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Mercedes-Benz S-Class verdict

2020 onwards (change model)
Parkers overall rating: 4.4 out of 54.4

Written by Keith Adams Published: 23 December 2022 Updated: 3 May 2023

Should you buy one?

Yes. There is no question that the Mercedes-Benz S-Class is one of the finest luxury cars on sale – that’s why it saw success in our 2022 awards as Luxury Car of the Year, and again as runner-up in the 2023 awards.

This model is packed with even more technology, offers greater comfort, and features better driving ability and efficiency than ever before, managing to post impressive gains over its already excellent predecessor.

What we like

Plutocrats must look long and hard for a more comfortable, clever and competent luxury saloon which begs to be driven – or be driven in. Yes, the Bentley Flying Spur is more of an event than the S-Class and the Audi A8 is a better bet for keen drivers, but overall the Mercedes-Benz has a long list of plusses that make it the undeniable choice in the luxury car sector. The only thing it can’t do is ‘be an SUV’ – a requirement that’s seen cars like the Range Rover steal sales off the traditional luxury saloon class.

Inside, its technology (which takes very little getting used to) just works, and the poise, ride and handling really are something to savour. But there’s even more to it than than that, as it’s also capable of appealing to your emotional side. It’s hard to imagine the old S-Class as being a car you want to own for the affection and comfort you associate with it, rather than the status and technical prowess – but here, Mercedes has done something quite remarkable.

What we don’t like

There’s not really a lot to criticise the S-Class for, as it’s been honed over the ages to do the job it’s supposed to – and it does that very well. The main criticism we’d fire at it is that some may find the sheer amount of tech on hand to configure really intimidating, though those coming from an older S-Class may also notice a downgrade in the quality of some switchgear.

As for which one we’d recommend, it’s very difficult not to love the plug-in hybrid’s combination of pace, silent electric running and the possibility of lower running costs. The entry-level S350d also makes a strong case for itself.

Mercedes S-Class rear three quarter
Mercedes S-Class rear three quarter