2021/2022 Mercedes-Benz S580 4MATIC Review


While sedans may have fallen out of fashion in North America, the rules are different when it comes to the best of the best. The 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-class is the brand’s most luxurious offering. The 7th generation S-class also promises to be the most technically advanced. 

Thanks to Mercedes-Benz Canada, we were loaned the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S580 4MATIC for one week to test drive. This $166,000 CAD technical marvel is packed with features that I can't wait to share with you. 

The 2021 S580 inherits the understated design approach of an S-class. With the exception of the old-school hood ornament, the S580 looks just like a classy, well balanced full-size sedan. The front end is low, wide, and sculpted. AMG body lines on the bumper tie in with the bulges and creases of the hood. The grille is massive, but a noticeable center portion is dedicated to house the driver assist hardware. I am not a fan of the plastic cover. Perhaps moving the sensors to the lower grille will be an alternative solution. 

Moving to the side, the lengthy body gives the S580 a luxurious vibe. There are no fake vents or flashy badges to hint at the car’s performance. Our tester comes with 20-inch AMG alloy wheels that compliment the low stance, and lengthy side profile of the car. The car doors are massive and open very wide for easy entry. The chrome door handles also retract flat to provide a smooth surface when the car is in motion. Small amount of chrome trims can be found around the windows and along the side skirt to break up the black exterior. 

From the back, the S580 looks very aerodynamic with smooth, rounded body curves. On top of the rear deck is a subtle lip spoiler. A chrome bar bridges the two distinctly shaped rear lamps together for a wide-body look. Chrome dual exhaust tips tie in nicely with the AMG-style rear diffuser. 


As always, the interior is what sets a Mercedes-Benz apart from its competitors. The S-class just takes it to the next level. The luxury experience starts before you step into the car, when the electronic door handles automatically pop out as you approach the door. Step inside, the interior design of the S580 reminds me of the EQS. It is clean, contemporary, and spacious. A 12.8-inch OLED infotainment screen rises up from the center console. It is surrounded by a massive gloss black trim that spans across the dash and extends into the door handles for a continuous look. On the sides of the black trim are two dual vertical air vents. Another cluster of horizontal air vents can be found above the infotainment screen. 

The center infotainment screen is so oversized that there is enough space behind it for additional storage. Below the screen, you will find a row of physical buttons to access essential functions. This is greatly appreciated when the car is in motion. 

The front seats of the S580 are exceedingly comfortable. It features 19 electric motors for various adjustments and massage functions. It is also both heated and ventilated. The air filled headrest pillows may look wrinkly, but they give you unprecedented support to the head. It is available for both the front and rear passengers. 

The S580 features a massive split sunroof. It certainly makes the already spacious interior feel even more airy, but to operate the sunroof, you will need patience and trained fingers to persuade the touch slider between the map lights. There is no tactile feedback and the slider seems to have a mind of its own. Even after one week of test driving, I still can’t get the slider to do what I want 90 percent of the time. 

But the most comfortable place to be in the S580 is actually the rear cabin. Our tester comes with the Premium Rear Seating Package. With it, the rear seats are heated, ventilated, and equipped with seat massagers. The executive seat behind the front passenger seat can be moved forward with a little foot rest popping out from underneath. Rear passengers also enjoy privacy screens, a massive folding armrest that features a 7-inch infotainment tablet. The tablet can be used to set massage programs, ambient lighting, and audio systems. 


I have already touched on some of the infotainment equipment in the previous section, but there are many more in the S580. 

The updated MBUX system of the S580 is still one of the best infotainment systems in the market, and now it features 50% more computing power, wireless Android Auto, and wireless Apple Carplay. The 12.8” infotainment screen is a fingerprint magnet, but it is also bright and responsive. The bottom portion of the screen is dedicated to cabin climate controls. A fingerprint sensor is hidden among the physical buttons under the screen. If you opted to set it up, the S580 will automatically pull up your personal settings when your fingerprint is detected. 

The integrated touch sliders on the steering wheel of the S580 provide another way to interact with the MBUX system. Just like the E450 I have reviewed in the past, the touch sliders provide little meaningful tactile feedback. I prefer the Blackberry phone style touchpads in other Mercedes.  These touch buttons allow the user to adjust audio volume, select items on the infotainment menu, and set cruise control speeds. 

A 12.3-inch digital gauge display sits in front of the steering wheel. It is located close to the eye level to maximize visibility. 

