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To help members understand the latest automotive technology so they can purchase vehicles that best suit their needs, the Automobile Club of Southern California's Automotive Research Center (ARC) began testing and reviewing vehicles over a decade ago

For the 2022 edition, we include testing and ranking cars and light trucks with the latest technology, including having at least one advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) feature. In addition to vehicle evaluation, the guide covers a number of pertinent automotive topics in detail—for example, the latest advanced safety features, how to properly maintain your vehicle, and new vehicles coming to market in the next few years.

Car Guide Winner: 1st Place Large

2021 Mercedes-Benz S580 Sedan 4MATIC

Vehicle Type: Large Gasoline
 overall score
Category Ranking: 1

Vehicle Price

Base Price: $116,300
Price as Tested: $140,130

Fuel Information

Fuel Type: Premium
Fuel Capacity (gal): 22.1
EPA City mpg17
EPA Highway mpg25
EPA Combined mpg20

Advanced Safety Features

  • Adaptive Cruise Control [S]
  • Advanced Headlights [S]
  • Automatic Emergency Braking [S]
  • Blind-Spot Warning [S]
  • Driver Monitoring [S]
  • Forward-Collision Warning [S]
  • Lane-Departure Warning [S]
  • Lane-Keeping Assistance [S]
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Warning [S]
  • [S] Standard, [O] Optional

Overall Observations

Mercedes-Benz’s handsome S-Class sedan, redesigned for 2021, has a lot to offer—as should any car whose price tag easily crests $100K. For one thing, this full-size flagship sedan is as pleasurable to drive or ride in as any car on the road. The 4.0-liter twinturbocharged V8 (496 hp) and integrated electric motor, which can power all 4 wheels depending on driving conditions, proved both responsive and refined. The standard adaptive air suspension makes for a remarkably smooth ride. Our test car’s optional rearwheel steering setup added to the S 580’s agile handling. Inside, the S 580 is the epitome of opulence and style. The design is elegant, and the hushed passenger cabin is lined with the finest materials. Technology abounds, from a 3D augmented-reality head-up display to massaging seats (10-way programmable) to dynamic ambient lighting. It’s here that the S 580 stumbles a bit—it’s a car clearly designed by engineers who asked "Can we add (insert feature)?" rather than “Should we?” Examples include a complex infotainment system, hard-to-use steering-wheel controls, and numerous in-vehicle driver distractions, such as tutorial videos on driver fatigue.
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Strengths and Weaknesses

Strong Points

  • Ultra-smooth ride quality
  • Excellent acceleration
  • Unique dynamicambient interior lighting

Weak Points

  • Steep infotainmentsystemlearning curve
  • Hard-to-use steeringwheel touch-pad controls
  • Numerous in-vehicledriver distractions

Vehicle Specifications

Model year tested: 2021
Number of passengers (F/R): 2/3
Curb weight (lbs): 4980.0
Exterior L / W / H (in): 208.2 / 76.9 / 59.2
Wheelbase (in): 126.6
Number of air bags: 13
Warranty (months/miles): 48/50,000
Tire manufacturer and model: Pirelli P Zero
Front and rear tire size: 255/35 R21
Max towing capacity (lbs): Not recommended
Headlight type: LED
Transmission type: Auto 9-speed
Drivetrain type: All wheel
Engine/motor: 4.0L V8 Biturbo w/ EQ Boost
Engine horsepower @ RPM: 496 @ 5500
Electric motor horsepower: 20

Test Data

Test Vehicle Scores

Advanced Safety Features:


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