Mercedes Benz S Class

  • Mercedes Benz S Class
  • Mercedes Benz S Class image2
  • Mercedes Benz S Class image2
  • Mercedes Benz S Class image2
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Display Image

₹ 1.6 Cr

On-Road Price, Mumbai

Overview of the car

Sedan

Automatic

Diesel

13.5 Mileage

80 Litres

8 AirBags

4 Seater

3 Years / Unlimited kms

Performance Metrics
250

kilometers per hour

Top Speed
6.8

seconds

0-100 kph
12.3

Meters

Turning Cycle
Tech Specs

Engine

Displacement
2987 cc
Max Power
258 bhp
Torque
63.2 kgm
Number of Cylinder(s)
6

Dimensions

Wheel Base
3035 mm
Ground Clearance
N/A
Bootspace
530 ltrs
Turning Circle
12.3 mtrs
Click to view the car dimensions chart

Suspension & Chassis

Front Suspension
Airmatic Suspension
Rear Suspension
Airmatic Suspension
Steering Type
Power Assisted
Tyres
Front: 245/45 R19
Rear: 245/50 R18
Front Brakes
Ventilated Disc
Rear Brakes
Solid Disc
Reviews and Video
NARAIN IMG

Narain Says

The diesel sets new standards for efficiency, while the petrol motor packs a strong enough punch to appease enthusiasts too.

HORMAZD IMG

Hormazd Says

The all-new, feature-packed interiors and shockingly spacious back seat havent just raised the bar, they have catapulted it out of reach of its competition.

TorqueX Review

What you’ll like?

Sumptuous Interiors, Supple Ride, Refinement

What you won’t like?

Not Exciting to Drive

TorqueX Says

Expensive but then Again Its The Best S-Class Ever Built

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AUTOCAR
Autocar Review

Mercedes Benz S Class Review, Road Test

Mercedes Benz S Class

In our road test of the Mercedes-Benz S 500 L six months ago, we established that it had moved the goalposts for luxury cars in its class – and the class above – and that there really was some credence in calling it ‘the best car in the world’. So that’s that, case closed, time to wait for the next competitor to challenge its position. Not quite, because if you ask the typical S-class buyers in India, they’ll tell you the S 500 has one very critical flaw – its large, petrol-powered engine. You see, in just about every segment of car in India, running costs are paramount, including uber-luxury limousines such as the S-class, and it’s no surprise that even in this segment, the diesel versions have, in recent years, been outselling the petrols exponentially.

Which is why anticipation for this S 350 CDI diesel version has been through the roof from day one. A diesel engine will typically sacrifice the inherent refinement and smoothness of a petrol – important factors in a car like this – but the dividends it pays at the fuel pumps is too big to be ignored, even for a crorepati. The S 350 CDI is also less expensive to buy than the S 500, but then Mercedes has also taken some of the equipment away. So, will the S-class have to put down its crown now that it’s running on diesel? That’s what this road test aims to find out.

First things first, the S 500, in our last road test, was a fully imported CBU, and also one of the limited-run ‘Launch Edition’ models that only 125 lucky buyers will have got their hands on. Now, however, both the S 500 and the S 350 CDI are locally assembled, and while this has brought the costs down, some of the sumptuous kit we first sampled six months ago is gone. So what’s missing in the S 350 CDI?

From the outside, not much. Mercedes’ massive chrome grille is still here, which really sets the tone for what an S-class should be. However, the wheels are rather tame- looking 18-inch alloys instead of the chunky 10-spoke, 19-inchers of the Launch Edition (although a different design of 19-inch wheel is standard on the S 500). The bodywork is exactly the same as before, apart from a slightly different rear bumper that does away with the rectangular exhaust tips of the petrol car. There’s a wider choice of colours now – apart from the black and white colours of the Launch Edition, you can also have your S-class in one of two shades of silver.

The S-class’ design is curvaceous, with a more stately look than the previous model. 

Under the part-aluminium body, the S 350 CDI uses Mercedes’ Airmatic air suspension with adaptive dampers. Sadly, the cutting-edge Magic Body Control (MBC), which has redefined suspension technology, is off bounds for Indian customers. This unique radar-based system uses certain frequencies prohibited by Indian law.

Step into the cabin and you might notice some omissions if you’ve driven the Launch Edition S 500. The cabin is still an exquisite blend of real wood, fine leather and soft brushed aluminium, blending the past and future of perceived luxury together seamlessly. The material quality, fit and finish are flawless too. However, the leather is no longer quilted on the dash, door pads and seats as before, and some wood trim is missing from the steering wheel and doors, though, to be honest, we had to look back at pictures from our previous test to realise this.

Sumptuous wood, leather and metal used on dash; high-res twin screens easy to read.

