Mercedes-Benz S-Class S400L Hybrid Review: Responsible opulence

Mercedes-Benz S-Class S400L Hybrid Review: Responsible opulence

OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
14 Jun 2014
What we like:
pros
First class interior paired with pillowy smooth ride and handling.
What we dislike:
cons
None.

Unlike the S350 Bluetec we drove, when you press ‘Start’ on the keyless ignition, there’s no hint of the 3.5-litre V6 turning over. The only response you get is from the two large TFT screens lighting up and showing you that the large sedan is ready to move off.

You pull away from the lot in eerie silence as the car maintains its full electric mode long as long as you keep a light foot and the lithium-ion batteries are fully charged. But once the throttle goes beyond a point, the engine breathes to life with a faint burble.

With a combined power output of 306bhp, the hybrid drive train isn’t especially poky but with the electric motor always ready to provide that extra shove when needed with 100% torque from zero, the large sedan can accomplish the century sprint surprisingly quickly in just 6.8 seconds. All this from a car that tips the scale at nearly 2 tons.

On the road the ride is soothed by the rather compliant air suspension that deflects all but the nastiest of bumps with ease. But even with such comfort, the large sedan takes on the bends reasonably well without much notice from the chauffeured passenger behind.

Conclusion

It’s hard to fault the S-class as there isn’t much for us to pick on if we’re honest. And the model continues to establish itself as a worthy flagship for the brand. And in this hybrid variant, the potential owners save $5,000 through the CEVS rebate based on its lower emissions.

Even with the power increase, the S400L returns almost identical consumption figures compared to the S350L. Meaning you can be a guilt-free tycoon while comfortably wrapped in its opulent interior.

Credits: Story and Photos by Benjamin G. Kline

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