2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Review; Luxury Redefined

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class has been re-interpreted as a new-generation model that sets the bar for luxury sedans very, very high! Is it the best car in the world? Well, that is a tall claim but it is definitely one of the very best cars in the world, if not the very best!

By Kingshuk Dutta


1 mins read


Published on June 30, 2021

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  • Prices for the Mercedes-Benz S-Class start at Rs. 2.17 crore
  • The new S-Class redefines luxury and packs in a lot of technology
  • It goes up against the Audi A8L & BMW 7 Series

The Mercedes-Benz S Class! It is the preserve of the rich, famous and successful! And while I am neither, I still have an opportunity to spend time with this gorgeous car, which is perhaps the epitome of luxury on four wheels! It has been dubbed the best car in the world! It is the gold standard when it comes to luxury sedans and winning the world luxury car of the year for 2021 further bolstered its credentials as a palatial, luxury laden sedan. So, we have the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class with us today and to say that I am looking forward to the experience, will be an understatement!

Also Read: New-Generation Mercedes-Benz S-Class Launched In India



(Up front, the new S-Class gets a new three-slat chrome grille along with sporty bumper)

The launch edition model of the S-Class gets the AMG line design, which means you get 20-inch alloys, a sensuous looking three-slat chrome grille, sportier bumpers and a lots of chrome elements, which add to the premium looks. The S Class has always been an elegant sedan and looks classy, no matter what generation it belongs too. The highlight of the front section is the digital LED headlights, which adjusts the beam and the intensity according to the surroundings and need. The other classy touch is the flush-fitted door handles that come out automatically when the key is near the car.


(The 2021 S-Class has a drag co-efficient of 0.22, making it one of the most aerodynamic cars in the world)

The new S-Class also grows in size. It grows 34 mm in length, 22 mm in width, 13 mm in height and a sees a significant 51 mm growth in wheelbase over the previous model. The more interesting part though is the aerodynamics! The S Class has a drag coefficient of 0.22, which makes it one of the most aerodynamic cars in the world. Be it form or function, the S Class has its exterior game, on point!

Also Read: Tech Check: Three Features That Make The New Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cutting Edge

Interior and Features


(The rear passenger compartment of the S-Class is a cocoon of luxury)

Diving right in, the cabin of the new S-Class cocoons the occupants in a world of luxury. The materials used, the fit and finish and the way all of it is put together, is simply exquisite! There are three options for upholstery to choose from - Sienna brown, black, Magma grey and the Macchiato beige option. Mercedes also offers a high gloss poplar wood trim, which is quite delectable too.


(The front part of the cabin is as comfortable as the rear, if not more)

Be it the front seats or the rear, the cabin of the S Class is one of the finest things you will ever experience! The seats are soft, inviting and get massage function, at the front and of course at the rear too, thanks to the energising package that the S Class gets. I mean there are various massage options to choose from! The rear seats recline by 43.5 degrees and have climate control, so they can be cooled or heated. Wow! Plus, the leg rest support moves up by up to 50 degrees. 


(The rear seats get a massage function and are climatised. This means that they can be heated or cooled)

And if you want to take it all up a notch further, just switch on the ambient lights, you have 64 colours to choose from, put on some really good, soulful music, because the S Class gets a premium Burmester 4D audio system with 30 high-end speakers and 8 resonators and 1,350 watts of power. I mean after a hard day of work, this is possibly the best way you can relax. The creature comforts on the S Class are a true feast for the senses.


(The rear left passenger seat gets a chauffeur package, which means the front left seat can be moved further up, liberating space for the 'boss')

So, if you are the owner, you would spend most of your time at the rear, like me! And the rear left passenger seat gets a chauffeur package, which means that front left passenger seat can move forward by 37 mm and is adjustable for height by 40 mm. The backrest can move further forward by 23 degrees and of course, you have a footrest as well.

Also Read: 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Launch Edition Limited To Just 150 Units



(The dashboard sees 27 fewer knobs and buttons. Almost all controls have been transferred to the touchscreens)

The convenience doesn't end there! The rear seat passengers get integrated 11.6-inch HD screens with access to all vehicle functions. And, there is a Wi-Fi enabled 7-inch tablet which offers smartphone integration, MBUX connectivity and access to climate control, rear seat massage and ambient lighting. The tablet can also function as just a regular android tablet too! And there are two wireless charging bays. One up front and one at the rear!


(The rear arm-rest gets a 7-inch tablet with all in-car controls)

Talking about the front passenger compartment, the dashboard gets a 12.8-inch OLED touchscreen which has a vertical orientation, unlike the horizontal touchscreen, that the previous generation had. The new screen offers 64 per cent larger area which translates into a better, more interactive user experience. Of course, the resolution is sharper and the colours are more natural too. Plus, the system has storage space of up to 320 GB and RAM of 16 GB. So, it is as quick as it needs to be.


