The Mercedes-Benz S-Class is a large, German luxury sedan. It offers room for a family of five as well as a large trunk holding over 16 cubic feet of luggage or other cargo. More than its commodious size and comfort, the S-Class is the world's standard for luxury vehicles. Well suited for use as a family sedan, it is also one of the world's leading chauffeur-driven cars, whether in a regular sedan configuration, or stretched out as a limousine.
The S-Class comes with a choice of three engines-a V6 mild hybrid making 285 horsepower, a 382 horsepower 5.5 liter V8 engine or a 510 horsepower V12 with a 5.5 liter displacement. The hybrid S400 generates 25 freeway miles per gallon while the V12-equipped S600 still achieves 19 miles per gallon on the highway. Designed in Germany, the S-Class is currently built in Mercedes' main plant in Sindelfingen, Germany, although they have been built all over the world in the past.
The first Mercedes to be called the S-Class was released in the 1972 model year, although the line has a history going back to the 1954 W180, also known as the Ponton". Over the years, the S-Class has gone from being a car powered by a large six-cylinder engine to one containing the most advanced technology and largest engines available from Mercedes. One constant in the line is that they have typically represented Mercedes' most advanced safety technologies with innovations such as padded steering wheels, front and side airbags, seatbelt pretensioners, radar based cruise control and even an infrared camera to assist with night vision.
The modern S-Class offers a broad range of features. Even the least expensive S400 edition includes such items as a 600 watt surround sound stereo with media card reader, hard drive navigation system and sixteen-way front power seats with memory and heating. The S600 adds a Bang and Olufsen stereo, ventilated massaging front seats and two powered seats in the rear.
As the world's standard for luxury cars, the S-Class has collected awards and positive praise for decades. Awards include the number one spots in the JD Power satisfaction index, a safety award from the Highway Loss Data Institute, European Car of the Year and Limousine of the Year. Although it is a large, gasoline powered car with a large engine, it also received the German TUV's certificate for its environmental friendliness in 2005, beating the Prius to that honor.
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