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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.

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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.

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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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