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MOTORING

2021 Mercedes-Benz S500 review

Words by Nathan Irvine

Go, go gadgets

This is supposed to be a review of the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S500, but it could easily be a 400 bullet-point list of all the things that I discovered and enjoyed while driving it. Every single time I sat behind the wheel of this luxury sedan – the type of vehicle you can imagine a president being ferried around in – I managed to find something new and exciting.

I’m not just talking about the obvious things you’ll find throughout the S500. Like the Samsung tablet in the rear seats to entertain passengers. The OLED dual-screens that display all types of information with crystal clear clarity. Or the welcoming, soft beige leather upholstery throughout that’s fit for royalty. It’s the things I sort of stumbled across that made the car so special.

Style and finesse

Washed out

For example, while trying to work out how to wash the gooey remnants of a bug off the windscreen, I blindly yanked and pulled the levers either side of the steering wheel. Only a tiny bit of water came out though. “Oh great,” I thought, “it’s ran out of water. But no. Turns out there’s a button on the end that, when pressed, spits water out of the wipers instead. It gives off a car wash effect and, more importantly, cleans the insect’s brains off the glass and leaves it sparkling.

The roomy S500 also mixes the cosmetic and functional in its line-up of flourishes. For every Mercedes logo projecting on the floor when you open the door in the dark, there’s something like the flush door handles springing out as you approach it with the key fob in hand. Being able to customise the lights around the interior for – well, nothing useful – is complemented by seatbelt slots that glow red, making it very easy to spot at night time. It even has 4D surround sound that uses the bass of music tracks to gently beat through your seat.

Before I reveal my favourite discovery at the end, I guess I should probably talk about what the 2021 Mercedes S500 is like to drive, right? In short, it moves like a dream. The curvaceous vehicle might look like it’d be happier going at slow speeds as a dignitary waved to the public, but it’s deceptively nippy. Stick it in Sport or the track-ready Sport+ and the S500 transforms into a serious speed machine complete with snappy acceleration and German-precision handling.

It’ll also keep you on the straight and narrow too with the lane assist that autocorrects the car when it drifts over the lines. There was one moment that this caused slight shock though. As I was driving over a new piece of road that still had lane markings from the old bit, the lane assist leapt in to help and almost nudged me into a passing car. Still, that’s the road’s fault not the S500.

In Pictures. 2021 Mercedes-Benz S500

Photos.

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A space age cockpit

3

A space age cockpit

2

That panoramic sunroof is superb

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Those in the back have lots of entertainment to hand

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Those in the back have lots of entertainment to hand

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Digital lights are incredibly bright

Specifications

Engine

4.6l

Power

435 bhp

0-100kmh

4.9 seconds

Top Speed

250 kmh

Price from

AED 498,542

And, relax

So that favourite bit that I alluded to above? Well, it happened as I was waiting to record the latest podcast episode. As I was sat in the carpark I flicked through the comfort settings. I stumbled across Energizing Comfort and clicked the “Comfort” option. The big OLED screen transformed to show digital waves, the lighting round the car melted into a soft green and the type of music you’d find piped in at a spa started to play through the speakers. The only thing that was missing was a massage to go with it. Or so I thought.

As I sat there drinking in the relaxing atmosphere the massage function of the seats kicked in to complete the treatment. Obviously, you don’t want to be driving down the motorway with this function on, otherwise you’ll wake up in the central reservation, but as an added touch to help you destress before, say, an important meeting, this S500 feature is exceptional.

Everything is in the details when it comes to the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S500, and the German carmaker has gone above and beyond to create a vehicle that takes care of everything. From comfort, entertainment, safety and even stress levels, the S500 is in a class of its own.

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