The S-Class put in a good result for such a large car.
Expectations are understandably high each time a new Mercedes-Benz S-Class is launched. Not only does it need to have a stately presence, but the S-Class should be a superb high-speed cruiser while introducing the latest technologies. The new S-Class meets all of these requirements and then some, but is it also agile? Nobody expects a sedan of the S-Class's size to be a track monster, but it should have quick reflexes and good body control in an emergency scenario. To find out if it does, the latest S-Class faced the challenging moose test where the aim is to successfully navigate around an imaginary obstacle.
While the new S-Class is available with plenty of tech such as rear-axle steering, the 2021 model used for this test was an S400d 4Matic - not available in the US - using the standard suspension without the available rear-axle steering. Although the sedan looks like a bit of a lumbering giant and exhibited a fair amount of body roll in the initial 77 km/h test (almost 48 mph), the team was quite impressed with the car's natural and predictable responses. With the driver having not yet acclimatized to the car, it hit a few cones in this initial run. At a slightly slower 74 km/h (46 mph) and in Sport Plus driving mode, the S-Class put in a much better showing and successfully weaved through the cones.
Surprisingly, the S-Class's result means that it outperformed the much smaller BMW M235i Gran Coupe which could only pass the test at a maximum speed of 42 mph. A more direct competitor to the S-Class, the Lexus LS 500h AWD, attained a maximum speed of 71 km/h (44 mph) so wasn't quite as impressive as the Mercedes. In the slalom test, the S-Class impressed once again and was described as feeling both nimble and responsive, especially for a vehicle of this size and weight. It may not be a sports car but the S-Class proves that in an emergency situation, it acquits itself well.