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2022 Mercedes-Benz S400d India Review, First Drive

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The S-Class is one of the big names in the world. Everyone is aware of it. Despite it being made in a few parts of the world, it is a nameplate everyone and every generation gets acquainted with time. Ask a child in Greenland or ask a child in Wuhan, they both what the S-Class is. A beacon of luxury and status symbol of ‘you made it buddy’. S-Class then carries a lot of burden of being the best. When the S-Class came, Mercedes called it that, and then the world took notice and appreciated it too. S-Class is clearly the best of both worlds. Reaching heights of ultra-luxury but, with German engineering, fun to drive character and sheer convenience, and tonnes of tech on board. Does the 2022 S-Class has it? We drive the S400d to tell you what it is all about!

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On the outside, the flush and very long tail lamps are a great addition to the S-Class. Given the fact they have dynamic stoplights and turn indicators. The new angular LED DRL at the front with three additional DRL gives this new generation S-Clas its own distinctive look. The simple, large and bold grille makes the car look one of the best saloons to come out of the Mercedes design room. The old school logo on the bonnet reserved only for the S-Class adds much need bespoke look in this segment. The C-pillar and the window frame make it look like a Mercedes. The first time the doors are far larger than the glass of the window giving it that stately low look that the S-Class is known for.

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A fairly simple bumper on both ends makes the S-Class look like a proper top-shelf European saloon. The build quality on the outside seems and sounds great and it scores high on crash tests like any other Mercedes. The elements on the car, such as chrome alloy wheels, clean and very tastefully done design makes the S-Class stand out in every color you can get your hands on. We saw it in blue color while testing and we were blown away by it!

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On the inside, the build and quality are good and so is the expansive feature list we have explained time and again in our launch report. The interior looks great with the air vents which are rectangular on the lower dashboard and square on the upper part of the dashboard. AMG steering wheel looks great. The slab-inspired dashboard looks very regal. The blower button and vent direction have changed and we think this is the best way to do it! You get every feature possible in the saloon. Right from automatic lights and wipers to reversing cameras, front and rear parking sensors, wireless charger, ambient lighting, and projector LED lamps which have the brightest lights and widest and furthest illumination of all time.

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The one thing we don’t like is going through music where the cursor is missing and using the touchpad on the steering wheel, you need to find it first and then navigate it to the track button, and then use it. The long tedious process can be fixed by using a tap on the touch screen or using the buttons below. Something Mercedes should fix by just initiating the swiping of the pad on the steering, which should change by assuming it is a track change command and changing the track at first go! After this, once you do sample the sound system with the highest insulation which is the 4D Burmester unit, you will find it is downright excellent and a proper delight to ears.

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The car has two sunroofs, a memory function with electrical leather seats. All four seats in the car are heated, cooled, electric, and have a massage function with almost 10 types to choose from! The best part is the big tablet OLED screen that is on offer which is easy to use and because of it a lot of buttons have gone away entirely. Shortcut buttons are offered below the screen for most items including a fingerprint scanner! All the buttons in the car, be it the window switches to the start-stop button are entirely new.

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The instrument cluster has five screens to choose from and they look great and very sci-fi too! The fifth screen shows all service-related parameters including oil and Adblue level. MBUX system has been updated and works quite well and the connected system is good too when you have cell coverage. Mercedes offers Mercedes ME, concierge service, and all other connected features to make the S-Class a completely connected car. Voice recognition is on offer and our everyday commands were easily understood.

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Space is generous with enough shoulder and knee room you expect, is here. Leg and headroom continue to be in excellent supply but as always it is a strict four-seater. The boot space is good enough at 500 liters and so is the overall practicality of the interior. Road and wind noise inside the cabin is also well-controlled thanks to good insulation all around. However, a bit of road, engine, and traffic noise seep in when compared by S-Class standards of the past. However, like any other Mercedes, it is still a pleasant place to be thanks to multi-level filtration. The safety kit continues to be high with electronic stability control and eight airbags, Hill Hold Assist, ABS and EBD, Active Brake Assist, and rear airbags are placed in the car, which is embedded in the back of the front seats.

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Mercedes diesel engines are smooth, free-revving, and low on NVH and the one on the S-Class is a bit different. 3.0l motor has NVH levels that are slightly a bit higher than you expect but not harshly intrusive, be it in any part of the rev range. Low and mid-range are good on the diesel motor is amazing! The engine makes a 330 PS and 700 Nm of torque going through the not so quick-shifting but smooth and seamless 9-speed automatic.

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The engine is linear flexible and powerful at the same time. This engine makes it presence felt. The engine rumble and shove you get while accelerating is truly special. An S-Class that is driver-oriented only because of this engine, at least in India! 0-100 km/hr in 5.4 seconds is quick and it has an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/hr is on offer. The tank range is lower than expected. Usually, S-Class have a range of over 800 kms. Our car had just around 600 kms. Delivering high single-digit fuel economy is still alright for a car with this kind of performance. Top-end is great as always the engine can cruise at legal speeds and higher than that, quite easily. This makes it good enough for city and highway duties and makes driving comfortable. Driving modes help it achieve more economy in the eco mode we still saw 9 km/l for the in the city and 14 km/l on the highway.

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The ride quality is stiff at all speeds and that is something new in a Mercedes in a very long time. This is clearly not the best setup for our roads to date. However, it isn’t outrightly uncomfortable like big AMG’s or sports cars. There is compliance but it’s not in abundance like most Mercs. With four-wheel drive, rear-wheel steering and steering feedback in abundance, the S-Class is some serious fun to drive as you can push it harder!

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High-speed stability is spot on thanks to the ideal balance of underlying stiffness and compliance. The brakes were good too with great pedal bite and a lot of performance on offer. Body roll barely makes its presence felt while changing lanes at high speeds and it is a very confidence-inspiring car to drive at any given speed. The ground clearance is plenty for most speed breakers, but the really big ones can be a bit of trouble. Overall, very easy-to-drive car and driven in at the same time. A quality only the BMW 7-Series and Jaguar XJ have known for to date.

2022 Mercedes-Benz S400d India Review, Verdict

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The S-Class in the S400d disguise is loaded to the gills and asks for the highest amount of all time in this category ever. The S-Class can be driven in and while driving it can induce a lot of driving fun! That is clearly a sign of Mercedes getting a lot of things right with the S-Class. The design is something that you need to get use to, especially the rear. However, once you are done with it you can clearly see being addicted to this car. A true icon has never been tempting to be with. India getting a taste of the highest spec S-Class is a sign of many things to come, despite being limited to a handful of units. Sure, it is a lot of money, but it is worth it, after all, it is the best car in the world, isn’t it?

2022 Mercedes S400d India Review
  • Design
  • Interior
  • Features
  • Space
  • Practicality
  • Performance
  • Dynamics
  • Value
  • Safety
4.8
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