Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2016 Mercedes Benz S-Class VS 2016 Tesla Model Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2016 Mercedes Benz S-Class

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VS

2016 Tesla Model

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 Tesla Model S doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

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 Model S 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 Tesla Model S 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 Model S 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 Model S doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

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 Model S doesn’t offer a night vision 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 Model S 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’ 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 Model S 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 Model S 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 Model S have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems and blind spot warning systems.

Warranty Comparison

There are almost 39 times as many Mercedes dealers as there are Tesla dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the S-Class’ warranty.

Engine Comparison

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

Horsepower

Torque

S550e 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid

436 HP

479 lbs.-ft.

S550 4.7 turbo V8

449 HP

516 lbs.-ft.

S600 5.5 turbo V12

523 HP

612 lbs.-ft.

S63 AMG 5.5 turbo V8

577 HP

664 lbs.-ft.

S65 AMG 6.0 turbo V12

621 HP

738 lbs.-ft.

Model S 70 electric motor

315 HP

325 lbs.-ft.

Model S 70D electric motor

328 HP

387 lbs.-ft.

Model S 85 electric motor

373 HP

325 lbs.-ft.

Model S 85D electric motor

417 HP

485 lbs.-ft.

Model S P85D electric motor

463 HP

713 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Consumer Reports the S550 is faster than the Model S 85:

S-Class

Model S

Zero to 30 MPH

2.3 sec

2.7 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

5.1 sec

5.6 sec

Quarter Mile

13.5 sec

14.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

109.4 MPH

102.9 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The S550e’s maximum EPA estimated driving range on a full tank of fuel and a full charge is 1347.9 miles, after which it can be refueled at any gas station in minutes. The Model S’ range is only 270 miles, after which the minimum recharge time is 30 minutes for only a 54% charge at a specially configured quick charge station not available in most areas. A full recharge at a conventional charging station can take up to 82 hours and 53 minutes.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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

S550

S63/S65

Model S

Front Rotors

14.6 inches

16.5 inches

14 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 Model S doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

In an emergency stopping situation, many drivers don’t press the brakes with enough force to stop the vehicle in the shortest distance. The S-Class has a standard brake assist system to detect emergency braking situations (by how hard and how quickly the brake pedal is pressed) and then automatically apply maximum braking immediately in order to help prevent a collision. The Model S doesn’t offer a brake assist feature.

The S-Class stops much shorter than the Model S:

S-Class

Model S

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 Model S (F:255/40R20 & R:285/35R20 vs. F:245/35R21 & R:265/35R21).

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 Model S 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 Model S, 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. Tesla doesn’t offer an active suspension on the Model S.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the S-Class’ wheelbase is 8.1 inches longer than on the Model S (124.6 inches vs. 116.5 inches).

The S600 handles at .90 G’s, while the Model S pulls only .87 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Passenger Space Comparison

The S-Class has .9 inches more front headroom, 2 inches more front shoulder room, 3.9 inches more rear headroom, 7.6 inches more rear legroom and 4.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the Model S.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the S-Class’ available rear seats recline. The Model S’ middle row seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

With its sedan body style and remote trunk release lockout, the S-Class offers cargo security. The Model S’ hatchback body style, non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the S-Class. The Model S doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

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 Model S 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 Model S, 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 S-Class’ standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Model S doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The S-Class offers an optional heads-up display which projects speed readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Model S doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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 Model S 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 Model S doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid. It’s optional heated washer nozzles will defrost the washer fluid but not the windshield.

The Model S’ optional cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The S-Class’ standard adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.

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 Model S 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 Model S doesn’t offer extendable visors.

A power rear sunshade is standard in the S-Class to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Model S doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

Optional air conditioned front and rear seats keep the S-Class’ passengers comfortable and take the sting out of hot leather in Summer. The Model S doesn’t offer air conditioned seats.

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 Model S doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Recommendations Comparison

Both the Mercedes S-Class and Tesla Model S won four awards in Kiplinger’s 2015 car issue.

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 Model S isn’t in the top three.

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

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