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.


  • 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 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 3/4 Front

2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35

Goldilocks Approved: It Does Everything Just Right

Episode 4332
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

These days, you don’t have to spend a ridiculous amount of money to get some real-deal AMG performance from Mercedes-Benz, as they’ve spread their high-performance love throughout their lineup. So, let’s go for some high-speed bargain hunting in the Mercedes-AMG CLA 35.

You may think of big cars and bigger horsepower when you hear AMG, but this updated 2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 4-door Coupe is certainly not a big car, yet there’s no doubt it packs a serious performance punch. The CLA is not the least expensive Mercedes you can currently buy in the U.S., but it is their lowest priced car, and it feels more right-size than small-size behind the wheel.

It’s a fun, enjoyable ride that lets you know what you’re in for right away with a nice raspy exhaust note at start up. Standard engine in the base CLA 250 is of course a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbo, but it is ‘Benz’s latest with mild-hybrid assistance and a rating of 221-horsepower.

This CLA 35 is one of two AMG versions which cranks the turbo up to boost output to 302 horsepower and 295 lb-ft. of torque; the CLA 45 S, goes even further with a full rebuild to crank it up to 416 horsepower and 369 lb-ft. of torque. The CLA is front-wheel-drive based but is sending power to all four wheels by the time it leaves the AMG shop with performance-tuned AMG 4MATIC.

2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Dead Front
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Grille
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 3/4 Front
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Profile
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Wheel
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Dead Rear
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 3/4 Rear
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Badge
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Badge 2
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Dead Front2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Grille2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 3/4 Front2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Profile2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Wheel2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Dead Rear2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 3/4 Rear2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Badge2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Badge 2

AMG has done serious suspension tuning as well, and the great feedback that it provides through the AMG Performance steering wheel is a big part of this car’s fun-factor. But our test car came equipped with winter tires, which did hold us back a little bit through the cones at our Mason Dixon test track. Still, it felt both agile and fun and body roll was minimal. Not until we pushed hard could we really feel the lack of dry pavement grip from those tires. On the other hand, a few days after track day, we actually did have some winter weather to drive through and then we were very appreciative of the grip those winter tires provided.

With some assistance from AMG’s sweet launch control, which not only allowed us to launch at 3500 RPM with no wheel slip at all, but made sure the turbos were feeding full power, as we felt no turbo lag whatsoever on our quick 4.5-second trip to 60. AMG’s Speedshift eight-speed DCT lived up to its name, delivering quick and hard hits throughout the 13.1-second, 104 mph quarter-mile.

It’s a fun, enjoyable ride that lets you know what you’re in for right away with a nice raspy exhaust note at start up.

When it came time to remove speed in a hurry in our panic runs from 60 mph, those winter tires again played a factor, as the brakes felt very strong and there was very little nosedive but stops took a longer than expected 125 feet.

Now this 2nd generation CLA arrived for 2020, and for ’24 gets a subtle restyling at both ends. At the front, the grille has been redesigned, AMGs getting their own unique version with big vertical slats, prominent Mercedes star and subtle AMG badge. LED headlights are new, now labeled as High-Performance headlights, joined by upgraded rear taillights and a very aggressive looking AMG diffuser with big exhaust outlets. The back-up camera is smoothly hidden in a flip-out Mercedes badge. Multiple new wheel designs are available with sizes up to 19-inches.

2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Passenger Side Front
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Dashboard
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Center Display 2
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Rear Seat
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Trunk
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Engine
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Passenger Side Front2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Dashboard2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Center Display 22024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Rear Seat2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Trunk2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Engine

Inside the CLA’s cabin, additional standard content includes a leather steering wheel and 10-inch media display. Both of which were already part of the AMG transformation, though AMG Line buyers can now add some heat elements to their sport steering wheel.

As we’ve seen with most Mercedes updates, both the virtual gauge cluster and the central touchscreen reside in a single housing mounted on top of the dash, upgraded with the latest MBUX software.

Pricing for the CLA 35 starts at $56,100, with the more powerful 45 S coming in at $66,550.

Bottom line, the folks in Stuttgart have given us a 2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 that’s clearly better without messing it up. That’s certainly good news to us, as these days we seem to be getting less and paying more for just about everything. So, while you might not think the new CLA 35 sounds like a bargain, there is no better gateway into the amazing world of AMG performance.


  • Engine: 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbo
  • Horsepower: 416
  • 0-60 mph: 4.5 seconds
  • 60-0 Braking: 125 feet (avg)
  • MW Fuel Economy: 28.2 MPG (Premium)
  • Transmission: 8-speed dual-clutch automatic
  • Torque: 369 lb-ft.
  • 1/4 Mile: 13.1 seconds at 104 mph
  • EPA: 22 City / 29 Highway / 25 Combined