Mercedes-Benz S-Class S500L 2018 long-term overview

Is the German limousine nonetheless a byword for luxurious? We're about to search out out with three months behind the wheel

Why we’re working it: to see if the newest S-Class maintains the mannequin’s luxurious automobile superiority, and whether or not this S500 eclipses the outdated V8

Month 1 - Specs

Life with a Mercedes-Benz S-Class: Month 1

Welcoming the S-Class to the fleet - 23rd Could 2018

Since 1972, we’ve recognized this one undeniable fact: if you wish to know the place the auto is as much as when it comes to sensible luxurious and luxury, you’ll discover the reply within the newest Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

We’re not speaking right here about ‘bespokeness’. That’s often a matter of richer-than-you house owners trying to one-up their friends. However if you wish to examine the newest and highest requirements of mechanical refinement, big-car effectivity, seat and cabin consolation and driving ease introduced by ever-more-ingenious gadgetry, the newest S-Class will give you the solutions.

Merc’s largest saloon sits on a kind of peculiar pedestals in motoring just like the Porsche 911: it has respectable rivals however no true equivalents. That Mercedes has been in a position to maintain it this fashion for 45 years is a staggering achievement, and (we imagine) good cause so as to add one to our take a look at fleet.

However why an S500? Three causes: first, the S500 has at all times been the mainstream alternative for individuals who weren’t merely shopping for a diesel ‘airport automobile’. Second, I’m this automobile’s custodian and I’ve already had two S500s through the years. How fascinating to research their variations and stunning similarities.

Third, for so long as ‘S500’ has been showing on Mercedes bootlids, the variant’s motive energy has been a meaty V8, till now. This newest automobile has a brand new three.Zero-litre turbocharged inline-six with a 48V built-in starter-generator (ISG) offering help and amassing braking vitality.

How fascinating to see whether or not the normal S500 virtues – imperious smoothness and poke and no noise until you actually insist – are delivered by the brand new mannequin.

Within the UK, an S500L saloon begins at £86,330 on the highway, which sounds fairly cheap for what you get, particularly because the solely 500 you should buy will get AMG Line physique bits to make it look extra aggressive and sporty – and so much much less like an airport automobile. Egged on by contacts at Mercedes, we added a group of extras that ended up costing simply over £25,000 which, on condition that extras are historically excessive mark-up objects for automobile makers, provides you a fairly clear view of the place they make their cash.

In abstract, our gadgetry consists of 4 complete choice packs (Premium Plus, Driving Help, Govt gear and Unique nappa leather-based) plus 4 particular person choices: evening view (£2080), privateness glass (£345), Designo matt white paint (£3650) and clever rear belts (£995). The Premium Plus pack (£5395) provides stuff like soft-close doorways, a mega hi-fi and a 360deg digicam. The Driving Help pack (£1695) provides energetic distance management, steering, braking and blind-spot help and a gizmo that can modify your pace into bends. The Govt gear (£4600) supplies further ranges of consolation entrance and rear, plus stuff like roller-blinds for the rear window, and the Unique nappa leather-based pack (£6890) trims the massive Mercedes within the best-looking supplies out there.

In brief, our S-Class is a white automobile whose physique addenda, 19in AMG wheels and white matt paint take it about as distant from the dreaded ‘marriage ceremony automobile’ look because it’s doable to get, whereas preserving a limo-look that guarantees precisely what you get while you first set this automobile in movement: a class-topping luxurious motoring expertise.

The automobile hardly strikes while you begin it. Straight sixes are famously clean, and the 48V ISG is massive and highly effective, so the standard ‘ruh-ruh-ruh’ simply isn’t there. There’s silence, you press the beginning button and there’s a distant hum, and also you’re hard-pressed to find out when one modified to the opposite. That’s refinement, and it speaks for the best way so many issues function on this automobile.

The ability unit drives by means of a seamless nine-speed computerized gearbox. There are two regimes, Sport and Consolation, which fluctuate how lengthy decrease ratios are held. There are paddles in the event you insist on altering gear your self, however the choices the ’field makes by itself are so flawless that you just quickly go away it to its personal units, apart from one scenario: you’ll end up utilizing the gears for engine braking on lengthy hills. The ISG merrily garners braking vitality on downgrades (there’s a meter to point out it occurring) however there are occasions while you want extra engine braking to gradual two tonnes of kerb weight.

It’s a giant automobile. It's a must to take care with the beneficiant entrance overhangs and with kerbing the rear wheels in tight corners. The S500 sighs about city virtually as if it has no motive energy in any respect, however the driver will at all times have to steer precisely, just because it’s almost 5.3m lengthy and occupies extra highway than most.

On arterial roads and motorways, it’s marvellous. In Consolation, it has a spectacularly succesful secondary journey that obliterates ripples and ruts whereas permitting some mild physique movement to softly sign its softness. The Sport setting gently reverses the place: the automobile is useless flat, in alternate for a minuscule enhance in bump noise. You end up altering the setting in keeping with your temper.

To this point we’ve coated virtually 1000 miles within the large Merc and the gasoline mileage is working at about 34mpg. A lot of that driving has been round city, however I've a sense quick cruising goes to be this automobile’s true metier. I’m already pondering of how to present the S500 its head, and I do know I’m going to get pleasure from it.

Second Opinion

Irrespective of how nicely you may assume you already know the S-Class, it at all times manages to shock and delight you with one other little bit of consolation, tempo, drivability or refinement everytime you step into it. It’s this potential to shock that makes it not only a nice automobile, however a very particular one.

Jim Holder

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Mercedes-Benz S-Class S500L AMG-line specification

Specs: Worth New £86,330 Worth as examined £112,150 Choices Premium Plus pack £5395, Driving Help pack £1695, Govt Tools pack £4600, Unique Nappa Leather-based pack £6890, evening view help £2080, privateness glass £345, white paint £3650, clever rear belts £995

Check Information: Engine 2999cc, six-cylinder, turbocharged petrol w/ 48v starter-generator Energy 450bhp at 5250rpm Torque 516lb ft at 1800-3500rpm Kerb weight 2015kg High pace 155mph (restricted) Zero-62mph four.8sec Claimed gasoline economic system 38.2mpg Check Gasoline economic system 34.0mpg CO2 208g/km Faults None Bills None

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