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The Top Gear car review:Mercedes-Benz S-Class
On the inside
Layout, finish and space
The dash’s two huge instrument and display screens are all clarity and logic. They’ve been updated and now more closely resemble what you get in the new E-Class, which is fine by us.
Mercedes is one of the few manufacturers that hasn’t gone doolally for touchscreens, and good as the A8’s twin-screen setup is, it’s still not as intuitive as having a dedicated, physical control.
Said screens are set in beautifully worked leather, wood and metal, and most ergonomics are just-so. Those familiar with Merc will notice the new steering wheel, with its touchpads and cruise control, erm, controls (no more little stalk behind the wheel – a Merc fave). It’s a bit button-heavy, but you get used to it.
Also new for the facelift is something called ENERGIZING Comfort Control (yes, all caps. Live with it). It links the climate control, seats, lighting and stereo enabling “a specific wellness set-up tailored to the mood and need of the customer”. Bit of a gimmick? Perhaps, but in all we can’t think of a comfier interior, front or rear. At least for less than £200k.
The LWB version can be specced with rear seats that massage, heat, vent and recline halfway to horizontal, with aircraft-like leg-rests. Rear entertainment is very comprehensive and legroom just vast. The V8’s active suspension has an option that uses binocular vision to see bumps in the road and lift each wheel as they pass beneath. The result is near-miraculous.