ENTERTAINMENT

New Merc S-Class: Seventh Heaven or Snooze Class?


If we are accelerating into the new year for the time being, there is no better way to leave 2020 behind than at the wheel of the latest high-tech version of one of the world's most successful luxury sedans – the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

The seventh generation was even started worldwide by the seven-time British F1 champion Lewis Hamilton – now Sir Lewis after his knighthood on the New Years Honor Roll.

With a Brexit deal that has now been concluded, this German executive cruiser is free from the particularly high tariffs that a no-deal would have imposed on British car buyers of imported vehicles from EU countries.

Behind the wheel of the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class, especially the long-wheelbase S500 4Matic L: Ray Massey says this is definitely an adult car and can customize its style to suit your mood

The first generation of the S-Class was introduced with impeccable timing in 1972, when Great Britain registered on January 1, 1973 as the ninth member of what was then the European Economic Community or EEC – the so-called "Common Market".

The seventh S-Class is just arriving when Great Britain has left the greatly expanded European Union and has 27 members.

The car I drove before the first deliveries was at the high end of the range – a full-featured, long wheelbase S500 4Matic L sedan that went up to £ 110,325 and came with everything.

In left-hand drive and on German signs, it was sent from Stuttgart to Mercedes-Benz's UK headquarters in Milton Keynes – fitting a city created specifically for the car – so it could be driven on UK roads in compliance with the lock-down regulations .

Options: There are five driving modes - Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport + and Individual

Options: There are five driving modes – Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport + and Individual

In the left-hand drive and on German signs, the S-Class driven by Ray Massey was sent from Stuttgart to the British headquarters of Mercedes-Benz in Milton Keynes

In the left-hand drive and on German signs, the S-Class driven by Ray Massey was sent from Stuttgart to the British headquarters of Mercedes-Benz in Milton Keynes

Door handles fold out automatically to allow access. And as soon as you have settled in the magnificent leather driver's seat, the intelligent and extremely tactile interior cockpit gives you the feeling of having "arrived".

With a price range of less than £ 80,000, this is definitely an adult car and can change its style to suit your mood – from a stately glide to a sporty ride.

Mercedes-Benz is longer and wider than its predecessor and estimates that around nine out of ten sales are for models with a long wheelbase.

An immediate and noticeable feature is the three-dimensional navigation screen in the 12.3-inch driver display which is really fascinating and seems to have real depth.

Noticeable function: the three-dimensional navigation screen in the 12.3-inch driver display

Noticeable function: the three-dimensional navigation screen in the 12.3-inch driver display

Priced at £ 100,035, this model was powered by a 3.0 liter inline six cylinder 435 horsepower petrol engine and a smooth 9-speed automatic transmission.

There are five driving modes: Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport + and Individual.

I paddled around a little in the economical eco just to show that I can do my part for the planet, and a little more in comfort, which is particularly calm and relaxing on a long journey and especially for all passengers with a chauffeur in the background .

But in Sport mode, the drivers' energy and engagement increase significantly, and in Sport + there is a real bite.

You can also set it to your own driving preferences in Individual.

The intelligent and extremely tactile cockpit in the interior gives you the feeling of having "arrived", says Ray Massey

The intelligent and extremely tactile cockpit in the interior gives you the feeling of having "arrived", says Ray Massey

Nobel: The leather interior

Nobel: The leather interior

There is certainly a desire for controlled power and acceleration, as this imposing 2-ton sedan accelerates from standstill to 100 km / h in 4.9 seconds and reaches a top speed that is artificially limited to 250 km / h. The fuel consumption of my car averages 31.7 to 32.5 MPg with CO2 emissions between 199 g and 202 g / km.

And it is full of safety, comfort and self-driving high-tech, much of which is standard. But honestly, why do you want it to drive you when half the fun is driving yourself?

The generous infotainment system has been improved. However, the number of dashboard buttons has been reduced by 27 as more functions are transferred to the central 12.8-inch touchscreen. Personally, however, I like the confirmation of a physically easy-to-grasp dial to turn.

To counteract this, there is also voice control in 27 languages, which can be activated by a call from & # 39; Hey Mercedes & # 39; is activated. There is also a tablet on the back that you can remove from the car.

