2020 Mercedes S-Class vs. 2019 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe

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 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

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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 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 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.

Maybach S 650 6.0 turbo V12

621 HP

738 lbs.-ft.

640i Gran Coupe 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder

315 HP

332 lbs.-ft.

650i 4.4 turbo V8

443 HP

479 lbs.-ft.

M6 4.4 turbo V8

552 HP

502 lbs.-ft.

Alpina B6 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

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On the EPA test cycle the S 450 4MATIC Sedan gets better fuel mileage than the 650i AWD (17 city/27 hwy vs. 17 city/25 hwy).

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

The S-Class V6/V8’s 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

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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

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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.

Brakes and Stopping

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

S-Class

6 Series

Front Rotors

14.6 inches

13.7 inches

Rear Rotors

14.2 inches

13.6 inches

Tires and Wheels

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Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard 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. Run-flat tires aren’t available on some tire packages on the 6 Series Gran Coupe.

Suspension and Handling

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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).

Chassis

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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

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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

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The S-Class has a much larger trunk than the 6 Series Gran Coupe with its rear seat up (18.7 vs. 12 cubic feet).

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the S-Class’ power trunk can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The 6 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.

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 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.

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.

Both the S-Class and the 6 Series Gran Coupe offer optional massaging front seats. The 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 6 Series Gran Coupe.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Mercedes S-Class has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console and for the rear passengers. The 6 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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.

The S-Class’ optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The 6 Series Gran Coupe (except xDrive)’s automatic parking system requires operating the brakes and transmission to safely park.

Model Availability

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

Recommendations

© 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 2020/02/23

The Mercedes S-Class outsold the BMW 6 Series by almost seven to one during the 2019 model year.

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