2012 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Hybrid

The 2012 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Hybrid is a super luxury car that comes with an elite interior and composed ride among other notable features.

The S-Class Hybrid is available in one trim level: S400 Hybrid. This hybrid gets a new gearbox with more sophisticated torque convert lock-up motor that offers quieter operation, more responsive driving and better fuel mileage.

Specifications

General Info
Vehicle Type: Hybrid Sedan Base Price: $91,850.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 21.9 gallons (82 l) MPG: 19 city / 25 hwy
Dimensions
Length: 206.5 in. (524.5 cm) Wheel Base: 124.6 in. (316.4 cm)
Height: 58 in. (147.3 cm) Width: 83.5 in. (212 cm)
Curb Weight: 4474 lbs (2029 kg) Ground Clearance: 5.8 in. (14.7 cm)
Luggage Capacity: 16.4 cu ft Maximum Seating: 5 people
Performance
Engine: 3.5L V6 DOHC Motor: Hybrid Electric
Horsepower: 295 HP Max RPM: 6000 RPM
Torque: 284 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm Transmission: 7-Speed Automatic
0-60 mph: 7.0 seconds Maximum Speed: NA


Engine & Performance

The S-400 Hybrid gets its power from a V6 gasoline engine combined with an electric motor. These two combine to generate 295 horsepower and 284 lbs-ft of torque. This sedan is the first one of its kind to use lithium-ion battery for its engine. The engine is mated to a new 7-speed automatic transmission which is more efficient, smoother and more responsive.

The S-400 Hybrid, which is just available with rear-wheel drive nets a fuel economy estimated at 21 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on highways. For an exceptional control and poise, the S-Class Hybrid is fitted with a 4-wheel independent multilink suspension.

In addition to that, an Adaptive Damping System (ADS) has been added to the innovative Airmatic air suspension to optimize handling and ride. The ADS mechanically selects one of the 4 damping profiles for each spring-strut, whenever a wheel changes direction of up-down travel.

Exterior

You get several standard features worth noting, the bi-xenon headlamps that help deliver greater visibility. Moreover, the standard LED daytime running lights help in improving the visibility of the S-400 Hybrid to oncoming vehicles. At the rear, the LED tail lamps provide quicker illumination of the brake lamps. This provides drivers from behind ample time to react when a car ahead stops. This car is fitted with 18-inch 10-spoke alloy wheel, although you can also opt for the available 19-inch 5-spoke or 20-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels.

Interior

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class Hybrid comes with a classic interior design loaded with high-tech features. Some of the high-tech electronics fitted in the cabin include: Bluetooth and USB connectivity, hard drive-based navigation, and 15-speaker Harman Kardon stereo.

The seats, side bolsters, armrests and head restraints are made of richly grained leather, with the 12-way power adjustable front seats helping the driver and the front passenger to set their preferred seating positions.

Other standard features include: Heated and active ventilated front seats, power tilt/sliding tinted glass sunroof, noise-reducing infrared-reflecting glass, heated power side mirrors, HomeLink garage door opener and electronic trunk closer. Standard entertainment features include: SiriusXM radio, 6-disc CD/DVD changer, HD radio receiver and COMAND system with central controller.

Safety & Reliability

The S-400 Hybrid comes with standard 10-way air bag protection featuring 8 airbags: front and rear side-impact airbags, window curtain airbags for both rows, and dual 2-stage front airbags. PARKTRONIC system with advanced parking guidance is also a standard safety feature in this car that helps the driver to size up parallel-parking spaces when driving by.

Parktronic's ultrasound sensors located at the front and rear bumpers detect nearby objects when on low-speed maneuver. Other key safety features include: rearview camera, seat belt technology, brake assist, advanced tire pressure monitoring system, SmartKey, antilock braking technology, night vision, stability and traction control, Mercedes' mbrace, and antitheft alarm system. The S-Class Hybrid is backed with a 50,000 mile or 4-year limited warranty in addition to road assistance for the same period.

Pros

  • Quiet ride
  • Least expensive S-Class
  • Luxurious interior
  • Unmatched safety features

Cons

  • Spongy brake feel
  • Numb steering
  • Confusing cabin electronics

Generally, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Hybrid exhibits an unmatched blend of comfort and control. This car is a good choice for people looking for a super luxury hybrid car, especially due to its many safety features, sumptuous interior, and its responsive and efficient powertrain.

Other higher priced Hybrids include the BMW ActiveHybrid 7 (MSRP $97,000; 17 city / 24 hwy), the all-electric Fisker Karma (MSRP $95,900; NA city / NA hwy), and the Porsche Panamera S Hybrid (MSRP $96,150; 22 city / 30 hwy). The Lexus GS450h (MSRP $58,950; 29 city / 34 hwy) is perhaps the closest in competition to the S Class Hybrid. The GS bests those with hybrid engines when it comes to fuel economy.

Overall Rating
85 out of 100

What others say:

“…there's the S400 Hybrid, which blends batteries, motors, and V-6 power for seven-second acceleration to 60 mph and 25-mpg highway fuel economy, though powertrain integration just isn't as smooth as the superior S350 BlueTEC turbodiesel, which rates 31 mpg highway, and offers about the same acceleration, though it has standard all-wheel drive.”Car Connection

“The S400's hybrid system is capable of shutting off the engine while slowing down and at a stop, but the car cannot accelerate solely on electric power. It does not require plug-in charging.”Consumer Guide

“The 2012 Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid receives a new transmission with a more advanced torque converter lock-up clutch that provides better fuel mileage, more responsive driving and quieter operation.”MSN Auto-ConsumerReports

“Wide variety of impressive engines; world-class craftsmanship; composed ride and handling; a showcase of convenience and safety technology; whisper quiet…Interior features can be overwhelming, with occasionally unintuitive controls.”Edmunds