2021 Mercedes-Benz S580 overview: The benchmark as soon as once more

Deliver again hood ornaments.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Think about the strain of creating a brand new Mercedes-Benz S-Class. This automotive is meant to be the height of Everest for consumers who need a full-fat luxurious automotive, and each successive technology ought to add extra to the pile with out forgetting its raison d’être, which implies there’s lots using on each new mannequin. All that tough work has paid off, although, as a result of the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is an absolute banger, as soon as once more setting the usual for all different luxurious vehicles.

LikeTop-tier rideMakes you are feeling like 1,000,000 bucksSweet augmented-reality HUD

Do not LikeConfounding sunroof controls

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz S580 is rattling close to the right luxurious automotive, though styling is subjective, and I will be the primary to confess that the most recent iteration of Mercedes’s design language is not my favourite. My sole grievance is that the rear finish is Eeyore-tier droopy, with a chrome unibrow spanning the width of the trunk, which is my absolute least favourite 21st-century flourish.

The remainder of the S580’s exterior is all about class. Regardless of sporting the extra aggressive bumpers and facet skirts of the $4,300 AMG Line bundle, my tester remains to be moderately demure. The 21-inch AMG alloy wheels have a reasonably trad-luxe look to them, too. This automotive does not want loopy angles or minimize strains to make an announcement — it is only a large, fancy sedan, carving its manner by means of site visitors with a correctly old-school hood decoration main the cost.

2021 Mercedes-Benz S580 desires to coddle at each alternative

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If for some purpose I do not really feel like 1,000,000 bucks strolling as much as the Mercedes S580, I certain really feel prefer it as soon as the doorways open — really, no, earlier than, due to digital door handles that come out from the physique as I method. The S-Class has lengthy had  the plushest interiors within the auto business, and that continues with the 2021 mannequin. The black Nappa leather-based is tender, and never solely are the entrance seats supportive as heck, on the S580 they arrive commonplace with a wonderful multi-contour therapeutic massage perform. The rear seats are roomier than earlier than, with loads of headroom and legroom for me to splay out.

The S580’s inside design borrows closely from the Imaginative and prescient EQS idea, with a big swath of wooden trim working the width of the dashboard, punctuated by pairs of vents on both facet. The 12.8-inch OLED infotainment display rises up from the middle console, leaving sufficient area behind it for an extra storage tray. The quilt beneath the display strikes to disclose two normal-sized cup holders, a wi-fi charging pad and an additional tray for masks, keys or different pocket detritus. Underneath the armrest, there’s sufficient area for a small purse, whereas the door pockets are simply large enough to carry some massive drink containers. There isn’t any huge binnacle surrounding the 12.3-inch gauge show, which implies the dashboard stays good and low, making for glorious ahead visibility.

Plunk down an additional $3,000 and the area in entrance of the gauges turns into an enormous projector for one significantly spectacular head-up show. Not solely will it ship the same old info readouts like velocity and course of journey, it might probably additionally work with native vehicle-to-infrastructure tech to show the time remaining on a purple mild. My favourite half, although, is the augmented-reality integration that the S-Class shares with its electrical EQS sibling, displaying upcoming turns as arrows that develop nearer because the intersection does, in addition to highlighting site visitors when adaptive cruise management is lively. The data is all the time the place it must be, too, due to eye-tracking cameras constructed into the gauge show, which may perform in a trick 3D Mode for a bit additional visible aptitude. Flipping by means of the numerous accessible layouts and menus is made simple due to touchpad-style buttons on the steering wheel.

The large ol’ display in the midst of the S580 runs an up to date model of the MBUX infotainment system we have seen in each different Merc, and it really works in addition to ever on this iteration. It’s going to run wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, however there are additionally 4 USB-C ports within the heart console for front-seat occupants to make use of. The touchscreen collects smudges like no different, but it surely’s responsive, and it is fairly darn spectacular, too, particularly when it is working a fullscreen map. The underside a part of the show all the time exhibits local weather controls, with a smattering of bodily buttons beneath that for altering driving modes, turning up the quantity, partaking the hazard lights or studying my fingerprint to tug up my private settings (not necessary).

