Indeed, comfort has always been this cars’ ace in the pack. It’s not much fun, but Mercedes have never made any attempt to make it so. There is plenty of grip, and body lean isn’t excessive. Moreover, the brand’s Magic Body Control enhances the extraordinary levels of comfort.
For the purpose of this review, we’re focusing only on the diesel engines. There are two, with the 3.0-litre V6 engine expected to be the bestseller. It powers the S350 BlueTEC model, and makes a lot of sense. It delivers 255bhp, and spreads that power evenly over its rev range.
A diesel hybrid completes the narrow selection. It powers the S300h model, and develops up to 228bhp. It’s on the slow side (relatively speaking), and lacks the refinement of the V6 engine.
In terms of its running costs, the S-Class is as surprisingly affordable to run as the BMW – as long as you stick to the diesels, at least. The hybrid is the most frugal, and can return over 100mpg according to Mercedes. It’s free to tax, and is also exempt from the London Congestion Charge.
The V6 is likely to be more popular, though. It’s the cheapest to buy outright, and returns an impressive 47.9mpg while costing £180 per year in tax.
We can’t find fault with the interior, no matter how far and wide we look around the leather upholstery, brushed aluminium and wood veneer. We’ve even poked our noses underneath the thick, soft carpets and found nothing to criticise! It’s an interior that’s deftly put together. The dual 12.3” TFT screens sparkle, the COMAND infotainment system is useful, and a touchpad is a great touch.
It’s also a practical interior. Like the BMW, it’s a big car, which means you’ve got plenty of interior space. Question is – how much do you really need? Like the 7 Series, there is a “short” and long wheelbase version, and both offer more than enough leg and headroom.
The front seats deserve special mention for being so comfortable and super adjustable But all seats are comfy.
The boot in the short wheelbase version measures 500-litres. Go for the longer variant, and you get a 530-litre boot. You’ll get penalised if you go for the hybrid, as the boot shrinks to less than 400-litres.
Ultimately, the Mercedes costs more than the BMW. Will that be what sways your decision?
BMW – £60,000 +
Mercedes – £70,500 – £186,000