New Car Awards 2014: best luxury car

The Mercedes S-Class is the 2014 Auto Express Luxury Car of the Year, with the Porsche Panamera and Range Rover commended

Mercedes S-Class - best luxury

The best luxury cars need to blend opulence, comfort, refinement and cutting-edge technology into one hugely desirable package – and no model does it better than the Mercedes S-Class.

Knocked off the top spot last year by the Range Rover, the S-Class has come back bigger and better in 2014. The all-new version embodies everything that’s great about Mercedes’ flagship, and can genuinely lay claim to the title of ‘best car in the world’.

Best luxury cars

As with all the best limousines, the S-Class feels as if it has been designed from the inside out. For starters, the cabin effortlessly combines handcrafted and hi-tech, while short and long-wheelbase versions provide acres of room for passengers.

And then there’s the whisper-quiet refinement and pillow-soft ride. Wind and road noise have been banished, while the standard air-suspension fools you into thinking that every road is as smooth as a snooker table.

Mercedes S-Class interior

Even more impressive is the Magic Ride option, which uses cameras to scan the road ahead and automatically adjusts the springs and dampers to cope with imperfections in the tarmac.

All the back seat passengers have to do is relax into their comfortable and powered seats.

Yet as with previous versions, this S-Class is a car that’s as good to drive as it is to be driven in. With its new, lighter body, uprated chassis and sharp steering, it can be hustled down twisting back roads with confidence, while the frugal diesels and near-silent petrol engines boast huge reserves of refined muscle. There’s even an eco-friendly diesel-electric hybrid that’ll cost the same to run as a family hatchback.

Our choice:

Mercedes S350 L BlueTEC SE Line (£65,905)

The 3.0-litre diesel engine has more than enough performance, while promising 40mpg fuel economy. Plus, the long-wheelbase version of the S-Class allows you to indulge in the full limousine experience.

Commended luxury cars

Porsche Panamera

The Porsche Panamera is two cars rolled into one. It’s impeccably built and the interior is pure luxury. This cosseting four-door is also packed with the same DNA that makes the brand’s 911 and Cayman such intoxicating driving machines.

Range Rover

It’s a testament to the brilliance of the S-Class that the Range Rover only bags a commended award. Last year’s champ is still the ultimate all-rounder, with club class luxury and go-anywhere ability. Its appeal is enhanced by a new long-wheelbase model.

Recommended

New Mercedes S 580 e L plug-in hybrid on sale from £104,490
New Mercedes S 580 e L plug-in hybrid - charging
Mercedes S-Class

New Mercedes S 580 e L plug-in hybrid on sale from £104,490

The new Mercedes S-Class PHEV has a claimed fuel economy figure of 353.1mpg and a maximum electric range of 63 miles
26 Jul 2021
Mercedes S-Class review
Mercedes S-Class - front
Mercedes S-Class

Mercedes S-Class review

The once imperious quality of the Mercedes S-Class may have slipped a little, but the technical highlights are typically eye-catching
16 Jul 2021
New 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class on sale now from £162,390
Mercedes-Maybach S-Class
Mercedes S-Class

New 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class on sale now from £162,390

Maybach’s even more luxurious version the Mercedes S-Class is on sale now, with either a 496bhp 4.0-litre V8 or a 604bhp 6.0-litre V12
2 Jul 2021
New Mercedes-AMG S 63 spied in minimal camouflage
Mercedes-AMG S 63
Mercedes S-Class

New Mercedes-AMG S 63 spied in minimal camouflage

AMG will soon launch a tuned version of Mercedes’s flagship limousine, probably powered by a 603bhp twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine
18 Jun 2021

Most Popular

Limited-run Land Rover Defender Trophy Edition unveiled
Land Rover unveils limited-run Defender Trophy Edition - front
Land Rover Defender

Limited-run Land Rover Defender Trophy Edition unveiled

Just 220 examples will be built to honour past Camel Trophy Land Rovers, all of which have been reserved for the North American market
30 Jul 2021
New 2021 Volkswagen Taigo coupe-SUV breaks cover
Volkswagen Taigo R-Line - front
Volkswagen Taigo

New 2021 Volkswagen Taigo coupe-SUV breaks cover

The new VW Taigo is a sportier, more aggressive looking version of the brand’s T-Cross and is aimed at lifestyle buyers
29 Jul 2021
New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range
Kia EV6 - front
Kia EV6

New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range

Kia reveals more specs for its bespoke electric car, with the EV6 offering long range and an 18-minute 80 per cent rapid recharge time
21 Jul 2021