Having served as the flagship product for the Mercedes-Benz for close to half a decade globally, one wonders what new could the German luxury car manufacturer bring to this iconic car (of sorts). While the Mercedes-Benz S-Class never got the credit it deserved – to be called the poster boy of luxury vehicles – it surely is a primary choice of state heads, celebrities and businessman looking to buy a luxury sedan. It is obvious, then, Mercedes-Benz keeps the S-Class relevant by adding more and more luxury.
In 2018, Mercedes-Benz introduced the all-new 6th generation S-Class in India not only by adding the luxury touch to the sedan, but by giving it a technological makeover. While we have previously driven the new S-Class during its first drive event, we decided to do a comprehensive road test review of the S-Class S 350d to understand if all the luxury and technology features make your life easier or if the Indian roads are still not ready for a car like the S-Class.
Here’s our Mercedes-Benz S-Class S 350d Road Test Review.
Mercedes-Benz S-Class S 350d grille. (Image: Arjit Garg/ News18.com)
The 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class carries a considerable makeover as compared to the previous model and has an added charm. The front has a large chrome infused triple horizontal slat grille flanked by massive Multibeam headlights with distinctive flowing LED lights. The bumper has a large air intake with a dash of chrome adding a sporty touch. The rear is wide but does not bring anything new to the table. However, it's the side profile riding on the massive wheels that makes the new S-Class looks stately. Overall, the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class has a presence that’s hard to neglect.
While the exterior of the S-Class is stately, the interior is a different ball game altogether and takes you to a different dimension. The cabin gets the finest quality material right from the leather seats to wood inserts in the dashboard and a touch of aluminium brushed elements throughout the cabin. The light beige coloured cabin with a yacht styled wood panel dissecting the doors and dashboard gives the S-Class a class-apart feel.
Mercedes-Benz S-Class S 350d front seats. (Image: Arjit Garg/ News18.com)
Mercedes has replaced the traditional looking buttons and screens with a large panel comprising individual infotainment and instrument screens. There’s a stitching pattern throughout the cabin, giving it a plush look, while the material quality is top notch. The seats at the front are wide and comfortable and gets ample cushioning, however, it’s the rear seats, especially the passenger side rear seat that takes the cake with a fully reclining seat complemented with a foot rest.
With the help of the buttons installed on the rear door (which needs to be long pressed for the whole operation), one can fully recline the rear left seat. That’s not it as the rear passengers also get their own personal entertainment screen which comes with individual remote and wireless headsets. Adding to the touch of luxury is a panoramic sunroof, electric sun blinds, perfect cabin air quality that is improved by ionization and of course, an option to have your own fragrance with the Mercedes-Benz Air Balance package.
Mercedes-Benz S-Class S 350d rear seats. (Image: Arjit Garg/ News18.com)
The S-Class is also loaded to brim with comfort equipment like thermotronic automatic climate control for individual air distribution, two integrated wireless charging points, a Burmeister surround sound system with 13 speakers and our favourite - ambient lighting in 64 different colours that gives you an elevated ride experience esp. in the night.
The S-Class is also practical and gets a lot of cubby spaces to keep your stuff, right from large underarm storage for both front and rear passengers, cupholders and bottle holders, an ashtray space and a deep and wide boot. Overall, the S-Class offers every convenience possible and delivers an experience like no other.
Mercedes-Benz S-Class S 350d ambient lighting. (Image: Arjit Garg/ News18.com)
The new Mercedes-Benz S-Class gets both petrol and diesel engine options that are Bharat Stage VI compliant. We drove the S 350d diesel engine that is powered by an in-line six-cylinder engine delivering 286 horsepower and 600 Nm of torque. On paper, the 350d goes from 0-100kmph in 6 seconds, and has a top speed limited to 250 kmph. We found the engine powerful enough for long highway runs and the 9-speed auto gearbox complements with smooth gear changes which you hardly notice.
The ride quality is what the S-Class buyer looks for and we vouch you won’t be waking anytime up once you are lying flat on the back seat, thanks to the AirMATIC air suspension. The large infotainment screen we earlier mentioned is where you can play with multiple drive modes and settings, altering the performance and suspension settings. If you are keen to hard-foot in this car (which we will not advise), opt for the sport mode and visible difference can be felt.
Mercedes-Benz S-Class S 350d 6-cylinder engine. (Image: Arjit Garg/ News18.com)
The steering is on a bit heavier side which is understood given the sheer length and weight of this car. The brakes were not that confidence inspiring, but we knew that the active safety system with radar based safety function is ready to save us. Jokes aside, media units tend to have the faded brakes and clutch.
The S350d gets an Adblue tank (visible alongside the regular fuel cap) that injects a liquid ammonia solution to convert Nitrogen Oxide and Nitrogen Dioxide into Water and Nitrogen. Both the gases are responsible for smog and tailpipe emissions. As far as mileage is concerned, the S-Class delivered a good 10 kmpl mileage throughout our drive.
Mercedes-Benz S-Class S 350d side profile. (Image: Arjit Garg/ News18.com)
The new Mercedes S-Class is the safest car produced by the German carmaker till yet and was the first car in India from Mercedes-Benz to get a radar based active safety system. The safety pack gets features like active distance assist, active steering assist, active blind spot and active brake assist to keep the vehicle safe, which we got a taste off while driving in the overtly crowded lanes of Delhi. The safety system brought the car to a complete halt a couple of times after it sensed a pedestrian crossing the road randomly. These systems are supported with features like airbags, ABD, EBD and other more. The S-Class also gets a 360 camera for parking and manoeuvring through tight spots along side and attention assist system that reminds you to take a break if you are feeling tired.
Mercedes-Benz S-Class S 350d rear. (Image: Arjit Garg/ News18.com)
The Mercedes-Benz S-Class 350d is one of those rare cars that doesn’t shy away from justifying its hefty price tag (Rs 1.33 Crore starting price, ex-showroom). While the sedan exudes luxury from the first moment you set an eye on it, the real fun lies inside the cabin that’s probably the best you can get in the Indian market today. The only point of contention, maybe, is a tad relaxed driving dynamics, but then, who buys a car like an S-Class for the adrenaline rush. It’s more of a car where you sip your coffee with your leg stretched at the back seat listening to your favourite music, without thinking much about the world outside.