“Is it the best grand sedan in the market? Undoubtedly.” This conclusion to the February road test of the Mercedes-Benz S350 BlueTEC tells you all you need to know about the definitive luxury sedan. But, don’t for a moment think the new S-Class is a default winner of this category simply because it’s a new “S”. The weight of expectation – its own maker confidently christened it the “best car in the world” – before the CAR testers cast their votes was crushing, and the S could so very easily have fallen into a trap of ultimate disappointment. However, from the moment the S350 pulled into the CAR parking lot for testing, it had the team under its spell. Drives in greater versions than the entry-level BlueTEC – from a 500L to an S63 AMG – further showed a staggering depth of engineering. In terms of quality, innovation, safety, comfort and presence, the new S represents a quantum leap over its mighty predecessor and rival A8, 7 Series and XJ models.
BMW 5 Series
Munich’s mid-range sedan sacrifices the crown by no doing of its own; the S-Class is simply that good. But, the BMW remains brilliant, a point reinforced by the subtlety of its mid-2013 facelift.
A third-quarter revision saw Porsche’s often-misunderstood executive express gain cleaner engines, welcome visual updates and tweaks to the suspension. Tight cabin space aside, extremely hard to fault.
- Mercedes-Benz E-Class
- Jaguar XJ
- Lexus GS
LOOK OUT FOR
The Ghibli’s mission is tough … it’s tasked with pushing Maserati’s annual sales up to 50 000 by 2015 (from just over 6 000 in 2012). We look forward to finding out whether it has the ability to achieve this goal. Another don’t miss is the Hyundai Genesis (third quarter).
Check out all the winners from our Top 12 Best Buys for 2014 here (click).