X

2009 Mercedes-Benz S550 photos

Although two years into its product cycle, the S550 is still a tech powerhouse, with features such as adaptive cruise control and night vision to set it apart from the pack.

Wayne_Cunningham.jpg
Wayne_Cunningham.jpg

Wayne Cunningham

See full bio
33680079_OVR_540.jpg
1 of 18 Corinne Schulze/CNET
When Mercedes-Benz launched its updated S-class as a 2007 model, it showed off some astounding new tech, including night vision and adaptive cruise control that can bring the car to a full stop. Two years later, not many automakers have caught up with this kind of tech, although Mercedes-Benz hasn't quite caught up in the areas of iPod integration and Bluetooth phone support.
33680079_FT_540.jpg
2 of 18 Corinne Schulze/CNET
The exterior of the S550 presents a unique style for a sedan. Subtle fender arches evoke an older, classic style while the curved roofline and grille lend a modern look. Not many modern sedans stand out like the S550.
33680079_SS01_540.jpg
3 of 18 Corinne Schulze/CNET
The 2009 S550 relies on the same 5.5-liter V-8 launched for the 2007 model. It's not great on fuel economy, but does an excellent job moving the car with its 382 horsepower and 391 pound-feet of torque.
33680079_SD_540.jpg
4 of 18 Corinne Schulze/CNET
Although not a stretched version, the S550 offers generous room in back without compromising the front seating areas.
33680079_SS02_540.jpg
5 of 18 Corinne Schulze/CNET
This model is equipped with an expensive sport package that adds AMG wheels. The car also comes with an air suspension with an Active Body Control option. The result is a suspension that can go from comfort to sport modes at the push of a button.
33680079_SS03_540.jpg
6 of 18 Corinne Schulze/CNET
With the suspension set in comfort mode, the S550 floats over rough roads, keeping passenger discomfort to a minimum. In hard cornering, the Active Body Control keeps body roll to a minimum.
33680079_SS04_540.jpg
7 of 18 Corinne Schulze/CNET
As befits the S550's level of luxury, the trunk opens and closes automatically. And there is plenty of room to load in suitcases or golf bags.
33680079_INT_540.jpg
8 of 18 Corinne Schulze/CNET
Mercedes-Benz does a great job on the interior design, keeping buttons to a minimum. And the switchgear that is present is mostly metal, instead of plastics that would cheapen the look of the cabin.
33680079_SS05_540.jpg
9 of 18 Corinne Schulze/CNET
Despite some of the S550's sporting elements, the steering is very light, and doesn't offer much road feedback.
33680079_SS09_540.jpg
10 of 18 Corinne Schulze/CNET
The S550 comes standard with navigation, high-end audio, and a phone system. This big metal knob is the hardware portion of the Comand interface, which lets you select the various cabin tech functions on the car's LCD.
33680079_SS06_540.jpg
11 of 18 Corinne Schulze/CNET
The S550 can be had with a number of optional driver aids, such as adaptive cruise control, called Distronic Plus by Mercedes-Benz. It lets you set a cruise control speed, but will slow the S550 down to match the speed of slower cars ahead.
33680079_SS07_540.jpg
12 of 18 Corinne Schulze/CNET
A new driver aid for Mercedes-Benz is blind spot warning. Here you can see a red triangle lit up in the sideview mirror, indicating a car in the lane next to the S550.
33680079_SS08_540.jpg
13 of 18 Corinne Schulze/CNET
Night vision is one of the more remarkable technologies in the S550. The car has an infrared camera and projector mounted in front, with the camera receiving infrared light bounced off objects ahead of the car. It lets you see much further in dark situations than you can with the naked eye.
33680079_SS17_540.jpg
14 of 18 Corinne Schulze/CNET
Massage seats makes long journeys more comfortable in the S550, as rollers move up and down your back. You can choose from four settings for different types of massage.
33680079_SS10_540.jpg
15 of 18 Corinne Schulze/CNET
The S550 gets a new navigation system from the one offered at launch. This hard-drive-based system has high-resolution maps and performs quickly. It also shows traffic conditions, but unfortunately doesn't warn about traffic jams on the road ahead.
33680079_SS15_540.jpg
16 of 18 Corinne Schulze/CNET
The interface for Sirius satellite radio has a nice design, reminiscent of an old radio tuner. Mercedes-Benz also offers HD Radio.
33680079_SS12_540.jpg
17 of 18 Corinne Schulze/CNET
A six-disc CD changer sits hidden behind a panel in the stack. It can read MP3 CDs as well as DVDs.
33680079_SS13_540.jpg
18 of 18 Corinne Schulze/CNET
You can watch DVDs on the main LCD when the car is stopped. Although a small screen, the image is good.

More Galleries

2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More
John Cena attends Warner Bros. premiere of The Suicide Squad, in costume as Peacemaker.

2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

95 Photos
The Best Games on Nintendo Switch in 2022
zelda-cnet-2.jpg

The Best Games on Nintendo Switch in 2022

36 Photos
The 51 Best VR Games
astro-bot-rescue-mission-screen-02-ps4-us-18may18

The 51 Best VR Games

53 Photos
Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More
thor4

Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

85 Photos
2023 Toyota Highlander Adds Turbo Power to Lower Emissions
2023 Toyota Highlander

2023 Toyota Highlander Adds Turbo Power to Lower Emissions

25 Photos
Hubble and James Webb Space Telescope Images Compared: See the Difference
james-webb-seq-00-14-05-10-still002

Hubble and James Webb Space Telescope Images Compared: See the Difference

12 Photos
DIY scratched screen repair: Magic and myths
img9412.jpg

DIY scratched screen repair: Magic and myths

10 Photos