Tested: Mercedes-Benz S350

The magic carpet ride

Airport lounges are quite dull
And leave you mostly killing time
Which is the reason for this text
Suff’ring from a bit of rhyme.

Although there may be too much choice
When buying an expensive car
The biggest, most admired one
Is decorated with a star.

Maybe it’s my German roots
That like the Merc atop their range
But nothing does a better job
Of screaming “I’ve got too much change.”

The latest updates to this car
Maintain its sleek, imposing form
New bumpers, lights and two exhausts
Improve the snazzy S-Class norm.

The S350’s truly massive
And dwarfs most other cars it meets
Which means that, even if you’re tall,
There’s plenty room in all the seats.

Our test-car was a loaded one
With all the options it could stand
Which pushed its quite impressive price
To well beyond a million Rand.

Would Sir enjoy massaging seats,
Or double Xenon active light?
Radar-guided cruise control?
A camera that can see at night?

The seats can heat or vent your bum
Electric motors set them right
The front ones will massage you, too
Or hug you when a curve gets tight.

That radar can detect a crash
A blind-spot warning helps you out
The car will help you keep your lane
The next one drives itself, no doubt.

Entertainment here is quite well served
And Harman Kardon does the sound
I gave up counting all the speakers
Logic 7, with full surround.

It handles ipods, movies, mp3
Can swallow up to 6 CD’s
It also features navigation
Or plays your dearest DVD’s.

Bluetooth pairs with any phone
All systems recognise your voice
The central screen shows either seat
The information of their choice.

A camera helps you in reverse
Or parking sensors all around
A button lifts the car right up
Should you cover rougher ground.

The back is where you want to sit
To watch a film or hear some beats
Raise the darkened window blinds
And raid the fridge between the seats.

The “normal” stuff inside this Merc
Is far too much for me to name
But rest assured its standard kit
Would put most other cars to shame.

The three-point-five’s six cylinders
Produce two-hundred kilowatt
But with the car’s substantial weight
Performance isn’t really hot.

Seven speeds are in the gearbox
Three different modes adjust its speed
Two paddles on the steering wheel
Will help you find the gear you need.

High-speed antics are quite good
Once the Benz gets in its stride
The drive is very comfortable
This is a magic carpet ride.

The same goes for its normal handling
Predictable and oh-so nice
The comfy chairs and tons of gadgets
Investment banker’s paradise.

Should you wish for more performance
An AMG will suit your needs
Much like the 8 or 12 pot models
So that the looks will match its speeds.

An S350’s really something,
The smartest car that you may find
Performance might be slightly lacking
I’m sure your chauffeur wouldn’t mind.


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