On what is essentially its 60th anniversary, the 2014 Mercedes S-Class has never been better sorted, loaded with more features or more desirable. A comment I got from a friend on Facebook following the posting of a picture sums up the car quite well: “They should drop the ‘S’ and just call it ‘class.’”
The Mercedes S-Class is a tremendously complex automobile that does its best to distract the occupants from that. The effortless way it drives and its Queen-Elizabeth-like on-road presence along with its gobs of power make everything seem right and serene in this world.
What is a Mercedes-Benz S-Class?
The 2014 S-Class is and will likely always be Mercedes’ flagship super-luxury sedan. It has been since 1954 and could be credited with having set the standard for the uber-luxo saloon.
Now in its 6th generation, the S-Class carries on with new nearly unprecedented levels of technology, once more at the forefront of what is possible in an automobile. Mercedes have used the S-Class as their platform of choice for introducing new technologies in the past, with varying degrees of reliability issues.
2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Price and Specs
A 2014 Mercedes S 550 4MATIC short wheelbase retails for $106,600. In long wheelbase form, the price rises to $115,200. There exists a 63 AMG version and it starts at a paltry $151,600.
Both 550s are motivated by a twin-turbocharged 4.7L V8 that develops 449 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. Merc’s 7G-TRONIC PLUS 7-speed automatic transmission slots itself between the 8 and the standard 4MATIC AWD system.
This powertrain combination launches the S 550 to 100km/h in only 4.8 seconds and will go forth until it tops out at 210 km/h.
My long wheelbase S 550 sports a sticker price of $131,500, which includes the advanced driving assistance and Premium packages.
Driving the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class
A sense of powerful wellbeing is what the Mercedes S-Class casts upon its occupants. Upon start-up, a sense of all encompassing strength takes over. Picture Thor heading towards Jane Foster to save her. That feeling of relief, safety and that everything will be OK washes over her. The S-Class does the same, to its occupants.
A light tug downwards on the column-mounted shifter puts the 7G-TRONIC in “D” and with determined throttle application, the S 550 lusts towards the horizon. This car does nothing sharply; the S picks you up and forcefully yet gently pushes forward with force akin to that of Thor throwing his hammer.
The rumble from the V8 is present however muffled by the incredible level of sound-deadening materials. The soundtrack increases ever so slightly as the revs build towards 6,500 rpm, but the gauge that deserves attention is the speedometer as it climbs at a rate that defies logic for such a huge car.
The 2014 Mercedes S-Class weight is perfectly managed unless the car is tossed into a decreasing radius onramp. Otherwise, this ultra-mega-super-luxury car floats above nearly all imperfections with uncanny ease thanks to its standard continually adaptive damping of the S-Class' AIRMATIC suspension. The German engineers from Stuttgart have taken refinement to a level that Bentley and Rolls-Royce attain: this in a car that retails for far less than a Mulsanne or a Ghost.
Driving, or piloting, this luxury cruise ship is an experience unto itself. Manipulating the sumptuous wood and leather steering wheel results in the hood-ornament-adorned nose slowly banking over to one side in the glossiest possible manner. Steering weights up properly at highway speeds, but again nothing is ever sharp.
The 2014 Mercedes S-Class’ countless bits of technology come together to create the ultimate in high-end driving experience. The S-Class is actually capable of driving itself for a few moments thanks to DISTRONIC PLUS with Steer Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, and collision prevention assist. These systems use radar and camera to steer, accelerate, and brake the car. The combined systems will “drive” the S-Class but only for a few moments until a warning chime is heard. At this point, best to put both hands back on the wheel.
Inside and Out of the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class
Like the Abbey, it’s not especially boisterous visually but leaves no doubt as to what the car stands for. The new 2014 Benzo S-Class is not beautiful. In fact, few would ever state that such and such generation of the S-Class is gorgeous but this one tips the scale in favour of a serious “wow” and “damn, that’s kinda hot.”
The new C-Class may be the only pretty Mercedes at the moment and, given that it has been referred to as the baby S-Class, I supposed the S 550 is handsome.
Where the new 2014 Mercedes S-Class really demonstrates how special a car it is is within the confines of its crisp and muscular body panels. The cabin is sumptuous, regal, and insanely comfortable and spacious.
The car’s inner sanctum is covered in the finest hides, steels, and woods. The string of pearls layout of the vents (along with start-button and clock) is simply beautiful. The screens, however, are not, especially when off. When on, their graphics and animation are fantastic. The Burmester audio system creates sounds as gorgeous as the machined aluminum grills are. Every aspect of the S 550’s interior received what can only be described as an inordinate amount of attention. The incredible ambient lighting is another example.
The rear bench is exceptionally roomy and welcoming. Few large sedans are as welcoming where being driven everywhere really wouldn’t be a bad thing. In short, the 2014 S 550’s cabin is stylish and fantastically good for one’s health.
Comparing the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class
The Mercedes-Benz S-Class faces off with a number of flagship juggernauts including the Audi A8, BMW 7 Series, Porsche Panamera, Lexus LS and, the current star of the segment, the Tesla Model S.
I truly enjoyed the S 550, however, the Tesla tugs at all my strings and would win my affections if I were fortunate enough to be in the market for such a car. The Model S’ cabin may not be as special, but for nearly every other aspect, go Tesla.