Few cars have the S-Class’ back-seat space but even though you’re paying a lot of money for this uber-luxurious limousine you’ll have to spend extra for heated rear seats
The Mercedes S-Class isn’t just massive on the outside, it’s hugely spacious inside. There’s seemingly endless seat adjustment in the front and absolutely loads of headroom so you’ll have no trouble getting comfortable.
Jump in the back seats and things get even more relaxing. Even in the standard Mercedes S-Class there’s acres of leg room but extended wheelbase L models feel like they’ve been designed with the Harlem Globetrotters in mind. You get loads of head and leg room and the seats are fabulously supportive. For even more comfort, you can upgrade to the ultra-luxurious Executive Pack for extra heating, cooling and electrical adjustment features.
If that seems a little steep, the more modest Rear Seat Reclining package might be more suitable. It comes with almost as many settings for you to tweak but does away with the extensive temperature controls.
If you need to ferry three rear-seat passengers at once, the Mercedes S-Class will be a better bet than the 7 Series. Its central rear seat isn’t quite as comfortable as the outer two but it’s reasonably soft and there’s more space for your central passenger’s feet than you get in a 7 Series.
Fitting a child seat’s reasonably easy, too. The Isofix anchor points are tucked neatly behind a folding leather-trimmed flap and there’s plenty of space to lift in a bulky seat base. The S-Class’ relatively low roofline means you might have to stoop down to strap in a child if you’re very tall, however.
The Mercedes S-Class’ front door bins are big enough to hold a 1.5-litre bottle and a drinks can each and there’s a slot for storing your phone or a pair of sunglasses under a folding flap in the centre console. Pull a tab at the base of this tray and you’ll find a couple of large cupholders hidden neatly out of sight.
There’s space for a few more one-litre bottles under the folding central armrest, in the glovebox and in the rear door bins. You’ll find two extra cupholders in the rear armrest and behind that there’s room for an optional fridge. Well, where else are you going to put the champagne?
The S-Class has loads of rear legroom but for special jobs – perhaps you’re chauffeuring the more vertically superior members of the Game of Thrones cast – you’ll want the extended-legroom L models
The Mercedes S-Class’ 510-litre boot is only very slightly smaller than the 7 Series but it’s a touch more spacious than the new A8’s load bay. Unfortunately, the Mercedes’ boot opening is slightly tighter than in the Audi or BMW and there’s a sizeable boot lip which can make loading bulky items rather difficult.
On a more positive note, you get an elasticated net on both sides of the Mercedes S-Class’ boot to help keep smaller items secure and there’s enough underfloor storage to tuck a soft bag away out of sight – unlike in the 7 Series. The plastic handle for lifting the boot floor feels cheap and tacky, however, and the plastic tether hooks scattered throughout the boot aren’t a patch on the 7 Series’ smart chrome items.
You can’t fold the back seats down in the Mercedes S-Class, 7 Series or the A8 but at least the Audi comes with a handy sliding ski hatch if you need to carry some winter sports kit and a few passengers in the back.
Avoid the optional back-seat fridge if you regularly carry bulky luggage – it cuts into boot space by some 40 litres. Without it, there’s easily enough space for a baby stroller or a few sets of golf clubs.