The 2015 Mercedes S550 represents the true paradox of choice. There are so many options and things to configure in this car, that even after going through a just a tiny fraction of the 5 trillion different ways you can set the car up to meet your every need, you will still be unhappy.
This is because even after an hour of messing with all the settings, you still won’t be able to achieve the perfect driving position. Why? Because you know that there is that one tweak you can make to get everything to perfection but you just won’t be able to figure it out.
You see, when there are entirely too many choices, you’re just as miserable as when you have no options at all.
Having said that, allow me to walk you through what it might be like if you were about to go for a drive in this imposing, stately sedan. Ready?
First thing’s first.
Let’s adjust your ride height.
What kind of roads are you planning on driving on today? Will your route consist of some questionable roads filled with potholes and or will you be driving very fast on some long stretches of road with smooth pavement?
Let’s say you pick the latter (driving on smooth highways,that is). If you take a quick glance at the above picture, you may or may not be able to tell much of a difference, but if you look closer you’ll know – it’s like playing the game where you have to stare at two pictures and spot the differences.
In this picture, the S550 on the top is actually at the lowered setting (the difference in ride height is so minor). Now that you’ve made that decision, you will now have to choose how you want to manipulate things on the giant 12 inch display.
Here you have the option of either using touch-sensitive device (like a laptop mouse) or a dial that you can rotate – you can use either interchangeably. You’ll be glad that Mercedes thought of this because twisting a dial can get very tiring after a while and when your fingers are about to fall off from too much dial rotation, you will be so grateful that you can switch from the dial to the touchpad. What a relief.
Why unnecessarily exert yourself?
Now that you have made up your mind on using either the touchpad or the dial (or both), you can now concentrate on what kind of interior scent you want to drown your olfactory nerves in.
You have four different options on the kind of smell you want inside the car.
Or perhaps, if you’re headed for a night out on the town, you might want to go with the “nightlife mood” and get ready to party all night long.
Let’s assume that you are indeed going with the “nightlife” option in which case you would most likely be driving at night (unless you like partying by yourself during the day). Your drive downtown would, however, not be ideal unless you select the appropriate hue of lighting inside the cabin.
Luckily, you have eight different options to choose from. There are 500 LEDS that provide you with your choice of satisfactory lighting. Once you pick your desired color in combination with the “nightlife” scent, you can now take a deep breath and relax. Here I’ll suggest that you be extremely careful with the kind of ambient lighting you end up going with. The S550 is so quiet, that with a subdued glow in the cabin along with a cabin infused with the “nightlifemood” aroma, you may just end up falling asleep while driving.
Especially, when you have 12 Burmester speakers filling your ears with Mozart’s Requiem..
But don’t worry. There are so many sensors in this car that it’s sure to sound some kind of an alarm if your car starts drifting as your eyelids droop down and you go into some sort of hypnotic state.
In the unfortunate event that you do happen to crash and need to call for help, you have this handy-dandy SOS button at your disposal. It might not eject you out of your car, but I’m sure it will beckon a helicopter that will immediately arrive to extract you out of your wrecked S550.
But if you’re in Europe, you won’t even need to worry about piloting your car because the 2015 S550 is actually self-driving. There are things like parking assist and other kinds of magical technology that drive the car for you so that you can focus on tasks like optimizing your trunk opening-height.
Now let’s just say that as you’re fiddling with all the millions of things you’d want to adjust as an S550 owner, you run into something that you have no idea about.
No worries here.
You can easily do a “google” search on your computer’s media center and find whatever it is you’re trying to find – like for example – figuring out how the hell to adjust your seatbelts.
There is actually an option to electronically adjust the seatbelt which feels weird when enabled. Once you’re buckled in, you can feel the belt tightening around your waist which is unnerving because you start thinking: “What if the belt doesn’t stop and squeezes me to death?”
Actually you won’t be stuck; remember that SOS button? As long as you can reach that button you’re safe. As soon as you push the red button, Superman will descend from the heavens and take you to safety.
Now that you have tweaked a bunch of stuff, you will find yourself having to make the most important decision of all. This will take an intense amount of thought and deliberation so I hope you’re prepared – you may feel drained after pursuing this task that I’m about to describe.
What I’m talking about here is modifying the massage settings in your seat. Now, getting a massage is a very personal thing, so I can understand why Mercedes has all these options. After all, it’s not every day that you’d want a “classic massage” – some days you might prefer an “active workout” instead or maybe you would want your shoulders massaged.
And what if you want a hot, relaxing one?
For a “hot” massage, you can play with the heat settings in your seat – specifically which part of the seat do you want heated and how do you want it to radiate.
Being hunched over your computer in your cubicle all day can really tense up your shoulders and so naturally you would want to concentrate the heating in the upper half of the seat.
Once you get all the settings dialed in just right, you might find yourself wanting to relax in the back seat and allow your chauffer to drive you. After all, you are probably too exhausted to drive after going through the humongous list of options.
Sitting in the back seat, you’ll find lots of room to stuff magazines and books (although who reads those anymore!), but then you quickly find out that without a giant TV screen, there’s not much to do back there. So you decide to send your chauffeur home, suck it up and drive the car instead.
And here’s some good news if you do, in fact, decide to drive. The S550 is incredibly quick. There is so much torque in this car, that even with a boat like this you will find yourself accelerating very very quickly. It’s extremely quiet so don’t expect to hear much from the twin turbo V8 and you may even mistake this for a Tesla.
Just enjoy the sheer acceleration in this cruise ship. Don’t expect this to be an agile sports car deftly handling turns; just floor it on straightaways instead and enjoy getting up to speed shockingly quick.
As you’re driving you’ll notice the “bird’s eye” view of the car because of all the cameras in the car. There’s a camera that pops out of the grill, underneath the side view mirrors and hidden elsewhere around the car.
And all of this comes in the base model of the S550! So you can only imagine how much crazier the fully-loaded version comes with.
Unless you have a butler in real life or someone who takes care of your every need, driving this car will only disappoint you with the rest of your life. Going back to your regular life where you have to do things by yourself like take out the trash, do dishes, or pay the bills, will all seem like a giant pain. Once reality hits you in your face you’ll wish your whole life was like the S550.
My best advice? Stay away from this car so that you can avoid being depressed.