Head To Head Comparison: 2014 Tesla Model S Versus 2014 Mercedes-Benz S550 – Video

3 years ago by Electric CarsTV 39

“On this episode of Head 2 Head, the newest luxury heavyweight takes on the reigning champ. The Mercedes-Benz S-Class has ruled the luxury roost since it created the segment decades ago. However, Elon Musk’s revolutionary Tesla Model S has single handedly disrupted the established luxury paradigm and has recently outsold the mighty S-Class. What’s most amazing is that the Model S doesn’t use a drop of gas. The S-Class does, but it rewrites the luxury car playbook in other ways. So which $125K big lux whip is best?”

States Motor Trend in describing Episode 54 of Head 2 Head, a once monthly video comparison between competing automobiles.

We know which vehicle we’d pick, but does Motor Trend agree?

Watch and find out!”

Head to Head Matchup

Head to Head Matchup

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39 responses to "Head To Head Comparison: 2014 Tesla Model S Versus 2014 Mercedes-Benz S550 – Video"

  1. GeorgeS says:

    I forced myself to watch this but I’m glad I did. The Mercedes wins because………It has a more luxurious interior.

  2. Michael says:

    For me only electric vehicles are interesting, but i must say Mercedes interior looks very nice. Model S is a dream.

    1. Brandon says:

      this, anything that uses gas isnt a consideration in the slightest

  3. Mikael says:

    I would have a different winner, but it was a pretty fair comparison which isn’t always the case when electric cars are involved.

    Say what you like about petrolheads but it’s a good thing when even they realise that an electric car is (one of) the best cars ever made. Petrolheads still run all motor shows/magazines/tests etc. so their approval is important for the broad masses to understand how great EV’s are.

    1. GeorgeS says:

      That is so true and that’s what Tesla is doing….. Converting gas heads which is very critical to the success of the EV movement.

      Tesla is also converting the WSJ to be a Tesla fan. As soon as the stock went sky high they thought it was woooonderful.

  4. PJS says:

    If I were to lease, the Mercedes wins, hands down. As a long term owner, it’s the Tesla, despite only having a computer-like screen instead of a disco interior. This review seems to have been done by a kid in high school…

    1. GeorgeS says:

      “As a long term owner, it’s the Tesla, despite only having a computer-like screen instead of a disco interior. ”

      Good one.

      I have a buddy who just scouts out older luxury vehicles. He had an older 7 series BMW with the V12.

      but I agree the Tesla wins….at least for me.

  5. Tummy says:

    As someone who works at an aluminum supplier, the technology and precision used in manufacturing the S-class is far superior to the quality of material and build in the Tesla. We toured the Tesla factory and saw the standard commodity Alcoa aluminum used in the model S and was not impressed. With some better alloys they could save many pounds from the model S while increasing rigidity and crash protection, or keeping the same level, but making it much lighter. The quality of the welds are just not at the same level as BMW, Mercedes, Audi and Jaguar Land Rover. The construction and quality of the seat structure, for example, was very crude. Visiting the factory as a non-industry person makes it look high tech and high quality, but it is far from that. I had wanted to order the Model S prior to seeing how the “sausage” is made.

    1. BravelilToaster says:

      Heck, you should write Tesla to tell them all about that, I’m sure they’d appreciate the sales call, by the looks of it. πŸ˜‰

    2. Nix says:

      Tesla doesn’t have to resort to Unobtanium grades of metals just to meet safety standards, because they have a huge advantage over those gas car companies. Tesla doesn’t have a gas motor smack-dab in the middle of their front crumple zone that they have to design around. They get to use the full length of their hoodline as one huge uninterrupted crumple zone.

      It is part of the brilliance of the design. And the test results prove it. They beat all of those other brands you mentioned in testing, posting the highest crash test results of any car ever tested.

      Why use highly expensive grades of metals, when less expensive grades can be better engineered to do a better job?

      I can’t speak to weld quality, because I’ve not seen both to compare. But I’d be surprised if there were such a huge margin of difference between what one robot did, and another robot did when welding that it would change my ownership experience. Again, the crash test results speak for themselves, so the robots obviously aren’t doing too bad a job.

  6. Surya says:

    I too don’t agree. The Mercedes S only wins because it looks nicer on the inside? Maybe he should have stated more clearly what would be his criteria in choosing the winner. The answer is: what is the nicest to sit in. If you like sitting in a car that makes you feel like a pimp, go for that Mercedes πŸ™‚

    1. BravelilToaster says:

      Well, as a techie myself, I would totally go for the Tesla, and not just because it’s electric. The software inside is just all kinds of awesome, plus I’m not that big on old-school wood-and-chrome interiors.

      That said, at the S-class Mercedes level of car buying, you’re looking for luxury, and Mercedes doesn’t hold back, while the Tesla is, as the man said, “only 90% there”.

  7. Ben says:

    I sat in Mercedes S Class (previos generation) and in Tesla Model S, and I have to say that Tesla doesn’t even come close. With the new generation, S Class is even further away. There’s no hard plastic, just leather and wood/aluminum. Seats are so comfortable you could sit in them for days and wouldn’t be tired at all. On the other hand, seats in Tesla are quite terrible (and I especially don’t like their integrated headrests). I was very dissapointed about Tesla’s interior, appart from the screen it looks very outdated (say from the 90s).
    So if you give that money, there’s no way I’d buy a Tesla. For me, the perfect combination would be Mercedes S with Tesla’s electric motor.

