eliminate body roll and pitch during cornering, acceleration and braking. Distronic Intelligent Cruise Control is a new option for all models. It adjusts the car’s speed to maintain a preset distance from the vehicle directly ahead. Mercedes follows intramural rival BMW in offering an armored version of its flagship sedan. The Guard S500 has steel armoring for the passenger compartment and composite security glass, and Mercedes says it is resistant to .44-caliber Magnum bullets. A two-way intercom that allows communication without lowering the windows is optional.

Also available as a new option is InfoServices, which taps into the Internet for news, stock quotes, sports scores, weather and other services.

Mercedes describes the S-Class as a sedan with a coupelike profile, marked by a low nose and higher rear tail. A laid-back grille and smooth underbody improve airflow, lowering the coefficient of drag to a slippery 0.27.

With an overall length of 203 inches, it is about as long as the BMW 740iL and 6 inches longer than the Lexus LS 430.

The front seats have 14-way power adjustments and head restraints that can serve as pillows. The standard rear seat is a three-place bench; a split, rear bench with power adjustments is optional.

Standard features include TeleAid, which operates on its own cellular system to summon emergency help (automatically if an airbag deploys), call Mercedes’ roadside assistance and track a stolen vehicle.

Under the Hood
Three V-8 engines and a V-12 are available on 2001 models, and the engine sizes match the model designations. Among the V-8s, the S430 comes with a 275-hp 4.3-liter, the S500 has a 302-hp 5.0-liter and the S55 AMG uses a 5.5-liter with 349 hp. The new S600 has a 6.0-liter V-12 engine with 362 hp.

All models have a five-speed automatic transmission with a manual shift mode.

Eight airbags are standard on the S-Class models: two in front, side-impact airbags in each of the four doors and inflatable curtain-type airbags along both sides that protect occupants’ heads. The front-passenger airbag deploys with lower force in low-speed collisions and with maximum force at higher speed impacts.

Among other standard safety features are Electronic StabilityControl, which incorporates traction control with lateral-skid control technology; Brake Assist, which applies maximum braking force when it senses a panic stop; and antilock brakes.


Reported by Rick Popely  for cars.com
From the cars.com 2001 Buying Guide

Consumer Reviews


Average based on 10 reviews

Write a Review

Highest quality car I ever owned.

by Groundhog from Ohio on May 29, 2017

Bought it used, just to see what a $80,000 dollar car was like to drive. Car has the best ride ever, smooths the bumpy roads in my area. Heated seats are great in the winter. Amazing pick-up for a big... Read Full Review

Read All Consumer Reviews

4 Trims Available

Photo of undefined
Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2001 Mercedes-Benz S-Class trim comparison will help you decide.

2001 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports


There are currently 7 recalls for this car.

Safety defects and recalls are relatively common. Stay informed and know what to do ahead of time.

Safety defects and recalls explained

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $5,000 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage

What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained


Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.


Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

Roadside Assistance

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

Other Years