If you've reached the point in life where you (or more likely your company) can afford to buy or lease a new S-Class for your use, then price may very well no longer be a determining factor. Which for Mercedes is perhaps just as well, because it's becoming increasingly difficult to get a well specified version of this model without committing to a near-six-figure outlay. Still, a premium outlay has never previously put high fliers off from considering an S-Class - or, more likely, another S-Class: around 80% of European customers who've previously owned one return to purchase another Mercedes afterwards.
This lengthier long wheelbase body shape is preferred by over 80% of UK customers - and closer to 90% worldwide. Which is partly because that's what you have to have if you ignore the two most affordable trim options - which we'll brief you on first: either short wheelbase-only 'AMG Line' (priced from around £80,000) or 'AMG Line Premium' spec (which adds around £7,000 to the price and offers the option of the longer body style for an extra £4,000). Either way, there are only two engine choices with these two entry-level specs, both of them conventional 3.0-litre six cylinder units; either the rear-driven S350d diesel we tried, with 286hp - still a favourite with British owners. Or, for around £10,000 more, the considerably gutsier S500 4MATIC petrol-powered version, which has 435hp and AWD to transmit it to the tarmac.
If you want a wider choice of engines and an even higher spec, then a range of S-Class long wheelbase model options sit in the £93,000 to £115,000 bracket, with (in order of ritziness) 'AMG Line Premium Executive', 'AMG Line Premium Plus' (which is what we have here) and top 'AMG Line Premium Plus Executive' trim levels available to you. With these you get two additional engine choices. One of them is a higher-powered version of the 3.0-litre diesel, the 330hp S400d, which comes with the 4MATIC AWD system and costs around £5,000 more than the base S350d. The other powerplant is an engine you won't have any choice in selecting if you're planning to acquire this S-Class for private hire registration in London as that kind of activity these days necessitates Plug-in Hybrid tech as a minimum requirement when it comes to engine electrification. The S580e PHEV petrol model in question was priced from around £105,000 at launch, around £13,500 more than the base diesel. Saving the planet doesn't come cheap.