Supremely hushed, effortless and comfortable, even at 140mph. Smart looks, solid build and luxury by the gold-plated bucketful.
The electrics are a weakspot. Build quality and paint problems. Very expensive to fix if something big goes wrong. Small boot.
Latest Update Mercedes Banz W220 S Class 22-6-2012: Rear air suspension highly prone to collapse and if this happens the cost of rectification is usually far greater than the value of the car.
Introduction (from Mercedes Benz S Class W220 2001 Road Test):
I'm not going to pretend that Mercedes new presidential limousine is faster than a speeding bullet. (I suggest the armour plated version if this is a worry). But I can tell you from personal experience it will see off any other large saloon car full of bad guys.
There I was being driven by the esteemed motoring correspondent of The Daily Star when we became aware of a big, mafia black motor in our rear view mirror.
"Lose ‘em," I suggested, and nudged the gear lever over to the left a couple of times to select second. Starman floored it, there was a thump from the transmission and, before you could say "three hundred and sixty eight kilowatts equals five hundred pferdestarke", the chase car had disappeared in our wake and our speedo needle was touching 260kph.
In fact, that's all an S Class speedo will show, because the cars are electronically limited to an official 250kph. Unlimited, this 2,135kg 500ps car with 800Nm torque would be capable of at least 290kph. It drags itself from 0-100kph in just 4.8 seconds. Yet it has a back seat big enough to hold a party, complete with its own TV screen.