Test: 3 negatives of new Mercedes S-class compared to 7-series and Panamera

In Car Review Issue 8 we compare the Mercedes S 500 4Matic with the BMW 750i xDrive and the Porsche Panamera 4S. Thorough as we are, we test the German limousines on 44 parts.

The Mercedes S-class is called the best car in the world. But is that still true? Does the new W223 have enough to offer to take the lead in its segment and in our comparison test? For your image: these are cars of roughly 160,000 euros.

Test: 3 negatives of new Mercedes S-class compared to 7-series and Panamera
Test: 3 negatives of new Mercedes S-class compared to 7-series and Panamera

Downside 1: finish is disappointing

The new Mercedes S-class is the widest and tallest car of the three, creating the most spacious cabin. The headroom is great, the legroom superb. And thanks to the large doorways, getting in and out is effortless.

“We are critical, but that is allowed with an S-class.”

Here we spot the first downside of the new S-class: our test car was not put together with care and attention. The transition between door and dashboard is staggered, a metal molding is not neatly mounted and the finish of the panels with piano lacquer could be better. We are critical, but that is allowed with an S-class. BMW and Porsche have their finish better.

Test: 3 negatives of new Mercedes S-class compared to 7-series and Panamera

Downside 2: sound insulation works too well

The S-class is a symbol of comfort. The sound insulation is excellent. Rolling, wind and driving noises are damped so well that you hear things that you normally wouldn’t notice. Like the whisper of the ventilation grilles on position one.

Okay, okay, here’s a real downside with regard to comfort: On the spring comfort part, it is not the S-class that jumps out, but the 7-series. Adaptive air suspension (standard) in combination with adaptive shock absorbers and active roll stabilization provide suspension comfort so luxurious that you do not notice the condition of the asphalt or the cobblestones in the cabin. The tested S-class is also air-suspended and adaptively damped, but in the city you feel more unevenness. A subtle difference, but still. Porsche naturally opts for a sporty tuning.

Downside 3: engine and gearbox feel slow

The W223 is only available with a six-cylinder in-line engine with a turbo and an electric compressor. A 48V starter generator lifts the system power of the S 500 4Matic to 457 hp.

The BMW 750i xDrive, on the other hand, has a very strong V8 with 530 hp. The eight-cylinder runs beautifully, responds quickly and pushes the more than 2.1-ton limousine to 100 km/h in just 3.9 seconds. That’s sports car performance. Then get behind the wheel of the Mercedes S-Class and its engine and transmission feel sluggish.

Soberly viewed, the Panamera 4S offers the best of both worlds. Its double-blown V6 kicks it up to 440 horsepower and, together with the eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, is capable of great things. It sprints to the hundred (4.1 s) almost as fast as the BMW and has an impressive top speed of 295 km/h.

Conclusion: finish is especially worrisome

As mentioned, we tested the German limousines in the magazine on 44 points. It says a lot that the new Mercedes S-class lags behind its competitors in only 3 parts. All together, he wins the comparative test. You can read exactly how that works in Auto Review 8.

But at the same time, every flaw is one too many for an S-class. Mercedes still has work to do, especially in terms of finish. That bothers us more than the fact that the BMW 750i xDrive has even smoother suspension.

Curious how it is not the BMW 7-series, but the Porsche Panamera that finishes second? Read the full test in Auto Review 8! Buy the magazine now in the store or order Auto Review 8 in our webshop.

Source: Autowereld.com by www.autoreview.nl.

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