Luxury is a word easily thrown around by many brands in the automotive realm. But only a few distinct automakers come to mind when luxury is mentioned. Nowadays Mercedes is a synonym for German luxury. And the newly released 7th generation S-class represents the benchmark of luxury, not only for the Germans, but for the entire world.
In this day and age, luxury is not only comfort and elegance, it’s rather a way of communicating to the world that you’ve made it. The S-class is a way of telling people that you’ve worked hard enough to enjoy the very best Mercedes can offer, at a starting price north of $110,000.
This might be a little too luxurious as a starter car, but what about other Mercedes. Read more about the best Mercedes cars for new drivers.
It’s fairly impossible to contemplate automotive luxury without thinking about the S-class. The name S-class stands for ”Sonderklasse”, a German word for “a special class,” and the intent is fairly obvious. The newly released S-class previews the future of driving with unparalleled tech and comfort features.
But the difference between the newly released S-class and most luxury cars is that the S-class offers luxury in an ingenious, but undeniable way. The S-class is equipped with a “first in class” three-dimensional gauge cluster which transcends the modern meaning of technological supremacy and takes a giant leap into the future.
The new S-class also offers striking ambient lightning capable of incorporating many useful safety and comfort features. Furthermore, the S-class is equipped with a highly advanced four-wheel steer system which can turn the rear wheels in the opposite direction to the front wheels.
This has an effect of “shortening” the wheelbase, making the car a lot more maneuverable. As you travel at higher speeds, the rear wheels turn in the same direction as the front ones to further aid stability and safety.
The car is equipped with many new gesture and voice control systems, making the entire process of commuting that much smoother and more luxurious.
Mercedes is aware of the brand value the S-class represents, so they are trying to pitch the new GLS as the S-class of SUVs, and that’s true, to a certain degree.
The GLS is the full size, 7-seat SUV flagship by Mercedes. It offers ample space and S-class levels of comfort in a car capable of easily traversing even the most demanding of terrains. The starting price of the entry-level GLS450 is around $76,000, but most GLS models sold are well over the $90k mark.
But the “S-classnes” of the GLS might be a bit of a stretch. The GLS simply does not offer the ride quality of the outgoing S-class, let alone the new one. The list of gadgetry the GLS offers is quite comprehensive, but still not on the same scale as the new S-class.
The fact of the matter is that SUVs can’t deliver the same levels of comfort compared to sedans. The car sits a lot higher, making it harder to get in and out of. Furthermore, the gargantuan size of the GLS does not offer any four-wheel steering systems to make it easier to drive around town.
The GLS is still an impressive automobile. But it only emphasizes the sheer supremacy the new S-class has compared to other Mercedes models.
Maybach, formerly an independent luxury car manufacturer founded in 1909, was recently acquired by Mercedes Benz to make the best, most luxurious cars tailored to the highest standards of luxury, but starting well over the six-figure mark.
From the outside, the regular S-class and Maybach versions are fairly similar. A Maybach badge here and there, a bit more chrome, and different looking wheels set the exterior apart. But the interior is the place most differences take place.
The Maybach S-class interior is covered with the softest leather Mercedes offers. It also offers plush pillows, and pretty much every surface is trimmed with superior materials more akin to a Bentley then to a “regular” S-class.
Moreover, the Maybach version offers more gadgetry like heated or cooled cupholders, a refrigerator, and aircraft-style foldable tables, and even crystal champagne flutes. You can also opt for the Maybach version of the GLS. While it irons out most cons of the regular GLS, a $200k price is a rather steep proposition.
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Why does the S-class depreciate so much?
It’s no secret that the S-class falls victim to severe depreciation. The car manages to lose around 50-60% of its original value in the first three-year period. AT a $100k starting price, that’s a hefty deficit.
The reason being that luxury and technology progress incredibly rapidly. A technologically-advanced car today is merely adequate after a couple of years. Furthermore, they are leased fairly commonly, and after three years, there is a large supply leading to the market being flooded with barely used S-classes.
Does the new S-class justify upgrading from the previous version?
Answering this question is based upon the way you use your car and the way you pay for it. While the new S-class sure does offer many new interesting features, it’s surely not as huge of a jump as it was between the W221 and W222 generations.
Some people also find the design of the new S-class questionable. Earlier, the S-class started the design trends in the Mercedes lineup. A new S-class would come out, and soon pretty much every Mercedes model would adopt the new S-class design language. Nowadays, it’s the other way around, which lowers the appeal of the new S-class.
But comparing the new one against the old one is dependent on the way you get a hold of them. If you are buying outright, it’s a good idea to hold off for a couple of years and then get the new S-class to dodge the heavy depreciation hit.
If you are on the most common three-year financing/leasing agreement then it might make more sense to upgrade.
What is the most luxurious car in the world?
The S-class offers ample luxury, hardly anyone could argue that. But, for the few that do, brands like Rolls Royce come to mind. Rolls Royce cars are a lot more expensive than Mercedes, with prices being at $400k or even $500-600k mark.
Rolls Royce offers the very pinnacle of luxury travel with an emphasis on true luxury. True luxury consists of using the finest materials possible and pretty much-skipping technology which dates the car after a couple of years.
The most luxurious car Rolls Royce makes is the Phantom. Prices for the Phantom kick off in the mid to high $400k region, and there is no ceiling. Rolls offers its customers to fully customize the cars in pretty much any way they want. And that’s the greatest difference between Rolls and Mercedes: exclusivity.