After a week and many hundreds of miles of testing, we aired the only serious criticisms we could level at the new Mercedes S-Class and realised all of them had everything to do with our own preferences in big saloons and little to do with performance or fitness for purpose.

This grandest of Benzes may not seduce its driver like a Jaguar XJ – our incumbent luxury saloon champ – but that is not what it is for.

Matt Prior

Matt Prior

Editor-at-large
State of the art in every way. Suave, rich, relaxing and supremely fit for purpose.

Whether or not you’re ever personally likely to give up the driver’s seat, you can’t deny that this car does what it’s supposed to do superbly. It is functionally exceptional, and that’s the irreducible definition of a five-star car in our book.

And like so many of its predecessors, the S-Class is not only a luxury saloon but also a pioneer, bringing ground-breaking technology to the fore, but the emergence of the new Audi A8 and the announcement of its autonomous technology being readied sooner than Mercedes planned to launch its own could throw a spanner in the works.

But for the time being, the mantra remains, where the Mercedes-Benz S-Class leads, the rest of the car-making world follows. And on this evidence, it will continue to do so for some time.

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