On account of my 2019 Mercedes-Benz S560 tester alone, there was an uptick in the average cost of cars on the road in Snohomish County last week.
S-Class is the Mercedes-Benz flagship, and the S560 4MATIC (all-wheel drive) sedan I drove is near the top of the S-Class fleet. Its base price with a $995 destination charge is $105,345. The test car’s as-driven total is $142,335. Optional items range from a $950 exclusive trim package to a $6,400 Burmester High-End 3D Surround Sound audio system.
The definition of what makes a car desirable is all over the map among buyers. Even if money were no object, there are a lot of people who wouldn’t crave this car. But for those whose primary interests are lavishness, supreme comfort, gobs of advanced technology, gorgeous but not show-offy design, the delights of German engineering and yes, making a status statement, the 2019 Mercedes-Benz S560 4MATIC sedan is it. The classic upright Mercedes logo hood ornament is an added bonus.
Suitability for use as a personal executive limo is evidenced by enormous room in the back seats. On the tester, the suitability was certified by an executive rear seat option package, which included power massage and a power operated cushion for resting the passenger’s lower legs.
Superior build quality is always associated with Mercedes-Benz, but to go beyond a generalization I’ll give you some real world proof. At the end of every test week, the cars and trucks I drive are harboring large quantities of pine and fir needles in the spaces around the trunk lid and in the trough below the windshield bottom. During fall and winter, the needles are joined by similar numbers of the ubiquitous winged seeds from bigleaf maples. (By the way, the technical term for those winged seeds is “samaras.”) The windier it is, the more there are, of course. At the end of a windy week with the S560, when I opened the trunk and hood to brush away what I expected would be a plague-like amount of needles and samaras, I was astonished to see there almost none, barely a small handful. Imagine a big car built with such precision that even pine needles can’t get through the gaps.
The V8 engine powering the 2019 S560 4MATIC sedan generates 463 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. The transmission is a nine-speed automatic. They perform together with balletic grace. The Eco start-stop system is undetectable, a masterful achievement. All-wheel drive provides safety and confidence during rainy and snowy conditions.
EPA fuel economy ratings are 17 mpg city, 27 mpg highway, and 21 mpg combined.
The complex, elaborate infotainment system including Mercedes-Benz Comand navigation could have been a nightmare, but I found it largely intuitive. The number of options under the Vehicle heading on the home screen is dizzying but fun. I made good use of the various driver seat settings including all the different massage choices.
A driver assistance package option on the tester turns the S560 into a nearly autonomous vehicle, even slowing the car down when approaching a tight turn.
In case you were wondering how an automotive audio system could possibly cost $6,400, let me tell you that it has 24 speakers, they are located everywhere including the roof, and there are 24 separate amplifier channels. Total output is 1,540 watts, clarity is transcendent, and the silvery speakers are beautiful enough to be considered fine art.
2019 MERCEDES-BENZ S560 4MATIC SEDAN
Base price, including destination charge: $105,345
Price as driven: $142,335
Mary Lowry is an independent automotive writer who lives in Snohomish County. She is a member of the Motor Press Guild, and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturers as a one-week loan for review purposes only. In no way do the manufacturers control the content of the reviews.