In a world that’s changing far too rapidly, there are still a few benchmarks that we can rely on. For example, it’s difficult to beat the Apple MacBook Pro in terms of quality. Similarly, if you are looking to buy a luxury sedan to make a statement that you’ve made it in life, nothing comes close to the Mercedes S-Class. It’s no surprise, then, that it has been a vehicle of choice for world leaders, oligarchs, and dictators around the globe. And speaking from personal experience, when you arrive at a fancy hotel in the S-Class, trust me, you begin to understand what ‘arriving’ means. The level of attention you get is simply otherworldly.
Now, the fact that the brand-new W223 S-Class was one of the contenders of our 2021 awards made our job a lot more complicated. You see, with a combination of its brilliant quality, luxury, refinement, and desirability, the S-Class has always been a very strong competitor in our awards. So how did the latest S fare? First, I must say that the design of the new S-Class is simply mesmerising. Sure, it’s well over five metres in length, but with its sharp lines, great design balance, and detailed light design, it really cuts a fine figure on the road. In fact, I would go as far as to say that the sharp design of the W223 makes the W222 and W221 generation of cars look truly dated.
Then, of course, there is the matter of driving it, and this is where the W223 sets a new benchmark. Its rear-wheel steering system is an absolute game-changer. While the technology itself is not new, it does make driving the new S a revelation – it completely changes your view of the way in which a big car handles itself. You’d be surprised to see how nimble it is in city traffic. I’m not exaggerating when I say that it feels like you’re driving a C-Class, when, in fact, you’re sitting in a brand-new S-Class. Even on the track, the S-Class is a delight – its air suspension does a brilliant job of limiting body roll, and the 3.0-litre engine, with its 362bhp and 500Nm of torque, is fantastic for clocking a pretty quick lap time.
The real highlight of the S-Class, however, remains its back seat, which is almost as good as any business-class seat of the finest airline on our planet. The seat reclines, and the front passenger seat gets pushed to oblivion to make sure that you feel like you’re in your private charter plane, while you’re just being driven around in the city. Of course, when you look at the scoring charts, there wasn’t much that we could fault the S for. It’s an extremely desirable product, and given its new driving and interior experience, it truly sets a new benchmark in the segment, justifying its billing as the ‘Best car in the world’.
- 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class (Lap Time – 01:10.1)
|RIDE & HANDLING||5||5.0|
|VALUE FOR MONEY||30||12.0|