Ever have an extremely likeable acquaintance who drives you nuts with their constant need to flaunt their knowledge of arcane or technical matters? That's the new Mercedes S550. In many ways, on many levels, the big Merc is the world's best sedan: a sublime expression of German automotive engineering excellence. And then the luxobarge starts showing off, convinced that it's smarter than you are when it comes to comfort, information, communication and yes, driving. At that point, a fully-equipped S550 could well be world's most annoying automobile.
Again, let's get this straight: the Mercedes S550 is the best riding and handling four-door sedan money can buy. At the front: a four-link air suspension with antilift control, gas shock absorbers, stabilizer and anti-dive system. At the rear: multilink independent air suspension and antisquat system. On the road: the German luxobarge smothers road imperfections with extreme prejudice, out-Jaguaring Jaguar by a wide margin. Even better, hurling Mercedes' 4376-pound behemoth into a corner is like riding a Maglev train; the S550 leans slightly and then glides through all but the tightest turns. The car's dynamics are virtually indefatigable.