TEST: Mercedes W221 S500
2005-11-07 I’ve done it!
Now I have finally done it, I have driven the W221 new S-Class. I can easily sum it all up in a big AHH! They have done it again. Mercedes-Benz has once again built a car that will go to history as one of “the best cars in the world”.
Monday morning as I approached the W221 one of my first real reactions on the car up close in the morning light is that the wheelhouse flares that almost everyone has had reactions/opinions on, they are not that disturbing at all.
You can almost not believe that this is the same car that you see on pictures and first thought was “what the..” In real life they fit on the car ´s design all over.
This car was equipped with the new feature Nightvision
and I got some time in dawn time to try it out and I love it, it’s a superb safety feature. A Camera with a lightamplifying device that almost makes night to day. It is very hard to explain how it feels to drive with this but I am sure that time will tell that this is an Accessory that every major car maker will add as an option on their future cars.
Driving the car in Highwayspeeds is no issue at all as the S500 just hums along these Swedish 90 and 110 km/h speeds almost in idle.
When I first saw the interior I went, NO! It looks like Bmw 7series all over again. Now that I have gotten used to it I love it, it is in very high class and panels and buttons feels very sturdy and good quality. I must say with exception for the vanity mirrors in front, they are kind of thin and feels like they belong in a Nissan Terrano, not a Top of the line Mercedes S-class.
I also love the COMAND system and the large wheel between the front seats used to navigate thru the menus with. COMAND’s controller is much more precise than BMW´s iDrive’s.
You have the possibility to manually adjust all the heating and fans with their own buttons if you want.
I am a bit curious about the keyless-go system available in this car; everything is built in to the key BUT if something goes bad this time there is no keyhole to the right of the steering column to insert the key in. So why is the key/remote in the shape of a key?
The new 7speed gearbox is very smooth and you have to be very meticulous to be able to even notice the shifts. Another thing that I like very much is that the gearshift lever that is now to be found as a stick on the steering columns right side. That worked very fine and is no problem at all getting used to.
You also have the option to change the gears manually with buttons on the back of the steering wheel.
No engine sounds, No tire sounds but there is a slight wind sound, it was a bit windy outside so that could be the reason for that. A small comment on the blinker sound is a bit loud!
Very good and feels wonderful, I have many times driven the w211 e-class and that is also operated by electrohydrualically brakes but this s-class is very much more live feeling it doesn’t feel so dead (in my humble opinion) as the w211 brakes do.
Totally outstanding, both front and backside and the brake lights WOW! They are bright!
Dont forget to comment the article, good or bad doesn´t matter, i want to hear it from you, the reader! /Peter