2020 Mercedes AMG S-Class vs. 2020 BMW M5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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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 BMW M5 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

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 BMW M5 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 M5 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the AMG S-Class and the M5 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, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available night vision systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

The Mercedes AMG S-Class weighs 436 to 599 pounds more than the BMW M5. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

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There are over 10 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are BMW dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the AMG S-Class’ warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 20th.

Engine

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The AMG S 63 Sedan’s standard 4.0 turbo V8 produces 3 more horsepower (603 vs. 600) and 111 lbs.-ft. more torque (664 vs. 553) than the M5’s standard 4.4 turbo V8. The AMG S 63 Sedan’s 4.0 turbo V8 produces 111 lbs.-ft. more torque (664 vs. 553) than the M5 Competition’s standard 4.4 turbo V8. The AMG S 65 Sedan’s standard 6.0 turbo V12 produces 4 more horsepower (621 vs. 617) and 185 lbs.-ft. more torque (738 vs. 553) than the M5 Competition’s standard 4.4 turbo V8.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the AMG S 63 4MATIC Sedan gets better fuel mileage than the M5 (17 city/26 hwy vs. 15 city/21 hwy).

An engine control system that can shut down some of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the AMG S 63’s fuel efficiency. The M5 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The AMG S-Class has a gallon more fuel capacity than the M5 (21.1 vs. 20.1 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Mercedes AMG S-Class, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the M5.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the AMG S-Class’ optional front brake rotors are larger than those optional on the M5:

AMG S-Class

M5

Front Rotors

16.5 inches

16 inches

Tires and Wheels

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For better ride, handling and brake cooling the AMG S-Class has standard 20-inch wheels. Smaller 19-inch wheels are standard on the M5.

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 M5 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The front and rear suspension of the AMG S-Class uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the M5, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

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. BMW doesn’t offer an active suspension on the M5.

The AMG 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 M5 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The AMG 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 M5 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the AMG S-Class’ wheelbase is 7.2 inches longer than on the M5 (124.6 inches vs. 117.4 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the AMG S-Class is .5 inches wider in the front and 1.9 inches wider in the rear than the track on the M5.

For better maneuverability, the AMG S 65 Sedan’s turning circle is 3.2 feet tighter than the M5’s (38.1 feet vs. 41.3 feet). The AMG S 63 Sedan’s turning circle is 2.3 feet tighter than the M5’s (39 feet vs. 41.3 feet).

Passenger Space

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The AMG S-Class has 1 inch more front shoulder room and 3.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the M5.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the AMG S-Class’ available rear seats recline. The M5’s rear seats don’t recline.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 23% lower rating, BMW is ranked 11th.

Ergonomics

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The AMG 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 M5 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

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 M5 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid.

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 M5 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats in the rear.

The AMG S-Class has standard massaging front seats. Massaging front seats cost extra on the M5. The AMG S-Class also offers optional massaging rear seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging rear seats aren’t available in the M5.

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 M5 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 BMW M5 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 M5 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

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