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The 2009 Mercedes-Benz S63 and S65 AMG up the ante with spiffy add-ons like Active Body Control suspension, a SpeedShift transmission system, high-performance tires, a sport exhaust, aerodynamic lower bodywork, Drive-Dynamic ventilated multicontour seats with exclusive leather upholstery, and special gauges.
Thanks to a host of electronics, the S-Class handles quite well. The standard Airmatic suspension has adaptive damping to adjust quickly to rough roads or fast driving on switchbacks. All 2009 Mercedes-Benz S-Class models have a very absorbent, well-settled ride that manages to soak up small potholes with little jarring inside the cabin and remain remarkably quiet.
The latest version of Mercedes-Benz's COMAND screen-based interface replaces the clutter of smaller controls in the 2009 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, but it's not always as intuitive as it could be. The S-Class's interior is very spacious and well designed. The shift control is located along the steering column, which frees up the center console area compared to other vehicles, and the instrument panel has a simple but very elegant design, with a broad, sweeping horizontal theme and impressive-looking wood veneers.
Standout features of the S-Class include "smart" cruise control, called Distronic Plus, which can slow the car as traffic dictates, making it possible for the driver to "set and forget" the cruise control over a wider variety of operating conditions. For 2009, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class gets new steering-wheel shift paddles, redesigned power window switches, and a "Hold" braking feature. There’s also a new Night View system, which allows the gauge area to turn into an infrared camera view of the road ahead, and concert-hall-quality 14-speaker Harman Kardon surround sound stereo. The 2009 Mercedes-Benz S-Class offers a panorama-style roof, Active Body Control (ABC) suspension, and heated/ventilated front seats with built-in massager. Even the base S550 has a wood and leather steering wheel, active ventilated and heated front seats, new wheels, and a power trunk lid.