2016 Mercedes-Benz S400 – A Rolling Symphony
Mercedes-Benz S400 an entry ticket to the exclusive club that says: The best or nothing!
I’ve got a long way to go. Yet I was thinking that I have reached a dead end of decadence. For the first time, I felt, I was stunned. Unable to think of anything as coherent. The only scene that was reeling in my mind is of a child observing the first gasoline-driven car back in 1901 by Karl Benz. Astonished perhaps, as I can only imagine. Argument-wise, I think it’s a good starting point. Kids observe, but they don’t concoct much, they just say what they feel like. The reason for my shock and awe state is this week test drive, the 2016 Mercedes -Benz S-Class.
For the past 15 years, I’ve been oddly in and out of the S-Class. My uncle owns S-Classes since the stately W126 series onwards. So I have witnessed the changes in the design, especially W140 series, which I refer to as Tonka and then becoming luxuriously classic again with the fourth generation W220 introduced back in ’98. However, this time around, it’s the sixth-generation S-Class, known as W222 and is again completely revised and refreshed inside out. And like the Tonka W140, it’s huge and like W220 it’s a super uber S-Class!
However, I would like to clarify the reason for my shock and awe state is not just the 2016 Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Veritably, it’s the mind-boggling technology this S-Class was fitted which proudly adhere loyalty to Karl Benz’s claim the best or nothing! I guess it has reached to a full circle, Considering the fact the Mercedes S-Class is always the forerunner for the ‘industry-first’ technologies, the new 2016 Mercedes S class is revolutionary again!
The Presidential Appeal – 8.5/ 10
From the get go, our tester in obsidian black the 2016 Mercedes-Benz S400 looks presidential. It’s a stately long wheelbase version – a standard here in the UAE, and has unmistakable three-pointed star proudly residing over the signature Mercedes-Benz (radiator) grille. There’s an undeniable arresting look, thanks to the all-new all LED headlight unit that consists of not one or ten, but 56 LEDs to light up your way be it day or night.
This S-Class has come a long way in terms of design. The long and bold character line emerging from the fender stretching towards the rear end and disappearing elegantly to form a classic look from its hallmark dropping-line. The rear-end again a fusion of the previous S- Classes. The large taillights highlighting the aft consist of 35 LEDs.
The interior is the pinnacle of luxury. I was spellbound with the warmth of the fascinating interior. Our car was optioned with Designo Nappa leather in silk beige/espresso brown. It’s exquisite yet graceful. Top quality guaranteed whatever you touch and feel. The whole dashboard is covered with leather and in perforated diamond stitching. I have not seen my eyes got stuck anywhere, nothing is incongruous, however, in a place that makes you feel as if you belong to a classic era thanks to the Designo brown sunburst high-gloss Myrtle wood, like it or not, that all digital 12.3 inch LCD screen which has replaced conventional analog dials look bit bizarre.
From the beautifully designed speaker grills and rotating tweeters on the doors and polished wood to the metallic roundel air-vents and of course the beautiful ‘Mercedes-Benz’ lettering on the wooden steering wheel, having virtual instrument pod that sans shiny real metallic dials are a bit of an oddity here.
Indeed this is not enough and the best yet to come, what S-Class can represent. To experience the superlative experience you need to climb in the rear seats. And this is exactly what I did, as our tester was equipped with the first class recliner rear seat package. with a touch of a button located on the right door, the seat reclined into the 43.5-degree angle giving me a surpassing chauffeur driven experience. Ironically, the experience can’t be more elevated as the fragrance generator (Freeside Mood) that can fill up the cabin sadly, by the time car came into my hands the bottle got emptied. I can recall the similar experience with Infiniti Q70 where the fragrance already is gone in an ether. Yet, I was enjoying the Energizing massage emulating the ‘hot-stone’ therapy!
The Fluidic Ride – 9/ 10
The big Mercedes-Benz S400 is a real pleasure to drive. It’s quite surprising to know that, inside out, S400 is a big car measuring 5246 mm in length and a 2130 mm wide, still while driving I felt it’s quite easy to maneuver, with steering delightfully light, S400 threads through the tight spaces effortlessly. A 3.0l Biturbo – V6 producing a healthy 333hp and turning 480 Nm of torque. Don’t be fooled by the S400 badge: it’s not a V8 nor a tarmac tearing AMG so it doesn’t matter how fast it goes, what record it would break, in fact, the owner would be hardly interested in any of those 0-60 dash numbers. However, for all the geeks out there Mercedes-Benz S400 wasn’t a complacent when it comes to pulling off the lights. The big barge did 0-60 in a respectful 6.1 seconds, so there you have it.
Be it on the driving seat or lounging in the first class rear seat, thanks to new generation Airmatic air suspensions that come in conjunction with standard continuously operating Adaptive Damping System ADS PLUS. If that seems like a doctor’s scribble, simply put, this provides jitter less, comfortable and stress-free driving experience.
The 8-speed automatic transmission, from the get-go, delivered a seamless shifting. There were hardly any jerks felts while in the sports modes as the difference is nuance. with all these technologies that make you think that you are now a part of the future, it’s quite annoying to know that engineer overlooked the placement of the cruise control stalk. Engaging cruise-control sometimes gets frustrating, as you often end up fiddling with the two lower stalks.
The Safety Vault – 9.5/10
Back in 2005 Mercedes-Benz conducted a test to check the driver level of calmness and engineers found out, compare to other cars, driver’s heart is beating 5 beats less in a minute while driving Mercedes-Benz S-Class. There must be some reason for this assuring tranquility. I guess the most prominent is the host of safety features. From Night View Assist Plus, Active Parking assists with Parktronic and 360-degree camera. Distronic Plus with Steer Control and Stop&Go Pilot. Brake Assist BAS Plus, PRE-SAFE Plus. Interestingly, throughout my test drive experience, I never found any of the safety feature contradicting with each other, and I can tell you that’s a very common-distasteful occurrence in many other cars. The S-Class continues to deliver a peaceful driving experience.
Buyer’s Guide to the Galaxy – 9/10
Sebastian Bach was a German Baroque era symphony composer. He was famous for his rich sounds. An elevating music that paints a serene imagery and leaving a lasting impression yet excites the heart to keep the flame of passion alive. That’s the goal of Mercedes-Benz which defines the ‘Essence of Luxury’. More often a car is reviewed on the basis of performance with the combination of features it offers along at a typical price – point. The S400 here surpasses all of those elements. Mercedes-Benz has raised the bar, how you perceive the luxury.
Every seat has a massager that provides six different types of messages with variable intensities along with warming effects. An impressive Burmester High-End 3D‑Surround sound system, panoramic sunroof, and beverage cooler that is hidden behind the two rear seats. There are iPad sized two DVD entertainment hi-res monitors and USB media hubs and wifi hotspot. The list may continue forever and the ink may get dry.
Lucky for me that S-Class is one of the cars that stood the test-of-time. I don’t have to defend anything here. Prices for the Mercedes -Benz S400 starts at AED 408471, an entry fee for the exclusive club that says: The best or nothing!