2010 Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid – Click above for high-res image gallery When pondering the idea of any near-$100,000 hybrid luxury sedan, one has to wonder, "What's the point?" The only hybrids that sell in any significant numbers are the Toyota Prius and Ford Fusion, and for good reason. Both allow drivers – and particularly hyper-milers – to squeeze every last mile out of each gallon of fuel. Obviously, anyone with the financial wherewithal to purchase a 2010 Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid is unlikely to be motivated by the technology's fuel savings. Similarly, if someone wants to make a social statement by driving a "green" vehicle, they will likely want their ride to be instantly recognizable as a hybrid. So the cost-no-object camp is divided. They can either drop their coin on an all-electric Tesla Roadster or, in spite of their bank balance, go with a lowly Toyota. Which begs the question: Is there something in between? We tested Mercedes' newest hybrid to find out. %Gallery-89968% Photos Copyright ©2010 Sam Abuelsamid / Weblogs, Inc. The entire S-Class lineup received a mild visual refresh for the 2010 model year. Casual observers probably won't notice the differences, but closer examination reveals new lighting elements up front and in the rear, along with slightly reshaped fascias. Following the trend started by Audi, Mercedes has added LED eye-liners to the bottom edge of the headlamp clusters and turn signal indicators. The outer air intakes below the lamps are bisected by another strip of LEDs for the daytime running lamps, while a narrow strip of chrome accents the entire bottom edge of the fascia where it is perfectly positioned to contact errant parking lot curbs. Out back, energy-saving LEDs are again the order of the day for the revised taillamp clusters. The rectangular exhaust outlets are now integrated into the lower edge of the back bumper and larger mirrors offer an improved view and finish off the external updates. The latter pieces are actually a pleasant surprise, as many automakers have been migrating to smaller mirrors for either stylistic or aerodynamic reasons, often at the cost of reducing visibility. However, when maneuvering in traffic with a behemoth like the S-Class, the extra visibility is a necessity to keep those fenders blemish free. Inside, the S-Class remains largely unchanged from 2009, but that's not really a bad thing. The extended instrument hood spans the distance from the driver's side A-pillar to the center of the dash and contains the main instrument cluster along with the center navigation screen. Like all current generation S-Class models, the fuel gauge and tachometer flank a large LCD that provides a virtual analog speedometer. The center stack and console have a clean, uncluttered appearance with only a single row of switches just below the center vents and another handful on either side of the COMAND knob. COMAND, you'll recall, is Mercedes' answer to BMW's iDrive and it allows the driver to traverse a myriad of control menus through the same central display …
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|MPG||19 City / 25 Hwy|
|Transmission||7-spd auto w/OD|
|Power||275 @ 6000 rpm|
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