What's the used Mercedes S-Class Coupe coupe like?
For years, those looking for the most refined, most technically advanced and the most pleasant car to drive, and in which to be driven, have beaten a path to Mercedes’ door to get themselves inside an S-Class saloon, the flagship of the German manufacturer’s range.
In fact, if ever a car has from time to time deserved the title of the best car in the world, it is universally agreed the S-Class has usually been it.
But what if you don’t need the four doors on offer in the saloon and would prefer something slightly more dashing for the drive down to the south of France? Well in years gone by Mercedes made the imperious CL class, in effect a two-door version of the then-current S-Class.
However, with this generation, launched in 2014 and on sale until 2020, it went the whole hog and called the two-door car the S-Class Coupé, and the result is stunning, not just to look at but to drive or to be driven in.
It was available from new with a choice of three engines: an 'entry-level' 4.0-litre turbocharged V8 in the S560, an AMG-tuned 4.0-litre V8 in the raucous AMG S63 and a mighty 6.0-litre turbocharged V12 in the range-topping AMG S65.
As far as trims go, the S63 and the S65 are AMG cars, so they get their own specifications that are mainly focused on mechanicals, such as reworked suspension and quicker steering to provide a more focused drive. Meanwhile, the S560 comes only in AMG Line trim and brings luxuries such as 19in alloy wheels, air suspension, climate control, keyless entry and start, a panoramic roof, metallic paint, automatic LED headlights, heated seats, wireless phone charging and a Burmester premium surround-sound hi-fi. If you find a car with the Premium Equipment Line trim, this adds features such as a 360deg parking camera, massaging front seats, nappa leather and front heated armrests.
On the road, this large and opulent coupe is a delight. The S560 comes with a powerful V8, and it’s a brilliantly refined motor, emitting little more than a muffled warble under light acceleration that rouses to a more guttural – but still wholly dignified – woofle when you give the right pedal a healthy prod.
Mercedes' nine-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox is an intelligent and smooth-changing unit, and, with Sport and Sport+ driving modes available, the S560 can hit 62mph from a standstill in just 4.6sec. Huge mid-range performance is the chief virtue of the AMG cars, with a wave of effortless and endless power and, in the V12 S65, a silky smooth delivery.
It corners brilliantly, too, considering its size and weight, with plenty of grip and safe handling that borders on fun. There’s very little body lean in corners, even when pressing on, thanks to advanced tech that leans you into a corner as you go round it, to counteract the usual g-forces you might feel.
The ride is equally meritorious, being smooth over motorways and urban ruts and only sharp potholes and irregularities occasionally catching it out. With a muted engine note at all times, the S-Class Coupé wafts, where other cars simply go galumphing down the road in a blaze of haphazard spurts.
If the refinement is top-notch, so is the luxury of the interior. The dashboard and surrounding areas are appealing styled, with soft-touch materials, leather and chrome, and the driving position is multi-adjustable, electronically, so it’s easy to find the perfect set-up. Mercedes' Comand Online infotainment system with a 12.3in colour screen remains visually impressive and relatively logical, if not quite as simple to navigate as BMW's iDrive, due to the number of menus and sub-menus, which can become a bit tiresome to cycle through. It's also less responsive than the BMW system, occasionally leaving you pressing twice for a function because you thought it hadn't registered.
Space up front is incredibly generous, while in the rear two six-footers may well be comfortable for short hops. At 400 litres, the S-Class Coupé's boot is more spacious than those in most of its rivals, too. That's easily enough room for your golf clubs or a generous selection of luggage for a weekend away.
What used Mercedes S-Class Coupe coupe will I get for my budget?
We’ve seen good S-Class Coupés from 2015 for as little as £30,000, this for a car with an average mileage for the year and a full service history, from an independent dealer. However, £35,000 to £540,000 is more the norm for a 2016 or 2017 car, again with an average mileage and full history, bought from either an independent dealer or a franchised one. Spending between £40,000 and £50,000 will get you 2018 cars, nudging into 2019 or 2020.
How much does it cost to run a Mercedes S-Class Coupe coupe?
Quite a lot, although on paper there’s not much between them all for official fuel consumption. The S560 records an average of 28.3mpg, according to the older NEDC tests, against the S63’s 27.9mpg. The S65 is in last place, on paper, with an average 19.9mpg, and corresponding CO2 emissions of 325g/km.
As far as annual car tax goes, those cars registered before the changes of April 2017 came into force will be charged on CO2 emissions output, so expect bills to be high. Those cars registered after that date will be charged at a flat rate, currently £180 a year, but will also attract a supplementary luxury car tax of £390 a year from years two to six as they cost in excess of £40,000 new.
Expect insurance to cost, too, as all S-Class Coupés sit in the top group, 50. Likewise servicing is best left to a Mercedes main dealer, and this won’t come cheap, although there are a number of plans to let you pay fixed amounts in advance via direct debit.
Which used Mercedes S-Class Coupe coupe should I buy?
We would try and seek out the S560 version, as it’s sublimely refined and sweet and nearly as quick as the two S cars. It’s a fraction cheaper to buy and run, and it comes well equipped.
Our favourite model comes only in AMG Line trim and brings luxuries such as 19in alloy wheels, air suspension, climate control, keyless entry and start, a panoramic roof, metallic paint, automatic LED headlights, heated seats, wireless phone charging and a Burmester premium surround-sound hi-fi. If you opt for Premium Equipment Line, this adds features such as a 360deg parking camera, massaging front seats, nappa leather and front heated armrests.
Our favourite Mercedes S-Class Coupe: S560
What alternatives should I consider to a used Mercedes S-Class Coupe coupe?
The BMW 6 Series was a huge and glamorous continent-crosser, with a choice of petrol and diesel units that offer great speed with reasonable refinement and economy. It’s good to drive and luxurious inside, and makes a great used buy.
The Aston Martin DB11 marked a return to form for the British sports car firm. The V8 version makes most sense, as it’s lighter than the rorty V12. The result is a sharper handling and a sportier drive. Rear room is not as convincing as the S-Class Coupe, however, and nor is refinement.
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