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2019 Mercedes-AMG S65 Sedan Review, Pricing | Mercedes AMG S65 Sedan Models



2019 Mercedes-AMG S65 Sedan Review: When Money Is No Object

by Gabe Beita Kiser

The S-Class Mercedes-Benz is more than a status symbol; it is a showcase of what the human mind can achieve, and just like Mozart or Einstein, the S-Class towers above its peers in shameless glory. As if the standard car wasn’t enough, the Mercedes-AMG S65 takes things to a whole other level, most notably by utilizing the earth-moving force of a hand-built 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged V12 engine producing 621 horsepower. The swooping exterior belies the fact that this car can accelerate to sixty faster than most vehicles on the road, all while cradling its passengers in supreme comfort and luxury. Rivals such as the BMW M760i xDrive offer more practicality for much less, but can’t match the S65’s presence and personality. Starting at over $230,000, it makes the Mercedes a tough sell, but if money isn’t an issue, it’s one of the best things on four wheels.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design


  • Performance


  • Fuel Economy


  • Interior & Cargo


  • Infotainment & Features


  • Reliability


  • Safety


  • Value For Money


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2019 Mercedes-AMG S65 Sedan Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2018 AMG S65 Sedan?

The 2019 Mercedes-AMG S65 Sedan forms part of the sixth generation and enters the new year without any major changes. Mercedes-AMG has fiddled with the voice command system, which can now control more in-car systems, and they have two new optional steering wheel finishes, one in wood and leather and the other in Dinamica and carbon fiber.

Pros and Cons

  • Plush interior
  • Silky smooth ride
  • That V12 engine
  • Safety features abound
  • It’s got serious presence
  • It’s expensive
  • It’s thirsty
  • It might be too advanced for some
  • Doesn’t really offer much more of anything than an S 63

What’s the Price of the 2019 Mercedes-AMG S65 Sedan?

The 2019 Mercedes-AMG S65 Sedan is the ultimate representation of what the German automaker is capable of, and as such, it requires one to fork over a stunning amount of money. The 2019 model starts off with an MSRP of $232,500, excluding a $1,700 gas guzzler tax, which is well over $75,000 more than the BMW M760i xDrive Sedan, and over $120,000 more than its smaller sibling the Mercedes-AMG E 63 S. If you think that the base price is slightly exorbitant, ticking off the options will see the price of the S65 Sedan rise to over $270,000. The high asking price of the S65 might put some buyers off: why should they spend well over $50k more for a car that offers only slight improvements over its competitors in terms of luxury, but isn’t as practical?

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2019 Mercedes-AMG S65 Sedan Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
AMG S65 Sedan

6. 0L Twin-Turbo V12 Gas

7-Speed Automatic

Rear-Wheel Drive


See All 2019 Mercedes-AMG S65 Sedan Trims and Specs

Handling and Driving Impressions

Gone are the days when full-sized luxury sedans could get away with a squelchy and unresponsive driving experience, which sacrificed driver engagement for a plush ride. The 2019 Mercedes-AMG S65 Sedan does a good job of hiding its weight through the corners, which is mainly due to its active sport suspension, developed by AMG, which makes use of Mercedes-Benz’s Magic Body Control system with curve control. In comfort mode, the S65’s steering feels overly light, which is perfect for in-town driving, but you’ll need to select one of the more aggressive driving modes if you want it to weigh up. As with so many performance luxury sedans, placing the nose is easy enough, but there’s minimal road feedback, which puts the S65 out of contention for being a true sports car, but it stays flat in the corners and has a surprisingly good amount of mid-corner grip. When not driving like a hooligan, the S65 is one of the most comfortable cruisers out there and soaks up road imperfections without raising a sweat.

Verdict: Is the 2019 Mercedes-AMG S65 Sedan A Good car?

What makes the 2019 Mercedes-AMG S65 Sedan a good car? The S65 is a big car that does a lot of things really well, and others relatively well; for its size, it performs like a much smaller car, accelerating to sixty in the low four-second range, handling sharp turns with surprising athleticism and providing one of the most comfortable cruising experiences out there. Inside, there’s very little that can touch the S65 in terms of refinement, build quality and sheer luxury. Premium Nappa leather seats with massage function, four-zone climate control, and a massive 12. 3-inch infotainment system connected to a sublime Burmester 3D surround sound system adds to the sense of occasion. The S65 does have its drawbacks; that twin-turbocharged V12 engine is one of the heaviest drinkers around, trunk space is cramped compared to its rivals, and the warranty, which doesn’t provide a maintenance plan, isn’t up to standard. The final hurdle to cross is the exorbitant asking price, which is difficult to justify when so many of its competitors do it as good for much, much less money. As a standalone car, it’s awesomely excessive and luxurious, but out in the real world, it might struggle to justify itself.

What Mercedes-AMG S65 Sedan Model Should I Buy?

There’s only one model and one trim level available, which means that the options list will become your best friend. The standard S65 offers more space and power than its smaller sibling the AMG E 63 S sedan, thanks to a considerably longer wheelbase and total length, matched up with a 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged V12 engine. The exterior of the big Merc features adaptive LED headlights as well as a surround camera system and a panoramic roof. The AMG carbon fiber package, which adds carbon fiber side mirror covers, air dam inserts, and side sill inserts, looks great on white and silver cars and is the perfect addition for those looking for a sportier look. On the inside, semi-aniline seats can be had for $1,000, and passengers in the rear can enjoy a set of fold-out tables, perfect for doing licit and illicit activities. Tech features such as a rear wireless phone charging dock and the futuristic auto-dimming Magic Sky Control panoramic roof all contribute towards future-proofing the S65 for years to come. If we were buying, we’d include the Magic Sky Control roof, carbon-fiber exterior bits, and call it a day.

Check out other Mercedes-Benz S-Class Styles

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2019 Mercedes-AMG S65 Sedan Comparisons



2019 Mercedes-AMG S65 Sedan vs Mercedes-AMG E63 Sedan

This is the story of a full-size versus a mid-size luxury performance sedan from the same brand. The E63 S is powered by a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine producing 603 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque from 2,500 rpm. That’s not too far off the S65’s numbers, and considering the fact that the E63 is a lighter vehicle helps it score a better fuel consumption figure of 15/23/18 mpg city/highway/combined, and its AWD system gives it a supercar-like zero to sixty time of 3.3 seconds. So it’s more economical and faster, but it sits below the S65 for a reason: the S65 offers vastly superior interior space and is visually and tangibly more luxurious. Whereas the E 63 S gets dual-zone climate control and premium leather sport seats, the S65 covers four zones and gets exclusive Nappa leather seats with hot stone massage functionality. The differences in size and luxury are apparent, but there’s more to the E 63; it is the better driver’s car, and can actually be taken around a track if you ever have the need.

See Mercedes-AMG E63 Sedan Review

2019 Mercedes-AMG S65 Sedan vs BMW 7 Series

This comparison should be called the Battle of the Bulge, and by the bulge, we’re talking about those V12 engines hiding beneath the hoods of both cars, or the bulging wallet required to purchase either of these German behemoths. BMW has gone all out on their range-topping Seven; power comes in the form of a massive 6.6-liter twin-turbo V12 producing 601 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque, which is considerably less powerful than the S65 but returns a matching 13/20/16 mpg city/highway/combined. Size-wise, the M760i and S65 share similar dimensions, but the BMW somehow manages to offer both superior passenger and trunk space, making it the more practical car to live with if that’s all you care about. Unless you are really knowledgeable about cars and can appreciate the subtle differences in ride comfort, the BMW feels just as refined and comfortable out on the road but feels cold and clinical on the inside, which counts in the S65’s favor. Both offer more safety and tech features than most would know what to do with. As with most things in life, good things come at a cost, but to go beyond good, costs even more, and that’s the case with the BMW M760i xDrive and Mercedes-AMG S65; the BMW is great, but the Merc is better, and for that, you’ll have to pay.

See BMW 7 Series Review

2019 Mercedes-AMG S65 Sedan Popular Comparisons

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Retro review: 2006 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG Reviews 2023

This review was first published in Issue 153 of Top Gear magazine (2006)

In some sort of pseudo-philosophical sense, the S65 AMG doesn’t really exist. It’s one of those things that actually manages to cancel itself out. Yes, it’s another motoring milestone for Mercedes and, yes, it’s yet another engineering pinnacle for the AMG performance division, but there’s absolutely no justification for building, let alone buying, a car like this. So, on the one hand, you have an automotive marvel, on the other, a pointless act of Germanic self-indulgence. On balance, you have nothing.

