The S500 is exactly what the S-Class should be: superbly refined. That's to say it's quiet and smooth and the new mild hybrid technology works away in the background without ruining the driving experience. In short, with our particular car's fidgety ride aside, it's a very impressive luxury car.
But whether you should buy one depends on how you're going to use it. Private buyers with the budget to swallow the near-£10,000 premium the S500 demands over the long-wheelbase S350d will not be disappointed. The petrol engine's refinement only adds to the sense of luxury and we saw a respectable 30mpg on the trip computer in mixed driving.
However, many more S-Classes are used as company cars, carrying out chauffeuring duties across the country. Given that the S350d costs less to buy than the S500 and emits less CO2, it makes more financial sense, even if you take into account the new 4% diesel tax surcharge that will be introduced from April 2018.
Consider, too, that a standard-wheelbase S-Class is all you really need in terms of space, and it's the S350d that remains our pick of the S-Class range.
What Car? says...
For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here
Mercedes-Benz S-Class S500 AMG Line L
Price £85,215 Engine 6cyl, 2987cc, petrol Power 451bhp @ 5900-6100rpm (engine and electric motor) Torque 384lb ft @ 1800-5500rpm (engine), 184lb ft (electric motor) Gearbox 9-spd automatic 0-62mph 4.8sec Top speed 155mph Official economy 40.9mpg CO2, tax band 157g/km, 30%
Page 2 of 2