2019 Mercedes S-Class vs. 2019 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes S-Class have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes S-Class are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The S-Class has standard front and rear seat side-impact airbags and head airbags, which act as a forgiving barrier between the passengers and the door. Combined with high-strength steel door beams this system increases protection from broadside collisions. The 6 Series Gran Coupe doesn't offer rear-seat side-impact airbags, only ones for front seat occupants.

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 6 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

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 6 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the S-Class and the 6 Series Gran Coupe have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available all wheel drive, night vision systems and around view monitors.

Warranty

There are over 10 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are BMW dealers, which makes it 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 6 Series Gran Coupe isn’t in the top three in its category.

Engine

The S-Class has more powerful engines than the 6 Series Gran Coupe:

 

Horsepower

Torque

S 450 3.0 turbo V6

362 HP

369 lbs.-ft.

S 560 4.0 turbo V8

463 HP

516 lbs.-ft.

AMG S 63 4.0 turbo V8

603 HP

664 lbs.-ft.

AMG S 65/Maybach S 650 6.0 turbo V12

621 HP

738 lbs.-ft.

640i Gran Coupe 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

315 HP

332 lbs.-ft.

650i Gran Coupe 4.4 turbo V8

443 HP

479 lbs.-ft.

M6 Gran Coupe 4.4 turbo V8

552 HP

502 lbs.-ft.

Alpina B6 Gran Coupe 4.4 turbo V8

591 HP

590 lbs.-ft.

M6 Gran Coupe Competition 4.4 turbo V8

592 HP

502 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the S 560 is faster than the 640i Gran Coupe (automatics tested):

 

S-Class

6 Series

Zero to 60 MPH

4.9 sec

5.6 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

11.5 sec

15.1 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

5.2 sec

6.4 sec

Quarter Mile

13.4 sec

14.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

108 MPH

97 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the S 560 4MATIC gets better fuel mileage than the 650i xDrive Gran Coupe (17 city/27 hwy vs. 17 city/25 hwy).

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the S-Class 560/63’s fuel efficiency. The 6 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The S-Class’ standard fuel tank has 2.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the 6 Series Gran Coupe’s standard fuel tank (21.1 vs. 18.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The S-Class V12’s standard fuel tank has 3.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the 6 Series Gran Coupe M6’s standard fuel tank (24.6 vs. 21.1 gallons).

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 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe (1 to 3). This means the S-Class produces up to 39 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the 6 Series Gran Coupe every 15,000 miles.

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 6 Series Gran Coupe.

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 6 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the S-Class’ brake rotors are larger than those on the 6 Series Gran Coupe:

 

S 450/560

S 63/65

640i/650i

M6 w/Carbon Brakes

Front Rotors

14.6 inches

16.5 inches

13.7 inches

16.1 inches

Rear Rotors

14.2 inches

14.2 inches

13.6 inches

15.6 inches

The S-Class stops shorter than the 6 Series Gran Coupe:

 

S-Class

6 Series

 

70 to 0 MPH

167 feet

170 feet

Car and Driver

Suspension and Handling

The front and rear suspension of the S-Class uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the 6 Series Gran Coupe, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

The S-Class has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The 6 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

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 6 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the S-Class’ wheelbase is 7.9 inches longer than on the 6 Series Gran Coupe (124.6 inches vs. 116.7 inches). The Maybach S-Class’ wheelbase is 15.8 inches longer than on the 6 Series Gran Coupe (132.5 inches vs. 116.7 inches).

For better maneuverability, the S AMG S 65’s turning circle is 1.1 feet tighter than the 6 Series Gran Coupe’s (38.1 feet vs. 39.2 feet). The S 450/560’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the M6 Gran Coupe’s (40.4 feet vs. 41 feet).

Chassis

The design of the Mercedes S-Class amounts to more than styling. The S-Class offers aerodynamic coefficients of drag from .27 to .3 Cd (depending on bodystyle and options). That is lower than the 6 Series Gran Coupe (.29 to .33) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the S-Class get better fuel mileage.

As tested by Car and Driver while cruising at 70 MPH, the interior of the S 560 is quieter than the 640i Gran Coupe (67 vs. 69 dB).

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the S-Class a Large car, while the 6 Series Gran Coupe is rated a Compact.

The S-Class has 15 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 6 Series Gran Coupe (112 vs. 97).

The S-Class has 3 inches more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear headroom and 4.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the 6 Series Gran Coupe.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the S-Class’ available rear seats recline. The 6 Series Gran Coupe’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The S-Class has a much larger trunk than the 6 Series Gran Coupe with its rear seat up (16.3 vs. 12 cubic feet).

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the S-Class has a standard power trunk, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or optionally by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The 6 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer a power trunk.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 11% lower rating, BMW is ranked 8th.

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 6 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

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 6 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid.

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 6 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer secondary sun visors.

Optional air conditioned front and rear seats keep the S-Class’ passengers comfortable and take the sting out of hot leather in summer. The 6 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats in the rear.

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 6 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Model Availability

The Mercedes S-Class comes in coupe, convertible and sedan bodystyles; the BMW 6 Series isn’t available as a coupe or convertible.

Recommendations

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

The Mercedes S-Class outsold the BMW 6 Series by almost four to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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