It has been nearly four years since the 6th
generation Mercedes Benz S-Class was launched in India and I had just arrived
at the opulent Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad to drive the 2018 Mercedes Benz S-Class.
Essentially a mid life facelift, the new S-Class does not feature too many
cosmetic changes to distinguish it from its predecessor but under the hood lies
a gargantuan overhaul that makes the cut for it.
Design and Features of the 2018 Mercedes Benz S-Class 350 D
The facade is still distinctly S-Class but
the list of changes include those made to the headlamps, grille and bumper.
Mercedes has now introduced a tri LED DRL
setup on the new headlamps as opposed to the single strip on the previous
model. The company has stated the main beam is capable of throwing light over
650 meters. It also features Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus which enables the
main beam to be left on at all times without dazzling other road users and uses
84 individually controllable LEDs to light up the way precisely where required.
The headlamp cluster looks more suave and modish than before. A larger and
sportier front grille also adds a touch of panache to the face of this new S
Class and the reworked bumper with larger air intakes just goes further to add
to this flair. One can easily notice a large black panel in the centre of the
grille which serves as a housing unit for the ADAS (Advance Driving Aid Sensor)
installed on the new S-Class.
The rear has been enhanced with a new
design in the tail lamp cluster which also features a crystal finish that is
plainly elegant. The jewel like glow from the tail lamps is sure to bedazzle
onlookers and rounds off the luxurious allure. The rear bumper has also been
redesigned and a chrome strip running seamlessly between the twin exhausts adds
a voguish touch to the saloon. The side profile is still the same but a new set
of 18 inch 5 twin-spoke alloys with high sheen finish give the S Class a jaunty
2925cc, in-line 6 Cylinder, Diesel
Acceleration (0-100kmph) (Company Claimed)
Fuel Tank Capacity
Rs. 1.33 Crore
Design and Features of the 2018 Mercedes Benz S-Class 350 D
As is norm in this segment, the rear seat
of the new S Class is still the space to be in. The interiors offer warm and
earthy tones and the designers at Mercedes Benz have done a splendid job of
integrating technology with a very retro theme in the cabin. The facelift of
the S Class does not offer any major changes but there are a few obvious ones,
one of them being the new three spoke steering wheel wrapped in Nappa leather
and adorned with a host of controls. The two 12.3 inch displays in the front
look seamlessly connected thanks to a single glass frame. One screen serves as
the infotainment unit while the other displays driver instrumentation.
The cabin of the S Class can rival that of
a luxurious private jet and the regal retro scheme of things just brings more
life to the cabin. A single solid block of wood runs across the dash and holds the
circular AC vents along with an analogue clock. The infotainment unit also
offers Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity to consumers. Continuing the
grandeur offered on the S Class, Mercedes is offering 64 different ambient
lighting options as well as a fragrance package that lets you choose the scent
you want circulated in the cabin. Qi enabled devices can also be wirelessly
charged both at the front and in the rear. Other highlights are multiple
massage functions, separate climate controls of the rear seat occupants, 10.2
inch individual infotainment screens, panoramic sunroof and electrically
operated sun blinds. The rear seat can also be reclined upto an angle of 43.5
degrees and gets an extendable footrest turning it into a lounge like chair
that offers 77mm of knee room.
and Performance of the 2018 Mercedes Benz S-Class 350 D
We drove the diesel powered 350 D which is
also remarkably the first BS-VI made in India. Another major change to be noted
in the engine is the in-line 6 cylinder layout as opposed to the V6 format of
the previous mill. The highlights of this new engine are that it produces
286hp, that is around 28hp more than the previous motor. The 6-cylinder
behemoth turns 600Nm, which also caters to its surprisingly volant performance.
The engine has been mated to a 9 speed
automatic transmission which is seamless in its operation and caters to butter
smooth acceleration. The power delivery is surprisingly linear with the
turbochargers tuned to precision, rendering a sporty drive. The 3.0L diesel
engine gets common rail direct injection with piezo injectors that can achieve
an injection pressure of upto 2500 bar. Drive modes being offered on the
S-Class include - Sport, Eco, Comfort and Dynamic.
Another highlight of the performance and a
crucial one for this segment is insulation. The new S-Class has definitely set
the benchmark when it comes to insulation and refinement. The ride is smooth,
silent and immensely stable. This in part is also due to the Airmatic
suspension incorporated on the new S-Class. The suspension eagerly gobbles up
almost all undulations and renders a floating feeling to cabin occupants. The
ride height of the S-Class can also be adjusted by upto 30mm. In Sport mode the
suspension is automatically leveled beyond 100kmph and in comfort by 10mm when
it crosses 120kmph additionally by another 10mm when it crosses 160kmph. This
has also increased the control rendered to the driver at high speeds thanks to
the improved lower centre of gravity.
Speaking about control, here comes the
juicy part, the new Mercedes Benz S-Class comes with ADAS. The radar based
safety technology being offered on the saloon has made it immensely safe and
capable. The multiple driver aides include Distronic which enables the driver
to control the distance from the car infront with speeds of upto 210kmph,
starting from 20kmph. The system also incorporates active steering behind the
vehicle which it is following. Another radar based safety features added are
Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Steering Assist, Active Braking Assist which
includes warning, situation dependant braking assistance and autonomous
braking. The S-Class also features completely autonomous parking where in the
driver does not need to even change gears or brake.
Despite the few changes made on the design
front, the S-Class continues to look ever so glamorous and contemporary. The
new diesel engine has surpassed our expectations and is most definitely a cut
above the rest. But what really walks away with the cake is the flawless manner
in which all the ADAS systems function. We got to sample each one and were
thoroughly convinced on the safety and reliability of the radar based safety
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