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Mercedes-Benz S320 2008 Review

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Buy with confidence; all Mercedes-Benz Certified Pre-Owned vehicles come with a factory backed warranty, 100 point safety check, comprehensive service history and 24hr roadside assistance.

Safety features that appear first at this level steadily trickle down the rest of the range. However, it has only relatively lately joined some of its stablemates in offering a diesel variant.

Drivetrain

The new S320 CDI comes with a V6 turbocharged diesel that produces 173kW and 540Nm. It is said to burn 8.5 litres of fuel every 100 kms.

The rear wheel drive gets power to the wheels via a 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission and will do 0-100 in 7.8 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 210km/h.

AIRMATIC adjustable air suspension is mated to an Adaptive Damping System that adjusts the shock absorber characteristics according to the road surface and driving style.

Exterior

Stretching over five meters long and nearly two meters wide, the S320 CDI exudes a sense of luxury comfort and presence.

Bi-xenon headlamps with Active Light Function, dynamic range adjustment and tinted infra-red-reflecting glass all round are just a couple of features that hint at the cutting edge technology that Mercedes have applied to their top end vehicles.

Other exterior features include seventeen inch alloys, rain sensing wipers, a glass electric sunroof and a remote closing boot lid.

Interior

Inside the S320 matches the exterior for premium look and feel with ambient lighting, full leather upholstery, Calyptus wood trim and chrome door sill panels with “Mercedes-Benz” lettering.

A Command APS cockpit management and data system, plus DVD navigation and six disc DVD/CD changer with MP3 compatibility make light work of everyday driving decisions and entertainment.

There is also a TV tuner, SPEEDTRONIC variable speed limiter and a multi-function steering wheel and display.

Safety

Mercedes have taken care to cover all safety bases with the inclusion of a comprehensive airbag package ABS, ESP, Acceleration Skid Control, Brake Assist and NECK-PRO crash responsive head restraints.

Pricing

The S320 CDI starts at $198,810.

DRIVING

The big Benz is a hefty piece of metal, and you’re always aware of that on the road. It’s solid and serene. But there’s no sense of it being bloated… it’s more an almost regal atttitude.

The diesel engine is meaty and strong, but there was rarely a sense of urgency about its performance until you sunk the sequential spurs deep into its flanks.

But you waft along on an air suspension system that melts everything your path while preventing the body from completely marshmallowing around the bends. There is still a satisfying amount of control, although you never get the feeling the sedan is inviting you to chuck it about.

The cabin is a hushed, high-tech stateroom, bristling with enough equipment to make life needlessly complex if it weren’t so intuitive. Even the Command Control system that ties in the entertainment, nav, climate and communication features is easy enough to use without resorting to a manual.

The radar-driven cruise control that monitors traffic in your path in the kind of safety technology that will hopefully one day end up in every car, not just every Merc.

However the forward infrared camera vision in the instrument panel – although impressive in its ability to see further than the human and send back a clear monochrome image – was a distracting addition if you ran it continually, but proved to be a bonus during heavy rain.

This is the kind of car that you’d imagine might have a chauffer, while you relax stress-free in the back. But to hand the S-Class controls over to somebody else would be to deny yourself some of the most relaxing driving to be had on our roads.

 

Pricing guides

$59,800
Based on third party pricing data
Lowest Price
$29,400
Highest Price
$90,200

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
S350 3.5L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $29,400 – 38,500 2008 Mercedes-Benz S-Class 2008 S350 Pricing and Specs
S63 AMG 6.2L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $55,500 – 70,180 2008 Mercedes-Benz S-Class 2008 S63 AMG Pricing and Specs
S320 CDI 3.0L, Diesel, 7 SP AUTO $40,200 – 51,480 2008 Mercedes-Benz S-Class 2008 S320 CDI Pricing and Specs
S600 L 5.5L, PULP, 5 SP AUTO $47,300 – 59,840 2008 Mercedes-Benz S-Class 2008 S600 L Pricing and Specs