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Mercedes-Benz has proved itself to be a master of luxury barges with its latest S-Class, packed with top-level features and comfort abilities that not many competitors can match.

21 May 2021


For a long time now, there is only one luxury barge to pick. It is the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

But as of late, the competition has been fighting hard, with the likes of the BMW 7 Series and the Audi A8 that are packed with features and abilities to match.

In fact, I wasn't confident that the new S-Class could deliver. With the numerous compact offerings launched in recent years, Mercedes appears to have spent plenty of attention on these models.

But with this current iteration of the S-Class, it shows that Mercedes hasn't forgotten how to make one.

From its looks?

The S-Class is quite restrained in its looks, quite unlike the BMW 7 Series
But first impressions matter. With that, many will be confused if this is the new E-Class based on looks alone.

Step to its side, though, and the Merc shows its sizeable presence. At 5,289mm long for this long wheelbase variant, the S-Class is extensive. No way you'd confuse this with the E-Class from here.

There is still a lot of restraint, though. The grille, while massive, isn't going to offend other road users like how the BMW 7 Series would. But it still offers a ton of road presence, which is what you'd expect from a car like the S-Class.

Step closer, and the hidden door handles pop out. If it is any indication, the car really shows why Merc is the best in the business, especially when you step inside.

This is something else...

Fancy displays are great and add to the wow factor of the car, but here they're pretty usable and intuitive to use
Mercedes has a thing with interiors nowadays, don't they? The S-Class is no different. From ambient lighting effects to the vast array of screens available, it is what you can expect when you're in a Mercedes today.

But they usually aren't the most usable, practical interiors.

The whole Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) system for example can be finicky and complicated to use. But in the S-Class, it is a new and updated MBUX system. And it works.

Take the 11.9-inch display that sits in the centre console for example. It looks highly complicated, but it is in fact easy to use. Certain vehicle functions such as air-conditioning are permanently displayed and can be directly accessed in every menu.

Another option available on the S-Class is to have these augmented reality road signs pop up as part of the head-up display
It is only when you dive through the system that you get a sense of the fitting expanse of functions and abilities the S-Class offers. Things such as setting your seating position according to your height (also found in the E-Class), or how it displays road signs in augmented reality while you go about town. 

Yet if you ignore these fancy bits, the S-Class still is luxurious. Cabin materials are top-notch and fitment is achingly good. It is the simple stuff, like how the electric seat controls feel like a solid piece of metal instead of a basic switch.

In fact, spend any amount of time in another Mercedes - or BMW or Audi for that matter - and you will notice the marked difference in quality the new S-Class puts out.

The lushious and spacious back seats offer a lot for those who prefer to be driven in an S-Class
At the back, it is the same story. Two will find themselves very comfortable here with the luscious seat cushions and adjustable seating configurations.

Not to forget the endless amount of legroom - this is an S-Class after all.

Top class ride

If that cushy and comfy cabin says anything, is that the S-Class is one comfortable car. And on the road it shows.

And it isn't just a good suspension setup. A lot of the systems in the S-Class work together to keep the ride quality in check.

Smooth and buttery, the 3.0-litre turbocharged in-line six adds to the comfort abilities of the S-Class
Also in check is its 3.0-litre straight-six engine. Putting out 362bhp and 500Nm of torque to all four wheels, it is no slouch.

It is also assisted by Merc's mild hybrid EQ Boost tech, offering up to 250Nm of torque from the word go. This means all 500Nm of torque is offered from a low 1,600rpm.

The car deals with it in the classiest of ways, and the sensation of power is dolled out in a gentle and effective manner.

EQ Boost isn't all about power, though. It allows the engine to turn off while coasting down expressways. And when you get going again, it powers the engine on with almost zero vibration.

It is the combination of many things that makes the S-Class ride so elegantly and comfortably
These elements, including the air suspension that works tremendously well to soak up terrible tarmac, are enough to make the S-Class possibly the most refined car out on the road today.

Still top class

I've known people who, after driving an S-Class over a predetermined number of years, find themselves in a new one. They sometimes go for the other German competitors, but they'll soon find themselves back in an S-Class again.

There's nothing quite like it. An indispensible tool, almost, for high-quality motoring. Anything else, and you'd be shelling out more than a million dollars for a Rolls-Royce or a Bentley.

The S-Class once again comes out tops - its competitiors have a lot of catching up to do
The S-Class has always been known for having the edge when it comes motoring excellence. But that isn't easy in this day and age, where technological achievements are available across the range of any given manufacturer.

But here, Mercedes has proved once again that it knows how to make an S-Class, well, an S-Class. Features and tech might be something most can catch up to, but the level of refinement and outright quality that the S-Class offers both inside and on the road is still something not many can match.

Car Information

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Mercedes-Benz S-Class Mild Hybrid S450L 4MATIC (A)
Rate it

Price

: $516,888

Engine Type

:

6-cylinder in-line 24-valve Twin-Turbocharged

Engine Cap

:

2999cc

Horsepower

:

-

Torque

:

500 Nm / 4500 rpm

Transmission

:

9G-Tronic (A)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

5.1sec

Top Speed

:

250km/h

Fuel consumption

:

11.8 km/L

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