I know it's getting pretty long in the tooth, but like my colleagues, I still love the Mercedes-Benz S-class. The newer BMW 7-series has more gadgets and horsepower, but the S-class still easily holds its own. The big Benz's steering feel is arguably equally as good as the Bimmer's, too. But where the Mercedes really shines is in the intangibles, such as the warm, welcoming feel of the cabin; the superquiet door shuts; the smooth, refined powertrain; and the intuitive Comand system.
The massaging seats help, too. They're everything my colleagues describe and more. They even helped me forget that I couldn't get the seemingly infinitely adjusting seats to cant the seat cushion up high enough for my preferred level of thigh support.
I'd probably skip the 4Matic option because, even though I live in Michigan, I drive mostly on primary roads that are fairly well maintained, so I think that a rear-wheel-drive S-class with winter tires would suffice for me. However, 4Matic could be a priceless feature for those who live farther out in the sticks or in climes that get more snow than we do here.
One more note: I know several people who aren't huge fans of the S-class's styling, what with its sculpted fenders and such, but it's hard not to stare at an S-class painted lovely Capri Blue like our test car.
Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor