Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5

Mercedes-Benz S-Class (2021) driving

  • Vast cabin perfect for four occupants 
  • Boot is large, but super-SUVs are overtaking saloons 
  • It's built for hauling people, not cargo

How much space is there?

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class is designed to carry people and their luggage in comfort, and in this, it's a success. Not that you'd expect anything other than that, as it's the best S-Class yet in terms of fitness for purpose.

We'll start in the rear as many, many S-Classes are bought for chauffeuring VIPs. So far we've only encountered the standard wheelbase model, but there's more than enough room for two adults, and you won't find any complaints on even the longest of journeys.

As before, the S-Class is available as both four- and five-seat models, with the the latter being the more flexible layout. If you do opt for the four-seater you’ll benefit from picnic tables, a pair of cupholders and all of the covered storage you're going to need.

The middle rear seat passenger (in a five-seat car) won't get the same level of luxury thanks to the rear seat being sculpted for two, and footroom is compromised by the transmission tunnel. There are a number of chauffeur options to be had, such as removeable front headrest, electric blinds, front seats that are adjustable from the rear and an electrically-adjustable footrest.

Mercedes-Benz S-Class (2021) rear seats

Boot space and storage

The boot is big (between 540 and 550 litres depending on model) but it's not particularly flexible, with an averagely-sized opening and the only provision for extending it being a ski-hatch (in some models).

The S-Class might be big, and commodious for passengers, but if you're doing anything more than just carry suitcases and don't just have your luggage sent on, then you might want to look at a super-SUV like a Range Rover or Bentley Bentayga instead.

Is it easy to park?

In isolation, the cleverly-styled S-Class looks little larger than an E-Class. Once you're inside and driving it, there's no disguising its sheer bulk. It feels massive in a typical town centre, and it will dwarf most standard parking spaces.

As you'd expect, it has all of the parking aids you'd ever need, which is useful considering how big it is, and how easily those corners could be damaged. As well as parking radar front and rear, there are also 360-degree cameras to help you thread into the tightest of spots.

One final point is that if you specifiy it with four-wheel steering, the turning circle is considerably reduced – and if you're a city dweller, this option would be money well spent.

How big is it?

  Standard wheelbase Long wheelbase
Length  5,210mm  5,320mm
Width (without mirrors)  1,954mm  1,954mm
Width (with mirrors)  2,130mm  2,130mm
Height  1,503mm  1,503mm

View full specs

How safe is it?

  • No Euro NCAP rating
  • You name it, this car has it
  • Driver assistance systems can be too sensitive

The S-Class is yet to be tested by Euro NCAP (and probably won't be as the last one wasn't). It comes equipped with a list of crash avoidance and mitigation technology longer than the London telephone directory (remember those?)

Core to this is the standard-fit Driver Assistance Package, which includes:

  • Active Blind Spot Assist
    Blind spot monitoring towards the front and side.
  • Active Braking Assist with cross-traffic function
    This will automatically detect obstacles and turn (as well as brake) to avoid impending accidents. This system works up to 74mph.
  • Active Distance Assist Distronic
    Mercedes-Benz's excellent adaptive cruise control system can detect stationary traffic up to 80mph and take evasive action.
  • Active Emergency Stop Assist
    This works whether you're using the adaptive cruise control or not, and will automatically change lanes to avoid impact up to 49mph.
  • Active Evasive Steering Assist
    The car steers to avoid obstacles, including bicycles and pedestrians up to 67mph.
  • Active Lane Change Assist
    Assisted lane changes, should you need them.
  • Active Lane Keeping Assist
    Active steering intervention to keep you in lane as well as taking account of any hazards.
  • Active Speed Limit Assist
    The adaptive cruise control can be set to keep you within the posted limits at all times.

As well as all of the above, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class debuts two new airbag systems. These comprise a central one that splits up the driver and front passenger during a side impact, and a world first frontal crash airbag for rear passengers. The latter is housed in the back of the front armrests.

Not everything is perfect, though – when driving, the lane-keeping and accident prevention systems can be a little too sensitive. It may be great for American roads where attention can wander and there’s plenty of tarmac, but in Britain, where it’s more likely you’ll be dodging a pothole and crossing a white line, or avoiding a narrow verge, it’s unwelcome.

They can, of course, be disabled – but cheaper, more mainstream cars seem better at coping with lane keeping plus grassy verges, a consequence of the S-Class's sheer size.

Mercedes-Benz S-Class (2021) three-pointed star

Basic equipment

The basic equipment list includes equipment that is standard across all versions of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Saloon.

  • 3x3 point rear seat belts
  • ABS
  • Alarm
  • Alloy wheels
  • Driver`s airbag
  • Electric driver`s seat
  • Electric passenger`s seat
  • Front electric windows
  • Heated seats
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Isofix child seat anchor points
  • Leather seat trim
  • Lumbar support
  • Metallic Paint
  • Parking sensors
  • PAS
  • Passenger`s airbag
  • Rear electric windows
  • Sat Nav
  • Service indicator
  • Side airbags
  • Steering wheel rake adjustment
  • Steering wheel reach adjustment
  • Traction control

Equipment by trim level

To view equipment options for a specific trim level, please select from the following list:

Equipment included on some trim levels
  • Audio remote
  • CD
  • Electric mirrors
  • Heated mirrors
  • TV

AMG Line equipment

AMG Line standard equipment
  • Audio remote
  • Electric mirrors
  • Heated mirrors
AMG Line optional equipment
  • CD

Maybach equipment

Maybach standard equipment
  • CD
  • TV
Maybach optional equipment
None available