2020 Mercedes AMG S-Class vs. 2019 Tesla Model S

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/02/29

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes AMG 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 Tesla Model S doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

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

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes AMG 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 Tesla Model S doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The AMG 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 Model S doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

An active infrared night vision system optional on the AMG 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 Model S doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The AMG S-Class offers an optional Surround View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Model S 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.

To help make backing safer, the AMG 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 Model S doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The AMG 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 Model S doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The AMG 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 Model S 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 AMG S-Class and the Model S 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rearview cameras.

Warranty

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The AMG S-Class’ corrosion warranty is 1 year and unlimited miles longer than the Model S’ (5/unlimited vs. 4/50,000).

There are over 6 times as many Mercedes dealers as there are Tesla dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the AMG S-Class’ warranty.

Reliability

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From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Tesla vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mercedes 2 places higher in reliability than Tesla.

Engine

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The AMG S-Class has more powerful engines than the Model S:

Horsepower

Torque

AMG S 63 Sedan 4.0 turbo V8

603 HP

664 lbs.-ft.

AMG S 65 Sedan 6.0 turbo V12

621 HP

738 lbs.-ft.

Model S 75D electric motors

518 HP

n/a

Model S 100D electric motors

532 HP

713 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/02/29

The AMG S 63 Sedan’s maximum EPA estimated driving range on a full tank of fuel is 548.6 miles, after which it can be refueled at any gas station in minutes. The Model S’ range is only 259 to 335 miles, after which the minimum recharge time is 30 minutes for only a 54% charge at a specially configured quick charge station not available in most areas. A full recharge at a conventional charging station can take up to 82 hours and 53 minutes.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the AMG S-Class’ front brake rotors are larger than those on the Model S:

AMG S-Class

AMG S-Class opt.

Model S

Front Rotors

15.4 inches

16.5 inches

14 inches

The AMG S-Class 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 Model S doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

In an emergency stopping situation, many drivers don’t press the brakes with enough force to stop the vehicle in the shortest distance. The AMG S-Class has a standard brake assist system to detect emergency braking situations (by how hard and how quickly the brake pedal is pressed) and then automatically apply maximum braking immediately in order to help prevent a collision. The Model S doesn’t offer a brake assist feature.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the AMG S-Class has larger tires than the Model S (F:255/45R20 & R:285/40R20 vs. 245/45R19). The AMG S-Class’ tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Model S (F:255/45R20 & R:285/40R20 vs. F:245/35R21 & R:265/35R21).

The AMG S-Class’ standard 285/40R20 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Model S’ standard 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the AMG S-Class has standard 20-inch wheels. Smaller 19-inch wheels are standard on the Model S.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the AMG 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 Model S doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The AMG S 65 Sedan offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Tesla doesn’t offer an active suspension on the Model S.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the AMG S-Class’ wheelbase is 8.1 inches longer than on the Model S (124.6 inches vs. 116.5 inches).

Passenger Space

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The AMG S-Class has 18 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Model S (112 vs. 94).

The AMG S-Class has .9 inches more front headroom, 2 inches more front shoulder room, 2.1 inches more rear headroom and 4.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the Model S.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the AMG S-Class’ available rear seats recline. The Model S’ middle row seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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With its sedan body style, valet key and remote trunk release lockout, the AMG S-Class offers cargo security. The Model S’ hatchback body style and non-lockable folding seat defeat cargo security.

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

Servicing Ease

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An ASSYST PLUS is standard on the AMG 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. Tesla doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the Model S.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Model S, the AMG S-Class has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The AMG S-Class’ standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Model S doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The AMG 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 Model S doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

If the windows are left open on the AMG S-Class the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Model S can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The AMG S-Class’ power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The Model S’ cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

Heated windshield washer fluid is standard on the AMG S-Class to defrost the washer nozzles and quickly clear ice and frost from the windshield without scraping. The Model S doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid. Its optional heated washer nozzles will defrost the washer fluid but not the windshield.

The AMG S-Class’ standard side window demisters help clear frost or condensation from the side windows in the winter. The Model S doesn’t even offer side window demisters, so the driver may have to wipe the windows from the outside to gain side vision.

A power rear sunshade is standard in the AMG S-Class and power rear side window sunshades are optional to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Model S doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

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

The AMG S-Class has standard massaging front and optional massaging rear seats. Massaging seats aren’t available in the Model S.

The AMG 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 Model S doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Model Availability

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The Mercedes AMG S-Class comes in coupe, convertible and sedan bodystyles; the Tesla Model S isn’t available as a coupe or convertible.

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

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