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 extremely comfortable to ride in, there’s no doubt at all about that. While the suspension may not quite match rivals for its ability to soak up imperfections, that’s a relatively marginal criticism when you’re enjoying the embrace of heated and ventilated massage chairs and the calming ambience the cabin provides.
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- sadly we’re unable to compare its effect with the real thing.
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 steering wheel controls that can be activated too easily by accident, and not easily enough when required, and the lack of traditional heater controls. The big touchscreen puts the vents high on the dashboard too, where they reflect in the windscreen at times and are difficult to reach.
At nearly 5.3m long and just shy of 2m wide, the S-Class is going to take up a fair bit of space on your drive. As usual Mercedes offers a standard length and an extended wheelbase variant, and it’s the latter that’s 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.
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 the panoramic glass sunroof. As mentioned above rear seat passengers are especially blessed in the longer-wheelbase variant, which also has longer rear doors making 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 or 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 costsWith no plug-in options yet, there’s lots of tax to pay and no big economy wins
- 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