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2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class KBB Expert Review

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KBB Expert Review

KBB Editors' Overview

By Keith Buglewicz

Luxury cars claim to be the envy of the world's elite, but those cars envy the 2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Acclaimed by CEOs, heads of state, or just those who want to feel like one, the combination of power, technology, luxury, sophistication and exacting attention to detail leaves the S-Class without equal. Are there alternatives? Yes, and the BMW 7 Series, Audi A8 and Lexus LS are all impressive, yet perpetually a step behind the S-Class. This flagship sedan, coupe and new drop-top Cabriolet offer driver-assist aids and luxury trappings that are second to none, justification enough for its nearly $100,000 base price. In its most elite form, the V12-powered AMG S65 impresses beyond reason, while the eco-friendly super-rich can opt for the S550e plug-in hybrid.

You'll Like This Car If...

You've reached the stage in life where you demand to drive the best, but you prefer understated sophistication over flashy flamboyance. That describes the 2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, at least the big sedan and 2-door coupe. As for the new Cabriolet, well, there's just no dialing back that kind of visual decadence.

You May Not Like This Car If...

In terms of power, technology and luxury, the BMW 7 Series, Jaguar XJ and Audi A8 all come close to the S-Class, for thousands less. If your budget is even tighter, there's the Kia K900 or Genesis G90.

What's New for 2017

There's the addition of the new coupe-based S-Class Cabriolet convertible, of course. On top of that, sedans get a new 9-speed automatic transmission, new 18-inch standard wheels, some reconfigured color combos, and a newly available Magic Sky Control panoramic glass roof.

Driving It Driving Impressions

There's no question the 2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is big, whether it's in sedan, coupe or convertible form. But "hulking" it's not, thanks to the extensive use of aluminum throughout its body. It feels solid and hunkered-down on the road, which helps isolate almost all wind and road noise from the spacious cabin. The Airmatic cushion suspension uses adaptive damping to continually adjust the car's ride over various road surfaces, ensuring things inside stay serene, with a ride that's firm, but never jarring. There are high-powered AMG versions of the sedan, coupe and Cabriolet, but even the standard twin-turbocharged V8-equipped S550 is a powerful beast, sprinting to 60 mph in less than five seconds. The new 9-speed automatic transmission is smooth and seamless as it delivers power to the wheels. Of course, there are the AMG S63 4Matic and the AMG S65, offering increasing levels of performance, power and luxury.

Favorite Features

Rear-drive S-Class models use a stereo camera to "look" at the road ahead, interpret what kinds of bumps are about to pass under the wheels, and then adjust the suspension to ensure the smoothest possible ride. No wonder they call it "magic."

If you've ever experienced a luxury spa, you've wondered how you could take the experience with you. Well, here you go. The 2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class offers a hot-stone setting on its multi-contour massaging seats. There's even aromatherapy, courtesy of the glove-box-mounted fragrance atomizer.

For vehicle details and pricing notes… Read More
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