2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Review
Pros & Cons
- Exceptionally serene ride quality
- Effortless acceleration regardless of engine choice
- Several high-powered engine options
- Seemingly endless safety and comfort features
- Sheer volume of tech features can overwhelm
- Competitors are often more engaging to drive
- Small trunk in the coupe and convertible
Edmunds' Expert Review
Effortless. That's really the best way to describe driving 2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The steering is fairly light, and when equipped with lane keeping assist and/or Distronic Plus cruise control, it will even subtly steer the car for you. Still, you'll be surprised at how adeptly this very large sedan and coupe will hunker down and go around a corner.
Now, you may think you've enjoyed a comfortable ride before, but it most likely pales in comparison to the S-Class' standard adjustable air suspension. Not only does it iron out bumps, it does so without a hint of floatiness. Plus, the ride gets even better with the sedan's optional Magic Body Control. Using a windshield-mounted camera, the car detects potholes and other imperfections in the road ahead and automatically adjusts the air suspension to compensate. We're not exaggerating when we say it'll feel as if you're slicing through speed bumps rather than going over them.
As for engine choice, every S-Class is substantially quicker than you'd expect from such an enormous car. It's really power delivery that's the biggest difference. You'll be able to tell the V8 and V12 models apart by the way they dole out their power and torque, while the AMG models are showier in the noises they make.
The cabins of most flagship luxury cars feel like bigger, fancier versions of "lesser" models, sharing a general design aesthetic and many control components. Not so the 2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Even though the new E-Class has borrowed a few design cues and controls, the S-Class remains a special car that exists above the rest. There is an elegance and sense of opulence that make it feel more like a competitor for a Bentley than a BMW.
Beyond aesthetics, few cars can approach the new S-Class' comfort and infotainment features. The standard seats are lovely, but we recommend the Premium package's multicontour seats with their additional adjustments, ventilation and six massage settings. That's right, six. One even simulates a hot stone massage by utilizing the seat's heating elements. And just in case your rear passengers are the jealous sort, the same opulent front-seat features (including their adjustments) are available in the sedan's enormous backseat. Plus, you can add an entertainment system, airplane-style pop-out tables and even a fridge.
Those aren't available on the coupe and convertible, but even their backseats are generously sized for a two-door car. Plus, the coupe's lack of side roof pillars provides a wide-open, windows-down driving experience that few other cars can match. You'll also find the convertible's top-up or top-down driving experience impressively serene, especially with the standard Aircap wind deflector raised.
All of the S-Class' many infotainment functions are controlled by the latest iteration of Mercedes' COMAND system, which is reasonably user-friendly given the immense number of functions it's tasked with. Just make sure to spend a lot of time trying things out and asking questions of your Mercedes salesperson or dealership concierge.
The trunk, as you might expect from a 17-foot-long sedan, is sufficiently large at 16.3 cubic feet. Note, however, that the available 24-speaker Burmester high-end sound system "significantly" reduces trunk space, according to Mercedes. The S550e plug-in hybrid also has a smaller trunk (12.2 cubic feet) because of its battery pack. The coupe's trunk is on the small side for a coupe, especially such a large one, at 10.4 cubic feet. The Cabriolet is a bit better at 12.4 cubes, but it's reduced to 8.8 when the roof is lowered.