Mercedes Benz S-Class First Drive and Review

by under Review on 29 Nov 2013 10:19:51 AM29 Nov 2013
Price Range
$NaN - $NaN
Fuel Consumption
NaNL - NaNL/100km

On Road Dynamics, Comfort Levels, Technology


Blindspot from A-Pillar,

The Mercedes Benz S-Class has always lead the way for the German auto maker and the latest W222 S-Class continues that tradition. Laying claim to the best car in the world title, Mercedes Benz have introduced a raft of safety features, luxury items, comfort upgrades and technology gadgets, to make the car even better.


Previous Mercedes Benz S-Class models have seen world firsts like ABS and Cruise (1978) driver and passenger airbags (1979)ESP and BAS (1996) adaptive brakes, advanced command system, BLIS, Lane Keep Assit (2005).  The latest 2013 model might not have as many world firsts as the previous generation S-Class models but it is still a world leader in refinement, luxury and technology like no other.

Mercedes Benz S-Class Overview

The  Mercedes Benz S-Class will have a staggered launch in to the Australian market with only three models available at launch Mercedes Benz S-Class 350, Mercedes Benz S-Class 500 and the autobahn slaying S 63 AMG.   Midway through 2014 Mercedes Benz will extend the range to include S400 petrol, S 350 hybrid and the S600.


For people who like to be driven the S-Class 350 diesel and S-Class 500 V8 petrol will come in a 'L' variant, the 'L' versions deliver an increased rear passenger area with luxury items like electrically adjustable rear seat, rear climate-control and power-operated rear and side blinds to block the outside world.
Local Mercedes Benz S-Class line-ip at launch:
S350 Bluetec (SWB) $215,000
S350 Bluetec (LWB) $222,500
S500 (SWB) $285,000
S500 (LWB) $310,000
S63 (SWB) $385,000

Mercedes Benz S-Class Engines

Until the full range is unveiled later in 2014, Mercedes Benz have only released Australian specification on the engines that power the S350, S500 and S63 AMG.
The 190kW/620Nm 3.0 litre turbocharged diesel engine leads the charge.  Matched to the excellent 7G-tronic 7-speed dual clutch auto.  Sprinting from 0-100km/h in 6.8 seconds, it can reach a top speed of 210km/h and use only 6.0-litres per 100km.
Middle of the pack is the 4.7 litre bi-turbo petrol V8, producing a 335kW/700Nm it is matched to the same 7G-tronic 7-speed dual clutch auto.  Going from 0-100km/h in a blistering 4.8 seconds, on the way to a top speed of 210km/h.   Fuel consumption on the combined cycle is claimed at 9.2 litres per 100km and a C02 emissions of 215 g/km.
Leading the charge is the AMG's 5.5 litre Direct injection, Bi-turbo petrol V8 engine, producing 430kW/900Nm. The S63 flies from 0-100km/h in only 4.4 seconds, coupled with AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed.  Fuel consumption is 10.2L / 100km on the combined cycle.
All engines in the S-Class range will meet the Euro-6 emissions standard.

Mercedes Benz S-Class Interior

Luxuriously appointed, spacious and a comfort level like no other the Mercedes Benz S-Class is a cocoon of tranquility from the madness of the road.  Whether you choose the Mercedes Benz S-Class as a driver or to be driven in, you won't be disappointed.  


Technology in the S-Class is breathtaking, standard features include a TFT screen with 831,600 pixels featuring a new carousel navigation view, 250GB internal hard drive of which 10GB is dedicated to music, wifi hotspot, DAB radio tuner, SD card slot, 2 x usb and CD/DVD. The S-Class is using the latest NTG5 system that is coupled with a choice of  2 Burmester sound systems.  The standard system is 13 speaker system producing 590watts.  The top of the range Burmester sound system has 24 speakers, 24 channel amp and a massive 1540 watts. The ambient lighting system can be programmed to display seven different colours.
Front seats in the S-Class are all the same with only option being the different types of leather, we really liked the top spec  Exclusive Nappa Leather with diamond stitching.  The understated multifunction 2 spoke steering wheel is of high standard.  The full TFT instrument cluster is clear and easy to read.


