2014 Mercedes-Benz S Class

2014 Mercedes-Benz S Class

Episode 3335 , Episode 3348
Lucas Oil "Keep That Engine Alive"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.


  • 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 Mazda CX-90 Front Quarter 1

2024 Mazda CX-90

A Force To Be Reckoned With

Episode 4238
Lucas Oil "Keep That Engine Alive"Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

If you’ve been following Mazda lately, you’ll know they’ve been fielding some serious new designs; you could even say, they’re latest efforts are 10-times better than before. After all, the CX-3 became the CX-30, then CX-5 became the CX-50, and now it’s the CX-9’s turn. So, let’s find out if this all-new CX-90, their largest SUV yet, is a real multiplier or if it’s all just a numbers game.

Don’t think of this 2024 Mazda CX-90 so much as an updated version of the CX-9, as it’s more of a complete rethink of their 3-row crossover, the first built on an all-new, large vehicle platform for the brand. And this platform carries a host of surprises. Not only does it make the CX-90 bigger by every dimension, but it’s a rear-drive architecture, and features all-new powertrains, including the brand’s first plug-in hybrid, and even an inline-6 engine.

Why an inline-6 to replace the CX-9’s turbo-4? Well, in general terms, I6s are better balanced, run smoother, and can deliver more torque at lower RPM. Just ask the BMW faithful, or any of the truckers you see going down the road hauling more than 20-tons of cargo with their inline-6s.

There are 2-versions of the longitudinally mounted 6, both assisted by turbocharging and a 48-volt mild hybrid system. Output for the base Turbo is 280-horsepower and 332 lb-ft. of torque; this Turbo S cranks it up to 340-horsepower and 369 lb-ft. The PHEV, on the other hand, is based on a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter I4, working with a 100-kW electric motor to deliver 323-horsepower and 369 lb-ft. of torque. A 17.8-kWh battery delivers 26-miles of EV driving.

2024 Mazda CX-90 3
2024 Mazda CX-90 Side Profile
2024 Mazda CX-90 Quarter Rear
2024 Mazda CX-90 Twin-Turbo I-6 Engine Cover
2024 Mazda CX-90 Twin-Turbo I-6 Engine
2024 Mazda CX-90 32024 Mazda CX-90 Side Profile2024 Mazda CX-90 Quarter Rear2024 Mazda CX-90 Twin-Turbo I-6 Engine Cover2024 Mazda CX-90 Twin-Turbo I-6 Engine

It’s not the prettiest SUV, but it does have very smooth body work; plus, the longer hood and 7½-inches of wheelbase stretch over the CX-9, give it more stately proportions. All CX-90s come with i-Activ all-wheel drive and the brand’s first 8-speed automatic transmission; the longer wheelbase allows tow ratings to step up from 3,500-lbs. to 5,000.

At the test track, our Turbo S launched effortlessly with good grip on the way to a 6.4-second 0-60. The smooth vibes continued throughout the ¼-mile, with refined power delivery, seamless shifts, and a noticeably more solid and stable feel at speed than the CX-9. Our best time was 14.7-seconds at 98 miles-per-hour.

Through the cones, it still behaves like a Mazda, with very good steering feel and a solid presence in corners at low to moderate speeds. Some understeer and body roll will show up when pushed hard, but Mazda’s Kinematic Posture Control uses subtle selective braking to help the vehicle rotate, and safety systems will step in well-before it gets out of sorts.

There’s a nice firm feel to the brake pedal, delivering good stopping results of 118-feet from 60 miles-per-hour. You can feel a lot of weight transfer, but nosedive was well contained.

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Another unique element the CX-90 brings is seating arrangements for 6,7, or 8. It’s the 8-seater that’s standard with 3-across bench seating for 2nd and 3rd rows. 7-seaters get either captain’s chairs in the 2nd row, or more contoured seats for the 3rd; 6-seaters sport 2nd row captains and the contoured 3rd row. Cargo capacity varies with seating, but is at best 15.9 cubic-ft. behind the 3rd row, 40.1 behind the 2nd, and 75.2 with all seats folded.

As far as what it’s like to actually live with, the CX-90’s cabin is a clear step up, including on some trims suede-like materials, intricate stitching, and real wood, all consistent with what we’ve seen from the brand lately. A 10-inch dashtop touchscreen is standard for infotainment, with upper trims getting a larger 12.3-incher. We applaud Mazda’s inclusion of plenty of old-school manual controls for radio and climate, which keeps menu diving limited to secondary functions. PHEVs get a few unique controls and readouts to monitor drive modes and battery level.

Overall, the CX-90 is highly functional, entertainingly sporty to drive, and will be more competitive in the ever growing 3-row family crossover segment; and its posh interior may even attract luxury buyers on a budget.

Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the Turbo S are 23-City, 28-Highway, and 25-Combined. We averaged a good 26.5 miles-per-gallon of Regular.

Pricing begins with the base Turbo at Select trim for $40,970, PHEVs are available in Preferred trim and above starting at $48,820, and the Turbo S starts at $53,125.

Force multiplier is a military term for when strategic elements come together to produce results greater than would have been possible without them. Well, no high-level math skills are necessary here to see that the 2024 Mazda CX-90 is clearly more than just a much better CX-9; it’s now a force to be reckoned with in the 3-row family crossover segment.


  • Engine: 3.3-liter I-6
  • Horsepower: 340
  • 0-60 mph: 6.4 seconds
  • 60-0 Braking: 118 feet (avg)
  • MW Fuel Economy: 26.5 MPG (Regular)
  • Transmission: 8-speed automatic
  • Torque: 369 lb-ft.
  • 1/4 Mile: 14.7-seconds at 98 mph
  • EPA: 23 City / 28 Highway / 25 Combined
  • Starting Price: $40,970