Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2016 Mercedes Benz S-Class VS 2016 Bentley Mulsanne Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2016 Mercedes Benz S-Class

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VS

2016 Bentley Mulsanne

Safety Comparison

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 Mulsanne doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

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 Mulsanne doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

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 Mulsanne doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The S-Class has standard Collision Prevention Assist Plus, 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 Mulsanne 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 Mulsanne 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 Mulsanne 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 Mulsanne doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The S-Class offers an optional Surround View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Mulsanne only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

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 Mulsanne doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

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 Mulsanne doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The S-Class has standard mbrace, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Mulsanne doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the S-Class and the Mulsanne have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and front parking sensors.

Warranty Comparison

The S-Class comes with a full 4-year/50,000 mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car. The Mulsanne’s 3-year basic warranty expires 1 year sooner.

The S-Class’ corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Mulsanne’s (4 vs. 3 years).

There are almost 9 times as many Mercedes dealers as there are Bentley dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the S-Class’ warranty.

Reliability Comparison

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the S-Class have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the engines in the Mulsanne.

Engine Comparison

The S-Class has more powerful engines than the Mulsanne:

Horsepower

S600 5.5 turbo V12

523 HP

S63 AMG 5.5 turbo V8

577 HP

S65 AMG 6.0 turbo V12

621 HP

Mulsanne 6.8 turbo V8

505 HP

Mulsanne Speed 6.8 turbo V8

         530 HP

As tested in Motor Trend the S550 4.7 turbo V8 is faster than the Mulsanne Speed:

S-Class

Mulsanne

Zero to 60 MPH

4.7 sec

5 sec

Quarter Mile

13.2 sec

13.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

107.7 MPH

103.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the S550 RWD gets better fuel mileage than the Mulsanne with its standard engine (17 city/26 hwy vs. 11 city/18 hwy).

The S550e can drive on battery power alone for up to 18.6 miles. The Mulsanne must run its internal combustion engine to move.

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

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 Mulsanne doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the S63/S65’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Mulsanne:

S63/S65

Mulsanne

Front Rotors

16.5 inches

15.8 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 Mulsanne doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction and acceleration, the S-Class has larger standard rear tires than the Mulsanne (275/35R20 vs. 265/45R20). The S63/S65’s rear tires are larger than the largest rear tires available on the Mulsanne (285/35R20 vs. 265/45R20).

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

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 Mulsanne doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The front and rear suspension of the S-Class uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the Mulsanne, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

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

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 Mulsanne doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The Maybach S600 handles at .88 G’s, while the Mulsanne pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The S600 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1 seconds quicker than the Mulsanne (25.8 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 26.8 seconds @ .69 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the S550/S600’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the Mulsanne’s (40 feet vs. 41.3 feet). The S63 AMG 4MATIC’s turning circle is .3 feet tighter than the Mulsanne’s (41 feet vs. 41.3 feet).

Chassis Comparison

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

The S-Class is 1 foot, 1 inches shorter than the Mulsanne, 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 Mulsanne has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

Passenger Space Comparison

The S-Class has 6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Mulsanne (112 vs. 106).

The S-Class has 1.8 inches more front headroom, 4.2 inches more front shoulder room, 1.3 inches more rear headroom and 1.6 inches more rear shoulder room than the Mulsanne.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The S-Class has a larger trunk than the Mulsanne (16.3 vs. 15.6 cubic feet).

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 Mulsanne doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics Comparison

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 Mulsanne doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the S-Class has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Mulsanne doesn’t offer cornering lights.

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 Mulsanne doesn’t offer secondary sun visors.

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 Mulsanne doesn’t offer extendable 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 Mulsanne doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

The S-Class’ standard GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Mulsanne’s navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

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 Mulsanne doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations Comparison

The Mercedes S-Class won two awards in Kiplinger’s 2015 car issue. The Bentley Mulsanne 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 Mulsanne isn’t in the top three.

 The S-Class is ranked first in its class and received the 2015 “Total Quality Award.” The Mulsanne is not ranked.

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

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