Car Reviews

2021 Mercedes-Benz S 350d evaluation: Nonetheless the very best in enterprise? | Autocar India

Written by Meera

Because of native meeting and a few function deletions, the massive S-Class prices a whopping Rs 60 lakh lower than earlier than.

2021 Mercedes S 350d: what’s it?

Every time a brand new S-Class comes alongside, it raises the bar for consolation, luxurious and tech, not just for its section, however for the remainder of the auto business to observe. This newest W223 model (or V223, since that is the LWB model), has finished it once more, however when it was launched in India, it raised a unique bar – worth. At Rs 2.17 crore (ex-showroom), it wasn’t simply costlier than all its rivals, it was virtually the identical worth because the stretched, V8-powered Maybach model of the earlier technology.

The explanation was that this was a limited-run ‘Launch Version’ – one thing Mercedes usually does in India – that was a CBU import loaded to the gills with gear and tech. Value however, the Launch Version was snapped up in report time, and if you’d like an S-Class now, the automotive you’ll get is a bit of bit totally different – domestically assembled, lacking a bit of kit, with a lower-powered diesel engine and a worth that’s a strong Rs 60 lakh cheaper! That is the automotive we’re driving at present.

2021 Mercedes S 350d: what all has been eliminated?

The S 400d engine has been changed by the S 350d – primarily the identical OM656 3.0-litre straight-six turbo-diesel engine in a decrease state of tune. Energy is down from 330hp to 286hp, whereas torque has gone from 700Nm to 600Nm. Different mechanical modifications embody a shift from 4Matic all-wheel drive to rear-wheel drive for the diesel (the S 450 petrol continues to be AWD), and the elimination of rear-wheel steering. You continue to get adaptive air suspension, in fact, which might be raised to get the S class over tall velocity breakers.

You may not miss the elimination of the AMG Line physique package; the usual S-Class bumpers are nonetheless very elegant and get simply the correct amount of chrome garnish to maintain issues blingy. What you may miss, nonetheless, are the 20-inch AMG alloy wheels, which did look actually good, however the smaller 19-inch models ought to have a optimistic influence on the experience.

Inside, you’ll discover the usual Mercedes open-pore brown wooden trim rather than the high-gloss veneer with pinstripe inserts from the Launch Version. The open-pore wooden is good sufficient, however simply doesn’t have the identical wow issue and is similar as you’ll discover in virtually each lesser Merc. The steering wheel is now not the 6-spoke AMG Line one, however the usual 3-spoke unit as within the E-Class, which is not any unhealthy factor. The ring of dynamic ambient lighting that encircled the cabin with vibrant animations is now only a strip of gloss black trim (you continue to get standard hid ambient lighting in 64 colors), and the digital dials now not have the 3D performance; in all probability for the very best, because it could possibly be fairly distracting.

The remainder comes all the way down to gear. The place beforehand there was Burmester’s 31-speaker, 1,350-watt ‘4D Encompass’ system (with audio system contained in the seats), it’s been scaled again to the still-excellent 3D encompass system, with 15 audio system and 710 watts. The entrance seats are nonetheless heated however now not ventilated, and also you now not get the rear-seat frontal airbags from earlier than.

2021 Mercedes S class diesel: what has stayed the identical?

Briefly, most of it – that is largely the identical benchmark-setting limousine it all the time was. The general regal look stays, they usually’ve been positive to retain the wow issue, with the high-resolution LED ‘digital headlamps’ and crystalline tail-lamps. You even get the pop-out door handles that mechanically retract into the doorways as soon as the automotive is locked.

The inside design, in fact, stays the identical – a mixture of old-world and new-age, which may really feel a bit incongruous in locations, like the 2 high-resolution screens docked upright into an in any other case flowing dashboard. The screens themselves, nonetheless, are unimaginable – the instrument cluster, sans 3D impact, has been simplified and is now very crisp.

