The new Mercedes S-Class has arrived. Rory reviews the latest model to test the quietness, the speed and the ridiculous amounts of technology. Tune into see the new infotainment screens with 3D tech, rear wheel steering and more!
It’s been a long time coming but the new flagship of the mercedes-benz range is finally here maximize your browser window show some respect. Because this at least according to mercedes is the big one the one that’s going to be the best luxury car ever say hello to the new mercedes-benz s-class historically the s-class has always been the most well-equipped. The mosomfortable the most technologically advanced the very pinnacle of automotive technology and this latest model aims to continue that trend although just going by looks alone you might not think it there is a really big elephant in the room though isn’t there and that is that the new class kind of looks like an a-class. And i get why they’ve done it because they want to maintain a consistent image across their entire family of cars but it’s just not quite as stately or as regal as the previous generation s-class if anything it kind of looks like a big car there are a couple of standout physical features.
The front grille is larger than ever and the headlights have a unique led signature the wheels 18 to 21 inches have been redesigned the rear lights have intricate led details with chrome accents. And the exhausts are proudly visible it’s also a naturally bigger car available in short wheelbase long wheelbase and super long myback spec all pretty standard stuff really but the new s-class comes with one really cool exterior feature and that is optional flush mounted door handles which pop out when you approach the car or when you stroke it now there’s a couple of reasons for this one is you get better aerodynamics less drag two less noise. In the wind, they also pop out further than the previous generation door handles so they’re easier to grip and finally most importantly. They also look really cool right inside is where the big changes are because they’ve completely redesigned the interior of the new s-class class your mind back to the previous generation car and what you had was a long display across . The dashboard which combined two separate screens one for your instruments and one for your infotainment they’ve gotten rid of that and replaced it with a single instrument display and a big 12 inch display for all your infotainment stuff now they probably owe tesla a debt of gratitude here. But it does look sensational and it gets one over tesla in the fact that it’s oled and it kind of works like a big tablet there’s a few different ways you have to log into the system in order to use it you can either use a pin number one two three four in this case or you can log in with voice activation or with facial recognition.
There are cameras mounted in this instrument display or with a fingerprint sensor located right here .On the center console it might seem a bit overwhelming to begin with but as long as you remember that the home button is always in the middle you press that. And then you can cycle between the most commonly used settings like navigation phone radio etc and as long as you remember that. The climate control system is always at the bottom section of the screen then that’s half the battle one from here you can adjust the temperature of the cabin up or down as well as the fan speed and look at this whenever you increase the temperature. The ambient lighting system responds, you get a stream of blue or red lights on the corresponding side of the cabin to indicate that you’ve actually increased or decreased. The temperature very nice at the bottom you’ve also got a set of hard buttons you’ve got volume adjustment on the right hand side mute the power off button. The fingerprint sensor as i mentioned earlier. The sorry is’ve just cut in front of you button as well as your function button which allows you to customize things like the head up display. The active steering assist or the vehicle height and then over here on the left hand side you’ve got your park menu which can show you a 3d view of the car allowing you to park that much more simply around town then you’ve got your vehicle dynamics button which allows you to customize the driving mode from eco to comfort to sport and then sport plus as for the new instruments these now use 3d technology which incorporates two eye tracking cameras at the top of the display to give you an extra sense of depth it works a lot like a 3d tv or cinema display except you don’t need the silly glasses it’s good in theory but how does it work.
In the real world so the first thing i notice when i’m on the move is how good these instruments are they look absolutely sensational not only in terms of the clarity of the font and the graphics but also that 3d effect works incredibly. Well , you can actually cycle between different themes you’ve got classic exclusive etc and each one kind of swoops into view and fills the screen. In a really kind of clever futuristic way probably, the most impressive one of all is the navigation theme which fills the screen with a map and it’s then that you get a real sense of that 3d depth because you can move around the map and see everything almost as you might. When you’re looking at a map on a table right in front of you is really something it works really well and as you move your head around the cameras track the position of your eyes and give you that little bit of movement to add to that sense of it actually being real 3d it’s really cleverthe next thing you notice is the head up display it’s incredible i’ve never seen anything like it you probably can’t see this properly. But i’ll tell you what i’m seeing i’m seeing the equivalence of a 30-inch tv on the road in front of me as i drive . And it constantly moves in parallel with the car so what i’m seeing right now is the speed i’m doing the speed limit the road markings it warns me. Whenever i’m out to stray across the central reservation and you can actually customize it in a load of different ways look at this you can actually go up and select augmented reality and that allows you to do some really really clever stuff for example. If you’ve got your navigation switched on you have a set of virtual arrows that actually point to the exact road you’re meant to be going down and when you approach a corner and there’s a sudden bend coming up it will actually overlay a graphic of a curving road to show you that .
