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The Mercedes S450L combines effortless power, extreme comfort and intense luxury to deliver a dreamy limo experience.

11 May 2018


Creature comforts. Don't we all just crave those? Who doesn't want to be able to go home every night and sink into a $7,999 Osim uInfinity Luxe massage chair? Who doesn't want to fall asleep every night on a $200,000 Hastens Vividus mattress?

This brings us to the facelifted Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the torch bearer in the luxury limo club as far as comfort is concered.

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class is the class leader as far as comfort and refinement is concerned

Wait, didn't you already review an S-Class?

Yes, we actually did. That was the S320L, the entry level model (though it's still no entry level pricetag). This is the S450L.

What the heck?

The big difference is up front - this car packs a 3.0-litre biturbo V6 engine producing 362bhp and 500Nm of torque (94bhp and 100Nm more than the S320L).

The 3.0-litre V6 engine delivers ample power, but in an incredibly civilised and buttery smooth fashion

What else is different? On paper, not very much. Compared to the S320L, the S450L gets the Lane Tracking Package, 64-colour ambient lighting and the rear armrest wireless charging system as standard. Everything else is available as a cost option on both variants (our test car had the AMG Line package, for example, with the fancier looking five-spoke rims).

There's a lot to like, then?

No doubt. The updated interior is delightful. Yes, it's all very sleek and modern and stylish, but at the same time there is a slight playfulness and cheeriness about it. Take for example the ambient lighting - you now have a choice of multi-colour animation, where the lights gradually morph through a spectrum of colours. Completely functionless, but it does inject more character and personality to the cabin.

The modern and luxurious cabin delivers a thoroughly serene experience, thanks to excellent noise insulation

The overwhelming impression, though, is one of comfort and luxury, especially at the back. The rear seats can be electronically reclined. Two rear passengers have their own vanity mirrors, complete with the little light that goes with it. And the legroom, god, the legroom. There's so much legroom that you could easily fit one of those Osim foot massage machines in there. 

Has more power ruined the car's comfort?

Absolutely not. The S-Class still shines as far as comfort goes. It's just insanely comfortable - probably the most comfortable car you can get right now short of a Rolls-Royce. 

The buttery smooth engine in this S450L emits a bare whisper when driven conservatively. Put your foot down and the extra torque does show, with the car accelerating in undramatic, effortless fashion, and yet you're much farther down the road than the noise suggests. It's powerful, but in an entirely unintrusive and intensely civilised manner.

The widescreen cockpit features two 12.3-inch high-definition displays

Speaking of civilised, the noise insulation in the cabin is remarkable. Driving on the highway, we muted the radio and could barely detect any noise beyond some faint background tyre noise. You could hold conversations by whispering and it might already be too loud. 

There are three driving modes available, but just one that you need to know and care about - Comfort. This is the only setting that matters. If you even so much as think about putting the car into Sport mode, then you've bought the wrong car.

The intensely comfortable rear seats are where you really want to be

Problems? Well, just one - sitting in the front seat driving, we can't help but feel a little miffed, simply because we'd rather be in the back seat instead. Don't get us wrong, the car is a joy to drive and sublimely comfortable, but you can't help but think that the person in the back is getting the better end of the deal. 

Isn't the extra power a little excessive?

Honestly, we can't really argue that point. No one absolutely 'needs' this car, because the S320L more than suffices.

And yet, there will always be people who will pay that extra for somewhat excessive creature comforts. This, then, is a car that you buy not to drive, but to be driven in. It's as simple as that. If you want to buy an S-Class and drive it daily, buy the S320L.

The Mercedes S450L is for the more discerning indivdidual who can dream a little bigger and live a little better

The S450L is for those more discerning individuals who can afford the additional extreme creature comforts, who can jump into the rear seats, kick back and just relax. Ahhh, that's the dream, isn't it? 
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Car Information

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Price

: $466,888

Engine Type

:

V6 Bi-Turbo

Engine Cap

:

2996cc

Horsepower

:

270kW (362 bhp) / 6000 rpm

Torque

:

500 Nm / 4000 rpm

Transmission

:

9G-Tronic (A)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

5.4sec

Top Speed

:

250km/h

Fuel consumption

:

12.1 km/L

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