The S Class is the luxury flagship model in the Mercedes line-up and it's got some pretty stiff competition in the likes of the BMW 7 Series, Audi A8 and Jaguar XF. But it's also good enough to take on the very elite cars from Rolls Royce and Bentley; its exterior design with elegant lines and trademark chrome grill ooze quality.

The line-up starts with a three litre V6, which is badged S350 just to confuse you. But really, it's all the car that you could ever want: It'll do 0-60 in under seven seconds and keep going to a top speed of 155mph, all while being able to achieve an average fuel economy of 50.4 miles per gallon. Alternatively, though, there's petrol and diesel electric hybrids, a super quick S63 AMG performance version and the flagship Maybach S600. All models are built with comfort in mind (AMG version aside, of course). That means that there's very little wind and road noise to disturb your journey, and the ride is barely troubled by potholes and speedbumps. For an even more cosseted ride, there's the magic body control system which reads the road ahead for imperfections and is extremely effective, however it's only available on the top end S63 AMG and S600 Maybach versions.

Inside, the cabin is everything you'd expect from a Mercedes. The seats are very comfortable and supportive, and everything is fully adjustable – all electric of course. The dash layout is extremely clean and functional and all the major controls like the satellite navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, DAB radio and car settings are all controlled by the command system, which is relatively straightforward to use and is very similar to the BMW iDrive system. 

Space isn't an issue either. The S Class is available in either standard or long wheel base form, and even if you do go for the stretch version, rear passengers won't be complaining about a lack of legroom. There is an option of a traditional rear seat layout of a three seater bench, or you can opt for a pair of chairs – it really depends who is going to be spending time in the back. The boot is also one of the biggest in its class.

As you'd expect for a range-topping Mercedes, it's not going to be cheap to buy. But at least the running costs won't be as hefty as previous premium Mercs, especially if you go for one of the hybrids which will return low c02 emissions.