Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2015 Mercedes Benz S-Class VS 2015 Hyundai Equus Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2015 Mercedes Benz S-Class

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2015 Hyundai Equus

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes S-Class have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Hyundai Equus doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The rear seatbelts optional on the S-Class inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The Equus doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

The S-Class has standard PRE-SAFE Brake, which use 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 Equus doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The S-Class offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Equus 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 Equus doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The S-Class’ 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 Equus doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the S-Class and the Equus have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Reliability Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Hyundai vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 69 more problems per 100 vehicles, Hyundai is ranked 24th.

Engine Comparison

The S550’s standard 4.7 turbo V8 produces 20 more horsepower (449 vs. 429) and 140 lbs.-ft. more torque (516 vs. 376) than the Equus’ 5.0 DOHC V8. The S600’s standard 5.5 turbo V12 produces 94 more horsepower (523 vs. 429) and 236 lbs.-ft. more torque (612 vs. 376) than the Equus’ 5.0 DOHC V8. The S63 AMG’s standard 5.5 turbo V8 produces 148 more horsepower (577 vs. 429) and 288 lbs.-ft. more torque (664 vs. 376) than the Equus’ 5.0 DOHC V8. The S65 AMG’s standard 6.0 turbo V12 produces 192 more horsepower (621 vs. 429) and 362 lbs.-ft. more torque (738 vs. 376) than the Equus’ 5.0 DOHC V8.

As tested in Motor Trend the S550 is faster than the Hyundai Equus:



Zero to 60 MPH

4.7 sec

5.5 sec

Quarter Mile

13.2 sec

13.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

107.7 MPH

102.7 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the S550 gets better fuel mileage than the Equus:





17 city/26 hwy

15 city/23 hwy




16 city/26 hwy


In heavy traffic or at stoplights the S-Class’ 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 Equus doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The S-Class has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Equus (21.9 vs. 20.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the S-Class’ brake rotors are larger than those on the Equus:




Front Rotors

14.6 inches

16.5 inches

14.2 inches

Rear Rotors

14.2 inches

14.1 inches

12.4 inches

The S-Class S63/S65 offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The Equus doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

The S-Class stops much shorter than the Equus:



60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

124 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the S63/S65’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Equus (F:255/40R20 & R:285/35R20 vs. F:245/45R19 & R:275/40R19).

The S-Class’ optional 245/40R20 front and 275/35R20 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Equus’ 45 series front and 40 series rear tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the S-Class offers optional 20-inch wheels. The Equus’ largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the S-Class can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Equus doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The S-Class offers an available active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Hyundai doesn’t offer an active suspension on the Equus.

The S-Class’ 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 Equus doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the S-Class’ wheelbase is 4.7 inches longer than on the Equus (124.6 inches vs. 119.9 inches).

The S600 handles at .90 G’s, while the Equus Ultimate pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The S600 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.2 seconds quicker than the Equus Ultimate (25.8 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 28 seconds @ .61 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

The design of the Mercedes S-Class amounts to more than styling. The S-Class has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .24 Cd. That is lower than the Equus (.27) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the S-Class get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space Comparison

The S-Class has 2.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Equus (112 vs. 109.3).

The S-Class has 1 inch more front headroom, .6 inches more front shoulder room, 1.5 inches more rear headroom, 4.2 inches more rear legroom and 1.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the Equus.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the S-Class’ available trunk can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Equus doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics Comparison

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Equus, the S-Class has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The power windows standard on both the S-Class and the Equus have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the S-Class is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Equus prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

If the windows are left down on the S-Class the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote; on a hot day the driver can lower the windows. The driver of the Equus can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

Heated windshield washer fluid is standard on the S-Class to defrost the washer nozzles and quickly clear ice and frost from the windshield without scraping. The Equus doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid.

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 Equus doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To better shield the driver and front passenger’s vision, the S-Class has standard dual-element sun visors that can block glare from two directions simultaneously. The Equus doesn’t offer secondary sun visors.

Optional Mercedes-Benz Apps for the S-Class allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including reading text messages aloud, finding fuel prices at nearby service stations, searching the internet and other connected activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The Equus doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

The S-Class has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Equus doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The S-Class’ optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Equus doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations Comparison

The Mercedes S-Class won two awards in Kiplinger’s 2015 car issue. The Hyundai Equus only won one award.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the S-Class first among large premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Equus isn’t in the top three.

The S-Class was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 3 of the last 16 years. The Equus has never been an “All Star.”

The Mercedes S-Class outsold the Hyundai Equus by over seven to one during 2014.

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