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2021 Mercedes-Benz S580 review: The benchmark once again

Convey back hood ornaments.


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Envision the force of producing a new Mercedes-Benz S-Course. This automobile is meant to be the peak of Everest for prospective buyers who want a comprehensive-fats luxurious automobile, and every successive era should include additional to the pile without the need of forgetting its raison d’être, which means there’s a good deal driving on every new design. All that challenging perform has paid out off, while, for the reason that the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Course is an absolute banger, at the time yet again placing the regular for all other luxurious cars.

Like

  • Major-tier trip
  • Makes you truly feel like a million bucks
  • Sweet augmented-actuality HUD

Never Like

  • Confounding sunroof controls

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz S580 is damn around the perfect luxurious automobile, despite the fact that styling is subjective, and I am going to be the to start with to confess that the newest iteration of Mercedes’s design language just isn’t my favourite. My sole complaint is that the rear end is Eeyore-tier droopy, with a chrome unibrow spanning the width of the trunk, which is my absolute minimum favourite 21st-century prosper.

The rest of the S580’s exterior is all about course. Even with wearing the additional aggressive bumpers and facet skirts of the $four,300 AMG Line package, my tester is even now instead demure. The 21-inch AMG alloy wheels have a pretty trad-luxe seem to them, too. This automobile does not will need insane angles or cut traces to make a statement — it is just a huge, fancy sedan, carving its way by means of website traffic with a correctly previous-school hood ornament leading the charge.

If for some motive I really don’t truly feel like a million bucks walking up to the Mercedes S580, I certain truly feel like it at the time the doors open — really, no, just before, thanks to digital door handles that pop out from the body as I method. The S-Course has prolonged had  the plushest interiors in the car field, and that carries on with the 2021 design. The black Nappa leather is tender, and not only are the entrance seats supportive as heck, on the S580 they appear regular with an superb multi-contour therapeutic massage operate. The rear seats are roomier than just before, with a lot of headroom and legroom for me to splay out.

The S580’s interior design borrows heavily from the Vision EQS concept, with a big swath of wood trim running the width of the dashboard, punctuated by pairs of vents on both facet. The 12.eight-inch OLED infotainment screen rises up from the heart console, leaving sufficient room at the rear of it for an added storage tray. The deal with beneath the screen moves to expose two regular-sized cup holders, a wireless charging pad and an further tray for masks, keys or other pocket detritus. Below the armrest, there’s sufficient room for a small purse, though the door pockets are just huge sufficient to maintain some big drink containers. There is no substantial binnacle surrounding the 12.3-inch gauge display, which means the dashboard stays pleasant and lower, producing for superb ahead visibility.

Plunk down an further $3,000 and the room in entrance of the gauges turns into a big projector for one particular severely outstanding head-up display. Not only will it supply the usual details readouts like pace and direction of travel, it can also perform with regional car or truck-to-infrastructure tech to display the time remaining on a pink gentle. My favourite portion, while, is the augmented-actuality integration that the S-Course shares with its electric EQS sibling, displaying future turns as arrows that expand nearer as the intersection does, as properly as highlighting website traffic when adaptive cruise command is energetic. The details is normally where by it desires to be, too, thanks to eye-monitoring cameras crafted into the gauge display, which can operate in a trick 3D Method for a minor further visual aptitude. Flipping by means of the quite a few obtainable layouts and menus is made effortless thanks to touchpad-model buttons on the steering wheel.

The huge ol’ screen in the middle of the S580 runs an current variation of the MBUX infotainment system we have observed in every other Merc, and it operates as properly as ever in this iteration. It’ll run wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Automobile, but there are also four USB-C ports in the heart console for entrance-seat occupants to use. The touchscreen collects smudges like no other, but it is responsive, and it is pretty darn outstanding, too, especially when it is running a fullscreen map. The base portion of the display normally shows local weather controls, with a smattering of physical buttons beneath that for transforming driving modes, turning up the quantity, participating the hazard lights or examining my fingerprint to pull up my particular settings (not necessary).

The display’s angle is perfect for visibility, despite the fact that you can complete 90% of what you will need to by voice command on your own.


