Independent review by Peter Hayward from Driving Force
- Remarkable ride comfort
- Excellent road-holding
- Classy looks
- Most powerful variants are thirsty
- Expensive to run
- Hybrid variants have reduced boot space
What's the Mercedes-Benz S-Class like?
Few cars are more superbly comfortable and capable than the Mercedes S-Class, which has regularly been at the top of the luxury car league for years, often cited as the ‘best car in the world’.
However, they're almost all thirsty, expensive to insure, and costly to fix when they go wrong.
The flagship of the Mercedes-Benz brand has always showcased new technology, and it offers pretty much the last word in luxury, pace and refinement, while also managing to be as good to drive as it is to be chauffeured in.
From 2014 to 2019, there was a wide range of engines, including two diesels and three hybrids, and all drove through a very smooth-changing 9-speed automatic gearbox.
The standard wheelbase was only available in a few cars, and all the rest had the longer version with huge rear legroom.
The two diesels have the same 3.0-litre V6. The S350d has 254bhp and a 0 to 60mph time of 6.6 seconds, with 50mpg.
The S300h is a diesel/electric hybrid with 227bhp, 0 to 60mph in 7.4 seconds and 61mpg.
The smallest petrol models – the S450 and S500 - both have a 3.0-litre engine, producing 361 or 428bhp and covering the 60mph sprint in 4.9 or 4.6 seconds. They both have an average of 36mpg.
There was also a 4.7-litre V8 S500 with 448bhp, which got to 0 to 60mph in the same time as the 3.0-litre and 32mpg.
And then comes the S600, which has a 5.5-litre V8 and 576bhp, and gets to 60mph in 4.0 seconds. At best, this will do 25mpg.
The S400h hybrid is petrol electric and has 328bhp. It covers the sprint in 6.6 seconds and could do 42mpg, while the plug-in hybrid S500h has a total of 442bhp, covers the sprint in approximately 5.0 seconds, and is rated at 128mpg. This model can cover about 30mph on battery power alone.
Driving Experience and Interior
Needless to say, a car at this level has superb refinement in all situations and marvellous comfort over any and every surface.
Yet, it also handles much better than most drivers would believe, with informative steering and very good grip and road-holding.
The interior is beautiful, stylish, and sophisticated, blending classic and modern touches seamlessly.
Trim levels seem to go with engine choices and all have a wide range of kit. Mid-range AMG Line has keyless start and entry, 19-inch alloys, cruise control, heated leather electric front seats with lumbar adjustment and memory, parking sensors, rearview camera, adaptive LED headlights, and an excellent infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, sat nav, and a wireless smartphone charger.
It also has self-adjusting air suspension, multifunction leather steering wheel, electrically adjustable steering column, metallic paint and wood trim.
All are very safe and have loads of electronic wizardry to keep you on the straight and narrow.
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