Mercedes S-Class review - Practicality, comfort and boot space
The S-Class provides all the comfort and space you’d hope for from a Mercedes flagship
The S-Class is luxurious, spacious and (most of the time) extremely comfortable to ride in. Specify the Premium Line Plus or Executive model, and you’ll even enjoy the embrace of heated and ventilated massage chairs, adding to the cabin's calming ambience.
We’d challenge you to find comfier seats than the rears in the S-Class, and features such as the available chauffeur pack allow tired chief execs to fold the passenger seat to make extra legroom. Front seat passengers are similarly well looked after, with the massaging chairs offering a range of ‘treatments’ that includes a hot stone massage function.
The MBUX operating system is intuitive and practical, and once profiles are set up, the facial recognition system makes it easier than ever to jump in and go without the need to fiddle around with adjustments or favourite settings. The only flies in the ointment are the awkward to use touch-sensitive steering wheel controls, and the lack of traditional heater buttons and dials. The big touchscreen puts the vents high on the dashboard too, where they sometimes reflect in the windscreen and are difficult to reach.
At nearly 5.3m long and just shy of 2m wide, the S-Class will take up a fair bit of space on your drive. As usual Mercedes offers a standard length and an extended wheelbase models, which is likely to be far more common on UK roads. The extra metal is all in the rear passenger compartment, and although the difference overall is 5,289mm compared to 5,179mm nose-to-tail, that extra 11cms means the stretched version of the S-Class offers noticeably more cabin space.
Still, an elongated S-Class will fit into a parking space more easily than a BMW 7 Series, because that rival is 130mm longer.
Leg room, head room & passenger space
There are acres of space to spread out in the S-Class cabin, and the sense of airiness is even greater if you’ve got a car with a panoramic glass sunroof. As mentioned above, the extra length of the longer-wheelbase model means rear-seat passengers have longer rear doors to make getting in and out a little easier, too. With options like individually reclining rear seats, airline tables and electric privacy blinds, it’s possible to configure a travel space that’s a world apart from the standard most of us are forced to endure.
A 540-litre boot volume means there’s space in the trunk for plenty of designer luggage on your trans-European jaunts, or for the VIP airport and hotel services that many corporately-owned S-Class models will be used for. It’s about 30-litres bigger than an Audi A8 and 15-litres more than the BMW 7 Series.
In this review
- 1Mercedes 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
- 2Engines, performance and driveOnce impressive performance pales beside electric rivals, but ride and handling are typically well-composed
- 3MPG, CO2 and running costsAll engines offer reasonable economy, but the plug-in hybrid S 580 e is the best option for company car drivers
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe S-Class cabin offers up a technological feast, but it’s not quite the usual masterclass
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot space - currently readingThe S-Class provides all the comfort and space you’d hope for from a Mercedes flagship
- 6Reliability and safetyThe S-Class is laden with safety tech, and should be bullet-proof mechanically