The new Mercedes-Benz S350 BlueTEC is so efficient that it averages more miles per-gallon than the Ford Focus 1.6 Duratec auto. Yes, unbelievably the monstrously large S-Class averages 41.5mpg compared to the Ford's 36.7. This means the S350's emissions are low, so it sits in road tax band I/£200. Very impressive MB, but this does fuel focused frugality hinder performance?
The short answer is 'noooooo'. The Mercedes-Benz S350 BlueTEC has a 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine that propels 258hp through the seven-speed automatic transmission. That enables this magnificent saloon to race to 62mph in 7.1 seconds and on to an electronically limited 155mph. As well as offering excellent performance the engine is extremely refined and perfectly suits this prestigious machine.
Now, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class is taking on the best from Jaguar and BMW so the handling and ride must be exceptional. Good news, they are.
This luxury limousine feels totally secure as it wafts over the bumps and it is amazingly comfortable. These characteristics complement the excellent body control and the inspiring traction, so despite weighing nearly two tonnes the S350 BlueTEC can be confidently hustled into corners.
Further Mercedes-Benz S-Class plus points include its exceptional build quality, the acres of interior space, and the mind boggling specification. This includes double glazing, soft closing doors, and step-less doors that can be held open at any angle. This is very handy in tight parking bays. The new S350 BlueTEC is also available with optional 'night view assist plus' that uses infrared technology to highlight pedestrians.
So, there we go. The new Mercedes-Benz S350 BlueTEC is an exceptionally talented machine that is pleasure to own and drive. All you need to do now is pop down the showroom with £58,440 and sign on the dotted line.
By Stephen Turvil
Thu, 07 Oct 2010