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MERCEDES-BENZ S-Class Saloon

| First Drive | Stuttgart, | Mercedes-Benz S-Class |

It may not look it from the outside, but Mercedes has busy giving its S-Class saloon a mid-life refresh. A bit of and polish has been applied to the of the big saloon, but most of the effort has spent on the cabin and mechanical As the S-Class is already the leader in car sales, is this gilding the or consolidating the Mercedes’s position as the choice for luxury car buyers?


In the

You’re going to need to into your Mercedes to spot the exterior changes to the S-Class. The radiator grille has a more pronounced ‘V’ and the front bumper now has the de rigueur LED running lights. At the rear, the pipes are now oval and integrated the lower line of the bumper, LED lights are now more obvious.

about your lot for the exterior, so the remains imposing if not outright when you see it glide past.

On the inside, the changes are just as There’s a new SplitView display set in the dash that is part of the information package. This the one screen to show the satellite display to the driver and the television to the yet neither can see the other’s screen, so the is not distracted by the television.

Mercedes has crammed in all of its latest driver which we’ve recently introduced on the E-Class saloon and So, we have Attention Assist to the driver if he is becoming drowsy; Keeping Assist to tell the if the car is wandering over lines in the and Night View Assist that helps spot in the dark.

What you get for your

Arguably, what you get is the best car in the world, pound for pound. a Rolls-Royce Phantom may have the on rear legroom and overall interior ambience, but the fact the costs almost a fifth of the of the Rolls to begin with, yet can be considered in the same breath, is a to the Merc’s brilliance. All of the luxury and goodies you’d expect are all and correct in the S-Class, so the front are adjusted electrically, heated and and the driving position is spot on for of all shapes and sizes. In the back, ample legroom, as well as of space for elbows and heads, so in the rear of the S-Class is a truly class experience.

Or you can opt for the long wheelbase version for more space to stretch out legs.

As well as the safety mentioned above, the revised benefits from Distronic to keep the S-Class a set distance the car in front using the brakes. The system also warns the if the Merc is too close to the car in front and in of a collision. It sounds a warning and the brakes 0.6 seconds before the senses an impact is imminent to reduce the severity of the crash. also Merc’s Active Control (ABC) that now has a to keep the S-Class more in crosswinds. This is standard on the S 600 L and an for the rest of the range, and it works by the ABC suspension to vary the load on wheel to keep the car more

Finally, Merc’s tech-fest is off by the catchily named Torque Brake, which is a fancy way of the car will apply the brakes to the rear wheel if it feels the wheels are washing wide in a This helps the S-Class its line into a corner and is on all revised S-Class models.

it

With so much technology and systems crammed into the new there is a danger that thing could be more to drive than the Space Thankfully, the S-Class is as easy to into and waft away in as it has been. The driver’s seat is bit as cosy and comfortable as the others in the cabin, while the view out is and uncluttered. The simple column-mounted selector slots home while paddles on the steering give the driver some control on twisty roads or hill descents.

As for all that You barely notice it and it’s to switch off some of the systems if you them intrusive. We didn’t these systems as obvious driving as we have in recent of the E-Class.

The rest of the cabin is as user-friendly as it has been in this generation of which makes it a sumptuous to be.

On every type of road, the impresses with its svelte quality, which pours over pockmarked roads. is impressively absent from the and wind, even when at the upper reaches of the S-Class’s band on the autobahn. There is a diesel burr from the S 350 CDi’s engine when around town, but it’s not and the improvements in economy and emissions it more than easy to

MERCEDES-BENZ S-Class Saloon

The seven-speed automatic gearbox is smooth, though it can be slow to when the driver wants to get a on.

In changing from S 320 CDi to 350 CDi, the S-Class will still for around 80 percent of S-Class but the new car offers 37.2mpg compared to in the previous model, while dioxide emissions drop 220g/km to 199g/km. With of torque spread between and 2,400rpm, the S 350 CDi is no slouch and sees off in 7.8 seconds. The other three in the range are all petrol units 350 V6, 500 V8 and 600 V12 — and all pull off the same of lowering emissions while economy.

Performance goes from to outright fast depending on engine you choose for the S-Class, but the refinement that leaves a impression.

Worth Noting

The that stands out here for us is Mercedes is not planning to bring the S 400 model to the UK any time soon. The line is that, as the diesel accounts for the bulk of British there’s little point the Hybrid into the market. emissions of 186g/km and 39.1mpg economy, the benefits of the S 400 over the S 350 CDi are but a brief drive in this suggests it’s the best of worlds: diesel economy petrol performance and refinement.

A 3.5-litre V6 provides most of the but the electric motor gives a boost, along with an 18lb.ft of torque when

Mercedes is rightly proud of the S 400 as it uses a hybrid module between the engine and gearbox to the battery. This battery is a item, which makes the S 400 the world’s first series car to use this technology.

Summary

Mercedes has been careful with the revisions to the which reaches UK showrooms in Expect prices to be slightly up on the models’. but this is very to do any harm to the S-Class’ position as the one seller in the luxury market. more safety kit and better and emissions, so the Mercedes S-Class its place at the head of the luxury car

Alisdair Suttie — 15 May

MERCEDES-BENZ S-Class Saloon
MERCEDES-BENZ S-Class Saloon
MERCEDES-BENZ S-Class Saloon
MERCEDES-BENZ S-Class Saloon
MERCEDES-BENZ S-Class Saloon
MERCEDES-BENZ S-Class Saloon

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