We’re definite Mercedes-Benz S-Class fans here at Limited Slip Blog. Our previous experience was one of unforgettable miles with a bomb under the hood; the S63 AMG. This time, we scaled back and opted for the six-cylinder S450 for a different experience. Of course, we’re happy to report, it’s still the big luxury sedan to beat.
Let’s get started with the small(er) elephant in the room, the engine. The new V6 is a twin-turbocharged 3.0L mill with 362 horsepower and 369lb-ft of torque. Pulling away from a stoplight, just about the only thing you’ll be missing is the aural pleasure of that hand-built V8. The transmission also has nine speeds, which allow for better acceleration and improved fuel economy. For our very wintry week, featuring two Nor’Eeasters, we still averaged a very healthy 23 miles per gallon in combined driving. No matter the conditions, the S450 blasts forward with little to no effort or sound whatsoever, and before you know it you’re going much faster than intended. Thanks to the seamless gear changes, you’ll get wherever you want to go, quickly and quietly. Mercedes 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system and our tester’s Pirelli Sottozero tires helped keep things moving along.
On the outside, the S Class range has received an update for this year with some new headlight designs, front fascia and a new rear bumper and taillights. Of course every shade of black, silver, and gray are available. Thankfully, our example was blue. This amounts to the most outlandish color in the S-Class’s muted pallet.
Inside things have not changed much. It’s still the most luxurious interior we’ve ever experienced. Every trim piece is real; real wood, real metal, and real leather. The infotainment is, however, still incredibly complicated. We still hadn’t mastered it after a week with the car. Heated seats, armrest, and door panels are a must-have option for the colder climates. but try to get a full leather wheel instead of the wood-trimmed one which doesn’t heat as well. Of course massaging seats with various different settings, perfume spritzing climate vents, and even a fireplace motif for the center screen are available as well. Rear seat occupants are never overlooked with their own power adjustable heated seats and full control of their own climate controls and power privacy curtains. And if you do miss the the noise of the engine, listen instead to the best factory audio system in the business, the Burmester High-End 3D surround sound system.
Handling is much more composed than one would believe for such a large car. The steering is vague with almost no feedback, but that’s not what you buy this car for. The suspension is possibly the greatest mix of comfort and composure we’ve ever driven. You feel no imperfections in the road, and yet the car is never upset when you hit one. In almost complete isolation from the forces acting upon the S-Class, you simply point it where you would like it to go, and it ends up there. No drama, no excursion, and no feedback.
Perfection is not a word to be tossed around loosely. The updated 2018 S Class is not perfect, but it’s very close. Even without its flagship motor, it is the best of the best, and we are thankful that we were able to sample it.
|2018 Mercedes S450 4MATIC
|Silk Beige/Espresso Brown Nappa Leather||$2,290|
|19″ Twin 5-Spoke Wheels||$1,270|
|Exclusive Trim Package||$950|
|Burmester High-End 3D Surround Sound System||$6,400|
|Premium 1 Package||$5,000|
|Warmth and Comfort Package||$2,600|
|Driver Assistance Package||$2,250|
|As Tested MSRP||$115,645|