2024 Mercedes-Benz S580e 4MATIC – The Statue of Luxury


Whether you are a successful businessman, a diplomat, a prime minister, a congressman, or a relentless dictator, there is only one vehicle you choose as a quintessential luxury sedan, it’s the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Unlike the old days, luxury sedans have to offer much more than a great interior and great ride quality, there has to be cutting-edge technology for safety and the “wow” factor. For the brand, the seventh generation S-Class continues to be the first place to show off its latest innovations, but this time it has more tech.

The Looks – Exterior and Interior

The S-Class has a unique stance that makes it recognizable from a mile away, even though the brand decided to make all models look similar, the Sonderklasse still has its elegant looks. As expected, it has a huge front grille, and sleek-looking headlights with signature daytime running lights, and the Mercedes-Benz’s hood star emblem which slowly becomes exclusive to the S-Class.

For an untrained eye, the differences are minimal, but the S-Class is significantly longer than the smaller Mercedes-Benz models. The new S-Class has flowy design language with not a lot of sharp angles or body lines. The door handles are retracting, giving it a more techy and premium look, but it is also annoying to interact especially when they don’t work.

Like the previous generation, the S-Class was available with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain, but Mercedes-Benz decided to keep it under the radar. There are no indicators or quirky EV design features exclusively for the plug-in hybrid version. The only indicators are the small “e” badge on the trunk, and the charging port located on the right side of the vehicle.

The interior design is a different approach for the brand with a lot of risks. The S-Class used to be the top of the line with the best interior quality, great materials and excellent diversity throughout the interior. The diversity part is not as great with the new generation, as you mostly get glossy black plastics in the center console, and hard-touch glossy surfaces on the dashboard.

There are zero physical buttons except the window switches and start & stop buttons, everything else is either in the infotainment system, or haptic feedback buttons are located on the steering wheel, and some are under the infotainment screen. It looks very upscale and fancy when it is clean for a day or two, but later it looks disgusting with all the dirt and fingerprints. I was hoping to see more soft-touch surfaces where you touch and where you reach most of the time.

On the other side, the new S-Class is much better in terms of tech and prioritizes the screens, the new interior design can accommodate up to five displays with an augmented reality head-up display and a great ambient lighting system that makes the interior feel quite special. Although our tester did not have five screens, the tech and infotainment system are quite intuitive and relatively easier to interact with.

The HVAC controls are static and located at the bottom of the OLED touchscreen, and the other features can be controlled through the enhanced version of Mercedes-Benz’s MBUX software that allows voice command functions including facial recognition and fingerprint scanning. The 360-degree camera and parking features make it so much easier to maneuver the huge S-Class, especially in tight spots. The digital gauge cluster not only looks great, but it is quite customizable with a few different layouts.

The most impressive part about the whole interior is the seat comfort. It feels like nothing else, and that is one of the main reasons why you would get an S-Class. All seats have the same top-notch features you expect from a proper luxury sedan, including heating/cooling, and massage, with 16-way adjustable power seats. The diamond-stitched Nappa leather seats offer features like adaptive side bolstering for the front passenger seats.

The S-Class is one of the few vehicles I wouldn’t mind spending time in the rear seats, it is exceptionally comfortable and offers tons of space for the rear seat occupants. It is also one of the few vehicles that offers safety airbags for the rear seat passengers. Our tester does not have the Executive Rear Seating Package, but even if it had it, it still has less wow factor compared to the BMW i7 we reviewed earlier last year. You get a removable tablet located in the middle row, which allows the rear seat passengers to change seating, and infotainment settings without driver involvement. Mercedes-Benz wanted to leave some of the fancy features on the table, possibly to keep Maybach S-Class owners happy.

The Drive – Specs & Experience

The W223 S-Series is only available in a long wheelbase format here in Canada, and it comes with three different drivetrain choices, with one plug-in hybrid option. The base S500 offers a 3.0-litre 6-cylinder turbo engine that pushes 429 horsepower. If you want more power, Mercedes-Benz also offers the S580 4MATIC, with a 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 with a mild-hybrid drive that generates almost 500 horsepower. If you want the highest horsepower figures with the best efficiency possible, nothing can come close to the S580e with the smaller 3.0 litre inline-6 engine, with a plug-in hybrid electric motor.

The S580e may have a smaller gas engine, but it still pushes more than 510 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of combined torque. The inline 6-cylinder engine pushes out 362 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque without any help from the electric motors, and the AC motor generates 148 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque. The electric motor is paired with a relatively large 22.7 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, which can be charged from 0% to 100% in about three hours, with a level 2 (40A) charging. All engines are paired with a 9-speed 9G-Tronic torque-converted automatic transmission with long gear ratios with a standard 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system.

All of the features, and complicated drivetrain choices mean one thing, it aims to isolate the occupants from external factors and road imperfections in a comfortable fashion. Despite having an AMG package with giant 20″ wheels, the ride quality is exceptionally great thanks to the air suspension. The plug-in hybrid system can run on fully electric for almost 90 kilometres, which increases the overall refinement feeling, and definitely reduces the noise, vibration and harshness levels. However, you can choose different modes to utilize the remaining battery power, and when it switches to the internal combustion engine, the switch is quite smooth.

As expected from a luxury sedan, you don’t hear a lot of engine or drivetrain noise, but when the internal combustion engine starts running, it offers a decent amount of roll-on power at any RPM, with tons of mid-range torque. It does not have an exciting character, or it even doesn’t sound great, but that’s acceptable for a drivetrain that is supposed to operate silently and in harmony with the electric motors. It can go quite fast when you need it without disturbing the other occupants.

The Verdict

Even though the new S-Class relies a little too much on touchscreens, and has more hard interior surfaces than the older generations, the fundamental features that made the “Sonderklasse” are still here with the current gen. It still has unmatched ride comfort, refinement, extremely low noise, vibration and harshness levels paired with cutting-edge tech and first-class luxury.

Engine3.0-litre inline-6 turbocharged & electric motor
Transmission & Drivetrain9-speed automatic & 4MATIC all-wheel-drive
Max power (combined)510 hp (362 hp gas + 148 hp electric)
Max torque (combined)553 lb-ft
0-100 km/h5.1 sec
Curb Weight5606 lbs – 2542 kg
Price (as tested)$176,400 CAD

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