Reviews

2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Driving Impressions


The S-Class is athletic but it isn’t a sports sedan, and it’s too big and heavy to handle like one. The steering lacks driver feedback.

The S550’s twin-turbo 4.7-liter V8 is as strong as most anyone needs, but the S63 AMG and S65 AMG are kings of the universe of luxury power. The S63 AMG coupe and sedan use a fierce twin-turbo 5.5-liter V8, and a firmer tuned suspension that makes the big S-Class come alive in ways uncommon to a car this size. They carve corners with grace and pace. Zero to sixty in 3.9 seconds!

Or maybe the real master of the universe is the S65 AMG, just because it’s a V12 and makes 621 horsepower. But it’s not quite as quick because it’s only rear-wheel drive. And the 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12 takes a seven-speed automatic, not the new nine-speed. The S650 Cabriolet gets this powertrain. Clearly a movie star’s car: a Mercedes V12 convertible with 621 horsepower.

There’s another version of the V12 making a tamer 523 horsepower, used in the Maybach S600.

The ride is impeccable, and the brakes get the heavy car stopped true and without drama.

That smooth-as-glass ride is produced Magic Ride Control, using a stereo camera to look at the road and set the suspension for the upcoming surface. In Comfort mode, it feels like magic.

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