2021 Mercedes-Benz S400d L Review

Chauffeur-spec, long-wheelbase S-Class is still a laid-back, genteel and very effective luxury option. We see how the diesel engine stacks up with the longer body.

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class has always been something of a repository for the firm’s very latest powertrain, suspension and safety technologies. On the face of it, that would seem to be the case with the box-fresh new W223-generation version, which has just arrived on Australian roads. But chauffeurs be warned: this time around, only really well-heeled owners may get the benefit of everything that the car can do.

Having had its model platform and suspension widely overhauled, the new ‘S’ will ultimately have camera-based predictive E-Active Body Control suspension, four-wheel drive and four-wheel steering: a combination never seen on any of its predecessors. There will be 48V mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains on offer, as well as world-first frontal airbags for those oh-so-important people travelling in the back seats. Some quite limited fully autonomous driving functionality should also be possible in time – even if the S-Class will only ever be able to ‘drive itself’ entirely legally in slow-moving traffic jams and on very particular road networks, and during ‘driverless’ parking.

Final Verdict:

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