Another way you can control the MBUX system without your eyes off the wheel is via the LINGUATRONIC voice assist. It is a natural language smart assistant like the Apple Siri or Google Assist. Simply say "Hey, Mercedes", or press the voice command button, and you can ask the car to make a phone call, plot a new navigation route, close the roller sunshade, or change the interior light. The voice assistant can control basically anything that is not safety related. The system is smart enough to understand natural language commands like "I am cold" or "I am hungry", and responses by raising cabin temperature, or to find the closest restaurant.

The optional head up display is one of the largest I have seen. Not only does it deliver the usual driving information, but the HUD also shows the augmented-reality navigation directions. This information is previously shown in the center console display, but requires drivers to take their eyes off the road. Having it projected on the HUD makes for a much safer and more pleasant driving experience.

Safety and Driver Assistance

As an S-class, the S580 is jam packed with the latest, most advanced safety technology and driver assistance Mercedes-Benz has to offer. Some of the most innovative features include:

  • Protective measures in a side crash

Using the E-Active Body Control suspension, the 2021 S-class's Pre-Safe ImpulseSide system will lift the body of the vehicle three inches when it detects an imminent side collision. This diverts the impact away from the doors and toward the door frames so that the vehicle's body takes the brunt of the impact.

  • Frontal airbags for both rear occupants for the first time

The rear airbag uses an innovative concept to inflate and position the air cushion. The seating position of children and adults was also taken into consideration. Particular attention was given to gentle deployment of the airbag in case people or objects are in the deployment zone.

  • Hands-On Steering Wheel Sensors

The S-Class has a new generation of steering wheels with capacitive hands-off recognition thanks to a two-zone sensor pad in the steering wheel rim. The sensors on the front and reverse sides of the rim register whether the driver's hands are on the wheel. No steering movement is necessary to inform the driving assistance systems that the driver has control.

  • Evasive Steering Assist

Evasive Steering Assist can assist the driver when seeking to avoid another road user recognized by the system in a critical situation. In the new S-Class, the system not only recognizes stationary and crossing pedestrians, but also pedestrians and vehicles, including cyclists, traveling longitudinally.


The 2021 Mercedes-Benz S580 is powered by a proper twin-turbocharged 4.0L V8 engine. It produces 496 hp of power and 516 lb.ft. of torque. On top of that is a 48V mild hybrid EQ boost system. The system provides an additional 21hp of power and 184 lb.ft. of torque via an electric motor. The extra torque is most useful when pushing the car off a stop, or during hard acceleration. The combined output is coupled to the wheels through a sophisticated 9-speed automatic transmission. It is a smooth powertrain. Mercedes-Benz claims a 0-100 km/h time of 4.4 seconds, but because the powertrain is so smooth, the acceleration doesn’t feel as dramatic. What you do feel is the never-ending torque provided by both the V8 and the electric motor. 

Despite having the same weight as its predecessor, this new generation S-class feels sportier thanks to the re-turned AIRMATIC air suspension, ADS+ adaptive dampers, and the 4MATIC all wheel drive system. Putting the car in Sport and Sport+ modes does enhance the sporty drive, but ultimately the S580 is best suited as a cruiser for those long highway tours. 

A sophisticated sensor system senses the road disturbances ahead, and sets the dampers according to the quality of the road. It also keeps the ground clearance constant irrespective of the vehicle load. The S-class is a very comfortable and quiet car. Very little vibrations and road noises made their way into the cabin. 

An optional rear-axle steering system allows an additional steering angle of up to 15%. It makes navigating the long S580 much easier in the parking lot. 

The S580 is rated at 14.4 L/100km city, and 9.4 L/100km highway. For such a large car, it is pretty good. The added fuel efficiency can be partially attributed to the EQ boost energy recovery system. Our one week city test drive in the winter obtains a fuel economy rating of 15.6L/100km. 

Cargo Space & Storage

The trunk of the S580 has 538L of cargo space. It is 20L larger than its predecessor and certainly enough for most daily drives. The power rear seats in our tester cannot be folded, but a pass through is available in the center. 

In cabin storage options are plentiful. They include a glove compartment, a deep center console storage bin, a wireless charging pad, a small storage tray behind the center screen, cargo nets on the front passenger side, decently sized door pockets, and an additional storage bin inside the rear folding armrest.


The 7th generation Mercedes-Benz S-class is still the best in the segment. The new S-class comes with all the latest technologies Mercedes-Benz would like to showcase. While not the most exciting to drive, the S580 is certainly one of the most luxurious, refined, and comfortable. Starting at $139,900 CAD, it is probably out of the reach of most buyers, but hopefully some of the innovative technologies will make their way to other Mercedes-Benz models soon. 

Test Vehicle

2021/2022 Mercedes-Benz S580 4MATIC


Base: $139,900 CAD 

As Tested: $166,000 CAD


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