First drive: 2015 Mercedes-Benz S 400 in the UAE

First drive: 2015 Mercedes-Benz S 400 in the UAE

2015 Mercedes-Benz S 400 in the UAE 2
There was a time when the Mercedes-Benz S-Class was the gold standard for luxury cars, by which every other was measured. It held that distinction for decades, until about the turn of the millenium, when rivals stepped up their game at the same time that Mercedes quality took a dump. The kind of flagships peddled by everyone from Audi to Hyundai nowadays are nothing short of outstanding, each in their own way, so much so that we couldn’t imagine how luxury cars could evolve further. So it’s amazing that Mercedes-Benz has actually managed to step it up further with the newly-redesigned S-Class.

Externally, they’ve managed to come up with an all-new design that retains its stateliness without appearing to try too hard and without appearing like a rehash of its old styling. It looks great, even in this S 400 trim.

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However, the real game-changer — and we don’t just throw that term around — is on the inside. Perforated leather on the dash, multi-piece robotic seats that offers six types of massage and grab you tighter in turns, two huge LCD screens with smooth animation, safety tech that practically can drive the car for you, abundant blue mood lighting all around, and details such as a big metal speaker on the ceiling between the dual-moonroofs as well as little door-speakers that rotate and pop out when you turn on the stereo! All that goes above and beyond the usual luxury-car features, such as space, leather and power-everything. It’s a shame we didn’t get to dawdle with all the little options due to lack of time.

Powered by a 333 hp 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 specifically for the GCC market, the S400 packs all the punch you’ll ever need. It’s a torquey motor, responsive and useful. The entire driving experience is as smooth as the engine, very silky in the way that the controls operate. There’s almost no feedback, but then again, that’s the point.

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With the S 400, you don’t get the “magic” whatever suspension that Mercedes has been hyping, but even the standard air suspension is rather excellent, damping out road imperfections and even speed bumps very well, much better than similar systems from BMW, Jaguar, Lexus or Cadillac. It handles well too, as much as you can expect from a car this big. And it’s all handled very silently, with the only obvious noise being a rumble from the tyres.

We’re not easily-impressed Honda fanboys. We own luxury cars ourselves, and are used to driving several others for review, including ones that cost way more than the S400, but even we were astounded, rather than just taking it for granted. The S-Class takes the game to a whole new level, for no more than the price of a BMW 7-Series. Move over BMW, the three-pointed star is back.

For prices and specs, visit the Mercedes-Benz buyer guide.

What do you think?



  1. Is S400 the cheapest model in the UAE? 450k is a pretty high starting price, though for a brand new car.

  2. No doubt its one of the finest car in town but somehow Merc S class has lost its wow factor. This segment is actually dying, even BMW 7 series, Audi A8 and Lexus 460 are not visible a lot these days on roads. Luxury SUVs have evolved so much that are now as luxury or may be better than these cars, both in terms of driving manner as well as being chauffeured around. You also get good surrounding views, go anywhere capability and macho looks. Do anyone really needs anything else ?

  3. its sad when people compare a fine sedan to an suv…. this segement is alive and will remain so… i will never trade a saloon for an suv….

  4. Sorry Moaz,

    This is just my opinion. Future is for SUVs and manufacturers who have all time making sports cars / luxury cars have planned SUVs in their line-up. which means their study says, their customers are more focused on SUVs these days coz of its luxury, safety, rugged looks (some SUV), larger wheel base and so on. More important of all these days is the presence on road and go anywhere attitude. people are ready to spend money for those vehicles that are eye catching, no matter what infotainment system it has.

  5. It may have been crowned the best car of the year, but sadly it does not look like one. I for one believe this S class design will not go down as a classic design in any luxury cars musuem.

  6. Dear shammem with respect I can’t dis agree more

    Living in Dubai and gcc doesn’t equate to full size sedan being a dead segment…. it will comparing apple to oranges… SUV are a middle east thing most of the world has long moved out of SUV and into cross over .I..both segments will always be there future is all about efficiency and small package. I am yet to see a point of owning an SUV .. expect being a bully on roads and show off with friends in the desert but that just might be only me. A proper 5 seat sports sedan luxury will always live.

  7. It’s the luxury and the best car in the world

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