2012 Mercedes-Benz S-Class


Mercedes-Benz S350 Bluetec — Flash Drive

By Staff of MSN Autos

The Mercedes-Benz S350 Bluetec is one of the ultimate guilt-free indulgences. The S-Class is the epitome of well-engineered aspirational vehicles that are still grounded in reality. It looks awesome and is obviously expensive, yet it's not snooty and has no condescending vibe. The Bluetec diesel engine is icing on the cake, as it pushes fuel economy to around 20 mpg even during the city commute, making this car almost a responsible choice. You won't alienate any friends with this car, and the spacious back seat will keep them happy wherever you go. Except for the inconsistent brake feel (it's never worrying), and the annoying placement of the cruise control stalk exactly where the turn signal control should be, this Mercedes would be just about perfect. – Paul Hagger

The 2012 Mercedes-Benz S350 Bluetec is the clean diesel version of Mercedes' top-shelf luxury sedan. The S350 Bluetec delivers all the style, performance and technology expected from the S-Class, but with mileage figures of 20 mpg city/30 mpg highway -- a huge improvement over what is typical at this level. The S350 Bluetec is a big car, and it feels big, but the diesel engine has so much torque that its drivability is excellent in spite of its size. From a standstill, the throttle response of the diesel is a little different than the gasoline versions, but once it's moving there is abundant, smooth power available any time you need it. The ride is well-controlled but comfortable, and the air suspension and 4Matic all-wheel-drive keeps the S350 stable in adverse conditions. – Mike Meredith

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class is arguably the benchmark for luxury sedans. With a ride that feels solid and smooth, the S-Class is well appointed with top-level materials. Driver and passenger are kept comfortable in soft-leather seats that feature heating, cooling and massaging. And the heated seats don't just cook a small portion of your backside - the heat radiates throughout the seat back and bottom for the ultimate in comfort. The dynamic seat bolsters that inflate in corners seemed like a gimmick, but I found I missed them when in another car. Many S-Class models are chauffeured, so it's no surprise that the rear-seat passengers get similar amenities as those in front, but with plenty of legroom. Perhaps most impressive is its fuel-efficient diesel engine. The Bluetec clean-diesel system provides more than adequate power, and I saw 26 mpg in combined city/highway driving, not bad for a very large luxury sedan. The diesel is much quieter than expected - you forget it's a diesel unless you're standing outside the car, where the diesel sound is barely noticeable. It's a great combination of luxury and fuel economy, but it doesn't come cheap - our tester topped out at just over $100,000. – Perry Stern


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BB06 - 9/20/2014 11:23:54 PM