What was more immediately noticeable was that the split rear seat – another Launch Edition exclusive – is gone. This means you lose out on the heated and cooled rear cup holders and the pull-out tray tables. What you get instead is a more conventional bench-style arrangement which, if you flip up
the central armrest, can seat a fifth passenger. However, the two outer buckets still recline, will heat or cool you, and will give you a hot stone massage. More than anything else, however, they still soak you up as softly and comfortably as before. You even get the rear entertainment package with its twin 10-inch screens, the twin sunroofs and the chauffeur package – whereby you can push the front passenger seat forward by a ridiculous 77mm for more legroom. So, the back seat retains pretty much all of its appeal, and with a middle seat, it’s a bit more practical too.

‘Chauffeur package’ lets you really stretch out; softly cushioned seats are very plush.

So what other goodies have been lost in the diesel version? The Burmester audio system has been pared down from 24 speakers to ‘just’ 13, but you’d have to be a hardcore audiophile to really tell the difference – it still sounds phenomenal. The front seats no longer have a memory function, so when you swap places with your chauffeur, you will have to remember your driving position. The 360-degree cameras are replaced by just a single reversing camera; again more of an issue for the driver than the mogul in the back. Finally, there’s no night vision system, nor a touchpad for the COMAND interface, and the boot doesn’t get the button-operated electric close function. However, apart from the missing speakers and the split rear cabin, the rest of the goodies are still available on the locally assembled S 500 petrol.

On to the biggest change – the engine. It’s the same 2,987cc turbocharged diesel V6 you’ll find in the ML 350 CDI and GL 350 CDI, and it’s also paired to the same seven-speed 7G-Tronic torque-converter automatic gearbox.

The power output of 255bhp is pretty much par for the course amongst the current crop of luxury 3.0-litre V6 diesels, although the 63.22kgm torque figure is class best, if only just. Incidentally, that’s also 45bhp and 13.3kgm more than the old S 350 CDI. How does it feel on the road? In a word – serene. Apart from a brief thrum on start-up and the slightest suggestion of a purr should you approach the somewhat modest 4,200rpm redline, the level of refinement is almost eerie. This just doesn’t sound like a diesel engine.

Updated 3.0 V6 diesel makes 45bhp and 13.3kgm more than in the old S.

Set off, and you don’t get any sort of maniacal shove, there’s no judder from the gearbox and there’s certainly no hint of anything as bourgeois as turbo lag. There are just two settings for the engine and gearbox – Eco and Sport; the former also gets paired with engine stop-start by default, which can then be turned off independently. We found, however, that for most cases, Sport is the better choice, even if it’s the chauffeur at the wheel. The responses are better and the gearshifts, though quicker, aren’t any more jolting or apparent in the cabin. Eco works well if you want to save fuel, sure, but when setting off from a standstill, there’s an annoying trough in the power delivery that can create a mild lurch, which is not something you want interrupting your business nap in the back seat. Overall, however, power delivery comes via a superbly linear and creamy-smooth surge that just builds and builds all the way to the redline.

As with the engine and gearbox, settings for the adaptive Airmatic air suspension are down to a simplified two – Comfort and Sport. There is also a temporary ‘raise’ mode for tackling large speed breakers, which is handy, because the soft suspension combined with the long wheelbase means it can bottom out on large speed breakers if you’re not careful. On normal roads, Comfort mode is a dream, as if someone is running ahead and dropping a pillow into every crack in the road before you hit it. Ironically, that’s close in principle to the functionality of Magic Body Control, and we can only imagine how that would have worked if it were available in India. However, Comfort mode does, as can be expected, let in a fair bit of pitch and wallow, and so what’s really welcome is that if you find it a bit too much, Sport mode is far from uncomfortable, and offers much better body control. If you’d never experienced the former, the latter would do just fine, even in a car like this.

Suspension’s Sport mode offers less pitching and rolling, and is not too uncomfortable either.

On the flipside, expecting anything remotely sporty out of a car like this would be silly. The thing is, however, the body control is pretty impressive for something this big, and there’s nowhere near as much roll as you’d expect. Sure, it won’t change direction rapidly and the steering, though accurate, is light and unenthusiastic, but there is still a sense of occasion to driving this car.

Merc’s 7G-Tronic gearbox gets the job done, but these days it’s outclassed by more modern luxury gearboxes in terms of smoothness, reaction times and shift speed. It doesn’t like to be hurried and so, even in Sport mode, it’s best not to ask too much of it. There are paddles too, but again, you feel like you shouldn’t be using them in a car like this. Driven unhurried though, it works absolutely fine, and won’t disturb the sense of calm in the cabin. And what of those improved diesel running costs? Our tests gave us 7.2kpl in the city and 11.2kpl out on the highway, which of course is a fair bit better than the 4.9kpl and 7kpl of the S 500 petrol.

