Bring again hood ornaments.
Imagine the stress of creating a brand new Mercedes-Benz S-Class. This automobile is meant to be the height of Everest for patrons who need a full-fat luxurious automobile, and each successive era ought to add extra to the pile with out forgetting its raison d’être, which suggests there’s quite a bit driving on each new mannequin. All that tough work has paid off, although, as a result of the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is an absolute banger, as soon as once more setting the usual for all different luxurious vehicles.
LikeTop-tier rideMakes you’re feeling like one million bucksSweet augmented-reality HUD
Don’t LikeConfounding sunroof controls
The 2021 Mercedes-Benz S580 is rattling close to the right luxurious automobile, though styling is subjective, and I’ll be the primary to confess that the most recent iteration of Mercedes’s design language is not my favourite. My sole grievance is that the rear finish is Eeyore-tier droopy, with a chrome unibrow spanning the width of the trunk, which is my absolute least favourite 21st-century flourish.The remainder of the S580’s exterior is all about class. Despite carrying the extra aggressive bumpers and facet skirts of the $4,300 AMG Line bundle, my tester continues to be reasonably demure. The 21-inch AMG alloy wheels have a fairly trad-luxe look to them, too. This automobile does not want loopy angles or reduce traces to make an announcement — it is only a large, fancy sedan, carving its method by way of site visitors with a correctly old-school hood decoration main the cost.
2021 Mercedes-Benz S580 needs to coddle at each alternative
See all images
If for some motive I do not really feel like one million bucks strolling as much as the Mercedes S580, I certain really feel prefer it as soon as the doorways open — really, no, earlier than, because of digital door handles that come out from the physique as I strategy. The S-Class has lengthy had the plushest interiors within the auto trade, and that continues with the 2021 mannequin. The black Nappa leather-based is smooth, and never solely are the entrance seats supportive as heck, on the S580 they arrive customary with a superb multi-contour therapeutic massage perform. The rear seats are roomier than earlier than, with loads of headroom and legroom for me to splay out.The S580’s inside design borrows closely from the Vision EQS idea, with a big swath of wooden trim working the width of the dashboard, punctuated by pairs of vents on both facet. The 12.8-inch OLED infotainment display rises up from the middle console, leaving sufficient area behind it for an extra storage tray. The cowl beneath the display strikes to disclose two normal-sized cup holders, a wi-fi charging pad and an additional tray for masks, keys or different pocket detritus. Under the armrest, there’s sufficient area for a small purse, whereas the door pockets are simply sufficiently big to carry some massive drink containers. There’s no huge binnacle surrounding the 12.3-inch gauge show, which suggests the dashboard stays good and low, making for glorious ahead visibility.
Plunk down an additional $3,000 and the area in entrance of the gauges turns into a large projector for one severely spectacular head-up show. Not solely will it ship the standard data readouts like pace and route of journey, it might additionally work with native vehicle-to-infrastructure tech to show the time remaining on a crimson gentle. My favourite half, although, is the augmented-reality integration that the S-Class shares with its electrical EQS sibling, displaying upcoming turns as arrows that develop nearer because the intersection does, in addition to highlighting site visitors when adaptive cruise management is energetic. The data is all the time the place it must be, too, because of eye-tracking cameras constructed into the gauge show, which may perform in a trick 3D Mode for somewhat further visible aptitude. Flipping by way of the numerous accessible layouts and menus is made simple because of touchpad-style buttons on the steering wheel.
The large ol’ display in the midst of the S580 runs an up to date model of the MBUX infotainment system we have seen in each different Merc, and it really works in addition to ever on this iteration. It’ll run wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, however there are additionally 4 USB-C ports within the middle console for front-seat occupants to make use of. The touchscreen collects smudges like no different, nevertheless it’s responsive, and it is fairly darn spectacular, too, particularly when it is working a fullscreen map. The backside a part of the show all the time reveals local weather controls, with a smattering of bodily buttons beneath that for altering driving modes, turning up the quantity, partaking the hazard lights or studying my fingerprint to drag up my private settings (not obligatory).The show’s angle is ideal for visibility, though you may accomplish 90% of what it is advisable to by voice command alone.
