2022 Mercedes-Benz S580

MIAMI — The S-Class has long been the flagship vehicle for the Mercedes-Benz luxury lineup and a case can be made that it also sits at the top of its class in the auto world — period. U.S. News & World Report magazine, which doesn’t do original automotive reviews but bases its rankings on an analysis of critiques from several sources, rates the 2022 Mercedes-Benz S-Class No. 1 among vehicles it classifies as “Super Luxury Cars.”

It’s a small but elite group that includes vehicles from Teutonic colleagues (Porsche Panamera and BMW 7-Series), as well as Japan (Lexus LS). The S-Class assumed its lofty perch with the 2021 redesign that kicked off its seventh generation.

With Mercedes having dropped coupe and convertible versions from its S-Class models, the sedan remains the configuration of choice for the S-Class.

The 2022 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is offered in two trim levels, the S 500  and S 580. (Also joining the lineup for 2022 is the Mercedes-Maybach S 680, a 12-cylinder behemoth.) This review is based on the S 580.

The 2022 Mercedes S 500 comes with a V6 engine, but with the S 580 you get V8 power and a mild hybrid system that adds up to 21 horsepower for short stretches. Not that you really need it. The biturbo 4.0-liter V8 in the 2022 Mercedes S580 pumps out 480 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque to move it from zero-to-60 mph in 4.4 seconds or .4 seconds quicker than the S 500.

The engines are mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission, and both models also get Mercedes’ 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system as standard. EPA fuel ratings for the S 580 4MATIC are 16 miles-per-gallon city, 25 highway, and 19 combined. The turbocharged V6 S 500 4MATIC improves on those figures with numbers at 21/30/24.

The power is a bonus and much needed to move get the 2022 Mercedes S 580 4MATIC’s heft going, but it is the interior that puts the S-Class at the top of its its class.

From Nappa leather seats with side bolsters that gently squeeze in to coddle you as your negotiate turns to powered sunshades on rear windows, the 2022 Mercedes S 580 4MATIC is all about pampering passengers. A panoramic sunroof and Burmester 3D surround sound soothes the senses while a multi-functional massage system takes away the aches of travel stress.

The front headrests feature pillows lest you bump your head on a quick stop, and the four-zone climate control allows occupants to personalize their own settings. The ride is so smooth and quiet it gives you a feeling of almost floating down the highway.

Technological features borders on overkill. Do you really need a high definition image of the intersection ahead of you projected on the 12.8-inch center display while you are waiting at a stoplight? Not really. After all you can just look through the windshield. But the system is there.

Other standard features include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless charging, six USB ports and rear 115-volt power supply, and Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system with navigation and “Hey, Mercedes” voice command control. The suite of systems in the MBUX does come with a downside, however. It takes a steep learning curve to take advantage of all of them.

Safety systems like a surround view camera system, active parking assist, brake assist, blind-spot and lane-keeping assist, and a Driver Assistance Package that adds such features as adaptive cruise control, attention assist, and active steering and brake assist are including in the starting MSRP of $117,700. (Starting MSRP for the 2022 Mercedes S 500 is $111,100.)

My test 2022 Mercedes S 580 also included “no charge” items like a wood leather-wrapped steering wheel, all-season tires, a porcelain cloth headliner, and a black, crystal-look finish for the center console.

Yes, of course, there were many extras, the big ones being a rear-seat package (special rear-seat lighting were among the numerous features), a rear-seat executive package that included upgraded contour seats with neck and shoulder heating, and a warmth and comfort package. Among stand-alone options were rear axle steering (for up to 10 degrees) that add to the crisp handling of the 2022 Mercedes S 580 4MATIC, 20-inch wheels (over standard 19s), and active ambient lighting.

All that ran the final bottom line to $135,990 including the $1,050 destination and delivery charge.

What I liked about the 2022 Mercedes-Benz S 580 4MATIC: The V8 engine packs plenty of power for sure. The interior is ultra quiet and luxurious, and the ride is smooth. The massage function is a nice feature to have.

What I didn’t like about the 2022 Mercedes-Benz  4MATIC: At just under 13 cubic feet, the trunk is a bit small for a vehicle  this size.  Technology functions can eat up a lot of attention, and learning them all is a considerable task. The touchscreen can quickly fill up with fingerprints.

Would I buy the 2022 Mercedes-Benz S 580 4MATIC? Definitely, though it would take winning a multi-million dollar lottery for me to put it on my list.

— Paul Borden