In-depth reviews

Mercedes S-Class saloon - Interior & comfort

Jump between a super yacht and the S-Class, and you'll feel right at home

Carbuyer Rating

4.5 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.0 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Interior & comfort Rating

4.5 out of 5

The S-Class is renowned for its excellent ride quality but we're sad to say there’s been a step back for the latest version. There's still the feel of floating just above the road surface much of the time but some potholes and ridges can send a shudder through the interior. It's possible the 21-inch alloy wheels of our test car didn't help, so cars with smaller wheels will hopefully be smoother.

Super yachts have been a large part of the design inspiration inside, and the parallels include the highly polished wooden trim and quilted leather upholstery. Other features you won't find in many lesser models include an 'energising' system with six modes, which is able to adjust the ambient lighting, seats, climate control and even the scent diffused into the car. Using compatible smartwatches and phones, it can even measure your stress levels and respond accordingly.

Mercedes S-Class dashboard

The S-Class' dashboard is very different to before, featuring a next-generation version of the MBUX infotainment system with up to five separate screens. The focal point is a 12.8-inch OLED portrait display with haptic feedback. Thanks to its ability to control almost every aspect of the car, 27 buttons have been consigned to the parts bin, and its software can be updated over-the-air.

A new instrument display gets 3D graphics and augmented reality directions for the sat nav, helping to place directions on a camera view of the road ahead. There's a new steering wheel with touch sensitive zones and Interior Assist, which can recognise your movements, turning on a light if you reach over to an empty part of the interior, for example. It's clever stuff, even if not all of it is convincing in reality. We think 2D screens are clearer, and it often took two or three attempts for the touch-sensitive controls to do what we wanted them to.

Equipment

Unlike before, the S-Class range now starts with AMG Line as standard, giving the flagship Mercedes a sporting demeanour from the off. Every version also gets air suspension, metallic paint and soft-closing doors as standard, along with a rear-view camera, adaptive LED headlights and wireless smartphone charging.

Upgrading to AMG Line Premium brings a panoramic sunroof, remote parking, larger alloy wheels and a Burmester stereo, while also adding the option of the long wheelbase S-Class. Costing around £4,000 extra, the long wheelbase adds electric, climate controlled rear seats. Exclusively long wheelbase, AMG Line Premium Executive adds a chauffeur pack, with seven-inch tablet devices for rear occupants. The even more lavish AMG Line Premium Plus gets a heated windscreen, steering wheel and armrests, 'ultra range' headlights and a head-up display.

Technology

During 2021, Mercedes says the S-Class will get Level 3 semi-autonomous driving capabilities, making it one of the first cars in the world to allow 'hands-off' driving on motorways and in traffic. There is a caveat, however, because the law will need to be updated to allow this before it can be used.

Next Steps

Which Is Best?

Cheapest

  • Name
    S350d Grand Edition 4dr 9G-Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £74,540

Most Economical

  • Name
    S580e L AMG Line Premium 4dr 9G-Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £103,695

Fastest

  • Name
    Maybach First Class S680 4Matic 4dr 9G-Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £201,335

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