Mercedes S500 Kirkby Stephen
Appleby In Westmorland
The world’s most popular luxury car just got better! Four years after launch, Mercedes has taken the flagship S-Class even further upmarket.
The exterior tweaks – limited to a sharper grille, exhausts incorporated into the rear bumper and LED lights – won’t get much attention. Stealth is the name of the game here, and it’s inside where the S-Class delivers.
Swathed in leather and wood, the cabin rivals most living rooms for comfort. And, as usual, Mercedes has managed to cram in plenty of hi-tech kit.
One highlight is SPLITVIEW, the centre console display which allows the driver to use the sat-nav while the front-seat passenger can watch a movie! There are also dozens of new and revised driver aids, such as Disctronic Plus active cruise control, which keeps you a set distance from the car in front, and Attention Assist, which monitors your driving for signs of drowsiness.
The S500 impresses as a driver’s car, too. Air-suspension makes the ride silky-smooth, and for all its weight and width it corners well, thanks to its Torque Vectoring Brake system, which reduces understeer by braking the inner rear wheel in bends.
The engine is near-silent at cruising speeds, but if you bury the throttle, the seven-speed auto kicks down quickly to bring the V8 roaring to life – so overtaking is effortless. The S500’s high running costs mean the S350 CDI diesel will be a better bet. However, compared to models such as the Bentley Flying Spur, it offers relatively decent value for money.
Author: Will McManus