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New Mercedes 'S' is top of the luxury class - but it's reserved for motorists with big bucks

The S Class oozes superiority from every angle

The interior is as good as it gets

Daragh Keany

Mercedes Benz - S-Class 350 D

The cars you love are the easiest to review. Both of us here in Motormouths HQ love everything about cars, so when we get behind the wheel of a stunning new vehicle we can find ourselves struggling to keep all our thoughts rammed into the restrictive word count on this page.

For the record, cars that we both love are not always obvious at first. They don't have to have a premium badge on the grille to get our juices flowing. We can find magic in mid-range cars and, in all honesty, sometimes we enjoy discovering and announcing the advantages to a value brand over an expensive premium model.

But this week is not one of those weeks. This week we fully expected to love our test car and now that both of us have been lucky enough to spend time in it we are ready to divulge exactly why the seventh-generation S Class is in a world of its own.

Ignoring the price tag (because it will only ruin the next few minutes of reading) let's tell you why so much about this executive saloon is so good.

We drove the 350d (AMG Line diesel) version which had €5,000 of extras loaded on, but even without the added alloys, Nappa leather seats and their popular Night Package, you get laden down with amazing technology. Some necessary. Some gimmickry. All utterly sublime.

It's bigger from every angle than before. While you could be forgiven for confusing other saloons in the Mercedes range at first sight, there is no denying this is an S Class from the moment you set eyes on it. It is a road-dominating beast of a car.

In a welcome throwback, our test car had the old-school Merc badge on the bonnet while the grille is a new version of the old one.

All four door handles spring out of the doors as you walk towards the car but you will need brute strength to open any of the doors. Like the car, they are enormous and heavy and finished with a premium spec that only Mercedes can manufacture.

The interior is as good as it gets

The interior is equally as exceptional, mixing gorgeously tactile materials on every possible surface with high quality, cutting-edge technology.

Gone is the old school mahogany effect finish, replaced with a much darker, slicker version to connect all the padded leather sections on the doors, dash and centre console.

Aside from the screens, the dash is dominated by air vents that are specced out with a lovely chrome finish but are controlled by a digital button on each one, taking this Merc into the next phase of their premium technology.

In the driver's door there is a rotary controller for the lights, along with the usual Mercedes way to adjust the seats using a seat-shaped set of controls which are more touch sensitive than other models.

Perched behind the girthy flat-bottomed steering wheel is a relatively compact screen for the instrumentation. But it's the centralised touchscreen that is proving to be one of the car's biggest talking points.

It is slanted back, almost lazily, and looks stunning. It is gigantic and easy to use and thankfully Mercedes have spent time to consider which controls we want at our disposal with just one touch (climate control, volume and the ever-present home button) and which elements of the car we can happily leave behind the home screen.

The home screen links seamlessly with the shiny black section of the centre console where you will find a wireless charging pad and USB ports, along with the cupholders.

We are both fans of the bright brown Vienna leather upholstery but we both acknowledge it won't be for everyone. Fear not, this is Mercedes so they love offering buyers multiple options on everything.

Row 2 is potentially as important as row 1 and it is exceptionally comfortable with a host of controls to keep passengers happy. Despite a large transmission tunnel, we had no problem fitting three adults in the back but when there are only two in the back and you have the rear centre console down the S Class it at its happiest.

The boot opens electrically and holds a surprisingly large 540 litres. We expected it to be smaller, considering the space in the cabin, but they have created some extra space here too. That is one of the big USPs here compared to the competitors.

Although the luxury saloon market in Ireland is a relatively small one, there's fierce competition for the S-Class in the shapes of the Audi A8, BMW 7 Series and Lexus LS.

Irish pricing for the new S-Class starts at an eye-watering €123,875 and stretches up to €167,895. We found ourselves repeatedly defending the asking price to neighbours and onlookers though as it comes with a very premium finish and badge.

This won't be for everyone. In fact, at €125k it can't be for everyone. But for the niche target market that Mercedes are aiming at we can confirm that there is a new top dog.

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