(The 12.8-inch touchscreen gets a vertical orientation, with 64% bigger display and uses more natural colours)

There are 27 fewer knobs and buttons, which means Mercedes, has trimmed the clutter and transferred most controls on to the touchscreen and voice commands. Along with haptic feedback, the touchscreen also gets a fingerprint scanner, which works as an unlock method for the screen because it houses your profile, data and other bits of info.


(The rear seat passengers get two 11.6-inch HD touchscreens, with full controls)

The new S-Class gets five screens in total - three touchscreens, a tablet and a 12.3-inch instrument panel for the driver. The instrument console behind the steering wheel is a new, redesigned 3D unit, which throws up a ton of information. You sit behind the steering wheel and you get this feeling of sitting in a billionaire's luxury yacht. And this is just the front section!


(There are two wireless charging trays. One up front and one at the rear)

The Mercedes Me connectivity suite offers services like vehicle monitoring, vehicle setting up, navigation package and emergency call system along with road side assistance. It also acts as a digital assistant and allows you access to various functions right from your mobile phone app such as geo-fencing, opening or closing the sunroof and so on. The other big tech feature is the second generation MBUX connectivity system. It understands your gestures, voices and even the context. Quite high-tech, we say! My colleague Sahil will be doing a deep dive in to all the technology that the new S-Class has to offer, so make sure you read that review as well.

Also Read: 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class; Top 5 Highlights

Performance and Dynamics


(We test drove the S 450 4Matic variant, with a 3.0-litre petrol engine. The motor is super smooth)

Specifications Mercedes-Benz S 450 4Matic Mercedes-Benz S 400d 4Matic
Displacement 2,999 cc, in-line 6 cylinder engine 2,925 cc, in-line 6 cylinder engine
Max Output 362 bhp @ 5,500 - 6,100 rpm 326 bhp @ 3,600 - 4,200 pm
Peak Torque 500 Nm @ 1,600 - 4,500 rpm 700 Nm @ 1,200 - 3,200 rpm
Transmission 9-speed Automatic 9-speed Automatic

The 2021 S Class gets two engine options, a 3.0-litre petrol and a 3.0-litre diesel engine. Both models get a 9-speed automatic gearbox as standard. The petrol motor gets an integrated starter generator and therefore, qualifies as a mild hybrid engine and that is exactly what we are driving today. Imagine yourself to be super rich! And you would probably have a big garage full of exotic cars! But what if you have the urge to drive the S Class? Well, you will be surprised by what it has to offer! The petrol motor is really, really smooth and with close to 100 kg of damping material used, the cabin is quiet and refined.


(The ride quality is unparalleled! It is plush beyond expectations, thanks to the airmatic suspension all around)

There is more than enough power on tap and of course, the ideal driving mode would be comfort, which accentuates the 'comfortable' character of the sedan. But, if you do choose the sport mode and decide to explore the limits of the car, you would be surprised by the handling and grip it offers. No doubt aided by the rear axle steering that can move by up to 4.5 degrees, in the direction or opposite to the direction of the front axle.


(The petrol motor of the S-Class offers enough power on tap, should you have the urge to drive. It is meant for relaxed cruising and can do so at triple digit speeds all day long)

The rear axle also aids in high-speed stability and manoeuvrability, especially within the city, as the S Class is a big car and not as agile as one would have liked. The other highlight is the Airmatic suspension, offering brilliant ride quality, simply gliding over all the undulations on the road, as befits an S Class.



(The S-Class gets a bunch of active and passive safety systems along with driver assist systems)

Apart from its focus on offering unparalleled comfort and convenience, the S Class has always been a car with exceptional safety features. And the 2021 model is no different. It all begins with the world's first ever front airbags for the rear seat passengers.


(More importantly, it gets the world's first ever frontal airbags, for the rear passengers. These are deployed out of the rear of the front seats in case of a severe frontal collision)

Yes! It comes as standard. Mounted on front seats, the airbags for rear occupants can be deployed in case of severe frontal collision. Plus, there are a total of 10 airbags on the S Class. Mercedes-Benz also offers a variety of driver assist systems such as lane-keeping assist, active distance assist, active parking assist, 360 degree camera, pedestrian protection and Mercedes' pre-safe package, which prepares the cabin for side-on collision and thereby reducing impact.

Pricing and Verdict


(The Mercedes-Benz S-Class is the epitome of luxury in the true sense of the word)

Currently, the models we get in India are CBUs, but Mercedes is likely to assemble the S Class locally and that should lead to a decrease in prices from the current Rs. 2.19 crore for the S 450 4Matic petrol and Rs. 2.17 crore for the S 400d 4Matic diesel.


(Over half of the first batch of 150 CBU units of the S-Class have been booked already. Even before the prices were out!)

There is just one variant on sale, the launch edition, and in typical Mercedes fashion, it is loaded to the gills with features that make your journey and your experience as luxurious as possible. In fact, a testament of the S-Class' popularity is the fact that more than half of the first batch of 150 CBU units have been booked already. And yes, if you rich, famous and successful and have a taste for finer things in life, the new S Class is what you deserve!


Last Updated on June 30, 2021

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