2009 Mercedes S550 $89,350

Blue ain't the color of money, but a Benz is a Benz.
Blue ain't the color of money, but a Benz is a Benz.


When your ride beats your apartment, you know you’re livin’ large. (Does your crib have a massaging chair? Mine doesn’t, either.)

The S550 is a big ol’ concert grand piano of a ride, numb as novocain at slow speeds and cushy as a waterbed. At highway speeds, though, look out—it’s a rhinoceros rockin’ down the highway, solid, stolid and, true to the Benz badge, swanky swanky.

The inside’s a 5-star experience through and through, all wood and leather and high-tech whizzers—for a price, natch—like an iPod Integration Kit, Motorola or Nokia Telephone, a VPC Installed Bluetooth Cradle and a Multi-Handset Interface Cradle. There’s also a helpful Night View Assist Night Vision to help you spot deer, road debris or other cars through mist or dark. Illuminated door sill guards are an especially upscale touch, and Parktronic and Rearview Cameras stop you from running over folks in your front and rear, or tapping bumpers of other cars when parallel parking. Seats are extra-large, the better to serve the extra large among us. Sleeping, working, riding, admiring—when can we move in?

As ungrateful as it seems, I had some minor complaints. The body’s not as bangin’ as the interior, especially my dark blue test model which would have been better served in a silver or similar symbol of cash, class and all that stuff people partly blow wads on Benzes for. Also, the phone over the control knob is bizzarely placed, and I’m not sure I want a separate phone in my car in addition to the cell I carry, unless I can rig the car phone to the same phone number and address book.

Beefs aside, however, the S500 is every bit the rollin’ slab o’ chic you want from an $89,350 ride.

Standard Engine 5.5L V8
Standard Transmission 7 Speed Automatic
Cylinders 8
Horsepower @RPM 382@6000
Fuel Economy Cty/Hwy 14 / 21
Combined Fuel Economy 16
EPA Class Large
Number of Valves 32
Torque @RPM N/A
Fuel Type System Gas Engine / Sequential Electronic Fuel Injected, Sequential Port Fuel Injected Sequential, Multi-Port Fuel Injected