Date registered: Jul 2005
Vehicle: S430 & A4 Quattro
Location: Toronto, Canada
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
RE: new S-Class
First off, hello everyone! :) This is my first post here in the Benzworld forum.
It's a bit hard to tell from the photos, but my initial impression is that I'm disappointed with the interior. Where's the wood? Where's the leather? To my eyes it looks like MB is using too much plastic on the dash. Compare for example, the Audi A8 which boasts a pretty sumptuous interior of wood, leather and suede. The BMW 7 has a more upscale look as well on the interior. Heck - even an E class has a more contiguous piece of wood up front thus lending a somewhat more refined atmosphere.
It's as though MB is intentionally trying to keep the S-class a bit cheaper looking on the inside so as not to compete with Maybach. But get real - how many people have the financial flexibility to seriously consider getting a Maybach? I'd say it's safe to say the majority of S-class owners can only dream about a Maybach.
On the "iDrive" I guess we'll have to wait and see if MB got it right. I've tried the iDrive in BMW's 7 and 5 series and I really don't like it. (And I'm a gadget freak too! I usually take to any new technology very easily.) Audi's MMI in the A8 and the A6 is actually pretty good though as a minor point, the scroll wheel goes in the opposite direction of my iPod. I do hope MB didn't overcomplicate their controller like BMW did theirs. I'm not holding my breath on this point though - one thing that Audi did right was they kept the heating & AC controls as traditional buttons and dials, and kept radio volume as a separate dial then put everything else on the controller. I don't see this in the pics of the new S-class so I'm thinking they did the BMW thing and crammed everything into one controller.
One last point on the controller - it seems they've tried to duplicate the main central dial with a small 5-way rocker switch on the steering wheel. I'm a bit surprised at this as these kinds of rocker switches are generally hard enough to use on small, stationary hand-held devices. To use this in a car moving along at more than 100 kph going over a few bumps on the road might while trying to avoid traffic could be extremely challenging.
On the exterior cues, I'm liking the new S. It looks vaguely reminiscent of a Maybach in a lot of ways which is a good thing. I like the subtle treatment of the headlights and the brake lights. The increase height though will make washing the car even more challenging than it already is! I have a lot of trouble getting the roof done properly without using a ladder!
The new technology of the S is interesting but some of it is stuff you hope you never have to use. Brake Assist and Pre-Safe sound cool and could make that vital bit of difference, but it would be best if none of us ever found out for sure. The night vision is also interesting but only useful I think on rural roads where visibility is more limited than city driving. (But having said that I wouldn't mind trying it out in a really good snowstorm to see if it makes a difference.) Cadillac has had this features for a couple of years now as an option and I don't think it's sold well. Perhaps as standard equipment people's perception of this technology will change though.
I look forward to taking a good look at the new S when it arrives at my dealer, but on the whole I don't think the S-class can reign supreme at the top end as it once did. While the performance of the new S will undoubtedly be good to great, the fact remains that BMW, Audi and even Lexus and Jaguar can make the same and in some cases better claims of performance, price and luxury.