Crank - the head of content for 234DRIVE is a mechanic/car enthusiast/car vlogger that writes and creates relatable motoring experiences. Whenever he lays his hands on any car, he reviews them in depth. He calls himself the 'Educative Car Guy'.
Apr 09, 2020
Did you know that Nigeria’s President and Vice-president ride the Mercedes S-Class daily in and out of the Aso Rock Villa? It’s a top-secret anyway. I thought about how perfect the car is for it to have been the official vehicle of the Presidency. The thinking wasn’t enough so I got my Instagram follower-turned-brother to borrow me his 2015 Mercedes-Benz S550 for about 3 hours to check out the features of the car and also do a drive review, as usual, to see why President Buhari enjoys the company of this car so much. Please note that Buhari’s S-Class is the latest Maybach version but it has a lot of features in common with the S550 that you would read a review about today.
What makes the S-Class become the official Presidency ride? Let's find out!
Looking at this car makes you know it is a very large sedan. The grilles are very big and the headlights have a characteristic long strobe of led light that runs across the length of the headlight and interestingly, it is a DRL (daytime running light) meaning it is always on as long as the car’s engine is running.
The grilles are a dominant element on the front
Under the hood is a turbocharged V8 engine that cranks out 449hp to push this car around in grand style. The rear also has a characteristic tail light with three independent strobes of red LED that gives the S-Class a unique place on the road at Nigerian nights.
A cluster of 3 strobes on each tail lights stands the car out during night drives
The top of this car has a double panoramic sliding roof that serves light independently to the front and rear compartment of the car. I also noticed the monochromatic windows of this car that automatically tints itself according to the amount of sunshine just to make sure that sun rays don’t gain access into the cabin through radiation. As the windows tints itself, it becomes difficult to see through from outside. Attached to the windows at the rear are sun visors in the form of a net. Plus, there is also a sun visor on the rear windshield of the car.
The auto-tinting glass helps reduce the sunray effects
The car's doors have an automatic close function that makes you have no need shutting the doors forcefully because the car automatically closes properly in a slow and fashionable manner and you won't be making noise around the S-Class.
I got into this car first from the rear seats and noticed that rear-seat passengers get to control their seats fully like the front seat. It’s very rare finding a car with fully adjustable functions on the rear and you can easily find the controls on the rear door panel. The rear seats also come in original leather as well as the front seats and it is perforated allowing the car to have heating and cooling functions through the seats. This car has 3 seating spaces on the rear but can be converted to two by pulling out the center console on the rear that has a USB/AV port attached to the cup holders. The headrest can be automatically controlled with a button.
The S-Class comes equipped with an impressive function that allows the door to close automatically without much force
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Behind this rear center console is the mini cooler that cools your champagne. The headrest of the front seat has a screen that serves the rear cabin of the car. Two screens on one car are just awesome and it comes pre-installed with the Benz COMMAND entertainment application. This means you can control the center console of this car from the rear using a remote control so that the driver has no business getting distracted by changing the volume level of the car.
Buttons at the rear make it easier for passengers to control the entertainment functions without bothering the driver
The windows of the S550 are double layered glasses which turns it to soundproof to a reasonable extent and it becomes difficult for someone standing around the exterior of the car to hear what is going on inside. The panoramic roof and rear windshield visor can all be controlled with the same button that controls the windows from any of the four-door panels.
The comfort of this car is the best I have experienced so far. I forgot to mention that it is a Luxury car because I felt you should have known the instance I mentioned that our Presidency uses this car daily.
The ambient lighting function allows you to select from different colours that suit your mood so that the car gets lit especially at night when it is more visible. It feels like a private jet on wheels because the ambient light is all around the car and it feels like no bulbs are producing this light.
Moving to the front compartment of this car, the first thing I noticed is the two large display screens. This car has a digital instrument cluster that comprises of the Tachometer, Speedometer and Trip information while the other screen is the infotainment system equipped also with the COMMAND system that allows you to pair your phone with the car and ease entertainment through your phone. So excitingly, the infotainment display is better than most laptops today. It is just so crispy and advanced.
The astounding soundproof interior might be the reason why the President and Vice-President choose this car
The steering of the S550 still looks classic and far from sporty. I need you to know that the S-Class competes more with the Bentley on the interior, beating the 7 series hands down. The two front seats have bolsters that automatically keeps the drivers in place as the car goes around bends. The bolsters have motors in them that extend the grip of the seat to accommodate the direction of the impact the driver is feeling as the car experiences a hard turn.
It is a large beast stuffed with luxury functions
This car has an analog clock at the centre console and also has a telephone dial pad just in front of the centre knob that controls the COMMAND system. It makes dialing numbers very easy without reaching out for the actual phone and it also gives this car a full out executive appearance on the inside.
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The dial buttons ease the discomfort of having to pull out the phone for calling
The speakers on the infotainment system were made by BURMEISTER and it looks so advanced because of the colorful spiral effect it gives to the eye. I was listening to “balling” by “RoddyRicch” and It almost felt like we were in the studio recording the song for real.
You can watch my video posted on Instagram down below, reviewing the features of the Mercedes-Benz S550:
I would do a full review on this car and let you know about the driving dynamics. We would all know how intelligent his car is on the road and plan whether to purchase one or not. It was an amazing moment checking out the features of this car and I can already conclude that it won’t be a good daily ride because of how heavy and large the car is. It cannot be used for excessive maneuvering and running about.
Anticipate the drive review on Naijauto.com!
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