Rear seats are a different beast! Depending if you buy a standard or long wheelbase version of the S-Class you have the option of 5 different seats combinations.  If you opt for the Executive seat package you can adjust your seat up to 43.5 degrees, perfect for relaxing.  The built in massage function with six different massage programmes, including two with a warming mode, helps remove executive stress.

Mercedes Benz S-Class Exterior and Styling 

The Mercedes Benz S-Class is no shrinking violet, measuring 5116mm in length (5246mm LWB), 1899mm wide and 1491mm to 1496mm in height depending on variant.  Sitting proud and centre atop the bonnet is the three-pointed star badge, the new larger an upright front grille now measures over a 1-meter wide. All lighting on the car is now LED, in fact there is not one single light bulb in the new S-Class.  Front headlamps have up to 56 LED's while the rear taillights have up to 35 LED's, plus 4 LED's for rear fog lamps.


From the rear you notice the rear coupe like windows and V shaped boot lines that help give the S-Class its regal appearance. From the side profile you will notice the arching roof and belt line, with an additional crease running the length of the car helping give the impression of the car moving forward, even at standstill.
Depending on model the S-Class comes with 18' twin spoke mixed width alloy wheels on the 350 BT, 20' 5 spoke alloy wheels on the S500, and the S63 gets 20 inch AMG 5 twin spoke alloy wheels.

Mercedes Benz S-Class On the Road

The Mercedes Benz S-Class is constructed out of 50% aluminium, which helps the latest S-Class tip the scales at 100kg lighter than model it replaces weighing in at 1955 kilos. New driving safety features include Intelligent Drive, Pre Safe front and Pre Safe rear collision technology that protects occupants from rear and front collisions.  


A number of times when was performing a right turn from a T-intersection,  the blindspot created by the A-pillar was a little unnerving.


On the high speed loop around the Yarra Valley the S-Class 350 and S500 performed effortlessly, it was only on some very tight corners we notice extra body roll from the 'L' models.

Mercedes Benz S-Class Challenges

Besides the blind spot created by A-pillar finding faults in the S-Class is like splitting hairs. No heads-up display is disappointing but Mercedes Benz feel that technology isn't currently good enough to put in their cars. found the use of the scroll wheel for the command centre a little difficult to use because of the location of the keypad for the telephone.

Mercedes Benz S-Class Competition

The luxury large saloon is almost an exclusively European affair with the BMW, Audi and Jaguar playing in this space, with only Lexus laying down a reasonable challenge to the Europeans. 
The British Jaguar XJ offers a starting price from $198,800, but if you want the powerful LWB version you will be looking at $320,000 5.0litre supersport LWB.


Audi A8 starts at $188,000 before climbing up to  $248,700 4.2litre TDI LWB.
BMW 7 Series kicks off at $205,100 for the 3.0litre 730d while the  6.0litre 760Li is a mind blowing $392,000.
The Porsche Panamera also competes against the S-Class starting at $196,700 for the 3.0 diesel before winning the price for the most expensive at $443,600 for the 4.8litre Turbo S.
Not having the European heritage allows Lexus to offer similar levels of technonoly and comfort at a more compteteive price, both the Lexus LS 460 and LS 600h start from around $195,000.

Mercedes Benz S-Class Verdict

It is easy to see why Mercedes Benz can lay claim to the S-Class being the world best car. With techchonoloy changing so fast these days  the Mercedes Benz S-Class may not be the 'Benz that gets all of the technology first, however this doesn't mean the S-Class is any less of a car.
Without a doubt this is one of the finest cars that you will ever have the chance to drive or be driven in.  The array of safety and technical features in the S-Class are mind boggling.
If we had to family tattslotto car then the S-Class would be top of the shopping list.

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