2014 Mercedes-Benz S Class

2014 Mercedes-Benz S Class

Episode 3335 , Episode 3348
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

There’s luxury, and then there’s ultra-luxury. And while everyone certainly thinks luxury when they hear Mercedes-Benz, even the company thought that to go the ultra-luxury route, it would take a different brand. That’s where Maybach came in to play.  But, it’s tough for a little know car marque to get a foothold, even when it’s backed by Mercedes. So, Maybach is again history. But don’t think for a minute that Benz has abandoned their ultra-luxury goals. 

From our first moments behind the wheel of the all new S550, it was clear Mercedes-Benz is attempting to elevate S-class’ status enough to actually replace the ultra-exclusive Maybach. So, forget about competing with the 7-Series and A8, the new S-Class now has Bentley and Rolls-Royce in its sights.

And just like those high roller rides, there’s really no end to the list of options you can add in order to make your “S” a one of a kind piece. But Benz is also attempting to match unbridled opulence at a more attainable price. 

For starters, the look is pure sophisticated elegance, not showy in any way; more chiseled than before, but with the same upsweeping body lines flowing to more substantial rear shoulders. 

As you would expect in a new flagship Mercedes-Benz, new standards for safety are achieved. The technology is known, but now there is seamless integration of driver aides like Steering Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, and even a Night Vision system that works so well, you can make an argument for looking at it instead of through the windshield. Though ironically enough, when you need it most, the button to turn it on is nearly impossible to find in the dark. The new S-class also takes the illumination crown, as there are almost 500 LED’s between the exterior and interior; no incandescent bulbs whatsoever. 

Just one word comes to mind when you first experience the interior environment, and that word is craftsmanship. Build quality is exquisite, and the excellence of materials and upholstery is very remindful of the aforementioned esteemed British marques. 

Though all of the electronics and clarity of the navigation screen and virtual gauge panel are far superior and just scream high-end, much more so than in the previous generation S-class. The COMAND central control system is well improved, making a good case for eliminating touch screens altogether; and there are also enough traditional manual controls for most fundamental operations. 

Seats and armrests are instantly comforting and soothing; all controls and accoutrements feel rich; the quality of wood and leather is amazing. All-in-all, it’s just a wonderful interior.

Our 4MATIC-equipped tester performed just great on our worn down wintery byways, though the additional heaves and holes in our roads had us wishing it would have been equipped with the optional Magic Body Control that does just what it sounds like; nearly levitating over every bump and road imperfection with the true sense of a magic carpet ride, with apologies to Steppenwolf. 

The unique part of the “Magic” system is that instead of reacting to wheel movements, it uses cameras to scan the road surface ahead and predict what the suspension is about to deal with and adjusts damping accordingly. Unfortunately, the system is only available in rear-wheel-drive models. 

Driving a full-size, high-dollar sedan can be a little intimidating, as not only are you aware of the car’s girth, but you are also very aware of the car’s price tag. But Benz does it’s best to alleviate that anxiety with an insane amount of comfort features, like massaging seats with pillow-like headrests, perfume atomizer, and Burmester Surround Sound audio. Also helping is the fact that it doesn’t feel as heavy as previous S, though it still has that substantial feel that only a German made luxury sedan manages.

Even without “Magic”, our 4Matic never bounced or floated like a Bentley or Rolls, making us want to push it faster and faster. And it has the power to do it. Which we confirmed at the track where we bolted to 60 in just 5.0-seconds, finding the end of the ¼-mile in 13.5-seconds at 108 miles-per-hour.

Making that possible, is a 4.7-liter V8, complete with a pair of turbochargers, cranking out 449-horsepower and 516 lb-ft. of torque. Transmission is a 7-speed automatic. 

Government Fuel Economy Ratings for our 4MATIC are 16-City, 26-Highway, and 19-Combined.  We averaged a good 22.3 miles-per-gallon of Premium. The Energy Impact Score comes in fairly high at 17.3-barrels of oil use with 7.6-tons of CO2 emitted annually. 

Even with its decidedly more upscale nature, base pricing starts under 6-figures at $93,825. Our extremely well equipped test car was $122,895. That’s not inexpensive, but the new S really does feel like a car that costs twice as much, and a bargain for this level of craftsmanship.

In fact, Mercedes-Benz claims the 2014 S550 is the best automobile in the world. We’re not ready to go anywhere near that far, but it is a pretty spectacular piece of automotive conveyance. It clearly has replaced Maybach, and without a question has become the new benchmark for the “mass produced” premium luxury sedan class.

