2019 Mercedes S-Class vs. 2019 Rolls-Royce Ghost

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 Rolls-Royce Ghost doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

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 Ghost doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

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 Ghost offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

The S-Class offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Ghost doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

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 Ghost 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 Ghost doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

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

Warranty

The S-Class’ corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Ghost’s (5 vs. 4 years).

There are almost 11 times as many Mercedes dealers as there are Rolls-Royce 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 Ghost isn’t in the top three in its category.

Engine

The AMG S 65/Maybach S 650’s 6.0 turbo V12 produces 18 more horsepower (621 vs. 603) and 118 lbs.-ft. more torque (738 vs. 620) than the Ghost Black Badge’s optional 6.6 turbo V12.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

S-Class

Ghost

 

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

12 city/18 hwy

V12/Auto

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

n/a

 

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 Ghost doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

Regenerative brakes improve the S-Class Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Ghost doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

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 Ghost doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The S-Class V12’s standard fuel tank has 2.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the Ghost (24.6 vs. 21.8 gallons).

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 Ghost.

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 Ghost doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the S 63/65’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Ghost:

 

S 63/65

Ghost

Front Rotors

16.5 inches

16.1 inches

The S-Class S 63/65 offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The Ghost doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

Suspension and Handling

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 Ghost doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The S 600 handles at .90 G’s, while the Ghost pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The S 600 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Ghost (25.8 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 26.3 seconds @ .72 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the S AMG S 65’s turning circle is 5.9 feet tighter than the Ghost’s (38.1 feet vs. 44 feet). The S 450/560’s turning circle is 5.5 feet tighter than the Ghost Extended Wheelbase’s (40.4 feet vs. 45.9 feet).

Chassis

The Mercedes S-Class may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 650 to 800 pounds less than the Rolls-Royce Ghost.

The S-Class is shorter than the Ghost, making the S-Class easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces:

 

S-Class

Ghost

SWB Sedan

206.9 inches

214.8 inches

LWB Sedan

215 inches

221.5 inches

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

Passenger Space

The S-Class has 1 cubic foot more passenger volume than the Ghost (112 vs. 111).

The S-Class has .3 inches more front shoulder room and 3.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Ghost.

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 Ghost doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The S-Class’ front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Ghost’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

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 Ghost doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid. Its standard heated washer nozzles will defrost the washer fluid but not the windshield.

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 Ghost doesn’t offer secondary sun visors.

On extremely cold winter days, the S-Class’ optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Ghost doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

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 Ghost 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 Ghost doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The Mercedes S-Class comes in coupe, convertible and sedan bodystyles; the Rolls-Royce Ghost isn’t available as a coupe or convertible.

Recommendations

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

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

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