2021 Mercedes-Benz S580 review: The benchmark once again

Bring back the hood ornaments.

Andrew Krok / Roadshow

Imagine the pressure of making a new Mercedes-Benz S-Class.This car should be the peak of Everest for buyers who want a luxury car full of fat, and each subsequent generation should add more to the pile without forgetting its reason. to be, which means there is a lot to do on each new model. However, all this hard work paid off, because the Mercedes-Benz S-Class 2021 is a real trunk, which once again sets the standard for all other luxury cars.

Like it

  • High level racing
  • Makes you feel like a million dollars
  • Sweet HUD in augmented reality

I do not like

  • Sunroof controls that confuse

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz S580 is pretty damn close to the perfect luxury car, even if the styling is subjective and I’ll be the first to admit that the latest iteration of the Mercedes design language isn’t my favorite. My only complaint is that the rear is Eeyore-level saggy, with a chrome monocle spanning the width of the trunk, which is my least favorite 21st-century flagship ever.

The rest of the S580’s exterior is all about class. Despite wearing the more aggressive bumpers and side skirts of the $ 4,300 AMG Line package, my tester is still quite reserved. The 21-inch AMG alloy wheels also have a rather trad-luxe look. This car doesn’t need crazy angles or cut lines to make a statement – it’s just a big sleek sedan, pushing its way through traffic with a properly old-fashioned hood ornament driving the charge.

If for some reason I don’t feel like a million dollar walk up to the Mercedes S580, I definitely feel like once the doors open – actually, no, Before, thanks to the electronic door handles that protrude from the body when I approach. The S-Class has long had the most stylish interior in the automotive industry, and this continues with the 2021 model. The black Nappa leather is soft, and not only do the front seats support like heck, on the S580 they come standard with a ‘ excellent multi-contour massage function. The rear seats are more spacious than before, with plenty of head and leg room for me to spread out.

The S580’s interior design borrows heavily from the Vision EQS concept, with a wide swath of wood trim running the width of the dash, punctuated by pairs of air intakes on either side. The 12.8-inch OLED infotainment screen rises from the center console, leaving enough space behind it for an additional storage tray. The under-screen cover moves to reveal two full-sized cup holders, a wireless charging pad, and an extra tray for masks, keys or other pocket debris. There is enough space under the armrest for a small bag, while the door pockets are large enough to hold some large drink containers. There isn’t a huge binnacle surrounding the 12.3-inch display, which means the dashboard stays nice and low, creating excellent forward visibility.

Pull down an extra $ 3,000 and the space in front of the indicators transforms into a giant projector for a truly impressive head-up display. Not only will it provide the usual readings of information such as speed and direction of travel, but it can also work with local technology from the vehicle to the infrastructure to display the remaining time on a red light. My favorite part, however, is the augmented reality integration that the S-Class shares with its electric sister EQS, which shows upcoming turns as arrows approaching the intersection, as well as highlighting traffic when cruise control is active. adaptive. The information is always where it needs to be too, thanks to the eye tracking cameras built into the meter display, which can operate in a 3D makeup mode for an extra visual touch. Browsing through the many layouts and menus available is made easy thanks to the touchpad-style buttons on the steering wheel.

The big old screen in the center of the S580 runs an updated version of the MBUX infotainment system we’ve seen in every other Merc, and works as it always does in this iteration. It will work wirelessly Apple CarPlay And Android Auto, but there are also four USB-C ports in the center console for use by front seat occupants. The touchscreen picks up smudges like no other, but it’s responsive and it’s pretty damn impressive too, especially when running a full-screen map. The bottom of the display always shows climate controls, with a smattering of physical buttons below the one to change driving modes, turn up the volume, activate the hazard lights, or read my fingerprint to view my personal settings (not obligatory).

The display angle is perfect for visibility, although you can get 90% of what you need with just voice command.

Andrew Krok / Roadshow

The only controls that frustrate me are at the top. This S580 has two sunroofs, one in each row, and they are controlled with the most maddening tactile cursor known to man. I spent a whole week trying to figure out the logic behind how it works, but no matter which direction my fingers go, it does it all: opens and closes the front panel, tilts the front panel, hooks the panel sunshade front … except the one feature I really want. I despise it on the EQS, and I despise it here.

What’s impossible to despise, however, is the 2021 Mercedes S580 ride. It’s, in a nutshell, the best in the segment, with an adaptive air suspension that preternaturally eliminates nearly every inch of rough road underfoot, feeling almost always soft as a pillow. The S-Class floats down the road, and combined with thick glass, the driver and passengers will be almost excluded from the world on the other side. The suspension dips and stiffens when put into Sport or Sport Plus mode, and while the S580 makes a good impression of a full-size sports sedan, I’d recommend waiting for an AMG variant if you really want to give it the old one for what. This might be a good idea, but what he really wants to do is enjoy all possible opportunities.

It is difficult to feel uncomfortable on these seats. The S580 is destined to be a road trip king just for those thrones.

Andrew Krok / Roadshow

The S580’s powertrain is nice and smooth. Under the hood is a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that produces 496 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque, boosted by a 48-volt lightweight hybrid system that can throw an additional 21 horsepower and 184 lb-ft into the mix, of usually when leaving a shutdown or pushing the accelerator in the firewall. The V8 is very powerful on its own, but with this bit of electrification, the S580 seems to run on a never-ending well of driving force. A nine-speed automatic transmission does its job with near-imperceptibility, and the optional rear-axle steering (4.5 degrees, $ 1,300, though 10-degree steering is also available on some variants) means it’s damn easy to navigate in parking lots and other tight confines. The EPA rates the S580 at 17mpg in the city and 25mpg on the highway, and while the city estimate sounds spot on, they are capable of squeezing something closer to 30mpg on the highway.

If a V6 seems excessive in the internal combustion engine twilight years, the S500 may scratch the itch instead. This model ditches two cylinders, opting for a turbocharged inline 6 that produces 429 hp and 384 lb-ft. It too has the mild hybrid EQ Boost system, as well as standard all-wheel drive and the nine-speed automatic itself. It’s a little more efficient, though, arriving in a 20 mpg city estimated by the EPA and a 29 mpg highway.

This could be the latest generation of the combustion-powered S-Class, and this 4.0-liter V8 sings a swan song devil, if so.

Andrew Krok / Roadshow

There are some very capable driving aids willing to help out. Standard adaptive cruise control at full speed combines efforts with lane keeping assistance to keep the vehicle centered in its lane to the rhythm of traffic, eliminating the boredom of long journeys but still requiring hands on the wheel and eyes on the Street. While active, however, the driving aids provide smooth inputs and keep the ride comfortable. For parking, the infotainment screen can show a 360 degree area around the car, which I can pivot and rotate on the screen to make sure I stay in all lines. Parking sensors combine efforts with ambient lighting to give me an extra layer of warning in case I get too close to a wall or another car.

It should come as no surprise that the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class isn’t cheap. The S580 starts at $ 117,350 and a limited number of cosmetic and functional improvements push my tester’s price up to $ 131,500 – and there’s still one or two AMG variants that will live on top of this one, in addition to the big Maybach boy. The S500 and its in-line 6-cylinder engine are fortunately a little less expensive, coming in at $ 110,850. Thank God.

Mercedes’ closest competitors, the BMW 7 Series and Audi A8, are both high-quality luxury cars in their own right, but it’s hard to recommend anything other than the S-Class. The standard bearer stays at the front of the pack and it should stay there for a while.