Lets face it, for most Indian luxury car buyers, the bragging rights come from the prestige that the car offers, rather than the engine under the bonnet. In fact, if Mercedes ever decides to drop its 2.2-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine into this new S-class, we reckon that would immediately become the most popular model over here. Of course, for a select few, the words diesel and luxury simply cant be said in the same breath, and for them, the better-equipped S 500 is now available at a more attractive Rs 1.36 crore. So the 350 CDI will likely become the de-facto choice for Indian S-class buyers, and as we�ve discovered in our test, the V6 engine works really well too. At Rs 1.07 crore, its not the most expensive car in its class, either. The other revelation is that in removing equipment from the Launch Edition, Mercedes has been careful not to dilute the luxury experience. The focus is still the back seat, where everything is as grand and plush as you would expect from an S-class, and if your chauffeur can find cause for complaint about whats missing in the drivers seat, you should probably sack him. The S 350 CDI drives home the point that Mercedes has really put a lot of work into its latest flagship. When the supposed �lesser; diesel version still feels almost every bit as good as the range-topping petrol, you know that the core engineering is solid. Did the best car in the world just get better? For most diesel-loving Indian buyers, yes it did.

Fact File

 

Engine

Fuel Diesel
Installation Front, longitudinal
Type V6, 2987cc, turbo-diesel
Bore/stroke 83.0/92.0mm
Compression ratio 15.5:1
Valve gear 4 per cyl, DOHC
Power 255bhp at 3600rpm
Torque 63.2kgm at 1600-2400rpm
Power to weight 119.6bhp per tonne
Torque to weight 29.64kgm per tonne

Transmission

Type Rear-wheel drive
Gearbox 7-speed auto

Dimensions

Length 5246mm
Width 1899mm
Height 1494mm
Wheel base 3165mm

Chassis & Body

Construction Four-door sedan, monoque
Weight 2132kg
Tyres 245/50 R18
Spare Space saver

Suspension

Front Independent, four-link, air suspension
Rear Independent, multi-link, air suspension

Steering

Type Rack and pinion
Type of power assist Electro-mechanical
Turning circle 12.3m

Brakes

Front Ventilated discs
Rear Ventilated discs
Anti-lock Yes

Performance

0-20 0.99
0-40 2.02
0-60 3.69
0-80 5.71
0-100 7.92
0-120 10.87
0-140 14.38
0-160 19.07

Acceleration in gear

20-80kph in 3rd gear 5.09s
40-100kph in 4th gear 6.32s

Braking

80-0 kph 2.22s

Economy

City 7.2kpl
Highway 11.2kpl
Tank size 70 litres

Range at a glance - Engines

Petrol 4.7 petrol 453bhp Rs 1.36 crore
Diesel 3.0 diesel 255bhp Rs 1.07 crore

Max speeds in gear

1 52kph 4400rpm
2 78kph 4300rpm
3 115kph 4200rpm
4 160kph 4200rpm
5 228kph 4200rpm
6 240kph 3800rpm
7 250kph 3500rpm
 
 
 

Comfort & Convenience

  • Central Locking
  • Remote Locking
  • Total Immobilizer
  • Climate Control
  • Remote Boot Release
  • Remote Fuel Lid
  • Front Fog Lamps
  • Rear Wiper
  • Rear Defogger
  • Front Power Windows
  • Rear Power Windows
  • Trip Computer
  • Electric Adjust wing mirror
  • Dead Pedal
  • Cruise Control
  • Paddle shifters
  • Sunroof
  • Refrigerator
  • Rain Sensing Wipers
  • Air Conditioner
  • Electric Sun Blinds
  • Leather Wrapped Steering
  • Reversing Camera
  • Hill Start Assist
  • 360 degree camera
  • Heads Up Display
  • Stop/start
  • Daytime running lights
  • LED Lights
  • Adaptive headlights
  • Headlamp Washers
  • Rear AC Vents
  • Rear Power Outlet

Drivers Aid & Safety

  • ABS
  • ESP
  • EBD
  • Brake Assist
  • Parking Sensors
  • Airbags Total (8)

Seating

  • Driver Seat Height Adjust
  • Split rear seats
  • Leather Upholstery
  • Folding Rear Seats
  • Front Adjustable Headrests
  • Rear Adjustable Headrests
  • Passenger Seat Height Adjust
  • Lumbar Support
  • Third row of seats
  • Seat Massagers
  • Seat Memory
  • Cooled Seats
  • Electric Seats
  • Driver Seat Power Adjust
  • Rear Seat Foldable Table
  • Rear Seat Centre Armrest

Entertainment & Communication

  • TouchScreen Audio System
  • Audio system (with Radio)
  • USB Port
  • Bluetooth & Streaming
  • Steering Audio Controls
  • Speakers
  • Hands Free Telephony
  • Satellite Navigation
  • Single CD Player
  • Rear seat screens
  • Subwoofer
  • Voice activated controls

Tyres & Wheels

  • Spare wheel
  • Space saver
  • Alloy Wheels
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