The solely controls that frustrate me are discovered overhead. This S580 has two sunroofs, one per row, and they’re managed with essentially the most infuriating contact slider recognized to man. I spent a whole week attempting to determine the logic behind the way it works, however it doesn’t matter what instructions my fingers go, it does the whole lot — opens and closes the entrance panel, tilts the entrance panel, engages the entrance panel’s solar shade — besides the one perform I really need it to. I despise it on the EQS, and I despise it right here.What’s inconceivable to despise, although, is the 2021 Mercedes S580’s journey. It is, merely put, the most effective within the section, with an adaptive air suspension that preternaturally eliminates practically each inch of unhealthy street underfoot, feeling pillowy clean nearly on a regular basis. The S-Class floats down the street, and mixed with thick glass, driver and passengers alike can be all however shut off from the world on the opposite facet. The suspension lowers and stiffens when put into Sport or Sport Plus mode, and whereas the S580 does a fairly good impression of a full-size sport sedan, I’d suggest ready for an AMG variant in case you actually wish to give it the ol’ what-for. This factor might nook nicely, however what it actually needs to do is luxuriate in any respect doable alternatives.It’s onerous to be uncomfortable in these seats. The S580 is sure to be a street journey king for these thrones alone.
The S580’s powertrain is good and clean. Under the hood is a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 producing 496 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, augmented by a 48-volt delicate hybrid system that may throw one other 21 hp and 184 lb-ft into the combo, normally when leaving a cease or pushing the accelerator into the firewall. The V8 is loads potent by itself, however with this little bit of electrification, the S580 feels prefer it runs on a unending nicely of driving force. A nine-speed computerized transmission does its factor with close to imperceptibility, and elective rear-axle steering (4.5 levels, $1,300, though 10-degree steering can also be accessible on some variants) means it is fairly darn simple to navigate parking tons and different tight confines. The EPA charges the S580 at 17 mpg metropolis and 25 mpg metropolis, and whereas town estimate appears spot on, I’m in a position to squeeze out one thing nearer to 30 mpg on the freeway.If a V6 looks like overkill within the twilight years of the inner combustion engine, the S500 would possibly scratch your itch, as an alternative. This mannequin ditches two cylinders, choosing a turbocharged straight-6 making 429 hp and 384 lb-ft. It, too, has the EQ Boost delicate hybrid system, in addition to customary all-wheel drive and the identical nine-speed computerized. It’s somewhat extra environment friendly, although, coming in at an EPA-estimated 20 mpg metropolis and 29 mpg freeway.This often is the remaining era of the combustion-powered S-Class, and this 4.0-liter V8 sings one heck of a swan track if that is the case.
There are some very succesful driver aids prepared to help. Standard full-speed adaptive cruise management combines efforts with lane-keeping help to maintain the car centered in its lane on the tempo of site visitors, eliminating the tedium of longer commutes however nonetheless requiring palms on the wheel and eyes pointed down the street. While energetic, although, the driving force aids make smooth inputs and hold the journey snug. For parking, the infotainment display can present a 360-degree space across the automobile, which I can twist and spin on the display to verify I’m staying in all of the traces. Parking sensors mix efforts with the ambient lighting to present me an extra layer of warning in case I get too near a wall or one other automobile.It should not come as a shock that the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class ain’t low-cost. The S580 begins at $117,350, and a restricted variety of aesthetic and purposeful enhancements bump my tester’s value as much as $131,500 — and there is nonetheless an AMG variant or two that may reside above this one, along with the big-boy Maybach. The S500 and its straight-6 engine are fortunately rather less costly, coming in at $110,850. Thank goodness.Mercedes’ closest opponents, the BMW 7 Series and Audi A8, are each high-quality luxurious vehicles in their very own proper, nevertheless it’s onerous to suggest something apart from the S-Class. The customary bearer stays on the entrance of the pack, and may keep there for some time.
Climb within the driver’s seat for the most recent automobile information and opinions, delivered to your inbox twice weekly.