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Ironically, when the Mercedes S-Class was launched, the styling – unusual at the time – was not widely liked by the press.

The exaggerated wheel arches and huge headlamps were a surprise after its rather less imposing predecessor, but see one on the road today and you’ll have to agree that Mercedes got the styling right.

Matt Prior

Matt Prior

Road test editor
Distronic cruise controls will brake the S-Class to a standstill from 125mph

It has a solidity and dignity that is perfectly judged for its role – which is usually being parked in front of the smartest hotels across the world.

The way the shoulders of the doors flow backwards into the rear wing and rear light cluster is especially deft.

The boot effectively ‘sits’ on top of the rear wings, with the edges of the lid forming a distinctly odd contrast with the rear wing, but, somehow, it all works as whole.

The addition of LED ‘Christmas tree’ daylight running lights in the lower front bumper is, perhaps, the least successful part of the exterior of the current S-Class.

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