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Featured ROAD TESTS First Drives: Mercedes-Benz S Class FL 2017

Discussion in 'Mercedes-Benz S-Class' started by mercpassion, Jul 19, 2017.

  1. mercpassion

    mercpassion Active Member

    A nice review of the S Class by AE, which they seam to like a lot, naturally..lets hope the S remains the creme de la creme when the new A8 arrives..

    Mercedes S-Class 2017 facelift review


    18 Jul, 2017 11:00pmJames Batchelor

    Just days after the Audi A8's arrival, Mercedes has revealed a facelifted S-Class stuffed with tech


    5 STARS

    The S-Class has always been the luxury limousine class leader with its ultimate blend of image, technology and refinement – and the raft of updates increases the big Benz’s appeal further. The added safety and autonomous features are clever and will filter down to other models in time. Whether the S-Class’s reign at the top of the tree will continue with the arrival of the Audi A8 whose suite of autonomy functions is in the next league will be interesting to see.
    It seems a little too coincidental that no sooner has Audi launched its brand new self-driving A8, we get handed the keys to the updated version of the tech-laden Mercedes S-Class. In a move of outstanding one-upmanship, Mercedes has preened its S-Class to look a touch smarter and at the same time stuffed it full of new gizmos to rain on the Audi’s parade.

    But first let’s round up those styling tweaks – because they really are just tweaks. As is normal for any facelift these days, there are new front and rear bumpers, slightly different rear lights and the front headlight clusters now have three LED day-running light bars and multi-beam LED headlights.

    And for an extra bit of glamour, a more imposing front grille – previously only for the V12 version in the outgoing S-Class range – is now rolled out for all models. It’s still unmistakably an S-Class.
    Image 2 of 13

    Image 2 of 13

    In comes a range of new ‘Active’ and ‘Assist’ features, too. Firstly there’s Active Distance Assist Distronic where, at a pre-set cruising speed, the car scans the road and uses sat-nav data to speed up and slow down for corners, junctions and tollbooths. It’ll even slow down the car when you’re leaving a motorway and entering the following junction. If you’re travelling between 35mph and 120mph and you touch the indicator left or right, the new S-Class will change lanes by itself thanks to the Active Lane Change Assist technology.

    Car-to-X Communication speaks to other Mercedes cars fitted with the system. So if you’ve just encountered a traffic jam, the system will notify other Car-to-X models to avoid that stretch of road. And you can now park your S-Class without being inside, by using an app on your smartphone.

    Mercedes has been working away under the bonnet, too. Out goes the 3.0-litre V6 diesel and in comes a new 3.0-litre straight-six in this new S 400d. It develops 334bhp and 700Nm of torque.

    For the most part, the updated S-Class feels just like the car it replaces – and that’s no bad thing. The sumptuous ride quality from the standard air-suspension allows the S-Class to glide along the road, while choosing the optional Magic Body Control improves this further, but is only available on the V12 models.

    Naturally, most S-Classes will be experienced from the back seats and the feeling of travelling first class airline-style remains – it costs £5,000 for the two individual rear seats and picnic tables, but these make the S-Class feel particularly special. Build quality continues to be exceptional, with beautiful levels of detail, and the S-Class will carry on delighting chauffeurs with its large 510-litre boot.

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    Image 9 of 13

    However, while the S-Class has never really troubled the Jaguar XJ for road handling, the big Benz has always displayed an impressive level of driver engagement – and that continues here. The steering is light but accurate and despite the floaty body, the S-Class actually feels surprisingly agile on twisty roads.

    The new straight-six diesel is noticeably smoother than the old V6 diesel it replaces. There’s a more hushed growl under acceleration, and there’s immediate pick-up throughout the rev range. The new engine is an excellent match for the S-Class’s already polished and refined nature.

