Is the 2017 Mercedes-Benz S 550e Plug-in Hybrid a Good Car?

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz S 550e is a powerful predecessor to today's sport hybrids. But those chasing top-of-the-line efficiency might want to look elsewhere.
Written by Max Werner
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Jul 25, 2022
If you’re in the market for a fun-to-drive plug-in hybrid that’s still relatively affordable, look no further than the
2017 Mercedes-Benz S 550e
. This four-door sedan transforms the much-loved Mercedes-Benz
S-line
into an efficient, eco-friendly package.
It’s hard to find luxury performance in a plug-in vehicle—or it was, until the 2017 Mercedes-Benz S 550e raced onto the hybrid scene. This road-ready powerhouse boasts a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 and 85-kw electric motor, with up to 12 miles on a pure electric charge! 
While the 2017 Mercedes-Benz S 550e originally retailed at $97,525, used prices have it hovering around $57,000.
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2017 Mercedes-Benz S 550e plug-in hybrid

Plenty of hybrids take flashy pride in their unique, futuristic concepts—think harsh angles, colorful palettes, and out-there gimmicks. This is not the Mercedes-Benz S 550e hybrid. 
At first glance, the Mercedes-Benz S 550e looks like any other Mercedes, and that’s not a bad thing! Simple stylings, muted colors, and the classic lifted badge are all here. Take a peek under the hood, however, and the 2017 Mercedes-Benz S 550e seems pulled out of a sci-fi novel.
This luxury sedan packs a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 hybrid-powered engine. It can reach 0-60mph in 5.4 seconds and can drive up 70 miles on a single charge. If you’re after an eye-catching hybrid, the Mercedes-Benz S 550e isn’t for you. 
But if you're looking for subdued, high-function luxury? You’re in the right place.

Pricing

By all accounts—especially the price—the 2017 Mercedes-Benz S 550e is a luxury hybrid. This sedan retailed for $97,525, with additional upgrades easily reaching $130,000.
Today, you can find used 2017 Mercedes-Benz S 550e anywhere between $57,000 and $78,000. While you might be saving at the pump, that’s still a high entry price for a used vehicle. Extremely low-mileage Mercedes-Benz S 550e can hit $81,250—thanks to the high resale value of plug-in hybrids.

Performance and fuel economy

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz S 550e performs well for a luxury sports sedan, and especially for a plug-in hybrid. The twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 can hit 60 mph in 5.4 seconds from a complete stop. And the whole package is ridiculously efficient, with an EPA-estimated 58 mpg combined.
The 8.7-watt lithium-ion battery, found in the trunk, reaches a full charge in about two hours, perfect for those on the move. The battery offers 12 miles of exclusively electric driving, thanks to the 85-kw electric motor.
So, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz S 550e can move fast for a long time. But how does it handle? For Mercedes-Benz S-line fans, this answer won’t surprise you.
The Mercedes-Benz S 550e features top-of-line handling. Brakes, steering, and acceleration are incredibly responsible due to a low center of gravity and the vehicle's immaculate engineered transmission.
You’re not just getting a quick driving machine, either. The 2017 Mercedes-Benz S 550e is smooth because of Magic Ride Control—a front-mounted camera that sets suspension based on the upcoming surfaces. 
Looking forward to comfort mode? You should. It’s a magical experience.

Exterior styling

With 436 horsepower, a hybrid engine, and best-in-class handling, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz S 550e feels like a sports car—but it doesn’t look like one. The 550e’s assumed design consists of an inconspicuous color palette (slack, silver, emerald), smooth curves, and that classic Mercedes style.
Sure, Mercedes adds a few twists here and there, like the 550e tag or hint of blue on the rims. Still, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz S 550e manages to look casually stylish yet subdued.

Interior and comfort

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz S 550e’s interior is a glamorous mix of fun and functional upgrades. Hip space is wide and comfortable, seats are adorned with large cushions and quilted leather, and climate control is advanced and highly customizable.
Additional upgrades grant access to even more luxury accents—like wood and carbon fiber accessories. If that’s enough, try the executive rear-seat package. This trim level offers bucket seats, a reclining rear backset, a central control console, a hot-stone massage function, and heated armrests.
Truly, there’s no limit to the 2017 Mercedes-Benz S 550e’s interior luxury.
Slightly lagging behind is the cargo department. Thanks to a large, trunk-based battery, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz S 550e only has 9.5 cubic feet of storage behind the back seat.
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Technology

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz S 550e has all the latest tech items you’d expect from a modern luxury vehicle—plus a few surprises. The main cabin features a dual 12.3-inch high-resolution screen for both the driver and passenger. Users can connect to their car via the mbrace2 mobile app to check diagnostic data, listen to music, and much more!
Climate control is extremely adaptable. The Cabriolet trim’s airscarf is one standout feature. This upgrade blows air directly on the driver’s neck.
Standard S-class safety technology includes inflatable rear seat belts, adaptive brake lights, and adaptive head restraints. Optional upgrades include the following:
  • Forward-collision warning
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Lane-keeping assist
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Limited autonomous driving functionality
The base 2017 Mercedes-Benz S 550e comes with an array of comfort tech. However, you’ll need to shell out a few extra bucks for the most advanced features.

