All versions have a crisp 12.3in widescreen display in the centre of the dashboard and another sat immediately next to it behind the steering wheel. As both are covered by a large piece of glass, the effect is of one long digital screen running along half the dashboard’s width. Together they show numerous functions – everything from navigation maps and your phone contacts to vehicle settings - either in front of the driver combined with the digital dials, or full screen in the middle of the dashboard.
It’s a smart way of showing clearly bundles of information at once, and it looks great, too.
You can control the main screen using a rotary controller or touchpad on the centre console, while the screen in front of the driver is controlled using touch-sensitive pads on the steering wheel. It all works pretty well - certainly it’s far in advance of what you get in a Range Rover - but we still rate the 7 Series’ iDrive system as easier to use thanks to its snappier and more intuitive menus.
Included is Mercedes’ Connect Me. This offers an emergency call system for accident assistance, breakdown management and servicing requirements, as well as a concierge service. Using this you can access various facilities, from booking restaurants to sending sat-nav destinations directly to the car with a simple phone call.
The system also offers impressive integration for smartphones thanks to standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as online connections to services including Facebook, Google or music streaming apps. Wireless charging is standard in the front and optional in the rear, while text messaging on the move, using a speech readout and voice recognition to respond, is also available.
A powerful high-fidelity Burmester surround-sound system is optional on all but the S 65 - this has it as standard.