2015 Mercedes-Benz S 550 Coupe Review

Mike Schlee
by Mike Schlee


Engine: 4.7 L turbocharged V8, 449 HP, 516 lb-ft. of torque
Transmission: Seven-speed automatic
Fuel economy (US): 16 MPG city, 24 MPG hwy, 16.6 MPG Observed
Fuel economy (CDN): 14.4 L/100 km city, 9.8 L/100 km hwy, 14.2 L/100 km observed
Price (US): Starts at $120,825 after destination charges, $132,280 as tested (minus Swarovski headlights)
Price (CDN): $157,865 as tested

Mercedes-Benz is once again selling the S-Class Coupe. No longer will there be a separate CL-Class moniker for these immense sport-luxury vehicles.

Oh, and immense they are. The 197.9-inch-long S 550 4Matic Coupe is the third longest two-door on the market after the mammoth Rolls-Royce Phantom and Wraith Coupes.

Stuffed with virtually every automotive technology known to man as well as all-wheel drive and a twin-turbocharged V8, the S-Class Coupe tips the scales at an obese 4,707 lbs. But not to worry, the engine is up to motivating this big lug. Developing 449 HP and 516 lb-ft. of torque, the S 550 is good for a 0-60 MPH sprint of just 4.5 seconds. Top speed is limited to a suspiciously low 130 MPH which most likely has to do with tires rather than the engine itself. Plus, where in North America are you legally going to go 130 MPH anyway?

Sound and Fury

As I’ve found with the S 550 sedan, the turbocharged V8 engine has power in spades at nearly any speed. It feels more potent than the numbers suggest and paired to the standard seven-speed automatic, delivers acceptable responses to throttle inputs.

SEE ALSO: 2015 Mercedes-Benz S 550 4Matic Review

To accent its sportier character, the S-Class Coupe comes equipped with a different exhaust system than found on the sedan. It produces a deeper, louder exhaust note that can really come to life thanks to a pair of flaps that open and close depending on engine RPM. Drive the S Coupe in sport mode and the flaps open earlier, allowing sweet, succulent V8 sounds to fill the air.

With big power, big weight and quick responses, the S 550 Coupe isn’t going to be the most efficient car on the market. Still, with official fuel economy ratings of 16 MPG in the city and 24 MPG on the highway, it isn’t exactly a fuel slurping pig either. During my week with the car, I averaged a 16.6 MPG in primarily city driving conditions.

Docile Yet Powerful

Despite the S Coupe’s gargantuan dimension, it’s quite an easy car to drive. Equipped with the adjustable Airmatic suspension, the S 550 handles itself well in sport mode and can take corners with ease. Put the suspension into comfort mode and some of this handling prowess is given up, but ride comfort does increase, to a degree.

In wet conditions, the 4Matic all-wheel drive system works well in helping the big coupe around corners. Mercedes-Benz’s engineers really did their homework when it comes to programming the 4Matic system and electronic driver assists. In light snow, sliding the S Coupe around on its all-season tires is completely controllable. The chassis didn’t get upset or do anything that surprised me.

Conservative, Elegant

Like the CL-Class that preceded it, the S Coupe sticks to the same basic design elements found in its four-door S 550 brother. The styling is conservative, restrained and elegant. For what it may lack in flash, its road presence alerts all other motorists that this coupe is something special. Of course my test vehicle came equipped with the optional Swarovski crystal LED headlights that feature 47 crystals each, with 17 in the daytime running lights and 30 on the front turn signals. For 2015 these are a standalone option for Canadian customers while American buyers will have to step-up to the Edition 1 model or S 63 AMG Coupe to get the shimmering lights. They’re reserved for the Edition 1 model this year, but will be available as a standalone starting in 2016 unless you live in Canada. In that case they’re a standalone from the start.

The S-Class Coupe as is so well designed inside and out. I love the absence of a B-pillar and all the open-air, extra sightline goodness it provides. The interior looks like it’s worth every penny of the S550’s price tag with rich materials styled in an appealing, upscale way that few other manufacturers have mastered.

Comfort and Technology

The front seats have a nice bucketed angle and are finished in soft, smooth leather. Besides being highly adjustable, they also feature multiple massage modes, which are are especially peasant on long drives. Since my test car also had the warmth and comfort package, it came equipped with heated armrests and door panels that provide all the warm coziness of a blanket straight out of the dryer.

SEE ALSO: 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG-S 4Matic Review

Headroom for front passenger is ample unlike I’ve found in the E-Class coupe. Adult passengers can fit in the back seat, but with only 33.9 inches of legroom and 36.9 inches of headroom, they’ll need to be on the smaller side. Despite being a large coupe, trunk space remains on the small side at 10.4 cubic feet.

And what top of the line Mercedes-Benz coupe would be complete without a gaggle of leading-edge technologies? Night vision, a Burmester audio system and air-balance in dash fragrance are available. With the head-up display and two programmable screens, you certainly won’t be left wanting more information about the car. Current speed on the head-up display, audio information on the gauge cluster and navigational maps on the center console, it’s all there.

Serious Safety

Rather than go through a lengthy list of all the safety equipment included on my S 550 Coupe, I’ll just say that if it exists, it was equipped. Most notably is the collision prevention assist plus that uses the adaptive brake assistant to autonomously brake the car at speeds up to 65 MPH if it detects an imminent collision. It can also bring the Mercedes to a complete stop at speeds up to 31 mph when a stationary car is detected in front of it. This is a great feature in heavy stop and go traffic.

As should be expected, all of this power, technology and luxury does not come cheap. The 2015 Mercedes-Benz S 550 4Matic coupe starts at a base price of $120,825 after destination charges. My test car rang in at $132,280, minus the addition of the Swarovski Crystal Headlights.

The Verdict

With no direct competitor sitting in a rival’s showroom, the S-Class Coupes biggest threat may come from in house. The only reason to choose this coupe over the SL 550 is the extra two rear seats and new interior. Once the SL 550 gets the new interior though, it would be a no brainer for me to get the cheaper convertible as it not only can drop its top on nice days, but also doubles as a great hardtop coupe complete with magic sky roof. But if a permanent fixed-roof coupe is a must that can take two extra, albeit small individuals on occasion, then the S 550 4Matic Coupe isn’t a bad way to go.


  • Interior and exterior style
  • Power
  • Front seats
  • Information displays


  • Weight
  • Trunk space
  • Price
Mike Schlee
Mike Schlee

A 20+ year industry veteran, Mike rejoins the AutoGuide team as the Managing Editor. He started his career at a young age working at dealerships, car rentals, and used car advertisers. He then found his true passion, automotive writing. After contributing to multiple websites for several years, he spent the next six years working at the head office of an automotive OEM, before returning back to the field he loves. He is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA). He's the recipient of a feature writing of the year award and multiple video of the year awards.

More by Mike Schlee

Join the conversation
2 of 6 comments
  • Cl55amg Cl55amg on Dec 28, 2014

    I know my silver 2003 CL55 AMG looks better. Italian styling hard to beat.

  • Beanie68 Beanie68 on Dec 28, 2014

    in Australia thanks to 'market pricing' we pay $360,000 for this same car..............