ABS and front side air bags standard. ESC, rear side and head protection air bags standard from 2000.
Introduced for 2000, the current S-Class line is as stately and advanced as it gets. The V8 and V12 engines are smooth and powerful. A large car, the S-Class is quiet, roomy, and very comfortable. Despite its bulk and weight, it handles with surprising agility. The ride is excellent. The heated-and-ventilated seats are very comfortable, and the rear is roomy. Expect the leading edge in safety and convenience equipment, but the intertwined audio/phone/navigation system is needlessly complex. The CL models--which include the CL500 and CL600, as well as the CL55 AMG--are basically restyled coupe versions of the S-Class.