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The only controls that frustrate me are discovered overhead. This S580 has two sunroofs, one particular for each row, and they are controlled with the most infuriating touch slider known to guy. I invested an complete week hoping to figure out the logic at the rear of how it operates, but no make a difference what directions my fingers go, it does anything — opens and closes the entrance panel, tilts the entrance panel, engages the entrance panel’s sun shade — besides the one particular operate I really want it to. I despise it on the EQS, and I despise it in this article.

What is actually difficult to despise, while, is the 2021 Mercedes S580’s trip. It is, merely set, the very best in the segment, with an adaptive air suspension that preternaturally gets rid of almost every inch of poor street underfoot, experience pillowy smooth nearly all the time. The S-Course floats down the street, and combined with thick glass, driver and travellers alike will be all but shut off from the earth on the other facet. The suspension lowers and stiffens when set into Sport or Sport Moreover method, and though the S580 does a pretty great impact of a comprehensive-dimension activity sedan, I would suggest waiting for an AMG variant if you really want to give it the ol’ what-for. This issue may perhaps corner properly, but what it really needs to do is luxuriate at all probable chances.

It really is challenging to be unpleasant in these seats. The S580 is bound to be a street journey king for those thrones on your own.


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The S580’s powertrain is pleasant and smooth. Below the hood is a four.-liter twin-turbocharged V8 manufacturing 496 horsepower and 516 pound-toes of torque, augmented by a forty eight-volt gentle hybrid system that can toss a different 21 hp and 184 lb-ft into the mix, generally when leaving a stop or pushing the accelerator into the firewall. The V8 is a lot potent on its own, but with this bit of electrification, the S580 feels like it runs on a never ever-ending properly of motive force. A 9-pace automatic transmission does its issue with around imperceptibility, and optional rear-axle steering (four.5 degrees, $one,300, despite the fact that 10-degree steering is also obtainable on some variants) means it is pretty darn effortless to navigate parking tons and other tight confines. The EPA charges the S580 at seventeen mpg metropolis and twenty five mpg highway, and though the metropolis estimate appears location on, I’m equipped to squeeze out one thing nearer to 30 mpg on the highway.

If a V6 feels like overkill in the twilight decades of the internal combustion engine, the S500 may well scratch your itch, instead. This design ditches two cylinders, opting for a turbocharged straight-6 producing 429 hp and 384 lb-ft. It, too, has the EQ Raise gentle hybrid system, as properly as regular all-wheel travel and the very same 9-pace automatic. It really is a minor additional successful, while, coming in at an EPA-believed 20 mpg metropolis and 29 mpg highway.

This may perhaps be the ultimate era of the combustion-run S-Course, and this four.-liter V8 sings one particular heck of a swan music if that is the situation.


Andrew Krok/Roadshow

There are some pretty capable driver aids ready to lend a hand. Standard comprehensive-pace adaptive cruise command combines efforts with lane-maintaining support to hold the car or truck centered in its lane at the speed of website traffic, getting rid of the tedium of longer commutes but even now necessitating palms on the wheel and eyes pointed down the street. Even though energetic, while, the driver aids make tender inputs and hold the trip at ease. For parking, the infotainment screen can display a 360-degree region close to the automobile, which I can twist and spin on the screen to make certain I’m being in all the traces. Parking sensors mix efforts with the ambient lights to give me an added layer of warning in situation I get too close to a wall or a different automobile.

It should not appear as a shock that the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Course ain’t low cost. The S580 starts at $117,350, and a restricted selection of aesthetic and purposeful enhancements bump my tester’s price up to $131,500 — and there’s even now an AMG variant or two that will live higher than this one particular, in addition to the huge-boy Maybach. The S500 and its straight-6 engine are luckily a minor considerably less costly, coming in at $a hundred and ten,850. Thank goodness.

Mercedes’ closest opponents, the BMW seven Collection and Audi A8, are each superior-excellent luxurious cars in their own appropriate, but it is challenging to suggest nearly anything other than the S-Course. The regular bearer remains at the entrance of the pack, and should stay there for a though.