The Mercedes S550 is the full-size luxury flagship Mercedes sedan made to offer supreme levels of luxury, comfort, and refinement. The very first Mercedes S-Class (W116) was introduced in 1972, and ever since then, the S-Class is known to set standards for its class. It goes against the likes of the BMW 7-Series and the Audi A8 in an everlasting battle of luxury top trumps.
The very best Mercedes Benz S550 model years are the 2009 S550 and the 2018 S550 because they offer the very best value for money in their respective segments. The 2009 S550 is one of the most reliable S550 models ever and many people deem it to be the definitive S550 to ever be released.
The 2018 S550 is the previous generation S550 facelift which means that it is still as good as the very latest full-size luxury sedans, but it has also managed to depreciate quite a bit from its original MSRP. These two S550 models are also often deemed as the best-looking ones out of the bunch.
Picking the best Mercedes S550 model years is difficult because there are so many S550 models to choose from. However, if we combine value, luxury, design, performance, and market appeal, these two are the best S550 model years out there.
Why is the Mercedes Benz S-Class so special?
The Mercedes Benz S-Class is one of the most iconic luxury cars ever, and many deem it to be the best luxury car to ever exist. Ever since 1972, the S-Class has continuously been the most competitive full-size luxury sedan and the Audi A8 and the BMW 7-Series have never really managed to beat the S-Class, at least not as far as outright sales are concerned.
What makes the S-Class so special is plentiful. Firstly, the S-Class was always hailed as the most regal automobile out of all German luxury sedans. Secondly, the S-Class was the model that introduced many technologies we now deem as essential in luxury cars. ABS, crash crumple zones, ESP, parking sensors, and even cruise control were pioneered by the S-Class.
All in all, the S-Class sets the standards in this benchmark which is once again the case with the newest W223 S-Class. When it comes to luxury, technology, innovation, comfort, and design, the S-Class was and still is the top dog of the automotive world.
2009 Mercedes S550
The 2009 Mercedes Benz S550 uses an iconic 5.5L V8 with 388hp and 391lb-fr of torque. It is available as either a RWD or an AWD 4MATIC version. It comes with a 7-speed automatic gearbox that is both sturdy, and sophisticated. Many online sites state that the S550 from 2009 is the most reliable S550 model of all time.
Design-wise, the W221 S550 post-facelift model is also a really good-looking car because it bridges the gap between Mercedes old school design and Mercedes state-of-the-art design. The interior of the W221 looks impeccable to this day and it’s difficult to imagine that this car was released back in 2009.
All in all, the W221 S550 is going down in history as one of, if not the very best S550 ever. As previously stated, choosing a single S550 to crown it as superior to all others is difficult, but if you had to choose, go for the W221 S550.
2018 Mercedes S550
The 2018 W222 S550 is also a great S550 model for very similar reasons. It is also the post-facelift S550 model which means that Mercedes managed to solve many of the issues that plagued the pre-facelift W222 models, and there were quite a few issues to mention.
Design-wise, the W222 is my personal favorite because it utilizes the triple-LED headlight design which made the car look imposing and regal at the same time. It’s safe to say that the pre-facelift W222 is also a great car and that there are no reasons to state otherwise, but, the post-facelift is better in almost every regard.
The W222 S550 uses a 4.0L V8 with 463hp and 516lb-ft of torque. 4MATIC is available as an option and the 9G automatic transmission fits the character of the W222 S550 beautifully. All in all, the W222 is really similar to the W221, so it’s up to your personal preference which one of these two you prefer.
Should I buy a Mercedes S550?
If you are in the market for a full-size luxury sedan, the S550 is definitely a worthy consideration. The S550 badge has always had a special appeal among Mercedes Benz enthusiasts because it indicates a higher-end model, a model that might just as well be the perfect fit for a car such as the S-Class.
That being said, S550 models that come with a powerful engine are not as inefficient as some of the AMG models but are a lot more potent than entry-level S-Class models. Furthermore, they also come with a V8 which is perfect because such engines offer lots of low-down torque and make the drive incredibly smooth and effortless.
What is the worst model year for the Mercedes S550?
The W220 Mercedes S550, particularly the earlier ones like the 1998 and 1999 models, are the worst S550 model years yet. This is because the W220 S-Class is the worst model generation as it suffers from loads of problems. Moreover, the W220 offered a significant downgrade in quality, performance, and design.
It’s no secret that used Mercedes Benz S-Class models are expensive to maintain, but the W220 is not really worth the hassle.
Which are the best Mercedes Benz S-Class engines?
The Mercedes Benz S-Class comes in three different engine variants, a V6, a V8, and a V12. The V6 is the most common one because it is the cheapest to buy, run, and maintain. The V8 is the performance option as it offers similar power outputs to the V12 while being cheaper, more efficient, and lighter.
The V12 S-Class is the luxury option as it offers the quietest engine, the smoothest engine, and is by far the most expensive S-Class variant there is, especially in Maybach form.