Tested: how happy will the Mercedes-Benz S-Class (2021) make you?

What is striking about the Mercedes S 500?

Earlier we wrote that the new Mercedes S-Class has caused a break in the trend. While its predecessors always showed the course Mercedes-Benz would take with the entire model range, with the new generation all design elements have already been shown before. A touch of E-class, a pinch of CLS … But what a beautiful car the new S-class is! In full regalia, it has a length of 5,289 meters (with extended wheelbase), but nevertheless a slim, harmonious appearance. Civilized chic, without disappearing into the gray matter.

The interior of the new S-Class is completely impressive. The beautiful widescreen instruments have been replaced by a digital clock shop behind the wheel with 3D display (which cannot be captured photographically). A showpiece!

The central display is now placed vertically in the center console and works with simple touch controls. Mercedes puts its front-to-back and left-to-right rotary / pushbutton with writing tablet in the bulky waste. Naturally, the new S-Class has a very extensive variant of the MBUX multimedia system with voice control. With which you can have extensive and entertaining conversations. Brilliant!

What’s good about the Mercedes S-Class?

If you expect the new S-Class to be a super sports car with which you can record record times on the Nordschleife, or if you want to use the car to transport a refrigerator to your new apartment, the car will disappoint you deeply. If you expect an extremely comfortable travel limousine, which you will be pampered with with comfortable seats, a (very) supple suspension chassis and all the luxury you could wish for, then there is only one conclusion: much better than the new S-Class goes it really won’t be.

What’s wrong with the new S-class?

No idea. This is a car for which you would seriously consider the sale of your home, that is how pleasant life is in the S-class. Eventually you renounce that decision, because the car has no bathroom. Neither is a kitchen with an induction hob and convection oven. Seriously, the Mercedes S-Class is making huge strides in digital technology, comfort and (albeit a matter of taste) design. During five intensive test days – we couldn’t be knocked out of the car! – we could not catch the S 500 4Matic at fault.

One thing for nagging: at the moment the engine range is still limited to two petrol versions and three diesels. The S 450 and S 500 on petrol have mild hybrid technology, but the diesels do not. Obviously, there will be versions with plug-in hybrid technology, plus various AMG versions. But you will still have to be patient for that.

When will the new S-class come and what will it cost?

The S-class has now been available in the Netherlands for several months. As said: for the time being in a limited number of engine variants. The S 400 4Matic (six-cylinder in-line engine, 3.0-liter, 367 + 22 hp) is in the price list for 139,364 euros. The S 500 4Matic (with the same 3.0 straight-six, but with 435 + 22 hp) has a starting price of 155,578 euros.

If you want a version with a long wheelbase, the prices are 143,236 euros (S 450 4 Matic Lang) or 159,882 euros (S 500 4Matic Lang, as we tested it). The diesels start at 133,593 euros.

Naturally, Mercedes supplies all kinds of accessories and options that make life even more pleasant. For example, the test car had rear-axle steering (with a maximum deflection of 10 degrees), separate rear seats with electric adjustment and seat heating / ventilation, an MBUX tablet in combination with MBUX high-end entertainment in the rear, an extensive Premium Plus package and 20- inch alloy wheels. All this pushes the price of the test car up to 187,697 euros.

What do I think of the new Mercedes S-Class?

There is nothing left of my earlier disappointment with the car’s unsurprising design. I love the S-Class, a car that is not for sale with its size and – using the sublime adaptive cruise control and semi-autonomous driver assistance systems – moves gracefully through traffic. But what impressed me most is the sublime comfort that the S-class has to offer. The soothing flexibility of the air-suspended chassis, the magisterial seats, the confidence that the entire arsenal of safety systems gives you. A car that makes you happy.

We may have seen all the elements of the design before, but the technology that goes into the car will naturally work its way into the smaller Mercedes models – like the new C-Class. If they all drive half as well as the new S, then we can still expect a lot of successful new models from Mercedes.

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