Review: 2021 Mercedes-Benz S580 is the Pinnacle of Motoring

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class was fully redesigned for 2021.

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class was fully redesigned for 2021. With a new tech-based interior full of luxurious comfort, two powerful engine options, and more of what makes Mercedes the Benz of motoring, the new S Class keeps moving the benchmark set by its previous generations.

Like the S-Class that came before, this new generation is powerful and luxurious in a combination that adds a surprising amount of sportiness to the quiet opulence of this sedan. The S Class is a classy, beautiful car that defines luxury in a way that is beyond what those who haven’t experienced it can relate to.

Several new things add to the excellence of this car. The S580 is the more powerful of the two options, the other being the S500 with its turbocharged six-cylinder engine and mild hybrid system offering 429 horsepower from the engine and up to 21 more from the hybrid setup. The S580 has the same mild hybrid system, but mated to a powerful 496 HP turbocharged V8. All-wheel drive through a nine-speed automatic transmission is standard on both models. Optional is rear wheel steering assist at low speeds. That last bit is why the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S580 feels smaller and sportier than it is when maneuvering in the parking lot or getting into a slot in the garage.

The base level Luxury Line of the 2021 S-Class starts with a lot of standard equipment like air ride suspension, soft-close doors, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a 12.8-inch OLED touchscreen, leather upholstery, ambient interior lighting, eight USB-C ports, a Burmester audio system with 15 speakers.. You get the point. Advanced driving aids and safety equipment is also plentiful, including adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance, forward collision mitigation with pedestrian detection, safe exit assist that keeps the door locked if oncoming traffic is sensed on the blind-spot monitor, rear cross-traffic detection with automatic braking, and an automated parking system with a 360-degree camera view. Among others.

Our test model was the middle-tier AMG Line which adds larger wheels and sportier bumper fitments along with some AMG badging. The top end Executive Line focuses on the rear seat with entertainment, massage, and other features meant to give the chauffeured passenger more comfort. Rear-wheel steering is also standard on the Executive Line package.

A whole host of ala carte and packaged options are also offered for the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Want 30 speakers instead of 15? You can get that. Want wood, metal, or piano black veneers inside the S? Done. Heated everything and rear seat memory? There’s a package for that. Merc knows how to offer luxury and customization in a way many other automakers cannot.

Possibly the best part about the S580 model, though, is that understated V8. Its power comes quickly, thanks to those turbochargers, and it is generally quiet and in the background during most driving. When started up or pressed, though, the V8 opens its pipes and exercises with growling abandon. This makes the S580 nearly a sleeper, capable of punching fast takeoffs and muscling through corners without much effort. It’s a surprisingly fun car to drive thanks to these qualities.

This all comes at a price, of course. The 2021 Mercedes-Benz S500 starts at $110,625 plus delivery while the S580 starts at $118,445. But to be honest, it’s worth every one of those dollars. The 2021 S-Class, for us, defines what a luxury sedan can be when it’s at its pinnacle.

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Aaron Turpen
An automotive enthusiast for most of his adult life, Aaron has worked in and around the industry in many ways. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP), the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA), the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA), and freelances as a writer and journalist around the Web and in print. You can find his portfolio at