The S-Class’ pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Ghost doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
For enhanced safety, the front 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 Ghost doesn’t offer height-adjustable 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 Ghost 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 Ghost offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature which would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.
The S-Class offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Ghost doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.
To help make backing safer, the S-Class’ optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Ghost doesn’t offer a cross-path warning 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 Ghost doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the S-Class and the Ghost have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available night vision systems, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.
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.
The S600’s standard 5.5 turbo V12 produces 37 lbs.-ft. more torque (612 vs. 575) than the Ghost’s 6.6 turbo V12. The S63 AMG’s standard 5.5 turbo V8 produces 14 more horsepower (577 vs. 563) and 89 lbs.-ft. more torque (664 vs. 575) than the Ghost’s 6.6 turbo V12. The S65 AMG’s standard 6.0 turbo V12 produces 58 more horsepower (621 vs. 563) and 163 lbs.-ft. more torque (738 vs. 575) than the Ghost’s 6.6 turbo V12.
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 Ghost doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
For better stopping power the S63/S65’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Ghost:
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 Ghost doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.
For better traction and acceleration, the S-Class has larger standard rear tires than the Ghost (275/35R20 vs. 255/50R19).
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 Ghost’s standard 50 series tires. The S-Class’ optional 245/40R20 front and 275/35R20 rear tires have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile than the Ghost’s optional 45 series front and 40 series rear tires.
The S-Class offers an available active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Rolls-Royce doesn’t offer an active suspension on the Ghost.
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 Ghost doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.
The S600 handles at .90 G’s, while the Ghost pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.
The S600 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Ghost (25.8 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 26.3 seconds @ .72 average G’s).
For better maneuverability, the S550/S600’s turning circle is 4 feet tighter than the Ghost’s (40 feet vs. 44 feet). The S63 AMG 4MATIC’s turning circle is 4.9 feet tighter than the Ghost Extended Wheelbase’s (41 feet vs. 45.9 feet).
The Mercedes S-Class may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 650 to 850 pounds less than the Rolls-Royce Ghost.
The S-Class is 6.1 inches shorter than the Ghost, making the S-Class easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
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 significantly lower than the Ghost (.33) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the S-Class get better fuel mileage.
For excellent aerodynamics, the S-Class has standard flush composite headlights. The Ghost has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.
The S-Class has .3 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear headroom, .7 inches more rear legroom and 3.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Ghost.
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 Ghost doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid.
On extremely cold Winter days, the S-Class’ optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Ghost doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
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 Ghost doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
The Mercedes S-Class won two awards in Kiplinger’s 2015 car issue. The Rolls-Royce Ghost didn't win any 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 Ghost 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 Ghost has never been an “All Star.”