    What’s new, though, is when you switch on the clever new autonomous tech. While it takes some time to get used to Active Distance Assist, it works very effectively; braking for motorway exits is smooth and seems almost natural. However, the Active Lane Change Assist system can take up to 10 seconds to move the car from lane to lane after you’ve touched the indicator stalk, and this sometimes feels just too long.

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    Image 4 of 13

    Just the sporty looking AMG Line is available and prices kick off at £72,705 for the short-wheelbase S 350d (long-wheelbase is £2,800). From there on it’s long-wheelbase only with the S 500 at £82,215 rising to a whopping £187,240 for the S 65. The S 400d will probably be the pick of the range when it arrives later this year – expect that to come in at around £78,000.

    Standard kit includes parking assist with a parking camera, LED multibeam headlights, front seat electric memory seats, 64 colour ambient lighting, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and wireless phone charging up front. Naturally there are a wealth of extras including optional packs for the ultimate S-Class experience.

    Mercedes S-Class 2017 facelift review
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    • fortuner

      fortuner Well-Known Member

      Good Review i would like to know more about the new engines ..
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      • Grosser

        Grosser Member

        Last edited: Jul 19, 2017
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        • Centurion

          Centurion Well-Known Member Premium Member Contributing Member

          "The sumptuous ride quality from the standard air-suspension allows the S-Class to glide along the road, while choosing the optional Magic Body Control improves this further, but is only available on the V12 models."

          Was this also true before the facelift?
        • Grosser

          Grosser Member

          It was available on S63 with RWD. In UK I think there will be no 4Matic but then you can get MBC.
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          • mercpassion

            mercpassion Active Member

            What is it?
            Listening to Mercedes-Benz outline the latest incarnation of the S-Class at a press conference in Zurich, Switzerland last week, you could have been forgiven for thinking it really is an all-new model.

            The latest S-Class features more than 6000 new components and three bnew engines – two of which are new to the model, including a six-cylinder petrol unit combined with an electric motor and 48-volt electrical system in a pair of mild hybrid models. There’s an updated infotainment system and a semi-autonomous driving system that can accelerate and brake by itself, including in and out of roundabouts.

            But no matter how hard Mercedes-Benz tries to convey the step the latest S-Class has taken – and, admittedly, it is significant – it is still a mid-life facelift of the W222 model.


            That said, it is a facelift the Mercedes’ head of research and development, Ola Kallenius, describes as the most comprehensive in the company’s long history. Indeed, the latest S-Class appears to be right up there with the BMW 7 Series and the Audi A8 in technological terms, no mean feat for a car originally introduced in 2014.

            Dimensionally, the S-Class hasn’t changed; it stretches to 5125mm in standard guise and a rather palatial 5255mm in long-wheelbase form.

            The familiar exterior appearance remains, too. However, many of the details, including the prominently chromed grille, profiling of the bumpers as well as the LED headlamp and tail lamps graphics, have been updated to give the S-Class a fresher look.


            Underneath, it uses an updated version of the outgoing S-Class’s platform – a combination of the MRA platform used by the smaller C-classand E-class, with unique S-Class structural elements at the rear. It is allied to standard Air Body Control air suspension. Unlike the three-chamber system unveiled on the latest E-Class, though, the S-Class retains the simpler single chamber air springs used on the outgoing model.

            The electrical architecture has definitely been upgraded, and supports the widest range of driver assistance system of any Mercedes.

            UK pricing is yet to be finalised, but is expected to be around £80,000.

            What's it like?
            We drove the S-class 400d in long wheelbase form. It comes with rear-wheel drive as standard; our test car was fitted with optional 4Matic four-wheel drive.

            The big change is the engine. Gone is the turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 diesel unit that has been a mainstay of the S-Class line-up since 2005. It is replaced by an all-new turbocharged 2.9-litre in-line six-cylinder diesel motor that delivers 335bhp. It has 19bhp more power than the turbocharged 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder unit used by the latest BMW 730Ld and 71hp more than the turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 engine in the fourth-generation Audi A8 3.0 TDI. The S-Class's engine features a stepped bowl combustion process, multi-channel exhaust gas recirculation system and, for the first time, variable valve lift control.


