When you think of a large luxury sedan, the car you probably think of is an S class Mercedes. Special contributor Brian Armstead previewed the redesigned S class earlier this year in an exotic locale. Now, what is it like to drive in our area?
Just open the door and you can see that the interior invites you in and is a special place. It is welcoming and really stands out in the optional Carmine Red and Black Nappa leather. Grab a seat in ultra-comfortable heated/ventilated and massaging seats and the stress that comes along with any long journey simply melts away.
There are also relaxation tips and short workouts that you can pull up if you find yourself stuck in traffic. Sitting in the back seat is also luxurious, featuring all the comfort of the front seats without the hassle of driving. The interior is covered in leather, wood and aluminum trim that’s a pleasure to experience. It looks great, and it feels nice to touch. Mercedes gives the S class some high tech with the 3D technology package. You get augmented reality head-up display and a 3D instrument panel. It is very impressive.
The S500 sedan continues the tradition of Mercedes’ flagship when it comes to the styling. It is a long-stretched body sedan, but with a more modern look than previous S class models. The new nose sports a distinctive grill and sleek LED headlight clusters. And, of course, it still carries the familiar Mercedes hood ornament.
The power door handles make it easy to get in and out and give the S class a sleek look when retracted. The optional AMG 21-inch wheels and AMG body styling kit give the Mercedes a touch of sport to go along with the luxurious lines of the Benz.
The S500 4Matic I drove comes packing an in-line six-cylinder turbo engine as well as a mild-hybrid system to get the job done. With 429 horsepower, the big sedan never seemed underpowered, even with all seats filled. While cruising, you would be hard pressed to hear the engine, and only faintly at higher revs.
The nine-speed automatic is a very smooth operator, and it always seems to be in the correct gear. The ride, even with large wheels, was very pleasant. Nasty bumps become a distant memory and are not really felt in the S Class. While a supremely silent cruiser, the Benz will tackle a back road without feeling like a soft luxury car. This is thanks to the optional E-Body control that keeps the S500 body from leaning into turns. It also drives like a smaller car, thanks to the rear axle that turns the rear wheels slightly when you turn the steering wheel.
Cost: $111,100; as tested $140,440
MPG: 21 mpg city and 30 mpg highway; I managed 24.7 mpg in 406 miles of mixed driving.
Safety: Active brake assist; attention assist; adaptive highbeam assist; crosswind stabilization; blind spot assist; surround view camera; Parktronic with active parking assist; pre-safe/pre-safe sound; active distance assist DISTRONIC; active and evasive steering assist; active blind spot assist; active lane keeping & lane change assist; active brake assist with cross-traffic function; congestion emergency braking & stop assist; PRE-SAFE impulse side & PRE-SAFE plus; route-based speed adaptation; active stop-and-go assist with extended restart in stop-and-go traffic
Options: $5,400 Carmine Red/Black Exclusive Nappa leather; $850 stainless steel metal blended fabric black/silver; $1,300 rear axle steering 4.5 degree; $1,950 21” AMG wheels; $6,500 E-Active body control; $790 active ambient lighting; $1,800 warmth and comfort package; $400 night package; $3,000 3D technology package; $4,300 AMG line $1050 destination and delivery
Things to know: The S500 is a large luxury sedan that uses style, space and technology to lead the way forward for other Mercedes models.
- Latest technology and safety features
- Plenty of power and mild hybrid system allows for decent MPG for a large luxury car.
- A hushed cabin makes this an excellent road trip ride.
- The price is high and adds up quickly with options.
- There is a learning curve for the technology.
- There is no ultrapowerful AMG version of the S Class.