After which there’s the 12.8-inch pill pc within the centre. It stays one of many quickest, best-looking and best-functioning models available on the market, with good haptic suggestions, however a couple of extra bodily buttons would have helped function issues on the transfer; the steering-mounted controls really feel fiddly to make use of too. Mercedes Me linked automotive tech returns, in fact, as do a couple of ADAS options like adaptive cruise management and energetic lane-keeping help. Nonetheless, debuting on this automotive and rolling out to different linked fashions within the vary is a brand new ‘Automotive-to-X’ system, which detects potholes, accidents, visitors jams, inclement climate and even velocity bumps, after which transmits their location, through the cloud, to each different linked Mercedes-Benz within the space!

The one factor they merely couldn’t tamper with was the rear seat expertise, which has returned largely the identical (save for the absence of fold-down vainness mirrors within the roof). These seats recline by 43.5 levels, are wrapped in leather-based (albeit not the quilted Nappa leather-based of earlier than) and provide heating, cooling, therapeutic massage and reminiscence capabilities. They’ve additionally retained the Chauffeur Pack, whereby the entrance passenger seat might be moved far ahead, and an ottoman and foot relaxation fold out for the rear left passenger. You continue to get the 2 slick rear touchscreens, which mix with the Samsung pill within the armrest to make controlling rear seat capabilities a breeze.

2021 Mercedes Benz S 350 d: engine, energy and luxury

That the diesel engine has modified from a 400d to a 350d isn’t a trigger for pause both; in any case, this was the identical state of tune they used within the final S-class. The 400d, for all its numbers on the spec sheet, wasn’t what you’d name a sporty engine to start with. It delivered its 700Nm in a big, easy whoosh, slightly than a gut-punch shove. The 350d, as compared, feels dialled down by about 15 p.c – not fairly as easy, however nonetheless ample for a automotive of this measurement and weight (north of two tonnes). It isn’t what you’d name a slouch both, cracking out a 0-100kph of simply 7.2sec in our efficiency exams.

By another normal, that is an extremely refined engine, letting out however a murmur ought to your chauffeur let the revs slip north of two,500rpm. Nonetheless, that is an S-Class, and because the benchmark for luxurious vehicles, that’s a murmur greater than we’d anticipated. Equally, we really feel street noise may have been barely higher contained too. 

Do you have to take the wheel, you’ll be handled to an impressively tidy driving expertise from what’s a long-wheelbase limousine tailor-made for these within the again seat. Visibility is sweet, the steering isn’t overly gentle and, in the event you swap to Sport or Sport+, physique actions are fairly nicely contained. Should you’ve skilled the rear-wheel steering from the Launch Version, you’ll miss that uncanny agility it afforded, but when not, then manoeuvrability is what you’d count on from a automotive this lengthy.

Trip consolation, in fact, is a standout right here, with the usual air springs and adaptive dampers serving up that cloud-like experience high quality you need and count on. Some may discover it a bit of too bouncy in Consolation mode, however setting simply the dampers to Sport in ‘Particular person’ mode will kind that out. In reality, that is one space it improves on the 400d Launch Version, as a result of the 19-inch wheels and chunkier tyres used right here do a much better job of absorbing smaller bumps and street imperfections.

2021 Mercedes Benz S 350d: worth, rivals and verdict

Sure, the worth is now Rs 60 lakh decrease, however at Rs 1.57 crore, ex-showroom, it’s nonetheless costlier than its key rivals, the Audi A8 L and BMW 7 sequence. Not by sufficient to make a distinction at this worth level, although. With native meeting, a number of the gizmos that had been speaking factors of this V223 S-Class at its launch have been eliminated, just like the in-seat audio system, animated cabin lighting, new rear airbags and rear-wheel steering. These are, arguably, issues you would stay with out, although, and at its core, that is nonetheless an S-Class via and thru.

It stays the very best again seat within the enterprise and experience consolation is all however unparalleled. The tech appears, feels and is leading edge, and ushers in what we are able to count on from the following technology of Mercedes-Benz vehicles. Refinement may have been a bit of higher, however solely as a result of we’re holding this automotive to its personal extraordinarily excessive normal. The relaxed straight-six diesel engine is an effective match for a limousine like this, and doesn’t really feel like a downgrade from the 400d. As all the time, the domestically assembled S-Class maintains the excessive stage of high quality of its imported counterpart, and can greater than doubtless retain its position as the most well-liked automotive within the section.

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Meera