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2014 Mercedes-Benz S550 - 2014 Automobile of the Year Finalist

The 2014 Mercedes-Benz S550 is the latest iteration of the most popular luxury sedan in the world. Although the CLA-class might be the most talked about new Benz, the 2014 S-class is by far the most significant Benz.

Positioned as the flagship sedan, it must carry the luxury torch for the Mercedes-Benz brand. To that end, Mercedes is launching a variety of new features on the S-class that will trickle down to other Benz models the in the near future. The most significant new features are Steering Assist, which can steer the big Benz through turns without driver input, and Magic Body Control, which uses stereo cameras to scan the road ahead of the S-class to adjust the suspension before the car reaches pavement imperfections. Other, arguably less useful, options include heated rear armrests and a system that atomizes perfume through the climate control system. As always, the S-class includes every feature you can imagine and a few you never would have dreamt up.

We appreciate the new gadgets, but one can argue all of the bells and whistles actually detract from the car's driving experience. One can also argue the driving experience of an S-class was never supposed to be all that memorable in the first place. The S-class should transport important people to upscale destinations effortlessly, no matter the distance between the start and destination.

Will the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S550's endless array of bells and whistles be enough to put the S-class on top when the votes are tallied? Check back November 16th to find out.

Photos by Patrick Hoey.

We will be releasing our 10 Finalists for the 2014 Automobile of the Year throughout the week leading up to the announcement of the winner on Saturday, November 16. See our other finalists here: