If there’s one car most connoisseurs look to by default when shopping for a new ride, it has to be the venerable Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Since starting out life in 1972 (W116), it is now in its sixth lease of life and ever more alluring, like aged wine.
The very car you see here is four years old and goes head to head against Munich’s finest, the G11 740Le xDrive. Both limousines are locally assembled, with Mercedes-Benz Malaysia now offering the AMG Line variant for the same amount of money. It’s only a matter of time before the S-Class facelift arrives on our shores, presumably by the first half of 2018.
|Name||Mercedes-Benz S 400 L Hybrid||Mercedes-Benz S 400 L Hybrid (AMG Line)|
|Engine||3,498cc; DOHC, naturally aspirated V6 with 250 Nm electric motor|
|Max Power||306 hp @ 6,500 rpm|
|Max Torque||370 Nm @ 3,500 rpm|
|0 – 100km/h; Top Speed||6.8 seconds; 250 km/h (electronically limited)|
In Malaysia, the S-Class can only be had as a hybrid, one without the incurrence of excise duty for meeting EEV (Energy Efficient Vehicle) standards set by the government. The 7 Series plug-in hybrid also qualifies for the same tax break, putting the duo neck and neck at RM599k.
In terms of technology, performance and after sales coverage, the 7 Series seems like the more sensible buy. It gets a more potent yet frugal powertrain, all-wheel drive, lightweight carbon fibre core, laser headlamps (yeah, no joke) and 5-year unlimited mileage warranty. On paper, there really is no contest, but those in the upper echelons of society who can afford cars like this don’t necessarily shop by the same logic now, do they?
I’ll be honest with you, though. If I had to choose between the two, I’d put my money on the tri-Star. There’s just something implicitly inviting about it, something I for some reason am unable to put a finger on. Maybe that indistinguishable nuance is the very edge it has against the competition, perhaps until new crops like the Lexus LS and Audi A8 find their way here. Until then, the S-Class reigns supreme.