Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2013 Mercedes Benz S-Class VS 2013 Rolls-Royce Phantom Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2013 Mercedes Benz S-Class

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VS

2013 Rolls-Royce Phantom

Safety Comparison

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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes S-Class are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Rolls Royce Phantom Sedan doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The S-Class has standard NECK-PRO Front Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the NECK-PRO Front Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Phantom Sedan doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The S-Class offers an optional PRE-SAFE Brake, which uses forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Phantom Sedan doesn't offer crash mitigation brakes.

The S550 has all wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Phantom Sedan doesn’t offer all wheel drive.

An active infrared night vision system optional on the S-Class helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera and near-infrared lights to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The Phantom Sedan doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The S-Class’ optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Phantom Sedan doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The S-Class’ optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them and moves the vehicle back into its lane. The Phantom Sedan doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

The S-Class (except S400 Hybrid)’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Phantom Sedan doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the S-Class and the Phantom Sedan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

Warranty Comparison

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There are almost 12 times as many Mercedes dealers as there are Rolls Royce dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the S-Class’ warranty.

Reliability Comparison

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J.D. Power and Associates rated the S-Class second among large premium cars in their 2012 Initial Quality Study. The Phantom Sedan isn’t in the top three in its category.

Engine Comparison

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The S600’s standard 5.5 turbo V12 produces 57 more horsepower (510 vs. 453) and 81 lbs.-ft. more torque (612 vs. 531) than the Phantom Sedan’s 6.7 DOHC V12. The S63’s standard 5.5 turbo V8 produces 83 more horsepower (536 vs. 453) and 59 lbs.-ft. more torque (590 vs. 531) than the Phantom Sedan’s 6.7 DOHC V12. The S65’s standard 6.0 turbo V12 produces 168 more horsepower (621 vs. 453) and 207 lbs.-ft. more torque (738 vs. 531) than the Phantom Sedan’s 6.7 DOHC V12.

As tested in Car and Driver the S600 is faster than the Rolls Royce Phantom Sedan:

S-Class

Phantom Sedan

Zero to 60 MPH

4.2 sec

5.4 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

9.7 sec

14.2 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

4.6 sec

6.4 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

2.6 sec

3.2 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

2.7 sec

4.3 sec

Quarter Mile

12.6 sec

14.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

115 MPH

100 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the S400 HYBRID gets better fuel mileage than the Phantom Sedan (19 city/25 hwy vs. 11 city/19 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the S350 BlueTEC gets better fuel mileage than the Phantom Sedan (21 city/31 hwy vs. 11 city/19 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the S550 RWD gets better fuel mileage than the Phantom Sedan (15 city/25 hwy vs. 11 city/19 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the S-Class Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Phantom Sedan doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the S-Class Hybrid/S63’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Phantom Sedan doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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For better stopping power the S63/65’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Phantom Sedan:

S63/65

Phantom Sedan

Front Rotors

15.4 inches

14.7 inches

The S-Class stops much shorter than the Phantom Sedan:

S-Class

Phantom Sedan

70 to 0 MPH

154 feet

175 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

113 feet

121 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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The S-Class’ standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Phantom Sedan’s standard 50 series front tires. The S-Class’ optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Phantom Sedan’s 50 series front and 45 series rear tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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The S-Class’ optional drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Phantom Sedan doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The S65 handles at .90 G’s, while the Phantom Sedan pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The S550 performs Car and Driver’s emergency lane change maneuver 12.1 MPH faster than the Phantom Sedan (66.2 vs. 54.1 MPH).

For better maneuverability, the S-Class’ turning circle is 5.3 feet tighter than the Phantom Sedan’s (40 feet vs. 45.3 feet). The S-Class’ turning circle is 5.9 feet tighter than the Phantom Sedan EWB’s (40 feet vs. 45.9 feet).

Chassis Comparison

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The Mercedes S-Class may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 900 to 1350 pounds less than the Rolls Royce Phantom Sedan.

The S-Class is 1 foot, 11.5 inches shorter than the Phantom Sedan, making the S-Class easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

For excellent aerodynamics, the S-Class has standard flush composite headlights. The Phantom Sedan has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

Passenger Space Comparison

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The S-Class has .9 inches more front legroom and .6 inches more rear shoulder room than the Phantom Sedan.

Ergonomics Comparison

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To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the S-Class has a power telescoping steering wheel. Much better than just a tilt steering wheel or adjustable seat, this allows a short driver to sit further from the steering wheel while maintaining contact with the pedals. The Phantom Sedan doesn’t offer a telescoping steering wheel.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the S-Class detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Phantom Sedan doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the S-Class has standard extendable sun visors. The Phantom Sedan doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The S-Class’ standard air conditioned front seats cool the driver and front passenger and help take the sting out of hot leather in Summer. The Phantom Sedan doesn’t offer air conditioned front seats.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the S-Class offers an optional Distronic, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Phantom Sedan doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The S-Class’ standard GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that offers alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service available in a limited number of metro areas.) The Phantom Sedan’s navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

Bluetooth wireless connectivity is standard on the S-Class, connecting the driver and passenger’s cell phones to the vehicle systems. This allows them to use the vehicle’s stereo and hand controls to place calls safely and easily. Rolls Royce doesn’t offer wireless connectivity on the Phantom Sedan.

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