Mercedes Benz S Class S350CDI Review
Perfection is an ideal state and nothing can reach it but there are things which can come very close. The Mercedes Benz S Class is one such car which manages to quench the needs of the niche without making them want anymore.
Some say the S500 is the best thing that has happened to luxury cars and it has rightly won the World car of the Year award. This indeed holds true for the S Class as it is the finest, Mercedes can offer to the world benchmarking the very existence of premium and luxury.
The sea of features the S Class offers is sufficient to spoil the rich tastes of the affluent few. With the S350CDI, Benz tries to attract the sane headed consumers who would want the comfort and luxury of a world class car but with certain practicality. We simplify it all in our review.
They knew how to make cars feel good from inside but with the new design language, they have made a light years jump from their earlier model. The S Class does not look a car from the present generation with its futuristic elements.
Dominating the front face is the elite chrome grille which sits like a medal on the face of the new S Class. The four horizontal slats inside it flow along the width like wings. It gets a thick chrome surround which impressed a thorough non-chrome fan like me as it feels justified completely.
Bringing motion to a standstill seems the best way to describe the side profile. What we liked about the S-Class? The way the shoulder line flows though different creases. The side has minimal elements which leave a great visual impact. It length looks gigantic yet elegant. This diesel comes with humbler looking wheels unlike the S500 which gets sporty alloys.
With the new design philosophy that Benz has adopted for all its new age sedans, the winged tail lamps are the best feature to write about. Gone are the plain-jane lines and corners, there are wavy lamps which conclude the rear very very elegantly. The only spoiler can be the number of badgings done on the rear section. If only there was just the logo and S-Class written on the rear tail gate, it would have finished the rear in a lot more classy way.
It would be great shame if you wander inside the S Class without being properly dressed as the interiors are far more classy and premium than anyone imagined a Mercedes Benz to be.
The S350CDI is not as flamboyant as its more affluent sibling the S500. If it was then the attracting pricing the diesel version won’t have been possible. However, the S350 still offers many desiring features. The S-Class pampers its occupants like no other car in this segment. Space, Craftsmanship and features, Mercedes Benz is far ahead of competition in all these aspects leaving competition behind.
The wooden veneers paired with creamy beige trims makes one feel the S Class is no less than any other uber niche cars. Instrumental screen is completely digital giving all possible messages on it. The central screen which is large in dimensions gives access to control almost anything and everything that one can possibly think of. The user interface of this screen is fantastic with amazing visual display of commands and functions. Be it changing the colour of ambience lights or be it adjusting air flow inside the cabin, everything is just a click and push away.
The rear seat of the S Class is the area to be in always. They are extremely high on comfort. They can be electrically adjusted to desired position although their incline angle isn’t as great as on the S500 but still it doesn’t compromise on comfort. Once seated in the rear, the entire world around goes on a mute with the amazing sound insulation. Even the Burmester hi-fi system, which features lesser hardware, sounds like a dream. I did miss the drama of the tweeters coming out on the front door trim but all is ok when you inside the S-Class.
The finer attention to detailing and the larger impact that the interiors of the S Class leave is phenomenal. Tailor stitched leather, individual screens mounted on front headrests, special headphones and even the ash tray holder which is neatly tucked inside the rear door pockets are simply amazing. The S-Class pampers like no other.
We have heard about the S500’s refinement in performance but haven’t experienced it yet. They say a typical S Class buyer will not spend much time in front half and will always indulge in the comfort of the rear. This holds true on many occasions. Apart from the comfort, this motor is not engaging enough for someone to be behind the wheel.
This motor is not new for us as we had driven the same unit on the GL350CDI. The engine is same but the behaviour is totally different. The GL feels meaty to drive coz of the overall dynamics but in the S Class, they have reduced the quickness and instead made it a smooth cruiser. Leave aside words like sport and quick, the S Class has a more matured way of dealing with roads.
It gradually builds momentum and keeps gliding on the road because of its smooth low end torque. Mid range is the zone, where the engine flexes its muscles but only to push the car to higher speeds. The S Class clocks quicker 0 – 100kmh timings compared to others in 6.8 seconds. Just to make things and feel more interesting, this cruise liner comes with a 7-speed automatic transmission system.
The transmission unit does not exactly quicken things up but acts as a convenient option. If only the unit felt more precise and crisp. On paper the S500 has better chances of being a fun to drive compared to tge S350CDI. This V6 motor produces a power of 254.8hp at 3600 rpm and a torque of 620Nm at 1600-2400 rpm.
The S Class is not meant for shorter but longer drives. The smooth shifts and linear acceleration are enjoyed over a period. It would need some time before you start liking it. It doesn’t strike you as soon as you push the throttle and instead grows on you with a steady pace. Try pushing the limo around corners and the tyres scream making one realise about the gigantic proportions of this car. However, the way the S Class laps distances at high speeds is incredible.
Ignore numbers and it is a place to be. The level of noise cancellations inside the cabin is phenomenal. The suspensions have been tuned near to perfection when it comes insulating the cabin from undulations and uneven surfaces. The cabin in undeterred by any disturbance outside. Depending on the surface, there are two settings to choose from namely Comfort and Sport. These modes can be chosen to soften or stiffen the ride as needed.
|Power in PS/RPM||258 / 3600|
|Torque in Nm/RPM||620 / 1600-2400|
|Wheel base mm||3165|
|Fuel tank capacity L||70|
|Tyre Spec (F)||275 / 45 R18|
|Tyre Spec ( R )||245 / 40 R18|
|Burmester AM/FM/CD/SiriusXM stereo system||Yes|
|Power rear window sunshade||Yes|
|Adaptive highbeam assist||Yes|
|360 degree Camera||No|
|3D Surround Sound System||No|
|Individual Entertainment Screens in the rear||Yes|
|Individual Remote to control screen||Yes|
|Wi-Fi enabled Cabin||No|
|Lounge Lights for Cabin||Yes|
Competition All Specs
|Variant||S350 CDI||3.0 V6||3.0 TDI quattro|
|Power in PS/RPM||258 / 3600||335 / 6500||247 / 4000|
|Torque in Nm/RPM||620 / 1600-2400||450 / 3500||580 / 1750|
|Gears||7G Tronic||8 Speed Auto||8 Speed Auto|
|Wheel base mm||3165||3157||3122|
|Fuel tank capacity L||70||83||90|
|Tyre Spec (F)||275 / 45 R18||NA||235 / 55 R18|
|Tyre Spec ( R )||245 / 40 R18||NA||235 / 55 R18|