    1. Brandon says:

      dude who cares tesla interior is nice screw the mercedes its overrated, a waste of money and doesnt even compare

  8. EVMD says:

    I found the interior of a Lamborghini very spartan and it cost double than MS and S class, but you are paying for the performance. Tesla is not as luxurious as Mercedes S but you are paying for technology and performance. The Titanic was still more luxurious than modern cruise snipes but today we pay for advance systems.

    1. Ben says:

      Only drivetrain is better in Tesla. Mercedes S Class has loads of technology that Tesla can only dream about.

  9. Brandon says:

    So the Mercedes won because it has a disco ball inside… o-f*ckin-k

  10. Brian F says:

    I really want the MB Intelligent Drive and IR systems in my Tesla. I can skip the disco interior and the 16 MPG.

    Check out the MB Intelligent Drive linked here

    1. Brandon says:

      lol why? tesla has everything you need + more

      1. CherylG says:

        The Tesla lacks even common features found on a lowly vehicles like a Prius.

        Why Tesla can’t even add ACC is beyond me.

  11. Lad says:

    If you are into leasing your car; the MB is OK; but, if you buy it, beware!, the electro-mechanical nannies will eat you up in maintenance costs when they break, and they will break.

    1. CherylG says:

      According to Consumer Reports, the 2013 Model S earned its spot on their cars to avoid list due to its poor reliability.

      Edmunds poor experience with their Model S breaking down on the freeway, repeated major repairs on the the drivetrain would support Consumer Reports findings.

      I guess George Clooney was right about Tesla.

      1. PJS says:

        In fairness, all of Edmund’s repairs were under warranty. As for Clooney – who cares?

        1. CherylG says:

          Why would you think that breaking down on the freeway in a brand new car would not be covered under warranty? Don’t all brand new cars come with a factory warranty?

          Consumer Reports doesn’t care if reliability problems are covered under warranty or not when they add a car to their cars to avoid list. The Model S was added to the Consumer Reports list due to an unacceptable level of reliability.

          1. Phr3d says:

            Thank you CherylG for the always requested, never provided proof of your pitifully inane claims – I look forward to your discovery of self-respect..

          2. MDEV says:

            CherylIG….You are back we missed your poisonous comments about Tesla, the Gigafactory is coming soon so you better get ready with better arguments.

  12. CherylG says:

    The Mercedes is simply in a whole other galaxy in tech and build quality than the Model S.

    Tesla’s dismal showing in Germany, even after the desperate price slashing, demonstrates how the Germans feel about the Model S.

    1. MDEV says:

      Dismal are your posting and hate about Tesla and American ingenuity. I am sorry you can’t afford a model S or Mercedes S. Time to ask for a salary increase in FOX.

  13. jmac says:

    The Germans and Japanese think quite highly of themselves as WWII proved.

    Nevertheless, the Germans and Japanese make fine luxury automobiles, but especially the Germans.

    Tesla is basically coming from nowhere to compete head on with some of the best luxury car makers in the world.

    Quite a feat. Truly astonishing.

  14. CherylG says:

    The ‘free’ charging stations are not free. You have to buy the supercharger option to get access to the ‘free’ superchargers.

    In effect you are prepaying for ‘free’ supercharging.

    1. Aaron says:

      Have you not noticed by the lack of replies that we’re just ignoring you?

    2. MDEV says:

      I read the same again….and again… and again from you in every forum. Thank you

  15. jmac says:

    1. There is not much demand for electric cars in Germany. (For whatever reason)

    2. There are few government incentives promoting EVs.

    3. The Germans are very proud of their diesel technology.

    4. The Germans are nationalistic like the Japanese and prefer their own brands.

    5. There is still resentment over the outcome of WWII.

    6. Finally, who the hell dares to come to Deutschland with an electric car from a U.S. auto maker with no history and no tradition of excellence and upset our luxury vehicle gravy train ???

  16. ffbj says:

    It’s mostly an objective opinion concerning which car is better. He gives them both excellent ratings 100% and 90% respectively.

    So according to the head to head contest Tesla wins in every track category, while the interior goes to Mercedes. Exterior design/look to the Tesla. Ride, about equal. So just arithmetically Tesla would win, though with the emphasis the author places on the luxurious and refinement touches that apparently, in his view, make up for the areas where he admits the Tesla is superior.
    So it’s a weighted review because what is more important to him, may not be so for everyone. Still Tesla has admitted they need improvements in their seats, and other aspects of the interior.

  17. Lloyd C says:

    Cherylg: I’ve owned both the s class and now the model s. The s class is like a pretty boring car to drive and only has value as a “look at me, I can afford this.” The model s is the most fun of any car I’ve owned ( I still own two Porsches in my garage that don’t get driven much anymore, and mb gl-450). It sounds like you’re not a “driver” and perhaps the model s is not for you. If you really want to drive in your living room, try a Maybach. Bye the way, Consumer Reports rated the Model S the best overall car they had ever tested.

  18. Nix says:

    One of the problems with the S-Class is the depreciation.

    It gets listed in stories like “10 Cars That Depreciate Like a Stock Market Crash”, and “Cars That Depreciate In Value The Most” by Investopedia, who said:

    “Mercedes-Benz S-Class
    Oddly, this model has taken one of the worst beatings in the depreciation department, with the ability to lose more than 80% of its value in five years. Again, it is an old, respected brand and even the experts can’t figure out why the value has dropped so significantly. ”

    So far we don’t have enough history on the Model S to know what 5 year depreciation will be. But I certainly haven’t been able to find used ones at deep discounts yet….

    1. MDEV says:

      I think the owners of Model S wants to keep their cars with no intention of replacement soon.