New Mercedes S-Class Review
In its day, the Mercedes S-Class was heralded as the best car in the world. Well, not much for the new S-Class to live up to then; and boy oh boy, does it live up to it.
When Mercedes release a new model there is always a great deal of interest, but when Mercedes launch a new S-Class that interest can be multiplied tenfold. Mercedes have always used the S-Class as a showpiece for new technology. So if you want tomorrow's technology today take a long hard look at the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
This is an absolutely phenomenal piece of engineering, when Mercedes were designing and testing the new S-Class, over eight million kilometres were driven by over two thousand drivers, but they didn't just rely on them, they also put in aircraft type black boxes that recorded exactly how the S-Class was performing. The result is superb luxury, phenomenal performance and an absence of any noise from the outside world.
Although the new S-Class is longer, higher and wider than the previous model it replaces and the chassis has been stiffened adding weight, Mercedes have made use of aluminium panels including the boot lid, doors, bonnet and wings in an effort to reduce the overall weight.
Technological advances include brake assist plus, a system that recognises how far away the vehicle is in front of you by means of radar and if you are not braking hard enough to avoid a collision the brake pressure is increased to slow you down quicker. The adaptive brake system amongst other things improves braking in the wet and also has a hill hold system. Cockpit management and navigation display (COMAND) looks at first glance very much like the BMW i-Drive although it is far, far simpler to operate. The Pre-safe system is a further technological advancement that adds to the S-Class's safety arsenal, recognising when a collision or impact is inevitable, the Pre-safe system automatically closes the windows (if they are open) to avoid occupants or their limbs from being ejected through the aperture, seat belts pre-tension, the seats adjust to the most favourable position and air cushions within the seats inflate to give passengers the best protection. Distronic plus calculates the distance from you to the vehicle in front and automatically and will even bring the vehicle to a halt if necessary, as the traffic begins to move again this clever piece of kit will accelerate you back to your required speed. Parking sensors on the S-Class also make use of radar and have a far greater range than ultrasonic sensors. Finally the night assist system that is used for the first time on the S-Class, two infrared headlamps illuminate the road ahead and a camera mounted inside the windscreen records and relays this image, which is displayed in the instrument panel. This system extends the drivers visibility to over 150 metres when using dipped beam.
The interior is everything you would expect, a cornucopia of soft leather and wood, cosset the occupants, giving an unbelievably pleasurable ride and four-zone climate control ensures all the occupants feel as comfortable as possible regardless of the weather conditions.
Three petrol engines are currently available alongside a single diesel, entry level for the petrol-powered derivatives is the S-350, this has a 268 bhp, 3.5 litre V6 and can accelerate from 0 - 62 mph in 7.2 seconds. Powering the S-500 is a 383 bhp, 5.5 litre V8, 0 - 62 mph is achieved in 5.6 seconds. Finally in the petrol line up is the S-600, a 517 bhp, 5.5 litre twin turbo V12 hides under the bonnet of the S-600 and you will reach 62 mph from a standing start in just 5.3 seconds. The single diesel model is the S-320 CDi this model has a 235 bhp, 3.0 litre turbo diesel engine, the time taken to travel from 0 - 62 mph for this model is 7.5 seconds. All models except the S-600 use the Mercedes 7G-Tronic 7-speed automatic gearbox, the S-600 uses a five speed automatic to handle the immense amount of torque. Top speeds have been electronically limited to 155 mph for all the petrol powered derivatives and the diesel tops out at 148 mph.
All S-Class models except the S-600 are available in either standard or long wheelbase format (or as Mercedes prefers to call it limousine), the S-600 is only available in limousine format.
Best car in the world? You'll have to make your own mind up on that, but one thing is for sure, you are going to have to look very hard to find one that is better.
Like the looks of the Mercedes S-Class why not check out the BMW 7-Series, the Audi A8 or the Lexus GS 450H.
Finance your new Mercedes S-Class on a PCP car loan work out your monthly payments using our Car Finance Payment Calculator.