S550: It's the Little Things - The Steering Wheel

That two-spoke, leather-and-wood steering wheel. With real, clickable buttons (not touch pads!). Such a pleasure to touch, and so perfect for the relaxed vibe of the car. 

While we will never again get those narrow, wood steering wheels from the classic 1970s Benzes, this one evokes those wheels for me. Clean, relatively uncluttered, with "shift paddles" laid in as discreet buttons that you can easily ignore (face it, you'll never use them). 

Compared to the steering wheel in both the older and newer generations of S Class, I think this one has the edge. In the W221, the four-spoke wheel hasn't aged well, giving a frumpy, old-man vibe. And the latest three-spoke W223 wheel ... well, the whole thing is now a giant touch panel, which loses the tactile feedback and is hard to use without looking. The high gloss finish also is a fingerprint magnet. But then again, I'm biased. :-)



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