Warranty coverage

One large draw for a Mercedes-Benz S 550e Plug-in Hybrid is the warranty (or lack thereof). For the 2017 model, Mercedes offered two main warranty coverages:
  • Three-year or 36,000 mile powertrain warranty
  • Six-year or 62,000 mile battery warranty
Though, it's worth mentioning many of these original warranty plans are expired or near expiration for the 2017 plug-in hybrid model.

Trim levels and options

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz S 550e Plug-in Hybrid is itself a trim level for the 2017 Mercedes S-line. This lineup includes the S 500 Cabriolet, S 500 Sedan, S 500 4MATIC Sedan, S 500 4MATIC Coupe, S 500e, and S 600. Highlights of these trim levels are the 4MATIC and the S 600, which add AWD and increase to V12 engine, respectively.
Each base model S-series (cabriolet, sedan, 4matic) shares the same engine but features increasingly luxurious safety and comfort features. For example, the cabriolet trim offers automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assist, while the coupe downsizes to a two-door.
Add-ons of this optional trim level vary from additional interior accents to an executive rear-seat package. The S 600 is the only upgrade to affect performance—with its $173,445 starting price. While not available as a plug-in hybrid, the S 600 sweetens your driving experience with a 523-hp, 6.0-liter V12 engine and seven-speed automatic transmission.

The bottom line

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz S 550e is a standout choice in the luxury plug-in hybrid catalog. While it won’t impress with eye-catching visual flair or next-generation tech, the 550e will go down in history as one of the most capable hybrids ever created.
If you love luxury add-ons or futuristic stylings, look elsewhere. The 2017 Mercedes-Benz S 550e is for hybrid chasers who love to drive. Make no mistake—this is still an S-series sports car, just with the hybrid touch.

2017 Mercedes-Benz S 550e vs. 2022 Audi A7 55 TFSIe

With all this talk of luxury hybrids, you might be wondering: How does the 2017 Mercedes-Benz S 550e stack up against the 2021 Audi A7 55 TSFIe? Pretty well, actually.
Efficient, turbocharged, and affordable, the 2021 Audi A7 55 TSFIe is an agile hybrid sports sedan that can be yours for $69,200. While not as powerful or spacious as the 2017 Mercedes-Benz S 550e, the Audi A7 55 TSFIe is a new car for the same price. Plus, this model comes with a bigger battery and more advanced tech.
If you’re looking for maximum value, the 2022 Audi A7 55 TSFIe is a great option.
Model
Starting price
Fuel economy (gas only)
Fuel economy (gas + electric)
Driving range
Charging time (Level 2)
Hybrid battery warranty
2017 Mercedes-Benz S 550e
$97,525
26 mpg
58 MPGe
14 miles
2 hours
6 years
2022 Audi A7 55 TSFIe
$69,200
27 mpg
70 MPGe
26 miles
2 hours
4 years or 50,000 miles

2017 Mercedes-Benz S 550e vs. 2020 BMW 745e xDrive

Introducing another hybrid luxury contender, the 2020 BMW 745e xDrive. This part fuel, part plug-in sedan gave drivers a green spin on the 7 series BMW starting at $119,875.
With a 0-60 mph time of 4.7 seconds, the 2020 BMW 745e xDrive can drive—and we mean really drive. While handling is ultimately up to personal preference, we’d say this BMW handles just as well, if not better, than the 2017 Mercedes-Benz S 550e. As a newer model, the xDrive also had a bigger battery and quicker electric motor, allowing for a longer range.
One department the BMW 745e xDrive can’t compete in is storage and luxury stylings. There’s just something unmistakably cool about the 2017 Mercedes-Benz S 550e subdued look. And, while a bigger battery means less time at the pump, it makes for a minuscule storage capacity of only 3 cubic feet.
Model
Starting price
Fuel economy (gas only)
Fuel economy (gas + electric)
Driving range
Charging time (Level 2)
Hybrid battery warranty
2017 Mercedes-Benz S 550e
$97,525
26 mpg
58 MPGe
14 miles
2 hours
6 years
2020 BMW 745e xDrive
$95,550
22 mpg
56 MPGe
16 miles
4.5 hours
8 years or 80,000 miles

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