2019 Mercedes S-Class vs. 2018 Bentley Flying Spur

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The S-Class’ pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The S-Class has standard child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer child safety locks.

The rear seatbelts optional on the S-Class inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

The S-Class has standard NECK-PRO Front Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the NECK-PRO Front Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The S-Class has standard Active Brake Assist, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Flying Spur doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

An active infrared night vision system optional on the S-Class helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera and near-infrared lights to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The S-Class’ lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The S-Class offers an optional Surround View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Flying Spur only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

The S-Class’ blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the S-Class’ optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The S-Class’ driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The S-Class has standard Mercedes-Benz Emergency Call, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the S-Class and the Flying Spur have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and available all wheel drive.

Warranty

The S-Class comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Flying Spur’s 3-year basic warranty expires 1 year sooner.

The S-Class’ corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Flying Spur’s (5 vs. 3 years).

There are over 8 times as many Mercedes dealers as there are Bentley dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the S-Class’ warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the S-Class third among large premium cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Flying Spur isn’t in the top three in its category.

Engine

The S-Class has more powerful engines than the Flying Spur:

 

Torque

S 560 4.0 turbo V8

516 lbs.-ft.

AMG S 63 4.0 turbo V8

664 lbs.-ft.

AMG S 65/Maybach S 650 6.0 turbo V12

738 lbs.-ft.

Flying Spur V8 4.0 turbo V8

487 lbs.-ft.

Flying Spur V8 S 4.0 turbo V8

502 lbs.-ft.

Flying Spur W12 6.0 turbo 12 cyl.

590 lbs.-ft.

Flying Spur W12 S 6.0 turbo 12 cyl.

605 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the S-Class gets better fuel mileage than the Flying Spur:

 

 

S-Class

Flying Spur

 

RWD

450/Auto

19 city/28 hwy

n/a

 

 

560/Auto

17 city/27 hwy

n/a

 

 

AMG 65/Auto

13 city/22 hwy

n/a

 

 

Maybach 650/Auto

13 city/21 hwy

n/a

 

AWD

450/Auto

18 city/28 hwy

n/a

 

 

560/Auto

17 city/27 hwy

n/a

 

 

AMG 63/Auto

17 city/26 hwy

n/a

 

 

Maybach 560/Auto

16 city/25 hwy

13 city/22 hwy

V8/Auto

 

 

n/a

12 city/20 hwy

W12/Auto

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the S-Class’ engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Flying Spur doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Mercedes S-Class higher (3 to 5 out of 10) than the Bentley Flying Spur (1 to 3). This means the S-Class produces up to 39 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Flying Spur every 15,000 miles.

The EPA certifies the Mercedes S-Class as an “Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (ULEV). The Bentley Flying Spur is only certified to “Low Emissions Vehicle” (LEV) standards.

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is available on the Mercedes S-Class, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Flying Spur.

The S-Class 63/65’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer launch control.

Tires and Wheels

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the S-Class can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The S-Class offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Bentley doesn’t offer an active suspension on the Flying Spur.

The S-Class’ drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the S-Class’ wheelbase is 3.9 inches longer than on the Flying Spur (124.6 inches vs. 120.7 inches). The Maybach S-Class’ wheelbase is 11.8 inches longer than on the Flying Spur (132.5 inches vs. 120.7 inches).

The S 600 handles at .90 G’s, while the Flying Spur W12 pulls only .86 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The S 600 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Flying Spur W12 (25.8 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 26.2 seconds @ .71 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the S AMG S 65’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the Flying Spur’s (38.1 feet vs. 39.7 feet).

Chassis

The Mercedes S-Class may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 450 to 800 pounds less than the Bentley Flying Spur.

For excellent aerodynamics, the S-Class has standard flush composite headlights. The Flying Spur has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the S-Class a Large car, while the Flying Spur is rated a Mid-size.

The S-Class has 10 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Flying Spur (112 vs. 102).

Cargo Capacity

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the S-Class’ available trunk can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

An ASSYST PLUS is standard on the S-Class to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals based on odometer mileage. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Bentley doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the Flying Spur.

Ergonomics

The S-Class has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The S-Class offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

Heated windshield washer fluid is standard on the S-Class to defrost the washer nozzles and quickly clear ice and frost from the windshield without scraping. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the S-Class detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the S-Class has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer cornering lights.

To better shield the driver and front passenger’s vision, the S-Class has standard dual-element sun visors that can block glare from two directions simultaneously. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer secondary sun visors.

The S-Class’ power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Flying Spur’s power mirror controls are on the center console where they can’t be seen without the driver completely removing his eyes from the road.

Standard smartphone integration for the S-Class allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including reading text messages aloud, playing internet radio stations, searching the internet and other connected activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

The S-Class has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The S-Class’ optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The Mercedes S-Class comes in coupe, convertible and sedan bodystyles; the Bentley Flying Spur isn’t available as a coupe or convertible.

The S-Class is available in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Mercedes S-Class, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Mercedes S-Class outsold the Bentley Flying Spur by almost 62 to one during 2017.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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