Mercedes S-Class Saloon Review
The Mercedes S-Class is a supremely classy luxury car that should be relaxing to drive and have a very comfortable interior. However, it will need to up its tech game to stand out from some alternatives
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The Mercedes S-Class is one of the best, most luxurious cars you can buy. And now there’s an all-new version coming soon. The S-Class is a pioneer for the company, because it always releases its latest technology on its most luxurious saloon before it filters down through the rest of the range.
Still, using the latest tech in this luxurious high-tech limo is always special – it’s like hearing music as it was meant to be played by a live orchestra rather streamed on your phone.
The S-Class has been updated for 2021 so it comes with even more to set it apart from an Audi A8, BMW 7 Series or Lexus LS.
It doesn’t look radically different from the outgoing model, mind you, but it does feature quite a few traits shared with other recently updated Mercedes models. The new grille and rounder headlights look like they’ve been lifted from the latest E-Class, for example.
From the side, the new S-Class has fewer creases than the old car. This makes it look smoother, but also a little like an elongated E-Class. And, at the back, the new brake lights look very similar to the triangular lights you get on a CLS.
Thankfully, the new S-Class looks completely different from any other Mercedes on the inside. The first thing you’ll notice is the new touchscreen.
This huge screen replaces 27 of the old S-Class’s physical buttons, including the central touchpad.
The touchscreen can tell where your finger is even before you’ve pressed it, however, and it gets haptic feedback which should make it pretty easy to use on the move. You can even lock the screen using fingerprint or face recognition so there’s no chance of your passengers fiddling with anything while you’re out of the car.
If they do manage to mess with your settings, the ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice control system will automatically recognise your voice and reset everything just how you like it. And Mercedes has hidden a load of sensors inside the new S-Class that can tell where you’re looking at all times. Twist your head to look out of the back, for example, the car will automatically open the rear sunblind so you can see out.
You can get the S-Class interior with a load of different trims, including a gorgeous wooden design with vertical metal bars. It looks like a vintage speed boat got frisky with a grand piano.
All this wood looks especially good with the car’s new mood lighting turned on. And, just like before, you can get the S-Class with a panoramic glass roof to make its massive cabin feel even airier inside.
The S-Class might look nearly identical to the cheaper E-Class, but its quality shines through
Initially, the new Mercedes S-Class will be available with four six-cylinder, three-litre engines – two petrol and two diesels. All with a nine-speed automatic gearbox.
In terms of petrol engines, there’s an S450 with 367hp and a more powerful S500 with 435hp. Both of these come with a mild-hybrid system. This uses a 22hp electric motor that can take over from the engine when you’re cruising to save fuel, and give the engine a boost when you accelerate hard.
If you fancy a diesel, there are two to choose from – the 286hp S350d or the S400d. None of them are what you’d call slow or particularly economical, but if you regularly drive long distances one of the diesels would make most sense – even if it’s just to give you a longer range between fill ups.
There are further choices to be made whether you want rear- or four-wheel-drive, standard wheelbase or long wheelbase.
But you’ll have to wait a bit longer for the S-Class plug-in hybrid, called the S580e. There’ll also be an S580 petrol model with a 500hp 4.0-litre V8 and a faster S63 version to go up against the BMW M760Li and Audi S8.
The new limousine comes with some unique safety features. For starters, there’s an optional back-seat airbag that gives passengers in the back of long-wheelbase models similar protection to the driver in a head-on collision.
It is also capable of level-3 autonomous driving, meaning it can accelerate, brake, steer and change lanes for you on motorways.
We’re yet to drive the Mercedes S-Class but will let you know what it’s like as soon as we do. Meantime check out the top 10 things you need to know about the new S-Class by tapping on the video below.
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