The S550 is a fabulous way to travel with style, comfort, and power. It possesses a positively confident air that it can do anything you ask of it. And it largely delivers. Mindlessly drive home after a long day at the office? Switch on the lane-keep assist, blind-spot warning, and adaptive cruise control. Oh, and of course you'll want to click on the seat heaters and excellent massage feature. But if you're in the mood to drive, switch from Comfort to Sport mode and allow the 382-hp engine launch you down any road at any speed.
Still, the S-class has its shortcomings. Steering is lackadaisical in returning to center. That the night-vision display appears in the instrument cluster is a neat concept, but I actually think it requires you to take your eyes off the road more so than a system that uses the navigation screen. Using a screen that's over, rather than down, allows you to use more peripheral vision to keep track of things through the windshield. I have very few complaints about the control setup for the COMAND infotainment system, but I do think the display interface looks more and more dated every day.
Eric Tingwall, Associate Editor