Fleet News

Mercedes-Benz S320 CDI



THE Mercedes-Benz S-class is right at home in the company car park, usually in the directors’ parking spots right next to the entrance.

It’s less usual to find one in the middle of a farmer’s field in rural France, covered in dust and loaded to the gunwales with camping equipment (see right).

But that’s what happened to our S-class last month when it was called into action for a trip down to Le Mans for the 24-hour race and the stag weekend of our deputy editor Steve Moody.

The S-class swallowed five adults and all their essentials for the four-day trip, and delivered them to Le Mans in utter comfort – exactly the kind of long-distance trip for which the big Mercedes-Benz was designed.

The only real surprise was that no-one decided that sleeping in the car would have been more comfortable than slumming it in a tent on a rock-hard field.

Devouring big distances in the S-class is really so simple: brim the tank with diesel, programme in the destination on the sat-nav and select drive on the gearbox.

And thanks to being a diesel it can go an awful long way on a tank of fuel. Editor John Maslen has been driving the car since it arrived and he’s managing to eke 38mpg out of the car – hugely impressive for such a big, heavy beast.

But the satellite navigation has been playing up a little. It was faultless on the trip to and from Le Mans, but our editor has taken a dislike to the system as it has got his route wrong on three occasions.

Other than that, we’re having a problem with the nearside wing mirror, and have also been told the car is the subject of a recall. We’ll let you know more in the next report.

Model: Mercedes-Benz S320 CDI
Price (OTR): £51,632 (£55,432 as tested)
Mileage: 3,850
CO2 emissions (g/km): 209
Company car tax bill (2005/6) 40% tax-payer: £482 per month Insurance group: 16E
Combined mpg: 36.7
Test mpg: 34.5
CAP Monitor residual value: £18,000/35%
HSBC contract hire rate: £970
Expenditure to date: Nil
Figures based on three years/60,000 miles

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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