That’s the way you meant to go around it’s i’ve never seen anything like this it’s absolutely sensational imaginehaving a fully augmented reality windscreen in your car that’s . Exactly , what they’ve done here and it’s sensational one of the s-class’s more unusual talents is its rear axle steering system depending on the version. You go for the rear wheels can turn almost 11 degrees in the opposite direction to the front wheels below 60 kilometers an hour this has the effect of reducing. The car’s turning circle by almost two meters above 60 the rear wheels turn in the same direction as the front wheels to improve stability the system is especially useful in situations where you find yourself going down a dead end for example you’re on a narrow road and you’re trying to get out of it what do you do well normally you do a 47 point turn like austin powers but in the s-class you don’t need 40 points you just need rear axle steering and by the way it’s got this really clever camera system which shows you every single angle around the car and you can rotate it exactly as you want to see where you are it’s really really clever really really detailed and has basically infinite numbers of angles right. I think that’s basically a five point turn will i curb the alloys nope we are out have right. I think that was actually seven points might sound like a lot but in a normal car without this system it would have been 17 the seats are really good as well i’m sitting higher than i might expect. But they’re massively comfortable loads and loads of support they’re the kind of seats that i would happily sit in for hours and hours on end i mean it’s kind of like sitting in pretty much an armchair you can adjust the seats in pretty much every conceivable way on the door. You’e got some buttons actually they’re not even buttons they’re actually capacitive they look like buttons but they’re just touch sensitive so you push them.
And they move the seat forward backward up or down and there’s loads and loads of adjustment here it’s really easy to get comfortable in this car no matter what your body shape really and the reason for that is because it uses 19 individual motors to adjust the seats four of which are dedicated to giving you a massage so check this out if i go into the comfort menu . I can choose from so many different massage types hot relaxing back hot relaxing shoulders mobilizing massage activating massage classic massage wave massage depth waves deep workout workout cushion workout backrest i actually tried one of these earlier actually the depth waves. And i think this particular massage program uses the exciters in the seats so the exciters are used in conjunction with the car’s stereo system to give you that kind of vibration that punch that you get from subwoofers to help you feel connected to the musical experience. And I think they’ve actually incorporated that into a massage program and it basically just violently massages your bottom like it just vibrates the hell out of your backside basically. And um i don’t know if it’s that pleasant but i’m glad it’s there one of the first things you notice when you’re driving the s-class is how quiet and refined it is it’s a really really serene car to get about and you can barely hear any road noise any wind noise even at motorway speeds. And it’s just really really peaceful however before i got into the car i was kind of expecting it to be as quiet as a library in a monastery and it really isn’tyou still do hear that engine i’ve got the s500 version here . And i can hear that straight six pairing away it’s a pleasant sound don’t get me wrong but i can certainly hear it kind of piercing the quiet ambiance of the cabin i can also feel vibrations coming from the engine and that makes me suddenly think to myself is this the pinnacle of refinement and comfort. Because when you drive an electric car even one of mercedes electric cars like the eqc that to me is a far more quiet and refined experience because you don’t have that hum that vibration coming from. The internal combustion engine this is pretty good. But it’s surprising how the s-class the pinnacle of luxury isn’t quite as luxurious and refined as even a cheaper electric vehicle food for thought. The s-class is designed with rear seat passengers firmly in mind because there’s a lot going on back here for passengers in the back case in point you’ve got these controls on the door which allow you to not only open and close the window but also close the blinds for extra privacy you also get blinds behind you on top of that you also get the really cool ambient lighting feature in the doors. And just on the rear of the seat so when you adjust the temperature and you can do that on either side by the way .You get the colors flowing in a delicious way along the doors just to let you know that your car’s getting a little bit warmer in the back how cool is that you can even control the temperature in the back using this android tablet which pops up from the center console or if you just want to use it for entertainment purposes. You can do that as well because this thing works like any normal tablet. You can browse youtube and watch the auto trader channel um or surf the internet or do whatever else you want to do with an android tablet or if you want to use the car’s built-in rear seat entertainment .
