The modelRead full review
The Mercedes S-Class is packed to the rafters with technology, and is also a very comfortable and exceedingly well-appointed luxury saloon. The Audi A8 is more refined, particularly if you're looking for a diesel, but we’d opt for the S580e anyhow. It’s one of the most impressive plug-in hybrids on sale, combining many of the best points of the standard S-Class with a substantial real-world electric range and low company car tax. On top of all of that, the S-Class’s interior simply can’t be beaten for sheer wow factor.
The trimSee full equipment
Entry-level AMG Line gets plenty of kit including 19in alloy wheels, air suspension, keyless entry and start, metallic paint, adaptive LED headlights, front and rear parking sensors, a reversing camera, soft-close doors and a powered boot lid. Step inside and you’ll find nappa leather covering the heated front and rear seats, with full electric adjustment, including lumbar support, up front. Then there's the four-zone climate control, the nine-speaker stereo, the 12.3in digital driver’s display, the 12.8in infotainment system with wireless smartphone charging and the 64-colour ambient LED lighting. We'd go for the next model up, though, which is AMG Line Premium. It adds the option of the long wheelbase, plus electrically operated and cooled rear seats, a panoramic sunroof, a 360-deg parking camera and a 710-watt/ 15-speaker Burmester sound system.
The engineSee full engine specs
This entry-level engine is by no means small and weedy. It’s a 2.9-litre six-cylinder diesel with a healthy 282bhp to give 0-62mph in 6.4sec. Fitted to a standard-length S-Class it’s good for more than 40mpg according to official figures, with long-wheelbase models dropping to just below that. Even so, CO2 emissions are high enough to put it in the 37% tax bracket. It can sound a little grumbly under load and sends some unwelcome vibrations through the pedals and steering wheel, which is partly why we prefer the S500 petrol.
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