The show’s angle is ideal for visibility, though you possibly can accomplish 90% of what it’s good to by voice command alone.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

The one controls that frustrate me are discovered overhead. This S580 has two sunroofs, one per row, and they’re managed with essentially the most infuriating contact slider recognized to man. I spent a whole week attempting to determine the logic behind the way it works, however it doesn’t matter what instructions my fingers go, it does every little thing — opens and closes the entrance panel, tilts the entrance panel, engages the entrance panel’s solar shade — besides the one perform I really need it to. I despise it on the EQS, and I despise it right here.

What’s inconceivable to despise, although, is the 2021 Mercedes S580’s experience. It’s, merely put, the very best within the phase, with an adaptive air suspension that preternaturally eliminates practically each inch of unhealthy highway underfoot, feeling pillowy clean virtually on a regular basis. The S-Class floats down the highway, and mixed with thick glass, driver and passengers alike might be all however shut off from the world on the opposite facet. The suspension lowers and stiffens when put into Sport or Sport Plus mode, and whereas the S580 does a reasonably good impression of a full-size sport sedan, I might advocate ready for an AMG variant if you happen to actually need to give it the ol’ what-for. This factor could nook properly, however what it actually desires to do is luxuriate in any respect potential alternatives.

It is laborious to be uncomfortable in these seats. The S580 is certain to be a highway journey king for these thrones alone.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

The S580’s powertrain is good and clean. Underneath the hood is a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 producing 496 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, augmented by a 48-volt delicate hybrid system that may throw one other 21 hp and 184 lb-ft into the combo, often when leaving a cease or pushing the accelerator into the firewall. The V8 is a lot potent by itself, however with this little bit of electrification, the S580 feels prefer it runs on a unending properly of driving force. A nine-speed computerized transmission does its factor with close to imperceptibility, and non-compulsory rear-axle steering (4.5 levels, $1,300, though 10-degree steering can also be accessible on some variants) means it is fairly darn simple to navigate parking heaps and different tight confines. The EPA charges the S580 at 17 mpg metropolis and 25 mpg freeway, and whereas the town estimate appears spot on, I can squeeze out one thing nearer to 30 mpg on the freeway.

If a V6 looks like overkill within the twilight years of the interior combustion engine, the S500 may scratch your itch, as a substitute. This mannequin ditches two cylinders, choosing a turbocharged straight-6 making 429 hp and 384 lb-ft. It, too, has the EQ Increase delicate hybrid system, in addition to commonplace all-wheel drive and the identical nine-speed computerized. It is a bit extra environment friendly, although, coming in at an EPA-estimated 20 mpg metropolis and 29 mpg freeway.

This can be the ultimate technology of the combustion-powered S-Class, and this 4.0-liter V8 sings one heck of a swan track if that is the case.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

There are some very succesful driver aids prepared to help. Customary full-speed adaptive cruise management combines efforts with lane-keeping help to maintain the car centered in its lane on the tempo of site visitors, eliminating the tedium of longer commutes however nonetheless requiring arms on the wheel and eyes pointed down the highway. Whereas lively, although, the driving force aids make tender inputs and maintain the experience comfy. For parking, the infotainment display can present a 360-degree space across the automotive, which I can twist and spin on the display to ensure I am staying in all of the strains. Parking sensors mix efforts with the ambient lighting to provide me an extra layer of warning in case I get too near a wall or one other automotive.

It should not come as a shock that the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class ain’t low cost. The S580 begins at $117,350, and a restricted variety of aesthetic and useful enhancements bump my tester’s worth as much as $131,500 — and there is nonetheless an AMG variant or two that can dwell above this one, along with the big-boy Maybach. The S500 and its straight-6 engine are fortunately rather less costly, coming in at $110,850. Thank goodness.

Mercedes’ closest opponents, the BMW 7 Collection and Audi A8, are each high-quality luxurious vehicles in their very own proper, but it surely’s laborious to advocate something aside from the S-Class. The usual bearer stays on the entrance of the pack, and will keep there for some time. 

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