Since the Mercedes S-Class was launched back in 2005, it has seen off fresh competition from Audi and BMW with almost casual ease. Even today, as it faces imminent replacement later in 2013, the S-Class is a contemporary-feeling car that could almost have been launched yesterday.
The V6 diesel engine is as good as any in comparable competition and the air-sprung suspension gives a ride that is the best this side of a Rolls-Royce - yet you can make rapid progress with remarkable effectiveness and composure should you want to. Unlikely as it is, this is a chauffeur's car that's a pleasure to drive as well as to lounge in and be seen in.
Only the interior reveals some evidence of this model's maturity, but even with the vague suggestion of age around the edges of its cabin detailing, the S-Class is the complete luxury package. As if that weren't enough, at this price and in this company, it also represents remarkably good value, especially when you consider dealer discounts of close to £9k.