Inside, you’ll find a wonderful blend of tradition and technology. Both the materials used and the way they are put together are superb, putting the S-Class ahead of all its major rivals. Naturally, the interior is trimmed with lashings of leather, and the dash is dominated by two huge screens that display details about the infotainment systems, as well as the usual dials for speed and engine revs.
Despite the amount of adjustments you can make, and the information you can access, it’s all very easy to operate, either by controls on the steering wheel or using a controller on the central console.
The S-Class is also extremely comfortable, with full electric adjustment and four-way lumbar support on the driver’s seat, as well as electric adjustment on the steering wheel. The only slight complaint is that the thick windscreen pillars restrict your view a little.
There’s a choice of 64 colours for the background lighting in the cabin, and, for the ultimate in luxury
, the S-Class comes with a system called Energising Comfort, allows a variety of systems – from the climate control to the massaging seats, stereo and ambient lighting – to work together to create one of six pre-set ambiences in the cabin.
It’s almost impossible to imagine anyone would be worried about the space in the back of the S-Class, even if you choose the smaller version, which comes only with the 350d engine. Every other model comes with the long-wheelbase body.
Because of the extra space you get inside, this long-wheelbase version is the one to go for if you plan to be chauffeur-driven. You can choose from a variety of options that make things even more comfortable in the back seats – electrically adjustable, reclining and massaging rear seats, for example, as well as a rear-seat entertainment package.
The boot is impressive, too. It's easy to load, and has a capacity that’s on a par with its rivals, though you’ll need to pack a little lighter if you opt for the plug-in hybrid, as the extra batteries this version requires crimp the boot space somewhat.
In a car like the S-Class, it’s more important for it to be comfortable and quiet than to go around corners particularly sharply. So, it’s remarkable just how well the S manages to do pretty much everything. Above all, it’s exceptionally comfortable, with its air suspension managing to smooth out any lumps and bumps it comes across. It’s also extremely quiet on the move, making this a superb long-distance, high-speed cruiser.
Remarkably, it’s also very composed through the bends, with the suspension controlling the body’s movements extremely well. The car’s sheer size means it prefers sweeping bends to tight turns, but this is still a car that is as enjoyable to drive as it is to be driven in.