In-depth reviews

Mercedes S-Class review - Practicality, comfort and boot space

With limo-like accommodation and luxury appointments, we dare you to complain

More rarefied brands like Rolls-Royce and Bentley can provide a more bespoke luxury feel, but it’s hard to imagine a car that’s more comfortable than a Mercedes S-Class.

The big Merc is near-peerless, with superb on-road refinement, a silken ride quality, a living-room-sized cabin with superlative seats that will even massage you if required, plus fabulous entertainment systems and internet connectivity, so driver and passengers want for nothing.

If you have to drive it yourself, then an array of sensors and cameras take care of close-quarter manoeuvres in town, while out on the road you can let the clever cruise control and other aids share the load.

Size

The S-Class in standard length is 5,155mm long, but there’s a long-wheelbase version with a 13cm extension in the rear passenger compartment. That said, unless you’re after the best-selling S 350d you can’t pick and choose: the diesel-engined model is available with both bodies, but all the other versions come in long-wheelbase L guise only.

In case you are compelled to have the biggest car in the car park, it’s worth noting that the S-Class in standard length is shorter than an Audi A8 and Rolls-Royce Ghost. It beats the standard BMW 7-Series, though.

Leg room, head room & passenger space

Given the S-Class’s luxury car status, it’s no surprise to find most of the space in the cabin is reserved for rear seat passengers. There’s a trio of three-point belts for the rear bench, but most buyers will treat this car as a four-seater, and Mercedes offers an optional two-seater rear seating set-up for even more luxury.

Rear head and legroom is generous, while the Executive Rear Package adds a reclining function, powered blinds for the side and rear windows and ventilation for the seats. There’s also plenty of storage space, including the fold-down rear armrest that includes a pair of cup-holders and neat lidded cubby, while fold-out tables make the car the perfect office space.

Boot

With a conventional powertrain, the Mercedes features a useful 510-litre boot – although the optional fridge compartment reduces capacity by 40 litres. Opt for the mild-hybrid system in the S 560 e, and this space is further reduced to 395 litres due to the added battery pack. Without either of these limiting factors, the Merc’s luggage space is a little bigger than the Rolls’ and BMW’s, and matches the Audi’s exactly.

Next Steps

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    S350d Grand Edition 4dr 9G-Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £74,540

Most Economical

  • Name
    S560e L Grand Edition 4dr 9G-Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £96,750

Fastest

  • Name
    S500L Grand Edition 4dr 9G-Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £86,750

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