2009 Mercedes-Benz S550 4Matic

I really wish I had an extra $111,000 lying around, as this S550 may well be my ideal daily driver. I don't say that because it's economical (note there's a $1300 gas guzzler tax tacked onto this non-AMG model), but because it's immensely comfortable. I slid behind the wheel after an exasperating day at the office, and it felt as if I was sliding into my favorite Barcalounger--albeit one wrapped in sumptuous hide and bolted to a muscular German V-8.

I'm sure the $1300 "premium leather" package had much to do with the sensation, but this car just oozes comfort from every pore and, perhaps more important, every seating position. I can't say I feel the same way about our Four Seasons BMW 750Li. That car seems to fall over itself catering to the posh needs of the rear passengers, slighting those up front in the process.

The Benz also seems more adept at answering my needs as a driver. Although the BMW's sport mode whips up a taught suspension that may feel slightly more sportive during spirited driving, the S550 feels immensely more natural. The steering is linear (if not slightly overboosted), the car feels weighted (it should--it weighs in at 4630 pounds), and things don't feel artificially modulated. Better yet, this beast is much easier to wheel through tight urban areas--perfect for a true daily driver.

If you live in an area that regularly receives substantial snowfall, I'd spring for the all-wheel-drive. I piloted a similar CL550 4Matic through a substantial blizzard late last year, and the system clawed its way through several inches of snow without any drama.

Evan McCausland, Web Producer

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