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First, to the marvel. This car is all about numbers. Under the hood is a six-litre bi-turbo V12 with three valves per cylinder, pushing out no less than 612bhp and 737lb ft of torque. That’s 1,000Nm, which sounds even more impressive. This means the new S65 is the most powerful production saloon in the world. Bar none. It’ll also hit 62mph in just 4.4 seconds on the way to its electronically limited 155mph top speed, making it quicker even than an Audi RS4 or BMW M5. And all that from a car that weighs in at well over a meaty two tonnes.

The mania, at this point, speaks for itself. Few cars weighing quite that much can deal with going quite that fast. It’s not like the S65 doesn’t know how to stop, either. A world first on this car is the inclusion of twin sliding calipers – an idea that maximises performance by reducing heat transfer to the brake fluid like a floating caliper would, without giving up the stopping power of a big, fixed caliper. In a serendipitous nod to the S65’s limo origins, lighter ceramic composite brake discs reduce the car’s unsprung weight, thereby improving ride quality. However, barrelling into a tight bend in a two-tonne stretch (unless you’ve scrubbed off so much speed that your rear passengers are headbutting the dashboard) still just doesn’t feel right. The S65 is huge by anyone’s standards, and nothing this big is ever going to offer you the delicacy of response and reaction that makes driving it hard in the corners seem particularly sane.

In a straight line, the S65 is monstrously quick. What AMG calls Speedshift is a fast and, more critically, smooth five-speed automatic ’box that, alongside a powertrain reinforced to cope with the vast quantities of torque, sees seamless surges of acceleration at the slightest provocation. Some figures from Mercedes underline the point…

Of that 737lb ft of torque, 420 is available at just 1,000rpm. Dial in another 500 revs and you’ve already got 552lb ft. That sort of low-down grunt means a simply staggering turn of speed, whenever and wherever you want it. But honestly, when exactly would that be?

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The car’s feel is still very much dictated by the S-Class’s basic prerogatives. This means there is a lightness and play to the steering and a general sense of detachment from the overall drive that, although demanded by buyers of executive cruisers, is at odds with AMG’s obvious sporting intent. So what the S65 offers you over an S500L, at least in a real-world driving environment, is uncertain.

Except maybe that it looks hard as nails. Standard 19in AMG alloys and beefy side skirts do far better justice to the new S-Class’s oddly distended wheelarches, while a huge front apron with outsized air intakes and similarly chunky rear end, broken up by a pair of massive twin exhausts, complete the kind of repackaging that makes you think of borscht and punishment beatings.

But the S65’s sales pitch gets skewed again by a bone-jarring £145,365 price tag. To put that into a Merc context, the ‘L’ version of the S320 CDI is £58,975, while the 500L is £73,770, and that’ll still hit 62mph in 5.6 seconds. What’s going on in the S65, in terms of re-engineering and exclusivity is undeniable, but whether it is really worth at least twice as much as a standard S-Class is wide open for debate.

Performance flagships have their place. It’s a marketing tool as much as anything else, doing wonders for the model range and brand as a whole. But this sort of mind game works better with a more aspirational demographic. Think BMW 318i driver ordering 18in M-Sport alloys. Who is going to be lured into a normal S-Class under a vicarious performance promise? S-Class buyers are about quality, refinement and class, unless something’s changed fairly radically without any of us noticing.

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If there is a person for whom the S65 AMG doesn’t immediately appear fairly redundant, it’s not really the sort of person you want to acknowledge exists, is it?

Who, after all, feels a real compulsion to spend more than twice as much as they need to on their S-Class, just so they can get to 62mph 1.2 seconds faster, whilst dispensing with very close to twice as much fuel in the process? Who is barking enough to want the door handles driven off their limo, whether they’re in the back or the front? And who, ultimately, values an AMG badge at, by our reckoning, £71,595? Cynical attitude though that may be, and however much of AMG’s sub- cutaneous techno-wizardry it disregards, it’s hardly outrageous to suggest that the overwhelming majority of S65 buyers will be seduced by the flagship status of a bit of badge and spoiler, and are highly unlikely to make much use of those composite brakes or integrated lap timer.

But the buyers are there, and so, despite the cod philosophy, is the S65. It looks terrifying, goes likes Satan’s mistress and is, despite its simple four-door origins, utterly unique. Just remember that you could buy two Audi S8s or have a Bentley Flying Spur and £30,000 in change for the price of an S65. Just because something exists doesn’t mean it makes sense.

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