GoAutoLogo
MENU

Car reviews - Mercedes-Benz - S-Class - sedan range

Launch Story

Mercedes-Benz logo17 Feb 2006

By MARTON PETTENDY

THE ninth generation of what’s widely touted as the world’s best motor car has arrived in Australia and the newest Mercedes-Benz flagship has already been seen by about 1000 potential customers in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne over the past week.

On sale now at a $6000 (or 2.2 per cent) premium over its 225kW 5.0-litre predecessor at $269,900, the 285kW/530Nm 5.5-litre V8-powered long-wheelbase S500L is the first of the W221 S-class sedans to arrive Down Under.

While the short-wheelbase S500 will be newly available by special order only (for $10,000 less at $253,900), the entry-level 200kW/350Nm 3.5-litre V6-powered S350 will also be available by the time Australian production models arrive here in April.

It will be priced from $187,900 ($8000 more than its forebear, which was powered by a 180kW/350Nm three-valve 2.7-litre V6), with the S350L now priced at $203,900 (up $9000).

While the current S430 has been discontinued, the shift to a larger and more powerful 5.5-litre V8 is expected to make way for a smaller-capacity V8 variant within two years, possibly dubbed S450, to rival BMW’s upgraded 740i – which undercuts the six-cylinder S350 at $181,000 and $192,800 for the long-wheelbase, and is powered by a 225kW/390Nm 4.0-litre V8.

Similarly, at $211,500 and $230,800 for the long-wheelbase, BMW’s new 750i variant undercuts its direct competitor in the S500 by a significant margin but offers slightly less performance from its 270kW/490Nm 4.8-litre V8.

For now, the new S-class range extends to the 380kW/830Nm 5.5-litre twin-turbo V12-powered S600L, which is priced at $363,900 (up $8000) and becomes available mid-year. This compares to a $340,700 pricetag for the 760Li, powered by a 327kW/600Nm 6.0-litre V12.

Last year’s new Audi A8 is priced even more attractively, at $169,950 for the 3.7 quattro, $202,000 for the 4.2 quattro, $217,100 for the 4.2L quattro and $325,000 for the flagship A8L 6.0-litre W12 quattro.

The W221 range will be extended by the first S-class diesel in the S320 CDI, as well as AMG variants, by early 2007 (see separate story).

As well as being stiffer, heavier and safer than the W220 S-class sedan sold here at heavily reduced prices since March 1999, the new model’s 33mm-longer body (43mm longer for the LWB) is still dwarfed by the W140 "Schwein Klasse" that preceded the W220 in the early 90s.

Compared to the W220, the W221’s 16mm wider and 29mm higher body also rides on a 70mm-longer wheelbase (80mm longer in the LWB’s case), delivering 39mm more shoulder room, 52mm more legroom and 5mm more headroom.

For the extra readies, the latest incarnation of the car that brought us the airbag and the passenger safety cell offers the obligatory host of new technologies, many of which are of course optional.

The entry-level S350 features standard safety items like ESP stability control, ABS anti-lock brakes, brake assist, eight airbags, NECK-PRO front head restraints and PRE-SAFE anticipatory occupant protection.

As standard, there’s also AIRMATIC DC semi-active air suspension with ADS adaptive damping system, active bi-Xenon headlights with washers and cornering lights, 17-inch alloys front/rear foglights, front/rear PARKTRONIC parking sensors, a two-stage rain sensor, tinted glass, power-closing boot, six-DVD/CD/MP3 player, TV tuner, telephone, satellite-navigation, COMAND cockpit management and data system with LINGUATRONIC voice control, sunroof, trip computer, EASY ENTRY access/egress system, fully auto power windows/mirrors, speed-sensitive power steering, a power-adjustable steering wheel with audio/trip controls, full leather trim with powered/memory front seats, automatic central locking, Calyptus wood trim, an electronic park brake with hill-start assist, cruise control, SPPEDTRONIC speed limiter, one-touch indicators, tyre pressure and brake pad wear monitors, full-size spare wheel and a seven-speed 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission with DIRECT SELECT stalk-mounted gear selector and steering wheel shift buttons.