            The new in-line unit is smoother and more refined than the V6 it replaces. Barely audible at idle, revs build quickly, smoothly and linearly, with the S-Class’s new nine-speed torque converter 9G-Tronic gearbox, which operates in combination with a 2.47:1 final drive ratio, programmed to exploit the strong torque characteristics.

            While lacking the electric motor assistance of the 2.9-litre, in-line six-cylinder, petrol-powered S500, speed nevertheless builds quickly with merely a distant hum from the new engine detectable from the well-isolated cabin. With a strapping 516lb ft on offer at just 1200rpm, the new 2000kg S400d 4Matic’s in-gear performance is wonderfully punchy from anything above idle through to where it peaks at 3200rpm. Mercedes-Benz quotes a 0-62mph time of 5.2sec and a (limited) 155mph top speed, with official fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of 50.5mpg and 147g/km.

            Behind the wheel, it's the superb ride that sets the new S-Class apart from the upper luxury car competition. On smooth surfaces it glides along in the finest traditions of its celebrated predecessors. The electronically controlled air sprung suspension maintains a pre-set ride height and sponges away blacktop scars with authority. Even over nasty transverse ruts, our 400d 4Matic managed to maintain ironfisted composure with the sort of inherent control and sensitivity unmatched by the latest 740d and the outgoing A8 3.0 TDI.


            Switch the standard Dynamic Select system into Sport mode and it distinguishes itself with outstanding road holding and, with the optional Air Body Control suspension fitted to our long wheelbase model, exceptional body control given its generous dimensions.

            The steering remains extremely light and a little vague in the first few degrees off centre, but it weights up nicely and is sufficiently precise with a quarter turn of lock to engage the driver. The four-wheel-drive S400d 4Matic serves up exceptional grip and the sort of cornering tenacity to allow swift and spirited progress over more challenging roads without constant interruptions from the traction and stability control systems.

            Inside, the front seats offer a tremendous comfort over longer journeys. The cabin styling has been subtly refined, with higher-grade materials within the dashboard, which remains dominated by two high definition displays for the instruments and infotainment system.

            In the rear, the long wheelbase provides exceptional leg room – something that arguably matters most at this end of the luxury car spectrum.


            There’s also an incredible amount of technology, ranging from a raft of driver-assistance systems to cutting edge semi-autonomous driving functions. While the S-Class can’t steer by itself for more than 30 seconds at a time, the autonomous accelerating and braking functions that come as part of an updated cruise control system are a clear step toward fully automated driving that Mercedes-Benz promises will be part and parcel of the next S-Class just three years from now.


            Should I buy one?
            There will always be some who feel the need to arrive in something more exclusive than an S-Class. Yet despite the cachet associated with a Rolls-Royce Ghost or Bentley Flying Spur it is arguable whether they manage to deliver the sort of wellbeing served up by the latest incarnation of the long-wheelbase Mercedes-Benz saloon flagship.

            Those buying it to drive, or to be driven in, will experience an exceptional car perfectly judged to meet the demands of a discerning market.


            Mercedes-Benz S-Class S400d 4Matic review review | Autocar
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            • Grosser

              Grosser Member

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              • mrnet_01

                mrnet_01 Active Member

                I do not know about the facelift but it was available on all v8 and up except the 4matic version
              • WAND

                WAND Member

                Still the King in its class.
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                • rs271

                  rs271 Well-Known Member Contributing Member

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                  • Merc1

                    Merc1 Well-Known Member Contributing Member

                    They may have done just enough to ward off the new A8 and Lexus LS, just maybe. That said, reading about the new I6 leaves me breathless. I want one in my living room, as a coffee table and in a my next new Mercedes lol!

