First drive review: Mercedes S 350 (2013) | Sunday Times Driving

14 Dec 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on First drive review: Mercedes S 350 (2013) | Sunday Times Driving
Mercedes S 350

First drive review: S 350 (2013)

Ask Mercedes-Benz to describe its new and you’ll get a slightly trite-sounding “Perfection.” The good news, at for a hack with 1,200 to write, is that the latest of Mercedes’ standard-bearer falls of that.

The bad news for BMW, Jaguar, Lexus, Range and any other brand hoping to Mercedes from its dominance of the car market is that the S-class has even further ahead of the

The options list alone some idea of how far this car the art of the luxury limousine. You can choose that uses cameras to the road ahead and adjust its to absorb every bump. In versions you can specify a front and seat that recline and to create the closest thing to a bed crash legislation will

There are seats that simulate a hot-stone massage and that allow you to warm kidneys and cool your at the same time. Or vice Even the armrests are heated.

A dispenser hasn’t been since the days of the dreaded Feu but the big Benz has one whose perfumed are claimed to be too big to cling to your It’s almost disappointing you turn on the cruise control little mechanical hands pop out of the pedals and give your a quick polish.

Most of all the options is the Burmester 3D surround-sound system. It pumps the power of the system up from 100W to and blasts it through 24 speakers around the interior of the car, the footwells to the headlining.

But a luxury car cannot be defined by the of its equipment list, and, all the technical wizardry, Mercedes has played quite safe the new S-class. Although it is correct to it a new car, it has retained the previous wheelbase. At launch there be a choice of three engines — one one diesel and one petrol hybrid, seven-speed automatic transmission for

It will be next year there’s a diesel hybrid or AMG and the year after that new nine-speed gearboxes are available.

The has taken a big step forwards TFT (thin-film transistor) dials and a central screen that the Comand operating system. unquestionably more advanced anything else on the market but I’m not that it’s an improvement.

was invented to reduce dashboard while maintaining ease of but the S-class now requires so many to allow you, for example, to your air ioniser or change the instrument lighting that it close to capacity. If, for instance, you navigation instructions on the screen and to select the next music on your playlist, it requires a of three operations. I’d rather press a button.

Even so, reputations among such as this are not built on efficiency. The twin towers of car capability are ride and refinement, and ability to make a car quieter and comfortable best explains how it to be the class leader more 20 years ago and has stayed there On its deathbed the old S-class still better than any Audi, or BMW, and this new one has taken the step.

Even if you don’t in the road-reading cameras, the S-class like nothing this of a Rolls-Royce. All you need do is watch how the car in bobs over each and wait to see how the S-class copes. and again you’ll think you the obstacle altogether until you that somewhere between the and your body it was soaked up by the extraordinary suspension.

As for refinement, the company states it is simply the most aerodynamically and quietest car in the sector; after hours at the wheel, I have no to doubt it.

It must also be the Collision and lane-keeping alerts are new, but the S-class has been a new suite of safety armour. include rear seatbelts are airbags in disguise and rear-facing that can tell if you’re to be rear-ended and will tighten belts and jam on the brakes before

The car can even keep a lookout as you junctions to see if you’re about to be and brake to a halt to prevent it.

Technologically, then, the S-class is the de force its rivals feared it be. There may be little new from the or gearbox, but even the cheapest S-class provides stirring and class-leading fuel consumption and

Mercedes S 350

Subjectively, though, there is cause for hope among the For however impressive the S-class is, it what all S-classes have been: a machine tool for a specific job better than any car similar money can buy. it is not is an object of desire.

The sense of that greets you when you see a Jaguar XJ or Range Rover, and open the door and view a stylish and inviting interior, is the one of the S-class puzzle that down the back of Mercedes’ You’d prefer to drive in the Merc, but you’d want to in the Jag or the Rangie. It is the one factor standing the S-class and a five-star verdict.

This won’t bother unduly, because this is the start of its S-class adventure. earlier generations that stood alone, this one spawn an ultra-long wheelbase — to replace the Maybach — a six-door a coupé and a convertible. One senses it stop until total of every corner of the luxury car has been achieved.

What you see is just the first step, and it is in the right direction.

Verdict

Not the most desirable in the class, but the

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