2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class | road test

Posted on May 4, 2014 by
2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class
  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 4.5 stars
  • Outstanding
AEDAED 535,000 - 635,000
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  • Exterior
    Editor: 95%
  • Interior
    Editor: 95%
  • Quality
    Editor: 95%
  • Features
    Editor: 95%
  • Performance
    Editor: 95%
  • Value for money
    Editor: 95%

Review Summary:

Karl Friedrich Benz rose to fame when he developed the world’s first gasoline powered automobile back in 1886. Encompassing this success, the brand has strived for perfection ever since and today, is among the top three German automobile manufacturers in the world.

Pros

Everything from the way it looks, to the way it drives and the features it packs in, are simply top-notch.

Cons

Boot space is appalling once you climb the spec ladder and request for a refrigerator between the rear seats.

Introduction & Summary

For over fifty years the S-Class has served as the brand’s flagship model, showcasing innovations in drivetrain technologies, convenience features and safety systems. Currently in its eleventh generation, the 2014 S-Class is no exception to this rule.

Mercedes-Benz emblem

Styling & Design

Sporting prominent creases along its hood and the length of the car, neat integrated LED daytime running lights that slither around the headlamp clusters and a physique that exudes elegance, the S-Class has aged brilliantly and looks absolutely stunning in its current guise.

2014 Mercedes-Benz S500

Flaunting grey multi spoke 20 inchers, a navy interior and a special edition Anthracite Blue coat, our test car wasn’t exactly the best mix of colours. We e-mailed the guys at Mercedes enquiring if they’d handed us Stevie Wonder’s ride by mistake, but they haven’t got back to us yet…

2014 Mercedes-Benz S500

Inside, it’s simply spectacular and it couldn’t be anything else, with swede on the headliner, Nappa leather on the seats and a combination of Sunburst Brown Myrtle wood and perforated crosshatched leather along the dashboard and door panels. Unlike Mercs of yesteryear, the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class isn’t bogged down with a plethora of switches around the cabin and instead opts for a sleeker approach, where most of the controls are enclosed into the silhouette of a horseshoe on the centre console and a multifunctional rotary dial sits neatly in the centre.

Features

Having earned its reputation for spearheading the technological front in the automotive world, we had high expectations of Germany’s finest and let’s just say, it didn’t disappoint.

2014 Mercedes-Benz S500 infotainment

Unlike a traditional instrument cluster and infotainment screen, the innovative boffins at Stuttgart have installed two 12.3 inch screens arm in arm that are secured firmly only at the sides, to make it seem like the screens are afloat. It’s neat, unique and surely deserves a tip of the hat for creativity.

2014 Mercedes-Benz S500 speakers

Equipped with quite possibly one of the best sound systems in the industry, the 1,540 watts 24 speaker Burmester sound system is an absolute treat and is sure to keep the opera lovin’-audio buff-exec grinning as they dash from one meeting to the next in style with the S-Class.

2014 Mercedes-Benz S500 rear screen

Be it with your bunch of mates or that special lass in your life, the S-Class is able to set just the right mood for your night out with its ambient lighting system that offers seven different hues ranging from pink and purple to red and blue. If it’s a quiet night in and you wish to indulge in a movie, surf the internet or play some games on the dual 25.4 cm rear screens, then by all means do so, but just make sure you aren’t in the same situation as us. To our bad luck, the screens fitted in our test car would switch on, flash a warning message in Arabic and then fade to black. We tried making sense of the message and narrowed it down to the fact that it didn’t read ‘two shawarma’s and one juice’ (the only bit of Arabic we’re comfortable with).

Performance, Ride & Handling

Gone are the days when simplicity ruled and an S350 would be fitted with a 3.5 litre engine, while an S500 would house a 5.0 litre engine; nowadays, it’s all a little more complicated. At the mercy of our right foot resided a 4.6 litre V8 twin turbo unit that chucked out 455 horsepower and a dizzying 700 Nm of torque, which was made available from just 1,800 RPM!

2014 Mercedes-Benz S500

Sending 450+ eager to gallop horses to the rear wheels through a 7 speed automatic transmission, the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S500 has an electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h and will demolish a 0 – 100 km/h sprint in just 4.8 seconds. For a car that weighs over 2.7 tonnes, that’s mighty impressive!

2014 Mercedes-Benz S500 front

Swallowing up tarmac quicker than you’d expect is definitely one of its strong points, but let’s not forget, transporting people from one point to another in extreme comfort is the S-Class’s forte. Equipped with features such as Magic Body Control and Road Surface Scan that reads the condition of the road 25 times per second and accordingly regulates the amount of oil needed in each of the separately controllable spring struts to absorb bumps, the S-Class is simply revolutionary.

2014 Mercedes-Benz S500 rear

For people like ourselves at AME who are nuts about all things automotive (and a little old school), bringing up the topic of self driving cars is almost taboo and though they are just around the corner, we will never willingly accept it. In addition to adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring and lane departure warning, Stuttgart’s engineers have taken it one step further by creating a system referred to as Steering Assist. Yup, you guessed it; so now your acceleration, braking, lane discipline and even steering is all done automatically…

Comfort & Practicality

Supreme levels of comfort is something that comes as standard with an S-Class. Be it the seats up front, or the extremely roomy rear seats, you’re spoilt for choice with the number of seat adjustment and massage options available. If it’s the front seats you opt for, a simple tap of a few switches transform the plush, almost sofa-like seats into serious bucket seats with immense shoulder, thigh and side support. However, if it’s the rear seats you prefer, you’re going to enjoy being pampered with reclining seats that heat and cool, along with a small refrigerator that is ideal to keep your Vimto or apple cider cool.

2014 Mercedes-Benz S500 rear seat

In terms of practicality, the S-Class packs in one dirty little secret. Although the trunk originally measures in at 530 litres, (which is significantly more than BMW’s 7-Series at 396 litres) the addition of the refrigerator to the rear seats devour’s boot space so rapidly that at the end of it, fitting anything more than a child stroller and laptop bag could prove tricky. As far as fuel efficiency goes, it’s quite impressive on the open road, but figures such as 20 litres / 100 km are also a common sight when stuck in the daily Dubai – Sharjah grind. But of course, complaining about its thirst for Octane98 to a potential buyer is about as irrelevant as cribbing about the rise in KFC prices to a pure vegetarian.

Price & Verdict

What Humphrey Davy did with the light bulb and what Alexander Graham Bell did with the telephone, is what the guys in Stuttgart have done with the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class. At a price of AED 535,000 to AED 635,000, the S-Class isn’t cheap, but it points fingers and enjoys a hearty laugh at its competition because it knows, it’s a cut above the rest. In case you haven’t got it yet, the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is a portable hard drive in a floppy disk world…

2014 Mercedes-Benz S500 rear badge

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