This S-Class has Taken Luxury to a New Level
For generations, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class has truly embodied what it means to be a brand flagship; not only ushering in new technology and styling that quickly trickle down to the rest of their lineup, but setting a new benchmark for the luxury sedan segment itself. Now with SUVs now being the real attention getters, let’s find out if the s-class’ mission has changed.
It’s definitely a new world in the luxury landscape, with big buck SUVs and even EVs now vying for the right to be the ultimate standard bearer for their brands. But, the 2022 Mercedes-Benz S-Class still does a good job of making the case of being the tried-and-true 4-door sedan status symbol.
And since it’s really all about the user experience, the S-Class ushers in the 2nd generation of Mercedes-Benz’s User Experience with new features such as a 3D driver display with eye-tracking, and a huge head-up display with augmented reality that projects animated turn arrows directly onto the road ahead.
Ambient lighting may not seem like that big of a deal, but here, there are 250 LEDs around the cabin tied into just about every vehicle system so they can visually communicate with you. The S500 can also set the mood for you with a light show and a massage while you sit in traffic; whether you’re looking to wind down or get energized.
Seats are sumptuous, and incredibly supportive. We wonder what other world problems their seat designers could solve if they put their minds to it. Rear seats are just as comfortable, with plenty of room to stretch out.
For now, engine choices follow the familiar 6 or 8. The standard 6 in the S500 is Mercedes’ latest inline 3.0-liter with 429-horsepower and 384 lb-ft. of torque. The optional V8 is a 496-horsepower twin-turbo in the S580. Both have integrated 48-volt starter-generators, come with 4MATIC all-wheel-drive, and work with a 9-speed automatic transmission.
Based on experience, we expected our S500 test car to deliver a spectacular ride, and yet still it wowed us with its sheer grace and composure. Aided by the E-Active Body Control system that makes subtle suspension adjustments 1,000-times per second. All of that processing power helped it navigate our cone course at Mason Dixon Dragway quite efficiently as well.
You do feel quite isolated, but steering is lightning quick; there is no understeer at all, and only minor amounts of body roll. What initially felt like oversteer, was our test car’s optional rear-axle steering pushing the rear around a little bit to help the car get through here even faster. This S500 certainly doesn’t feel like a small car, but it sure does move well for its size.
Don’t feel like upgrading to the thirstier V8? No worries, this 6 is more than capable. Plenty of torque, plenty of grip, and plenty of consistency as there’s not much for you to do really; the car takes off aggressively and hits 60 in only 4.6-seconds no matter what you do. Shifts are quick, with a nice little hit of power accompanying each one. We completed the ¼-mile in 13.1–seconds at 108 miles-per-hour. In no way does it feel like you’re actually travelling that fast, as the S500 is extremely stable at high speeds.
The brakes weren’t quite as on board with the overall mission; lots of pedal travel, inconsistent results, and at 134 foot average from 60, stops were a little longer than we’d like to see; though it remained incredibly stable.
With the exception of width, every exterior dimension is fractionally larger. While not exactly beautiful to look at, stately and classy are certainly apt descriptors. The long wheelbase and short overhangs depict the maximizing of interior space, as well as help provide all of that stability at high speeds. AMG Line accessories add 21-inch wheels, unique front and rear bumpers, and side skirts; along with some unique materials inside to lend a sporty flair without subtracting from the luxurious vibe.
Many safety innovations have occurred over the years in the S-Class, but as you can imagine, these days they mostly revolve around driving assistance and accident avoidance. But Mercedes also puts a priority on reducing stress and workload for drivers in their daily commute.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the S500 are 21-City, 30-Highway, and 24-Combined. We averaged a great 27.1 miles-per-gallon. That’s an average Energy Impact Score, with annual consumption of 13.7-barrels of oil and 6.2-tons of CO2 emissions.
Pricing for the 6-cylinder starts at $110,850, with the V8 coming in at $117,350.
So yes, once again, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class has taken luxury to a new level. But, at the same time, we’ve already spent time in the all-electric EQS which more truly represents the future of the Mercedes-Benz brand. So, if this 2022 edition is the last hurrah for a traditional internal combustion S-Class sedan as we know it as their flagship, and as Mercedes-Benz calls it, “the best automobile in the world”; well, it’s certainly going out on one heck of a high note.
Engine: 3.0L I6 | TT V8
Horsepower: 429 | 496
Torque: 384 lb-ft
0-60 mph: 4.6 seconds
1/4 Mile: 13.1 seconds at 108 mph
60-0 Stopping Distance: 134 feet
EPA: 21 City / 30 Highway / 24 Combined