2021 Mercedes-Benz S580 review: The benchmark once again
Imagine the strain of creating a brand new Mercedes-Benz S-Class. This automotive is meant to be the height of Everest for patrons who need a full-fat luxurious automotive, and each successive era ought to add extra to the pile with out forgetting its raison d’être, which implies there’s so much using on each new mannequin. All that onerous work has paid off, although, as a result of the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is an absolute banger, once again setting the usual for all different luxurious automobiles.
- Top-tier experience
- Makes you are feeling like one million bucks
- Sweet augmented-reality HUD
- Confounding sunroof controls
The 2021 Mercedes-Benz S580 is rattling close to the proper luxurious automotive, though styling is subjective, and I’ll be the primary to confess that the newest iteration of Mercedes’s design language is not my favourite. My sole criticism is that the rear finish is Eeyore-tier droopy, with a chrome unibrow spanning the width of the trunk, which is my absolute least favourite Twenty first-century flourish.
The remainder of the S580’s exterior is all about class. Despite sporting the extra aggressive bumpers and facet skirts of the $4,300 AMG Line bundle, my tester continues to be reasonably demure. The 21-inch AMG alloy wheels have a reasonably trad-luxe look to them, too. This automotive would not want loopy angles or lower strains to make a press release — it is only a massive, fancy sedan, carving its method by way of site visitors with a correctly old-school hood decoration main the cost.
2021 Mercedes-Benz S580 needs to coddle at each alternative
If for some cause I do not really feel like one million bucks strolling as much as the Mercedes S580, I positive really feel prefer it once the doorways open — truly, no, earlier than, due to digital door handles that come out from the physique as I method. The S-Class has lengthy had the plushest interiors within the auto business, and that continues with the 2021 mannequin. The black Nappa leather-based is comfortable, and never solely are the entrance seats supportive as heck, on the S580 they arrive customary with a wonderful multi-contour therapeutic massage perform. The rear seats are roomier than earlier than, with loads of headroom and legroom for me to splay out.
The S580’s inside design borrows closely from the Vision EQS idea, with a big swath of wooden trim operating the width of the dashboard, punctuated by pairs of vents on both facet. The 12.8-inch OLED infotainment display screen rises up from the middle console, leaving sufficient area behind it for a further storage tray. The cowl beneath the display screen strikes to disclose two normal-sized cup holders, a wi-fi charging pad and an additional tray for masks, keys or different pocket detritus. Under the armrest, there’s sufficient area for a small purse, whereas the door pockets are simply sufficiently big to carry some giant drink containers. There’s no large binnacle surrounding the 12.3-inch gauge show, which implies the dashboard stays good and low, making for glorious ahead visibility.
Plunk down an additional $3,000 and the area in entrance of the gauges turns into an enormous projector for one significantly spectacular head-up show. Not solely will it ship the standard data readouts like velocity and path of journey, it might probably additionally work with native vehicle-to-infrastructure tech to show the time remaining on a pink mild. My favourite half, although, is the augmented-reality integration that the S-Class shares with its electrical EQS sibling, displaying upcoming turns as arrows that develop nearer because the intersection does, in addition to highlighting site visitors when adaptive cruise management is lively. The data is all the time the place it must be, too, due to eye-tracking cameras constructed into the gauge show, which might perform in a trick 3D Mode for somewhat additional visible aptitude. Flipping by way of the numerous out there layouts and menus is made straightforward due to touchpad-style buttons on the steering wheel.
The massive ol’ display screen in the course of the S580 runs an up to date model of the MBUX infotainment system we have seen in each different Merc, and it really works in addition to ever on this iteration. It’ll run wi-fiand , however there are additionally 4 USB-C ports within the heart console for front-seat occupants to make use of. The touchscreen collects smudges like no different, however it’s responsive, and it is fairly darn spectacular, too, particularly when it is operating a fullscreen map. The backside a part of the show all the time reveals local weather controls, with a smattering of bodily buttons beneath that for altering driving modes, turning up the amount, partaking the hazard lights or studying my fingerprint to drag up my private settings (not necessary).
