Good

Available four-wheel drive system; luxury features; eye-popping performance from AMG powertrains; well designed cabin.

Bad

Unintuitive telematics interface; expensive options.

Introduction

2011 Mercedes Benz S-Class is the most prestigious sedan, which has been offering discerning buyers with unparalleled levels of class, sophistication and refinement for several years. Its rivals are impressive, but the 2011 S-Class remains a quintessential premium luxury saloon. For 2011 model year, the S-Class gets plenty of enhancements, which include smaller but more powerful V8 engine, lane departure warning system, blind spot monitoring system with automatic brake intervention and a split-view display. With legacy of leadership, iconic design and groundbreaking innovation, it continues to presage what other vehicles might someday be. The brilliantly polished chrome highlights its elegant design and impeccable fit of every element. Behind the iconic grille, the S-Class has shaped the future of automobile with groundbreaking engineering. It has also sculpted the future of its design with sophisticated aerodynamics, irresistible combination of charisma, confidence and character and elegantly purposeful details.

The S-Class is essentially a series of premium luxury saloons developed and designed by Mercedes Benz, division of Daimler AG. Its classification was authoritatively launched in the year 1972 with W116 S-Class, which succeeded previous MB models dating to mid 1950s. It is the flagship model of the company and has debuted plenty of company’s most recent innovations such as drivetrain technologies, safety systems and interior features. The S-Class ranked as one of the best selling flagship luxury sedans of the world. The all new 2011 Mercedes Benz S-Class was launched in the year 2005 at Frankfurt International Motor Show. With all-embracing use of ultrahigh and high strength steel, countless hours of development and thousands of precise welds, using real world investigation, powerful computers and scientific crash testing, the S-Class carries its passengers in cocoon of superior protection.

The 2011 Mercedes Benz S-Class is a standard bearer for performance, technology, safety, design and innovation. On technology front, the cabin display screen allows front seat passenger and driver to view separate on-screen content, entertaining the passenger without disturbing the driver. The blind spot monitors and lane departure warning systems have been enhanced. The standard S550 model comes with four-wheel drive 4Matic system, while the S65 AMG and S63 provide stunning levels of performance. All S-Class models provide you with extreme level of comfort in a cabin, which embodies luxury. There are plenty of other models in the market that provide superior handling and welcome dose of Italian passion – Audi A8, BMW 7 Series, Jaguar XJ, Porsche Panamera and Maserati Quattroporte, but the all new S-Class provides the most entertaining point of view.

Variants, Body Styles and Optional Features

The 2011 Mercedes Benz S-Class lineup consists of S400 Hybrid, S65 AMG, S550, S63 AMG, AWD A550 4Matic and S600. The S400 Hybrid comes equipped with standard equipments and features, which include power trunk lid, 18 inch wheels, power rear sunshade, adaptive air suspension, heated power folding mirrors, automatic wipers, foglights, sunroof, adaptive high beams, adaptive automatic bi-xenon headlamps and daytime LED running lights. Also standard on S550 and S400 inside the cabin are leather and wood steering wheel, power telescoping and tilt steering column, leather upholstery, automatically controlled dual-zone climate system, front seat memory functions, driver side and auto dimming rearview mirrors, ventilated and heated front seats and power adjustable 14-way front seats. You will also find voice control for phone, navigation and audio, Harman Kardon 15-speaker premium surround sound stereo system with auxiliary audio jack, six-CD changer, HD radio, satellite radio and iPod interface, Bluetooth, COMAND electronics interface and navigation system.

Optional on 2011 Mercedes Benz S-Class S550 and S400 is a Premium II package that gets rearview camera, upgraded front seats, rear and front parking sensors and keyless ignition. The upgraded Active Body Control Suspension is available only on rear-wheel drive S550, while all of the above features come standard on S600 plus 19 inch wheels, Bang & Olufsen premium surround sound system, panoramic sunroof, power rear side window sunshades, automatically controlled four-zone climate system, adaptive cruise control, massage functions for front seats, lane departure prevention and warning system, heated steering wheel, night vision system with pedestrian monitoring and upgraded leather upholstery.

