The standard by which other brands are judged--but also the bar it must clear for each new iteration.
Competing with the likes of the BMW 7-Series, Audi A8, Tesla Model S, and Jaguar XJ, the S-Class's desired place at the top of the heap is a difficult one to maintain.
The Rolls-Royce Ghost and Bentley Flying Spur are super-luxury alternatives, but do overlap the S Class on price and equipment at the lower ranges of each.
With more traditional, somewhat more ostentatious design, the Ghost is for the executive that wishes to stand out; the Flying Spur may fly a bit lower under the radar among the general populace.
Otherwise, the BMW 7-Series has been the S Class' closest historic competitor, and for good reason: it offers a very similar level of style, equipment, and luxury.
The decision between the BMW and the Mercedes often comes down to taste.
The story is similar with the Audi A8 and A8 L long-wheelbase model, though its sleeker, rounder form and more stark and simple interior design evoke a different aesthetic.
The Porsche Panamera is a higher-performance, sportier-looking alternative, but its roomy back seat makes it a viable executive alternative, even if it does lack some of the higher-tech safety systems.
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|15 MPG City / 26 MPG Hwy||17 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy||15 MPG City / 30 MPG Hwy||12 MPG City / 20 MPG Hwy|
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|Rear Wheel Drive||All Wheel Drive||All Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive||All Wheel Drive|
|Automatic w/OD||Automatic w/OD||Automatic w/OD||Auto-Shift Manual w/OD||Automatic w/OD|