The interior styling carves between being purely sybaritic and giving the driver a sense of being in command. Although it is quite old by automotive industry standards, the cabin of the Mercedes S-Class has aged gracefully. For the driver, piloting the S-Class is a remarkably refreshing experience.
There are a few quirks: the hood over the display screen is rather heavy-handed and the slim row of centre console switches are a little peculiar. Indeed, the centre console looks rather bereft, lacking the expected bank of climate controls. But the rotary controller is well placed under the driver’s hand, as are the tiny roller-switches that surround it. Mercedes’ column-mounted gear selector may not be very stylish, but it is highly effective.
For the rear-seat passenger, the S-Class is probably the best of the limos. Mercedes is conscious that most of these cars will be used for transporting VIPs, so the refinement in the rear is excellent and the seats are unashamedly super-plush. However, there’s an argument that rear legroom is not quite as lavish as it should be on a car of this type, though the long wheelbase version gets another 150mm between the wheels, which removes any doubts about rear passenger comfort. Again, the boot, at 560 litres, is hardly small but it could be bigger and a slightly more accommodating shape.