5 Coolest Features Of The 2022 Mercedes-Benz S-Class

Test Drive / 11 Comments

Stunning lights, magic steering, and more.

It's hard to find a new car with more technology packed into it than the 2022 Mercedes-Benz S-Class. In fact, it's often said if you want to know what features will be available in every car 10 years from now, just look at today's S-Class. We just spent a week driving the S580 (that's the V8 one) in the most luxurious Executive Line trim, which is the most expensive S-Class that doesn't wear an AMG or Maybach badge. The as-tested price of our Nautical Blue Metallic loaner was $135,990, which is a ton of money to spend on any car. But as you'll see from our list of favorite features, it's worth every penny.

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Rear-Wheel Steering

As new vehicles keep getting larger, automakers are forced to come up with clever solutions to make them more maneuverable. The S-Class, much like the new GMC Hummer EV, has a rear axle steering system. Though it's not capable of performing a crab walk, the S580 matches the Hummer with up to 10 degrees of rear axle movement. This means the rear wheels can turn in the opposite direction of those in front at slow speeds, making it much easier to negotiate the vehicle into tight parking spaces. From behind the wheel, it simply feels like the S-Class has a magical hand, turning it unrealistically like a child playing with their Hot Wheels. No parking lot seems too small for the S-Class thanks to this handy feature.

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Mercedes-Benz

64-Color Interior Ambient Lighting

Though some may find it distracting, the S-Class' 64-color ambient light system is our single favorite feature. In fact, we'd say it's the best ambient lighting system available on any car sold today. In addition to the 64 single hues, the lights offer beautiful multi-color themes with clever names, such as Malibu Sunset and Miami Rose. There are also several lighting animations, including a cool blue/red pulse when you raise or lower the temperature and a white light that turns into your selected color when the start button is pressed. If you think the lights look a bit gimmicky, there are some useful features too, like one that automatically turns the passenger dome light on when you reach your hand over to the passenger side in case you're looking for something at night.

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Executive Rear Seat

Some owners will enjoy driving their S-Class, while others will prefer to be chauffeured. For the latter, we suggest opting for the S-Class Executive Line with its multicontour rear seats. Like the front chairs, these rear seats offer heating, ventilation, massage, and power adjustment. These features can be controlled via buttons and switches on the doors, or using a pop-out touchscreen tablet mounted in the center console. The Maybach version takes the luxury even further with rear screens, fold-out tables, and champagne flutes.

The rear passenger side is by far the best seat in the house, as a single button sends the front seat forward, allowing the rear seat to recline fully and deploy its cushioned footrest. This position is a bit tight if you're over six-feet tall, but it's still one of the most comfortable seats you'll find in any car.

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Burmester 3D Sound System

The S-Class ships with a fabulous sound system. It's a Burmester 3D unit with 15 speakers and 710 watts. Our music sounded magnificent through the Burmester grilles, with crystal clarity and overwhelming power. What's more amazing is that this is only the "base" system. For $6,730 extra, buyers can select the Burmester High-End 4D Surround System. This ups the watts to 1,750 and the speaker count to 30, while adding speakers in the seats that can vibrate along with the music. Sadly, our test unit didn't have this system equipped, but in a limited sampling, we found it to sound incredible. True audiophiles will want to opt for the 4D unit.

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Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz

48-Volt Air Suspension

Every S-Class includes a 48-volt mild-hybrid system, which can contribute up to 21 horsepower and 184 lb-ft under full throttle. In the V8 S580, this adds up to a total of 496 hp and 516 lb-ft. The mild-hybrid system virtually eliminates turbo lag, and with an integrated starter generator, creates a seamless stop-start experience. So if you're one of those drivers who always deactivates the stop-start system, you may want to give the S-Class a try.

For an extra $6,500, the 2022 S-Class is now available with Mercedes' E-Active Body Control suspension. This system ties into the 48-volt system, using it to power the air suspension and reduce body roll through corners. It can also scan the road ahead and prep the car for bumps. We last tested it in the 2020 GLE, where we found it to be one of the most comfortable suspensions this side of a Rolls-Royce.

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