2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class first drive review: driving the most- and least-expensive models Page 2


Mercedes-Maybach S560 4Matic

While the S65 can be distinguished by what’s under its hood and what it wears on its exterior, the S560 Maybach is all about the interior. Every S-Class is luxurious, but the Maybach is downright opulent.

It all starts with 8 inches of extra rear legroom. Every model of the S-Class we get in the U.S. is based on the long-wheelbase body style, but the S560 Maybach has a long long-wheelbase setup. It’s basically a limo. Buyers get the Executive Rear Seating package standard with two outboard seats that can recline 43.5 degrees, two fold-out calf supports and a pair of separate pillows. Also standard is the Nappa Exclusive Leather upholstery (two steps up from the base leather), an Extended Leather interior, ambient lighting for the rear seat, and heated and ventilated front and rear seats with massage at the four outboard positions.

2018 Mercedes-Maybach S560 4Matic

2018 Mercedes-Maybach S560 4Matic

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2018 Mercedes-Maybach S560 4Matic

2018 Mercedes-Maybach S560 4Matic

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2018 Mercedes-Maybach S560 4Matic

2018 Mercedes-Maybach S560 4Matic

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Interior options include a no-cost leather headliner, hand-crafted champagne flutes, and the four-seat Executive Rear Seat Package Plus with a large rear center console and two fold-out rear tables.

The interior upgrades make the rear seat of the S560 Maybach the place to be. The vast leg room lets most people stretch their legs out straight, and the seats recline, massage, heat, ventilate, and otherwise coddle. The extra leather and ambient lighting create an even more inviting cabin. It’s a great place for a nap or to get work done for those who like to be driven.

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On the outside the Maybach is easy to spot by its ultra-long rear doors, its chromed B-pillars, a third triangular rear side window, and the MM logos for Maybach Manufacturing.

From behind the wheel, the extra length doesn’t affect the twin-turbo 463-hp 4.0-liter V-8 power delivery noticeably. It’s still quick, with a 0-60 mph time around 4.8 seconds. However, the 8 extra inches of length is a detriment to handling. At almost 18 feet long, this is a truly big car and it turns more like a wiener dog than a schnauzer. Of all the S-Classes, the Maybach models are best to be driven in, rather than drive. The price for your own personal limo? $169,595, before options, and who can pass up $3,000 champagne flutes?

2018 Mercedes-Benz S450

2018 Mercedes-Benz S450

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Mercedes-Benz S450

The S450 is the new base model in the S-Class range. It features a 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 that puts out 362 hp and 369 pound-feet of torque instead of the brand new 48-volt, turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 that is offered in Europe. The V-6 is the same engine as offered in several AMG 43 products, where it is a premium choice, but here it represents the bottom of the lineup.

The V-6 provides plenty of power in the S450, and if you never drove another S-Class you wouldn’t know that you needed more. The 0-60 mph sprint takes just 5.4 seconds. However, after driving the 621-hp S65 and the 463-hp S560 Maybach, the S450 lacks midrange response for passing. With those two cars, passing is a matter of a thought and a tilt of the right foot. In the S450, it requires a little more planning and space. The V-6 also isn’t quite as smooth as the V-8 and nowhere near as smooth as the V-12, and it’s sound isn’t as rich as either of the larger engines.

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The S450 starts at $90,895, $10,000 less than the S560. For that money, it comes with a little less than you get in other cars. The leather is the base grade, which isn’t bad but isn’t as supple as the alternatives. The dash and doors are covered with a soft-touch leatherette instead of real leather, and the overall equipment level is lower.

However, some of the cool features are still standard, including navigation, a Burmester sound system (though not the top-end version), soft-close doors, a panoramic sunroof, and the Energizing Comfort system that comes with climate control, fragrance diffusion system, ambient lighting, music, seat heaters/coolers, and seat massagers (when ordered).

The base S450 is quite luxurious, but Mercedes offers a variety of S-Classes to accommodate every taste and pocketbook/investment portfolio. Each of the cars has a viable place in the lineup. It's just a matter of how luxurious and how exclusive you want to get. With any S-Class it's hard to go wrong.

Mercedes-Benz provided travel and lodging to Internet Brands Automotive to bring you this firsthand report.


 
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