Then that’s no big deal either you got navigation you got phone everything the driver has access to you have access to in the rear as for the seats well they’re massively comfortable in the standard short wheelbase car you get a choice of a static bench seat or these comfort seats which can recline by around 37 degrees backwards or forward . And they’e massively comfortable they come with a massage feature and these immensely soft immensely plush cushions plus these microfiber headrests that just make it a lovely place to sit. Whether you’re on short journeys or on long journeys plus you get other little treats like an optional fridge in the back honestly this is one of the best places to spend time in the back of a car by none especially. If you fancy traveling like a vip with the chauffeur package. The car will fold the front seats all the way forward including the headrest and reveal a footrest for the ultimate in relaxation although in short wheelbase cars anyone above 5 foot 8 might find it hard to stretch out other creature comforts. The car has plenty of usb ports cup holders wireless phone charging and even a set of wireless noise cancelling headphones to help you get away from it all it’s definitely a case of high relaxation with high technology not always a good mix but the s-class seems to get it right it’s worth talking a little bit about how you actually interact with the car because there’s very few buttons in this thing it’s actually easier than. I thought it might be to be honest with you on the previous generation s-class you had the touch pad or the circular wheel for selecting your options on the screen in this it’s all touch screen and actually even though it initially feels a little bit complicated and a little bit overwhelming once you’re on the move it’s actually really easy to find. The settings you want and to interact with the system one of the cool things about it is the fact that it has haptic feedback on the screen so if you push hard and select an option it actually vibrates to confirm .That you’ve actually pressed that option which is a big improvement on some similar systems the steering wheel well i was expecting that to be tricky to work out as well because it’s full of capacitive buttons yet again but with time you do get used to it and it’s actually pretty simple to work out the different features you’ve got all your controls for the digital instrument display on the top left spoke and all your controls for the main screen on the top right spoke you’ve got volume controls and phone controls on the bottom right spoke and then all of your cruise control settings on the bottom left and again it’s really simple to wrap your head around once you’ve spent a little bit of time with the car plus the steering wheel itself looks amazing on the subject of cruise control the car’s self-driving capabilities could be better they’re good and it’ll happily steer itself along in traffic or on a motorway and in time it will even be capable of level 3 autonomous driving but as it stands right now right here in the uk it’s not quite as effective as tesla’s autopilot system i feel like this wouldn’t be an s-class review if i didn’t talk a little bit about suspension and the suspension in this car well it’s quite lovely isn’t it it rides beautifully this thing honestly so in the previous generation you had something called magic body control you might be familiar with it but in this new generation system they’ve replaced it with the active body control so the car comes with airmatic air suspension as standard but this time around it can individually adjust the springs and dampers at all four corners not just to counter against body roll but also against pitch and lift it uses cameras to scan the road ahead and adjust the dampers to smooth out the ride as an option it can even lean into bends in sport mode like a motorbike to improve cornering that was actually pioneered by audi believe it or not to begin with but mercedes have jumped on the bandwagon and they’ve put it to really good use the suspension.
In the new s class is bellissimo or whatever the german is for bellissimo we haven’t talked about engines yet i probably should at launch you’ll get a choice of either s450 or s500 petrol or the s350d or s450d diesel all six cylinders right now i’m riding. In the s500 and it’s a lovely engine it really is it’ll do naught to 62 in 4.9 seconds 155 miles an hour flat out and get fuel economy of 32 miles per gallon price basic models go for around 80k while this s500 starts at around 100k and on first impressions with this car i’d have to say it’s probably worth it it’s not very often that i drive a car and speak for this long and still end up feeling like i’ve barely scratched the surface . But that is the case with the new s-class because there is so much to this car it’s so deep i feel like i could talk for hours more about the suspension or the infotainment system or the engines or literally any number of different factors . But maybe that’s the pleasure of owningthis vehicle is that you’ll spend months getting to grips with it and also ending up going on a journey of discovery and learning to appreciate new things every single day is it the best luxury car the world has ever seen id like to spend more time with it before i give it that accolade. But on the evidence of this drive it’s certainly the best s-class the world has ever seen and that in itself says everything you should need to know what’s the capital of ukraine that is correct you have the ideal answer on this one you .