2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class first drive review: relaxation chamber


R-E-L-A-X.

Frankie said we should all do it. Aaron Rodgers famously said it when the Green Bay Packers started 1-2 in 2014 before coming within three minutes of a trip to the Super Bowl. And now, Mercedes-Benz, not content to build what it considers the best car in the world, wants S-Class customers to relax behind the wheel.

The W222 generation S-Class debuted for the 2014 model year and for 2018 it gets a midcycle update that includes 6,500 new parts (not including a pair of new engines), many of which are designed to help drivers relax.

Two systems in particular are aimed at that goal. The new Energizing Comfort system soothes, while an upgraded Intelligent Drive system takes the wheel—briefly.

2018 Mercedes-AMG S63 4Matic+

2018 Mercedes-AMG S63 4Matic+

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2018 Mercedes-AMG S63 4Matic+

2018 Mercedes-AMG S63 4Matic+

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2018 Mercedes-AMG S63 4Matic+

2018 Mercedes-AMG S63 4Matic+

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Your own personal yoga studio

The changes to the outside of the S-Class are minor. They amount to new wide beam automatic high-beam LED headlights and a revised look front and rear. The changes inside are more extensive.

The S-Class cabin embodies luxury that extends to opulence. It starts with a flowing, beautifully rendered dash and door panels covered in wood, metal trim, and stitched leather. Buyers can choose from open pore wood, lacquered wood, or carbon fiber trim, as well as 64 colors of ambient lighting, and they are treated to the highest quality and most carefully assembled materials found in a mass-production car.

CHECK OUT: 2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet first drive review: a true E at last

A big car, the S-Class also offers plenty of space to relax front and rear. Mercedes offers rear seat options to create the experience of a first-class luxury airliner. Among these options are power adjustable seats that recline up to 43 degrees, massaging seats, heated/ventilated seats with heated armrests, a two-passenger rear seat with airline-style folding tables, and an Executive package that moves the right front seat far forward to provide room for a right rear seat footrest.

Apparently, that’s not enough, though, as Mercedes wants to make the cabin a calming environment, akin to a personal yoga studio. The strategy is to tie the climate control, fragrance diffusion system, ambient lighting, music, seat heaters/coolers, and seat massagers together under the banner of the new Energizing Comfort system.

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2018 Mercedes-AMG S63 4Matic+

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2018 Mercedes-Benz S560 4Matic

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2018 Mercedes-Benz S560 4Matic

2018 Mercedes-Benz S560 4Matic

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2018 Mercedes-Benz S560 4Matic

2018 Mercedes-Benz S560 4Matic

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Energizing Comfort offers five programs, each of which has its own ambient lighting signature and runs for 10 minutes. Three of the programs include music, and if you bring your own songs into the car via a jump drive or SD card, the system will evaluate them and add them to the appropriate program (provided the thumb drive or SD card are plugged in). The programs range from cool and plucky to warm and calming, with the music and seat heating/cooling set to match that mood. There’s also a Training mode that uses the seat massagers to revitalize various muscle groups. Not only will the S-Class act like a yoga studio, you can have your guru work out the knots, too.


 
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