While the current S Class has been on the market for more than seven years, that doesn't mean it's lacking for the latest infotainment, connectivity, and active-safety features. In fact, Mercedes-Benz has kept it well-updated, with further standard features added to some of the models for 2013.
All U.S. S Class models come with a raft of standard features including leather upholstery; dual power front seats; power locks, windows, and mirrors; a sunroof; a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel; an AM/FM/CD/HD/XM audio system with USB and Bluetooth connectivity and an SD card slot. A hard-drive navigation system is standard as well, and it includes Zagat travel information plus 4GB of space dedicated to music storage.
For 2013, Mercedes-Benz has added active multi-contour front seats, Keyless Go, parking guidance, and a rearview camera to all S Class models. And from the S550 on up, the S Class includes even plusher acoutrements, like a wood and leather steering wheel; ambient lighting; and a power trunk lid.
Other features offered on various models include a heated steering wheel; a panoramic sunroof; and a power rear sunshade.
To tap into the potential of the S Class' infotainment system you must use COMAND, a not always intuitive interface that uses a knob controller, voice commands, or steering-wheel controls to run phone, audio, navigation, climate, and other ancillary features. It displays on the center stack's LCD screen, and also on a smaller LCD pane on the gauges, where an available Night Vision system also shows obstacles detected in the dark. Just last year, Mercedes-Benz added a split-view screen view that layers images on the center display, so that drivers can observe navigation, for example--while passengers see a movie or audio information, simply by virtue of the viewing angle.
One thing that we're not so fond of is that in an effort to reduce the number of buttons, COMAND requires that you go into screen-based submenus to access some features, like the multi-contour seats.