Specifications

  • Engine: 4.7-liter V8
  • Horsepower: 449
  • Torque: 516 lb-ft.
  • 0-60 mph: 5.0 seconds
  • 1/4 mile: 13.5 seconds @ 108 mph
  • EPA: 16 mpg city/ 26 mpg highway
  • Energy Impact: 17.3 barrels of oil/yr
  • CO2 Emissions: 7.6 tons/yr
2024 Genesis G70

2024 Genesis G70

New Standard Engine For The G70 Means More Power And More Performance

Episode 4345
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

It was 5 years ago, at a time when sedan sales were rapidly declining, that Genesis decided to unveil an all-new four-door, the G70. And just to make things more difficult, it was designed to compete directly against the best European compact sport sedans, which it did impressively well. So yes, the G70 is still hanging around; and what’s more, it’s gotten even better!

The Genesis G70 sedan has been on the road for half a decade now, and looks to have some real staying power, having outlasted its platform-mate, the Kia Stinger. But this 2024 Genesis G70 is not just surviving, but thriving, with a new standard powertrain, upgraded performance and an enhanced interior.

The standard engine in the G70 is now a 2.5-liter turbo I4 with 300 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque. That’s a 48-horsepower increase over last year’s 2.0-liter turbo-four. Genesis has also included a Brembo brake package as standard equipment. The 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 remains available and carries over unchanged at 365 horsepower; both engines powering the rear wheels as standard, with all-wheel-drive optional.

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The approach for the interior remains more of a sporty presentation instead of the outright luxury slant of larger Genesis sedans, and the main updates here include new touch-panel controls for climate and a frameless rear-view mirror. A reasonably priced Sport Prestige package adds leather seating, aluminum trim, a big sunroof and additional driver assistance features. Front seats are both sporty-feeling and comfortable, while things remain a little tight for adults in the rear seats.

No new sheet-metal for the outside, as that was freshened up for the ’22 model year; the design remains polished and smooth, void of garish details, but it does sport the new Genesis engraved emblem front and center above the grille.

Automatic shifts were very punchy, with a noticeable hit of power as each new gear was engaged.

We pointed that logo down our Mason Dixon Dragway test track to see what the new turbo-four engine is capable of. It felt plenty powerful off the line, even with a hint of turbo lag, and power delivery only became more aggressive from there. We hit 60 in 5.8 seconds, almost a half-second quicker than we saw with the 2.0-liter. That’s also with all-wheel-drive, which provided plenty of grip at takeoff, and good stability down the track, though spring track maintenance kept us from getting full quarter-mile times.

All G70s now work exclusively with a rev-matching eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters and intelligent drive modes; the six-speed manual transmission has gone away with the 2.0-liter. Automatic shifts were very punchy, with a noticeable hit of power as each new gear was engaged. Engine noise is pleasant but relatively muted, with just a hint of exhaust noise seeping into the cabin.

2024 Genesis G70 3

While the G70 can feel like a big sedan in everyday driving, here in our handling course, it felt tidy, nimble and quite comfortable working through the cones. We felt very connected to it, with great feedback through the chassis and steering wheel. Dynamic Torque Vectoring Control is in play to tighten up turn-ins and provide steadiness, and it worked great allowing us to be very aggressive without stability control systems stepping in, even when it began to show a little bit of understeer as we pushed the envelope.

As for everyday driving, Government Fuel Economy Ratings with the new four-cylinder and all-wheel-drive are 21-City, 29-Highway, and 24-Combined; we averaged a very good 27.8 mpg on Premium fuel. All for an average Energy Impact Score, using 12.4 barrels of oil annually with 6.2 tons of CO2 emissions.

The more powerful standard engine and interior upgrades add about two-grand to the G70’s new base price, which is now $42,750, $44,850 with all-wheel-drive; the twin-turbo V6 starts at $51,200.

These days, we’re just glad to see someone still making sporty 4-doors. So, when a brand puts the effort into making a good one even better, as Genesis has done with the 2024 G70, well that’s really a cause for celebration. The G70 may be a relative newcomer to the luxury sport sedan scene, but its comfort bang for the buck, along with its additional standard power and proven all-around performance, gives it the staying power it needs to succeed long term.

Specifications

As Tested

  • Engine: 2.5-liter turbo I4
  • Transmission: 8-speed auto
  • Horsepower: 300
  • Torque: 311 lb-ft
  • EPA: 21 City | 29 Highway | 24 Combined
  • 0-60 mph: 5.8 seconds
  • 1/4 Mile: N/A
  • 60-0 Braking: N/A
  • MW Fuel Economy: 27.8 mpg (Premium)