2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class: Surprising Reviewsby Opinion Express March 19, 2018 0 comments
The surprising reviews on the Mercedes-Benz S-Class not only includes state of the art Bharat Stage VI engine and Triple-Torch headlights but it has a lot to look for. You invest your money possibly more than you require in your life to have a vehicle of your class that exudes your confidence and character. If you are looking for such kind of car, the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class is the one for you. Although Audi and BMW give tough competition to Mercedes and also had found stiffer in the recent past, the Mercedes-Benz this time has spruced up the S-Class with the features that they were exactly expecting. Either you are a captain of the Industry or the president of any country, the S-class is the model for you. You might be considering a Quattroporte or a Lexus LS, but there are democrats and dictators all liking big Mercs. Surely, you can get a Bentley or Rolls Royce but there is something modest about the S-class.
And you don’t drive the S-Class, but my friend Siddharth Patankar of NDTV did want to drive the car soon after we left the fantastic Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad. So I settled into the extremely comfortable primary seat, diagonally behind my chauffeur. When fully extended, which you can do with the press of a button on a panel on the door, the seat becomes what airlines describe as an ‘angled’ flat seat and this is supremely comfortable. And you realize that this is the person that this entire Rs 1.33 crore car is designed around. However, each seat at the back gets an individual remote and Mercedes branded noise-canceling headphones, which, judging by their looks seem fairly similar to AKG models and you can watch and listen to your own content without bothering anyone else.
While the passenger on the rear right seat in India, directly behind the driver does not get the luxury of the throne seat, he or she still gets an obscene amount of legroom, a heated and ventilated seat as well as the massage function. And what a massage function, the S-Class offers six different types of messages to its passengers, and I chose the relaxing heated shoulder massage. Of course, I did this while I had the ventilated seat function on and was sorely missing an airline-style eye mask because I really wanted to sleep as the car wafted over Hyderabad’s smooth and brilliant Outer Ring Road.
But the life of an automotive writer does involve driving right, so I had to get behind the wheel of the car. Now, I will be the first to admit that I’m really not a fan of long-wheelbase cars, rather I am not a fan of driving long-wheelbase cars. But then again, the S-Class despite having a mad AMG version with 600 horsepower, is not a car you really want to throw around corners. Indeed, it majestically turns in and out of corners, but if you’re behind the wheel of an S-Class you do not want to get your passengers unhappy by trying to do a tailslide. A guaranteed way to lose your job. However, when you consider this is a huge and heavy vehicle, the fact that it turns without a squeak of protest from the suspension or the tires is the testament to the engineering behind the car.
Are there any niggles with the car? Well, the driver might not appreciate a button function for the boot, but the owner might not like the fact that there is no single button function to get the seat back from ‘snooze mode’ back upright. You do not need to fiddle around a bit with the seat functions to get it back up. This is something that Mercedes-Benz should look at, your average airline business class seat does have this.
But, some of you will say this is just a facelift. Yes, it is. But it is a rather nice one, for one the updated Mercedes S-Class gets a stunning ‘triple-torch’ design of three LED strips on each headlight, differentiating this car from all its smaller siblings. It also gets a host of what we call ‘Advanced Driver Assistance Systems’ (ADAS) but I believe this is more a case of the systems being built into the vehicle at the time of construction and Mercedes-Benz India not disabling them. This is the first Mercedes-Benz vehicle to have radar-adaptive cruise control, advanced lane assistance, a lane-change warning as well as automated braking in case it senses an accident might happen. All very nice, but this sort of technology, which one would describe Autonomous Level 1 is what you want, then buy a Volvo XC60, which is a more geeked out car.
What is very new and interesting is the inline six-cylinder engine (OM656) that is on the S350d model which is also the first car to meet Bharat Stage-VI fuel norms. The way the engine achieves this in an era of BS-IV fuel is by having a Selective Catalytic Converter tank, containing something called ‘AdBlue’, a mixture of urea and deionized water which is blown into the exhaust and dramatically reduces particulate emissions and Nitrogen Oxide emissions and meet BS-VI standards even with BS-IV fuel. One worry some have is that BS-VI norms might mean that diesel engines will have less power and be more expensive. Well, on the latter front, the S350d is 10 lakhs cheaper than the S450 petrol version and Mercedes-Benz India’s Roland Folger told us that 95 percent of all S-Class sales will be of the diesel. That said, smaller diesel engines will get more expensive thanks to BS-VI norms. As for power, the new inline-six produces a quite impressive 286 horsepower. Is it fast? Yes. Do you want to go particularly fast in this car? No. In fact, even with the advanced driver aids on the car, which we experienced on the road and on a special test track, the new 2018 S-Class is a car that demands you take up the rear seat.
Writer: Kushan Mitra
Courtesy: The Pioneer