Stepping up to S63 AMG and S65 AMG variants of 2011 Mercedes Benz S-Class add AMG instrument panel with race timer, 20 inch wheels with high performance tires, unique steering wheel with paddle shifters, styling and aerodynamic enhancements, rear-seat entertainment system, sport exhaust, ventilated and heated power rear seats with memory, larger brakes, premium leather upholstery and sport tuned suspension. The S63 reverts back to Harman Kardon stereo system, while the S65 gets Bang & Olufsen surround sound system.

Most of the features and equipments of 2011 Mercedes Benz S-Class are found on higher variants as part of several option packages for supporting models. Other features include AMG Performance package that adds power increase of 74 pound feet of torque and 27 horsepower with the top speed of 186 miles per hour.

Engines and their Performance

Powering the S550 trim level of 2011 Mercedes Benz S-Class is a 5.5 liter V8 engine, with maximum output of 391 pound feet of torque and 382 horsepower. The engine is paired with seven-speed automatic transmission with rear wheel drive system designed to send power to the rear wheels. In performance testing, it accelerated from 0 to 60 miles per hour in the time range of 5.7 seconds and offered the fuel economy of 23 mpg highway, 15 mpg city and 18 mpg in combined driving. The S400 Hybrid is propelled by a 3.5 liter V6 engine with mild hybrid system, which is good for pumping out 284 pound feet of torque and 295 horsepower. This particular engine model goes from 0 to 60 mph in 7.7 seconds with the fuel economy of 19 mpg city, 25 mpg highway and 21 mpg in combined driving.

The 2011 Mercedes Benz S-Class S600 comes with 5.5 liter V12 twin turbo engine that cranks out jaw-dropping 612 pound feet of torque and impressive 510 horsepower. It accelerates from zero to sixty miles per hour in 4.5 seconds and offered the fuel economy of 12 mpg city and 19 mpg in highway driving. Motivation for S63 AMG comes from a 5.5 liter twin turbocharged V12 engine that churns out 590 pound feet of torque and 536 horsepower. In is expected to hit 60 miles per hour in 4.4 seconds.

The performance oriented 2011 Mercedes Benz S-Class S63 AMG is powered by a massive twin-turbo V12 6.0 liter engine, which is good for producing earth-shaking 738 pound feet of torque and remarkable 621 horsepower. In performance testing, it accelerated from 0 to 60 miles per hour in the time range of 4.2 seconds. The estimated fuel economy for this engine model is 11 mpg city, 17 mpg highway and 13 mpg in combined driving.

Safety Features

Standard safety features on 2011 Mercedes Benz S-Class include antilock brakes, side curtain airbags, traction and stability control and rear and front side airbags. The inattention and driver fatigue warning are available as standard features on all, except S400. Some of the optional features include blind spot warning and lane departure warning system with automatic brake intervention; PreSafe braking that uses optional adaptive cruise control radar system for sensing impending crash and automatically applies brakes and infrared Night Vision Assist. In brake testing, the S-Class came to a stop in 108 feet from 60 miles per hour, which is really very impressive.

Special Features and Cabin Design

The 2011 Mercedes Benz S-Class boasts one of the uniquely designed, well appointed and class leading interiors featuring exquisite craftsmanship and attention to detail. The cabin inside is quite luxurious and gets high quality materials with exacting construction, including COMAND electronics interface with screen and control knob to work most navigation and entertainment functions. Drivers who wish to manually control automatic transmission can use paddle shifters on steering column.

Some of the interior features on 2011 Mercedes Benz S-Class include mbrace telematics system, 6.5 inch dash screen with center console control knob, split view dashboard screen, massaging front seats, massive backseat and driver drowsiness monitor. The COMAND system makes sophisticated technology easy to enjoy with eight-inch LCD widescreen and convenient central controller. The 600-watt Harman Kardon premium surround sound stereo system comes with live Sirius Traffic, Sirius satellite radio, 40GB hard drive and Zagat Survey ratings. The maximum cargo capacity behind rear seats is 16.2 cubic feet.

Driving Impressions

The suspension system of 2011 Mercedes Benz S-Class is tuned to soak all the bumps and lumps on the road further providing a comfortable and relaxed ride. Its 4-Wheel Electronic Traction Control System continually redistributes the best engine’s torque to wheels with excellent grip. All engines of S-Class are tuned for greater response and efficiency. Its elegant electronic shifter with paddle shifters provides total control of gear changes without taking your hands from steering wheel. The S-Class is a spectacle of refinement, though it is dinged in small part by inconsistent accelerator pedal.

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