                  • Serpens

                    Serpens Active Member

                    I've seen enough of the A8 not to worry about it no matter how well it drives; I think the Lexus LS will be a true challenger to the bottom trim S-class this time around though.
                  • Merc1

                    Merc1 Well-Known Member Contributing Member

                    Oh I expect the LS500 to murder the V6 S450 in U.S. magazine comparisons. The I6 S500 with 435hp(?) would have been perfect for the job. There is no reason why the S560 can't be closer to 500hp at this point. Everything above it is now 600hp or more.

                  • rs271

                    rs271 Well-Known Member Contributing Member

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                    • W201

                      W201 Active Member

                      I hope this wasn't posted in another thread.

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                      • Mick Briesgau

                        Mick Briesgau Well-Known Member

                        S400d 4matic AMG line (part one)
                        Drove the facelifted V222 for circa 400 km. This post will be reduced to the main differences between the pre FL and the FL, as I experienced them. So it will be a very personal and subjective review.

                        1. First impressions
                        Exterior is almost exactly the same as the pre FL. Except for the front. The AMG line front is both impressive and slightly overdone. The new grill is beautiful, the lower intakes with the chromed horizontal flares almost too much. The combination of both looks menacing and will be very impressive, seeing one in your rearview mirror on the Autobahn, when it's coming at you at high speed. Strangly enough it didn't remind me of the W213 at all. The wheeldesign looks very good.

                        Interior of course very familiar. The new screen and the new matt black wood are very nice. The new steering wheel I didn't like. I mean it looks ok, though nothing special any more. It's smaller than the old steering wheel and the 3rd vertical spoke seemed to be 'in the way' somehow. Futhermore, I don't like a steering wheel that isn't 100% round. The AMG line steering wheel is more or less straight at the bottom, when the wheel is in it's normal position. When you're cornering and let the wheel slide back, still in your hands, in it's normal position, the bumps in the wheel are very uncomfortable.

                        Attached Files:

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                        • Mick Briesgau

                          Mick Briesgau Well-Known Member

                          S400d 4Matic AMG line (part two)
                          2. How does it drive?
                          It excells in comfort, nothing changed there. Floating like on an oriental carpet, cocooned and heavenly silent.
                          The enhanced assistence features function all as they should. The distronic/acc operates even more sophisticated and natural than it did already. The start/stop functions smoother than ever.
                          The new features: overtake assistent (blinking and the car overtakes autonomous), functions flawless, but completely unneccesary.
                          In automode, driving towards a roundabout, it slows down to approx. 30 km/h itself, without you breaking. Leaving the roundabout, it accelerates to the set speed (in my case 80 km/h).
                          As we already know from the W213, it automatically slows down to maximumspeed.

                          3. The best part
                          Without a shadow of doubt: the new I6 engine. Man, what a sophisticated, smooth and powerful piece of machinery. Driving and sounding almost like a petrol engine, you forget you are driving a very potent diesel...

                          4. Final and subjective conclusion
                          Still the best you can get. What really turns me off however, are the enhanced assistence features. It really gets on my nerves, how the car breaks everytime the maximumspeed changes. I mean, it breaks... when I see a maximumspeed shield, I lift the gaspedal completely, until I've reached the allowed speed. The autonomous breaking function imo is discomfortable.
                          When overtaking on the highway, it nerves how the system is influencing in a unwanted way my natural steering proces. The way the car slows down for corners and roundabouts, gets on my nerves because of the same reasons.

                          Would I buy the FL?
                          I don't think the FL is better looking than the pre FL. The enhanced assistence is something I really don't want to have. For the first time since 2005, I wouldn't order the assistence package...
                          The only reason I would order a W222 FL, is the new engine. That's fenomenal.

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                          • DjordjeC63

                            DjordjeC63 Active Member

                            Can you turn off those assistance systems?
                          • Mr. Mercedes

                            Mr. Mercedes Well-Known Member

                            Have there been any enhancements to materials in the interior?
                          • Mick Briesgau

                            Mick Briesgau Well-Known Member

                            Not all of them, or you turn off even the cruise control as such

                            No, not that I've noticed.

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