On top of this and an extra 130mm of rear legroom, S350L adds an electric rear blind, power-adjustable outboard rear seats and a rear-mounted front passenger seat adjuster.

Compared with S350, S500 offers different 17-inch alloys, Dark Burr Walnut woodtrim, a door-closing aid, Harman/Kardon LOGIC7 surround sound system, heated and ventilated luxury front seats, infrared-reflecting laminated glass and a wood/leather steering wheel.

The S500L adds the S350L’s extra features, plus an ARTICO imitation leather dashboard, while the S600L delivers 18-inch alloys, a five-speed auto, Active Body Control suspension, anti-theft alarm, Dynamic front seats with massage function, PASSION leather trim, heated windscreen washer, KEYLESS-GO remote starting, luxury head restraints, heated and ventilated luxury rear seats with massage function, Night View Assist infrared night-vision system, rear climate control system, a reversing camera and a remote bootlid closing function – most of which are options on lesser variants.

Mercedes-Benz Australia this year expects to sell 600 examples of what it claims is the quietest and most dynamic S-class ever – the same as in the previous model’s first year, thanks to a stagnant luxury car market – half of which are expected to be six-cylinder variants. The S500 should attract 40 per cent of buyers, with the remainder split between the forthcoming diesel and AMG variants.

Share with your friends

Enquire on or Test Drive a New S-Class

Customer Terms and Conditions – New Car Lead enquires

Agreement

This is an agreement between GoAutoMedia Pty Limited ACN 094 732 457 of PO Box 18, Beach Road, Sandringham, VIC, 3191 (“we/us”), the owner and operator of the GoAuto.com.au website (“the website”) and the person wanting GoAuto.com.au to provide them with a lead for the purchase of a new car (“you”).

By completing a New Car Lead Enquiry, you agree to the terms and conditions and disclaimers and acknowledge the policies set out below.

Terms and Conditions

  • In order for us to effect a lead you must you must complete a New Car Lead Enquiry (“Enquiry”).
  • We will call you as soon as possible after you complete the Enquiry and certainly no later than the next business day. When we call, we will discuss with you your new car requirements.
  • You consent to our passing on the Enquiry and your requirements to an appropriate authorised motor car dealer as a lead.
  • We will contact you again in approximately eight days following your initial enquiry to check on the progress of the Enquiry.
  • While we will provide the dealer with the Enquiry and details of your new car requirements, we take no responsibility for what happens after passing on that material as a lead.
  • You acknowledge that we are a new car information service providing new car editorial information, pictures and prices to our customers as a guide only. Any new car prices published on the website are the manufacturers’ recommended retail prices and do not include delivery charges and on-road costs. Any authorized motor car dealer to which we pass on your Enquiry as a lead will provide you with full details of the price at which the vehicle will be sold to you.
  • You acknowledge that we do not sell motor vehicles. Any sale of a new car to you by a dealer after we have passed on your Enquiry to that dealer as a lead, is a sale by that dealer not by us.

Privacy Policy– New Car Lead Enquires

  • We take privacy very seriously. We understand that you will only complete an Enquiry if you can trust us to protect your personal information and use it appropriately. Our policy is to ensure that the personal information collected when you make an Enquiry is only used for the purposes of connecting you with an authorised motor car dealer.
  • We do not on-sell information collected from you or any other customer.
  • From time to time, we may email you with information or promotions that may be relevant for car buyers. You will continue to receive communications from us unless you tell us that you do not want to receive any advertising or promotional information in the future by unsubscribing from these communications.
close
* Denotes required field
** Australian inquiries only
*** Prices exclude on road costs and dealer delivery fees

S-Class pricing

Motor industry news

GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.