Mercedes Benz is known for luxury right across the range from C-class to S-class—even the affordable C-class models coddle their occupants. But the pinnacle of luxurious automotive excess is reached in the new S-class.
What makes owners love their Mercedes is the blend of design, performance, and technology. The 2014 S-class provides ample performance: the S550, with its 455-bhp, 4.7-liter, twin-turbo, twin cam V8 can hustle the weighty sedan to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds. But the real performance happens in the cabin, not under the hood.
The passenger compartment shows Mercedes’ forward-thinking designers at their very best, dreaming up options you didn’t know you needed until you learned about them.
The seats are not just heated and cooled—they offer a “hot-stone massage” mode to stimulate occupants. Rear seats recline, and offer leg- and foot-rests. The air in the car can be double-filtered, scent-infused, and even ionized.
The car is also 100 percent equipped with LED lights, inside and out. The sound system is highest quality and it has almost limitless connection capabilities, for phones, bluetooth, etc. Further, the cabin lights can be linked to the sound system to pulse in driver-chosen “mood” tones, to further perfect the environment.
The new car’s styling is sleeker and lighter than the previous generation. The car looks stately without looking ponderous; the lines are clean, with smooth shapes rather than busy details defining the appearance.
Another thing which sets the new S-class apart from the competition is the amount of thought Mercedes engineers have put into safety. The LED lights make it easier to see and be seen; the windshield wipers have an extra water jet to clear a space to see even while the driver is using the spray function.
Even more exotic is the Intelligent Drive system, which scans for bumps and adjusts the suspension, and which points out possible collision dangers around the car and reacts appropriately even if the driver doesn’t. Should the driver start to doze or veer off the road, the car sends an alert and can even take control.
Each wheel has automatically adjustable damping and automatic leveling, keeping passengers completely isolated from bumps in the road. Yet the 2.3-ton sedan still handles tautly and with the responsiveness of a much smaller car. The optional 4Matic Electronic Traction System enhances grip during winter, on winding roads, or in any type of slippery condition.
If Mercedes is at the pinnacle of the luxury sedan market, the 2014 S-class is the flag flying from the highest peak. For people seeking to travel first class, the only option is the S-class.
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