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Mercedes-Benz S-Class

The independent definitive Mercedes S-Class video review
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    FIRST CHOICE SALOON (some text hidden)

    By Jonathan Crouch

    Here is the luxury saloon by which all others are measured. This improved sixth generation Mercedes S-Class is now even cleverer to use, but its real strengths remain in comfort and refinement. Jonathan Crouch reports.

    Ten Second Reviewword count: 44

    Mercedes-Benz reckons that its S-Class saloon is very possibly the best car in the world and this revised version of the W222 model backs that claim up with some hugely impressive technology. It's enough to keep this car very competitive indeed against aspiring rivals.

    Backgroundword count: 183

    The S or 'Sonderklasse' has served as the flagship Mercedes saloon for over fifty years in various guises and the improved 'W222' model we're looking at here is the sixth generation since Mercedes started officially using the S-Class tag back in 1972. This car though, has a tougher brief than any of its predecessors. At its entry point, it must satisfy successful mid-level Managers, while at the other end of the line-up, the same car with greater power and opulence must also be good enough to meet the exalted expectations of potential Rolls Royce and Bentley buyers, with Maybach-badged versions of this model. To achieve that, this car will have to be even more ground-breaking than its predecessors - but then the S-Class always has been. This, after all, was the luxury saloon that in 1978 pioneered anti-lock brakes, in 1981 introduced airbags, seatbelt pre-tensioners and traction control and by 1992 was the first car to be built entirely free from harmful CFCs. This time round, even more ingenuity will be required in the face of new generation rivals from Audi and BMW.

    Driving Experienceword count: 214

    This improved S-Class features more than 6000 fresh components and various new engines. The key news is that the 3.0-litre V6 diesel that's been used in volume versions of the S-class since 2005 has at last been replaced. Instead, customers are being offered a completely new 2.9-litre in-line six cylinder diesel motor developing 286bhp in the base S350d. This powerplant uses variable valve lift control for the first time and is mated to a new, even smoother 9-speed 9G-TRONIC auto gearbox. In the S350d, 62mph from rest takes just 6.0s en route to an artificially-limited maximum of 155mph and on the move, the electronically controlled air-sprung suspension delivers ride quality that rivals can't quite match. Its incorporated MAGIC BODY CONTROL' set-up now incorporates a further curve-tilting function that tilts the body by up to 2.65-degrees through the bends so that passengers will hardly notice it as you go through tighter turns. Other engines on offer in the line-up are all petrol-powered. They include a 3.0-litre petrol V6 with 457bhp in the S500 variant that'll be a rare sight on our roads. The top Mercedes-AMG S 63 variant gets an AMG-developed 4.0-litre biturbo V8 petrol powerplant with 612bhp to replace the previous 5.5-litre V8. The top S 65 gets a twelve cylinder 6.0-litre 630bhp unit.

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    Pictures (high res disabled)

    Statistics (subset of data only)

    Min

    Max

    0-62 mph (s):

    6.9

    Combined mpg:

    51.4

    CO2 (g/km):

    120

    203

    Height (mm):

    1496

    Insurance group:

    49

    50

    Length (mm):

    5116

    ... and 3 other stats available

    Scoring (subset of scores)

    Category: Luxury Saloons and Estates

    Performance
    80%
    Handling
    80%
    Comfort
    90%
    Space
    90%
    Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

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