From £60,5958

Running a Mercedes S-Class is not for the financially faint-hearted. Even the best-selling S 350 diesel – which has an entry-level price of £62,280 – only retains 43 percent of its list price after three years. The insurance group – at 48 – is almost at the top of the tree. The servicing costs of around £2200 over three years are stiff for a car that will only need routine items in the first three years of its warrantied life.

The upshot is that ownership of the 350 CDI is likely to come out at a whopping 121p per mile. It’s an almost identical figure for the petrol-engined 350 model, which has very marginally cheaper servicing costs. 

Matt Saunders Autocar

Matt Saunders

Road test editor
Optional 'SplitView' allows the single central screen in the dash to show different things for driver and passenger, very effectively and in high-def quality

Move into the S 500 model and, as well as being rewarded with a group 50 insurance bill, and the costs will shoot up to 165 pence per mile, partly because the retained value is just 34 percent of the £82k price tag.

In terms of day-to-day running costs, the 350 CDI is capable of returning 40mpg – and occasionally more – even when pushed along on busy UK motorways. None of the other S-Class models available in the UK will get near that, especially an advantage that gets clearer when you mix in driving in congested urban situations.

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