It's almost impossible to fault the 2013 Mercedes-Benz S Class for comfort. Since all S Class sedans sold in the U.S. are long-wheelbase cars, they're all essentially alike, at least in terms of interior and cargo space. Across the lineup, that means spacious accommodations, superb front seats, easy access for those in back, and top-drawer fit and finish, with some fiddly ergonomics to muddle through.
The standard 16-way, power-adjusting seats, with active multi-contour functions now for 2013, are superb. The active feature includes air pockets that fill and empty according to cornering forces built up by the car, and though it sounds gimmicky at first, they truly feel useful and comfortable when the S Class speeds up to a full hustle. Reaction times are quick enough to keep up with even the very fast AMG editions. The seats themselves are firmly padded, and wide enough to suit almost any frame; leather upholstery is standard on all models, even the vegan-trending diesel and hybrid versions.
And with the spacious cabin appointments, you'll rarely find space at a premium, even for the smaller items. There's a large glovebox, and q console large enough for small handbags and even the larger electronic gadgets. The fold-down armrest in back has its own hidden stowaway space and a pass-through to the 16-cubic-foot trunk that's not huge, but well-shaped for golf bags or suitcases.
Over repeat drives, we've found these large luxury sedans to be about as tightly assembled and vaultlike as their predecessors, albeit with a more detailed, delicate look up close. The S Class' interior upholstery and trims are top-notch; we especially like the AMG models' sueded fabric. Take a step up to any of the uplevel trims and you get some of the richest textures and finishes you'll see in a German car: case in point, the lush wood trim applied to the dash, doors, and consoles.
Ride quality is about the best in this class as well. Whether you get the active suspension system or the base air suspension, the S Class will soak up even the roughest washboard surfaces or potholed city streets without ever feeling floaty.