Mercedes-Benz is longer and wider than its predecessor and estimates that around nine out of ten sales are for models with a long wheelbase

Mercedes-Benz is longer and wider than its predecessor and estimates that around nine out of ten sales are for models with a long wheelbase

There are five clunky titled equipment lines of the S-Class offered: AMG Line (from 78,705 GBP for the diesel wheelbase S350d); AMG Line Premium (from £ 85,200); AMG Line Premium Plus (from £ 95,695); and AMG Line Premium Executive and AMG Line Premium Plus Executive from (from 99,490 GBP).

4MATIC all-wheel drive is available for the first time in Great Britain as a right-hand drive.

Engines such as the S350d (short and long wheelbase) are available for the entire S-Class in Great Britain. S400 d 4MATIC (only LWB); and S500 4MATIC (SWB and LWB).

It's in a tough market, competing with BMW's 7 Series, Audi A8 and Jaguar's XJ sedan

A plug-in hybrid version of the S-Class with a range of around 100 km (only electric), which combines a 3.0-liter in-line six-cylinder with an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery, is to follow in 2021.

The S-Class is available in five lines - the AMG line is the base line (from £ 78,705 for the S350d diesel wheelbase)

The S-Class is available in five lines – the AMG line is the base line (from £ 78,705 for the S350d diesel wheelbase)

Engines such as the S350d (short and long wheelbase) are available for the entire S-Class in Great Britain. S400 d 4MATIC (only LWB); and S500 4MATIC (SWB and LWB).

Engines such as the S350d (short and long wheelbase) are available for the entire S-Class in Great Britain. S400 d 4MATIC (only LWB); and S500 4MATIC (SWB and LWB).

The company has also announced a Mercedes-Maybach S-Class that will take on Bentley's Flying Spur. The price is around £ 160,000 with electrified 4.0 liter V8 and gasoline 6.0 liter V12 options.

Luxury is the focus of the S-Class. The passenger seat alone is supported by 19 motors, including four for massage and five for ventilation.

But here is a true test of its comfort. Safely parked after a long drive and about to return the keys to security at nightfall, I decided to close my eyes – just for a second – to briefly recharge my batteries before heading back home.

I was out for the count. Maybe an hour passed. And that was just in front. Had I been chauffeured in the even more comfortable stern, who knows how long I would have slept?

Did the great seventh generation S-Class leave me in seventh heaven? Good for its comfort – although definitely not its energetic performance – it turned out to be the perfect "snooze class".

DOES IT FIT IN MY GARAGE?

Car tested on the road: Mercedes-Benz S-Class S500 4Matic L with long wheelbase

(Seventh generation sedan first introduced in 1972) Price of the car tested: £ 100,035 to £ 110,325

(S-Class offer from £ 78,705 for diesel S350d standard wheelbase)

First deliveries to Great Britain: New Years

length: 5,289 mm (+ 34 mm) Width (without mirror): 1,921 mm (+ 21 mm)

Width (with mirrors): 2,109 mm Height: 1,503 mm

Gross weight: 2,820 tons

engine: 3.0 liter "inline six-cylinder"

power: 435 hp

transmission: 9-speed automatic (9G-Tronic)

4Matic all-wheel drive

0 to 62 mph: 4.9 seconds

Top speed: 250 km / h (limited)

bikes: 20 inch alloy

Average MPG: 31.7 mpg to 32.5 mpg

CO2 emissions: 199 g to 202 g / km.

Fuel tank: 76 liters

Boot: 550 liters (up to 20 liters)

Turning circle: Less than 11 meters (10.9 m) thanks to all-wheel steering reduced by up to 2 meters (1.9 m).

Engines in Great Britain: S 350 d (SWB and LWB); S 400 d 4MATIC (only LWB); S 500 4MATIC (SWB and LWB) plug-in hybrid from 2021

Autonomous technology: & # 39; Drive Pilot & # 39; – conditionally automated driving (level 3, upgradeable to & # 39; highly automated & # 39; level 4); Panoramic sunroof / augmented reality head-up display / 3D navigation system / voice control "Hey Mercedes".

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