What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the term S-Class? As long as you’re able to identify it as a car, then you’re also likely to see it as sort of the pinnacle of German engineering.

Whether or not that’s the case today is of course debatable, but what the flagship Merc does have going for it is a very rich history and numerous comparison tests throughout the decades that have ended with it coming out on top.

The car you’re about to see here is the very first luxury sedan to bear the name S-Class for Mercedes. It’s not the best, nor the most iconic and probably not the most beautiful, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t an absolute beast back when it first came out.

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By the way, that would be the year 1972, and the W116-gen S-Class stayed in production until 1980, when the more popular W126 generation took over. This particular one however is a 1979 model, a 350 SE to be precise, which means power comes from a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V8 gasoline unit churning out 197 HP (200 PS) and 211 lb-ft (286 lb-ft) of torque.

Sure, the 350 SE is a slow car by modern standards, capable of hitting 62 mph (100 km/h) in 9.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 127 mph (205 km/h). However, according to Autogefuhl, you can still enjoy driving it even today.

Not from a dynamic standpoint of course, but if you’re just cruising along, be it in the city or the motorway, you should experience a very comfortable ride. What’s more, according to the reviewer, you could use a W116 S-Class as your daily driver. Would you really want to, though?