2006-2013 Mercedes Benz S Class
If the 7 Series was the flagship model of BMW, the S Class is the top end model of Mercedes Benz whose lineage started as early as 1954 (BMW, with its New Six, only entered in 1968 in that category). Just like what I narrated in my 7 Series review last Monday, all new technologies are first tested in the S Class before making them available on its other models. Wide range of engines from 6 to 12 cylinders and the choice of gasoline, diesel, and hybrid fuel powertrains and body styles of sedan and coupe are made available. Before anything else, the word S-Class is an English translation of S-Klasse, which is an abbreviation of the word "Sonderklasse" that when translated, means special class. And true to its name, numerous prominent people around the globe already took a seat inside one.
The W221 model was launched in the 2005 Frankfurt International Motor Show with sales commencing in early 2006. Size wise, it gained a few inches than the model it replaces. Everything else from the engine (three are newly developed) to the interior is new (which includes the migration from the conventional center console shifter to a column mounted one).
CATS Motors brought in the W221 S Class in early 2006 together with the second generation M Class and the first generation B Class. Variants include the S350, S400 Hybrid (launched in 2009), S500, and the rare S63 AMG. There is an armored version dubbed the S600 made available, which one (or two, there are two of them) of them is prominently used by the President of the Philippines. All Philippine units were the long wheelbase models, do remember that.
Value and Costs
Want one without being bitten by depreciation if you buy new? Then a pre-owned S Class is the prudent choice with units costing you between P5,300,000-P7,500,000. That's a lot to be honest, but what's important the satisfaction you get from a Benz. Oh, and get an example from CATS pre-owned selection to ensure you're getting a good deal since their units are certified and inspected prior to sale.
Having one under your garage would definitely drain your resources ranging from the engine (what more with the higher displacement ones) to the electronic items in your car. Maintaining one isn't for those who aren't relatives of the richest business tycoons or lazy bums who can't even send their car to service. The S400 Hybrid would entail more costs due to the battery pack, but for everyday living the V6 is more than enough.
Exterior and Interior
No more clean lines that Benzes are known for during the 90s, and replacing them are numerous curves that are reminiscent of those from BMW. The creases which run in both directions that are present in the car shows how big the exterior is, without being looking scary or bulky.
It is money well spent inside the S Class' interior, with the rear area having a space similar to a business class section of an airplane. There is a walnut wood trim inside, but this is not the fake ones seen in the high end models of the Corolla Altis. The cabin must be free of unwanted items that can be a distraction, and the W220 obliges you with a clean and expansive cabin. The center console is simple looking with basically an eight inch LCD screen, analogue clock, and controls for the air conditioning system. For first time buyers, there is a COMAND system which utilizes a control wheel with all other functions being incorporated there located in the center area. The transmission shifter is situated behind the steering wheel, which is simple to use with Park being engaged by pressing the stalk itself. Back to the COMAND, it can be configured for your preferences so before buying ask the previous owner if he has the owners manual.
A wide range of engines are available and let's start with the one powering the S350L, which is the M272 3,498cc V6 that carries 268hp at 6,000rpm and 350Nm at 2,400-5,000rpm. There are two V8 powerplants available, and let's start with the M273 5,461cc which has 383hp at 6,000rpm and 530Nm at 2,800-4,800rpm that is standard in the S500L; the second option present in the rare S63 AMG is the M156 6,208cc which carries 518hp at 6,800rpm and 630Nm at 5,200rpm. The hybrid version possess the same engine of the S350L but with 275hp at 6,000rpm plus 20hp at 6,000rpm for its external rotor and has the same torque with 160Nm for its external rotor. Let us not deal more with the S600 Guard since you will have a hard time finding one on sale. Going with their characteristics, the V6 is silky smooth and has low end pull, the 5.5 V8 is also smooth while the one motivating the S63 is aggressive. The hybrid's engine behavior is quiet and without drama but the noise from the electric drive system can occur.
Despite the large dimensions, the W220 is a cake to drive and refinement is tested within the confines of the Autobahn, which means rough or smooth road, it does not transmit anything to the occupants. The automatic transmission has seven forward gears that is flawless and shock-free.
Expensive as it is, the S Class is one great car that Germany has to offer. While there is that price to pay, the results are priceless. Just make sure you have money to maintain and buy one, and don't skip meals if possible to have funds.
- High levels of refinement
- Quality befitting the price (duh)
- Very expensive to buy
- Very expensive to maintain
- Somewhat hard to find
The Pick: S350L
Engines: 3,498cc M272 V6 gasoline and hybrid (plus Magnetic Synchronous Motor), 5,461cc M273 and 6,208cc M156 V8, and 5,513cc M275 V12 gasoline
Power: 268hp @ 6,000rpm (3.5 gas), 275hp @ 6,000rpm + 20hp @ 6,000rpm external rotor (3.5 hybrid), 383hp @ 6,000rpm (5.5 V8), 518hp @ 6,800rpm (6.3 V8), 510hp @ 5,000rpm (5.5 V12)
Torque: 350Nm @ 2,400-5,000rpm (3.5 gas), 350Nm @ 2,400-5,000rpm + 160Nm external rotor (3.5 hybrid), 530Nm @ 2,800-4,800rpm (5.5), 630Nm @ 5,200rpm (6.3 V8), 830Nm @ 1,800-3,500rpm (5.5 V12)
Fuel Consumption: 4-7km/L (city), 6-9km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 7-speed automatic
Suspension: Front and rear independent multi-link ADS
Price (New): P9,000,000-P13,800,000
Price (Now): P5,300,000-P7,500,000
Rivals: Audi A8, BMW 7 Series, Jaguar XJ, Lexus LS
On Sale: 2006-Current
CATS Pre Owned - (02) 723-5808