With a newly redesigned look and feel last year, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan reaffirms itself as the pinnacle of modern luxury. This is the one. Aside from the pricier Maybach variant or a Rolls-Royce two to three times more expensive, the S-Class remains the smoothest, most sumptuous full-size luxury sedan on the market, the benchmark for which all others are measured.
The Mercedes-Benz S-Class is one of the most celebrated vehicles in automotive history. The first S debuted in 1951, while Mercedes-Benz’s limousine concept dates back to the turn of the century. Over the years, each new model has raised the bar in terms of comfort, elegance, innovation and technology, and the recent refurbishment is no different. The new S-Class sports an abundance of high-end materials, plush seating and advanced technology that caters to the demands and needs of its driver. And despite all of its subtle refinements and next-gen tech, the car never gets in your way. To borrow a competitor’s tagline, this really is the ultimate driving machine.
The model we test-drove was the 2022 S580 Sedan 4MATIC in Diamond White. The car has a modern limo-like appearance and just oozes sophistication and class. The S-Class’s front optical units are the most sophisticated available from the manufacturer. To reduce glare, one-million-pixel matrix laser light components frame approaching cars. Although the radiator grille has a little design alteration, the iconic silver star on the bonnet remains — a much-missed touch in other Benz classes.
The 2022 Mercedes S580 is equipped with respectable weaponry. The 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 from Mercedes produces 496 horsepower and 516 lb.-ft. of torque. Through the 4MATIC system, a 9-speed automatic transmits power to all four wheels. Even at our 4,900-ft. elevation test site, 0 to 60 mph speeds are in the low 4-second range. Although the power delivery is seamless, the amount of force required to move this giant cannot be concealed. The nifty EQ Boost feature adds an extra 21 horsepower. The directed rear wheels are another aspect of the driving aid system. Finally, the Mercedes-Benz S580 achieves 19 mpg and 16/25 city/high mpg in 2022, respectable for cars of this size and class.
Although the heavy leather monarchs in the front and back rows make it clear that the Mercedes-Benz S-Class prioritizes comfort and swankiness, its standard air suspension accomplishes the sensation by turning the road into silk. The optional E-Active Body Control can even lean the vehicle into corners to prevent you from spilling a drop of your beverage while relaxing in the power-adjustable, heated massage function-equipped back seats, which are an option. The S-Class is excellent at bringing the good life to life.
The interior comfort of the car is even more impressive than the engine in terms of innovation. Think of an automobile that is so silent it feels like you are in a soundproof room. Everything here is predictably first-class. The controls for the MBUX system, whose ergonomics are simple to use and voice instructions are simple to utilize, are shown on a massive (but not quite EQS-sized) central screen. Speaking of the MBUX, one of the innovations in the 2022 S580 is MBUX Interior Assist, which recognizes hand and gesture motions toward the touchscreen or touchpad and highlights or activates the required content. If you’ve seen the movie Minority Report, you get the idea.
Voice commands and the augmented reality navigation feature both have received upgrades to sound even more realistic. The readout for AR navigation is now crisper on the head-up display. Of course, there are no flaws in the handling, clarity, visuals or smoothness of any screens or cameras. The sedan’s construction quality and interior materials are up to Mercedes’ upmarket standards, and all passengers, especially those in the back, have amenities akin to those in a limousine.
Driving the S580 is like floating on a big, smart cloud. The ride is wonderfully smooth whether you’re cruising the highway or driving around town. As the automobile quickly moves down the road, it absorbs all the bumps of the outside world without the driver being the wiser. The effects of road dips and bumps are significantly lessened with AIRMATIC air suspension and adjustable dampers. The ride becomes a bit stiffer while in sport+ mode. The Mercedes-Benz S-Class retains a smooth ride over road irregularities even when the suspension is set to its tightest level, leaning slightly in the bends. The S-Class accomplishes its objectives.
The Benz occasionally exhibits a sense of superiority over the driver. To run the 3D instrument cluster and the Attention Assist safety system, which informs drivers when they seem sleepy or inattentive, a pair of stereo cameras monitor your head and eyelid movements. This life-saving tech is perhaps the most impressive and invisible feature. Such driver-monitoring systems are increasingly important to ensure that drivers maintain their focus on the road while the vehicle operates as a co-pilot.
This brings us to our most beloved feature of the S-Class, something Mercedes has dubbed “Active Seat Bolstering.” Basically, when you turn a corner the seat hugs you. It is hard to overstate just how wonderful and addictive this little creature’s comfort is. It is the most fabulous feature ever — the thing you never knew you needed and once you have, cannot live without.
At around $130,000 for the loaded model we test-drove, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class certainly isn’t cheap. But if you value luxury, comfort and elegance from your daily driver, you can do no better. This is quite simply as good as it gets. Sleek, seductive, and sumptuous, the S-Class is in a class of its own.
Learn more about the 2022 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan at www.mbusa.com or visit an Arizona dealership near you:
Mercedes-Benz of North Scottsdale
18530 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85054
Mercedes-Benz of Scottsdale
4725 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Mercedes-Benz of Gilbert
3455 S. Gilbert Rd.
Gilbert, AZ 85297
Mercedes-Benz of Chandler
7450 W. Orchid Ln.
Chandler, AZ 85226
Mercedes-Benz of Arrowhead
9260 W. Bell Rd.
Peoria, AZ 85382
Mercedes-Benz of Flagstaff
5171 Test Dr.
Flagstaff, AZ 86004