Mercedes S 500 4MATIC
The Mercedes-Benz S-class maintains superiority by being the full-size luxury sedan by which all others are judged.
The S-class satisfies the tastes of its moneyed clientele with stacks of fine materials, deep-seated comfort, and loads of technology.
There are two models, both equipped with standard 4Matic all-wheel drive—the S500 and S580—each with an exclusive power train.
The S500 comes with a silken, 429-hp turbocharged straight-six, while the S580 bosses up with a smooth 496-hp V-8.
The Mercedes-Maybach S-class super-luxury model, reviewed separately, offers an absolutely decadent experience.
The S-class does a brilliant job of making the good life real.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Mercedes offers the S-class sedan with either a 429-hp turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder engine on the S500 or a 496-hp twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 on the S580.
Both power trains are supplemented by a 48-volt hybrid system and pair with a nine-speed automatic transmission and 4Matic all-wheel drive.
We’ve luxuriated in the S-class sedan and put our test equipment on the V-8 model, which delivered impressive acceleration.
While every S-class rides on an air suspension, the optional E-Active Body Control has a “curve” function” that subtly leans the car into corners.
The S-class can also be equipped with an all-wheel steering system that makes the big-bodied Mercedes surprisingly easy to maneuver in tight spaces.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Inside, the S-class prioritizes screens. Lots of them. The sedan is available with up to five, including a giant center touchscreen and a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster.
The latter works in concert with other technology to create a three-dimensional effect, but—thankfully—it can be turned off if you’d prefer the screens have a conventional appearance.
There’s also an enhanced head-up display that will show navigation directions in augmented reality. Basically, arrows move and turn in real-time to supposedly better assist the driver.
The build quality and cabin materials live up to Mercedes’ upscale standards, and the sedan provides limousine-like accommodations for all passengers, specifically those riding in the back.
The new model’s rear-seat area offers slightly increased headroom and legroom, and it can also be equipped with power-adjustable reclining seats that have massage functions and extensive heating elements.