By Amanda Mfuphi
The Mercedes-Benz S-Class has always been synonymous with luxury, opulence, tech and comfort – and the new S-Class certainly lives up to this reputation. Barring the Maybach and AMG derivatives, the S-Class comes in the S350d and S500 4Matic derivatives. We were fortunate to sample the flagship S500 4Matic recently and were thoroughly impression with S500.
The S500 sports a commanding look upfront thanks to the large black grille with chrome strips flanked by slim LED daytime running lights. The front look is completed by large air vents on the bumper which is also adorned with chrome strip elements. The rear is equally good looking thanks to the rear slim LED lights, a chrome strip that runs across the boot and the double exhaust with chrome elements. Our test unit ran on 20-inch multi-spoke wheels and came with a panoramic sunroof which added to the looks of the car. The S500 is also fitted with unique door handles that pop out when you approach the car or open the vehicle then go back into the door when you lock the vehicle. The S500 is undoubtedly a head-turner thanks to the large black grille with chrome strips flanked by the LED daytime running lights and certainly makes a statement with those 20-inch multi-spoke wheels.
Inside, you are met with sheer luxury and opulence thanks to the plush seats, the soft touch materials and the tech inside the cabin. Stepping inside the cabin, you find 4 plush seats with cushions and massage functionality and heating settings. Up front, the cabin features a large tablet-like digital cluster that sports a 12-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a dashboard dominated by soft touch leather material and a pin-striped black wood trim finish with chrome elements giving it a luxurious and regal feel. The soft touch leather material makes its way to the door panels and large armrest. The rear of the S500 only fits 2 passengers and the rear feels equally luxurious thanks to the pin-striped black wood trim finish, large armrest and a tablet-like control for the rear passengers. The rear passengers also get their own dedicated climate control access.
We found the cabin to be immensely comfortable as it offers ample space for all 4 occupants (including the driver) comfortably. The cabin presents ample space for all occupants and ambient lighting. Rear passengers also have their own climate control access. The large tablet-like 12-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is intuitive and easy to operate.
From a tech and safety perspective, the S500 offers various driver assistance systems such as active lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring systems, active steering assist, tyre pressure monitoring system, front and rear parking sensors and a 360 degree camera view. Some of the standard tech includes electrically operated seats with memory function for seat preferences, the MBUX navigation system, wireless charging, head-up display and a Burmester surround sound system with 15 speakers.
The S500 is powered by a 3-litre twin-turbocharged engine which pushes out 320kW of power and 520Nm of torque. Power is directed to all four wheels through the 9-speed automatic transmission. The S500 is a car that is traditionally enjoyed at the rear given its rear comfort levels, however, we enjoyed driving it as it presented an effortless and smooth drive. It presented itself as quite a driver’s car. The 3-litre twin-turbocharged engine is no slouch and easily ferries the large body sedan without breaking it a sweat. The 4Matic all-wheel drive system and adaptive damping system combine well to ensure that the S500 remains firmly planted even on spirited drives and reduces body roll when cornering. We did find the engine to be on the thirstier side as we averaged 11.8L/100km with mostly city drive.
The S500 is priced from R2,850,675 and comes with a 5 year/100 000km Service Plan and Maintenance Plan.
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