The solely controls that frustrate me are discovered overhead. This S580 has two sunroofs, one per row, and they’re managed with essentially the most infuriating contact slider identified to man. I spent a whole week making an attempt to determine the logic behind the way it works, however it doesn’t matter what instructions my fingers go, it does the whole lot — opens and closes the entrance panel, tilts the entrance panel, engages the entrance panel’s solar shade — besides the one perform I truly need it to. I despise it on the EQS, and I despise it right here.
What’s unimaginable to despise, although, is the 2021 Mercedes S580’s experience. It is, merely put, the perfect within the phase, with an adaptive air suspension that preternaturally eliminates practically each inch of dangerous highway underfoot, feeling pillowy easy virtually on a regular basis. The S-Class floats down the highway, and mixed with thick glass, driver and passengers alike will probably be all however shut off from the world on the opposite facet. The suspension lowers and stiffens when put into Sport or Sport Plus mode, and whereas the S580 does a reasonably good impression of a full-size sport sedan, I’d suggest ready for an AMG variant should you actually need to give it the ol’ what-for. This factor could nook properly, however what it actually needs to do is luxuriate in any respect attainable alternatives.
The S580’s powertrain is sweet and easy. Under the hood is a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 producing 496 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, augmented by a 48-volt gentle hybrid system that may throw one other 21 hp and 184 lb-ft into the combination, normally when leaving a cease or pushing the accelerator into the firewall. The V8 is lots potent by itself, however with this little bit of electrification, the S580 feels prefer it runs on a unending properly of driver. A nine-speed automated transmission does its factor with close to imperceptibility, and non-compulsory rear-axle steering (4.5 levels, $1,300, though 10-degree steering can be out there on some variants) means it is fairly darn straightforward to navigate parking heaps and different tight confines. The EPA charges the S580 at 17 mpg metropolis and 25 mpg metropolis, and whereas the town estimate appears spot on, I’m capable of squeeze out one thing nearer to 30 mpg on the freeway.
If a V6 seems like overkill within the twilight years of the interior combustion engine, the S500 would possibly scratch your itch, as a substitute. This mannequin ditches two cylinders, choosing a turbocharged straight-6 making 429 hp and 384 lb-ft. It, too, has the EQ Boost gentle hybrid system, in addition to customary all-wheel drive and the identical nine-speed automated. It’s somewhat extra environment friendly, although, coming in at an EPA-estimated 20 mpg metropolis and 29 mpg freeway.
There are some very succesful driver aids keen to assist. Standard full-speed adaptive cruise management combines efforts with lane-keeping help to maintain the automobile centered in its lane on the tempo of site visitors, eliminating the tedium of longer commutes however nonetheless requiring fingers on the wheel and eyes pointed down the highway. While lively, although, the motive force aids make comfortable inputs and hold the experience comfy. For parking, the infotainment display screen can present a 360-degree space across the automotive, which I can twist and spin on the display screen to ensure I’m staying in all of the strains. Parking sensors mix efforts with the ambient lighting to present me a further layer of warning in case I get too near a wall or one other automotive.
It should not come as a shock that the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class ain’t low cost. The S580 begins at $117,350, and a restricted variety of aesthetic and practical enhancements bump my tester’s value as much as $131,500 — and there is nonetheless an AMG variant or two that can stay above this one, along with the big-boy Maybach. The S500 and its straight-6 engine are fortunately rather less costly, coming in at $110,850. Thank goodness.
Mercedes’ closest opponents, the BMW 7 Series and Audi A8, are each high-quality luxurious automobiles in their very own proper, however it’s exhausting to suggest something apart from the S-Class. The customary bearer stays on the entrance of the pack, and will keep there for some time.
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