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Mercedes-Benz S-Class

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  • Nice analysis. I can't imagine anything more difficult than trying to privately sell a 27 month old S Class at anything above wholesale. The portion of the "secondary market" for an S Class that would even consider a non-dealer sale aren't the kind of people I'd want coming to my house for a test drive.
  • I didn't even mention how much financing adds to the total "all-in" costs. If you finance just over half of the 93k, say 50k at 6% interest, that adds over 7k to your all-in costs which makes leasing look even better...
    You are right - can you imagine the hassle of trying to sell the car on your own? PASS! I didn't even mention that only 2 or 3 of the 15 or so '05 S500's on Ebay had bids! Not too much demand...
  • The 27 month lease is a good deal if you want to drive the car for a couple of years and then get something new. Or you can drive it for a couple of years, turn it in to MBZ and let them own it for 70K and turn around and lease a 2008 preowned from an independent dealer or private seller and let them take the big hit. I have a friend/customer that I got into a S550 Sport about 6 months ago. He has leased 13 vehicles from me over the last 2 years. Has never driven a sedan more than 1 year. He will not give his S550 up. I have not found a person out there that does not LOVE this vehicle. There are going to be a lot of people kicking themselves when their 27 month lease is up and they want to keep a vehicle that they owe 10K more than the book value. Most people that are spending this kind of money for a vehicle should be looking at the long term costs of the vehicle. What I am hearing most people say is "How can I save a hundred or Two dollars a month?"
  • Sure, the traditional way is the smart way: buy it, drive it, and then in four or five years years do it again. (How big of a hardship would it be to drive and be seen in an '02 or 03 S Class, anyway?). But the poster's goal was to only lease/own it for a short time while he awaited the next hot thing to come along.
  • Anyone know where to find literature on working on these cars? I only have 50k miles on it and thins are starting to give me trouble (seat cushion bottom leather is only $2400 at the dealer!) Thank you.
    wmalange@yahoo.com
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,824
    A reporter from a large daily newspaper is looking to speak to Mercedes-Benz owners in the Washington DC area about the expectations you have with the car when you purchase it and any problems you’ve had to deal with. Please provide your daytime contact info to ctalati@edmunds.com no later than Monday, October 16, 2006.

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    Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
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  • mickylmickyl Posts: 14
    I am about to buy a MB S550 brand new with the sticker price of $92,300, for $89,000. I am getting $3.3K discount off the MSRP. Good deal or no?

    Any comments welcome.
  • Sounds "fair" to me at best. I 100% guarantee you that if you live in the ny/nj area you can shop that deal and easily beat it by 1k or 2k. If you are not beholden to some specific option package and don't need the rare option(night assist) or the exclusive option(amg package) I would advise you to shop around and if you are willing to go the extra mile, call out of state dealers like I did - there's hundreds of s550's available within a few hours drive from my house in nj - and i'd be willing to bet real money that 5k off a 90k-95k sticker car is a certainty within the first four dealers you call in your area - it's all up to you - be a tough negotiator, and all that takes is sticking with your offer and being willing to walk away and call the next guy.
  • mickylmickyl Posts: 14
    Thanks for your advice. In fact, I did call around quite a bit and found that there are about 100 MBs with the color combination that I want (i.e. black and black).

    I shopped around and I think the shipping cost will add at least $1K on top of the negotiated price if I were to buy it out of state. But what really got me off a wrong foot was that there was someone (private seller) who tried to defraud me. For $2 to $3K difference, I don't really think it makes sense for me to take a risk on that.

    So, I bought the S550 today at the price that I asked earlier.

    Thanks for your comments, anyhow.
  • By settling for 3k off MSRP I'd have to say you defrauded yourself of 1k-2k or more in extra discount. Seems like whatever happened scared you into settling for the 3k discount without looking around. Would like to hear the full story. Anybody else reading this realize this is not typical. If you are not beholden to a specific color or option package and with the 4matics soon to hit the market, and hundreds of rear wheel drive S550's on lots everywhere, if you don't get at least 5k off MSRP on a RWD S550 here in the northeast I'd say you didn't negotiate hard enough. My first stop at Mercedes of Morristown NJ about two months ago, and without any negotiation, got me a 94.7k car offered to me at 90.3k, over 4k without even pushing - he would have done better - he said so himself, but I settled on a car with the rare night assist which supposedly was not discounted at all because of their rarity -and I got over 3k off of that car at Greenwich Mercedes in CT and did the deal with them because I wanted the rare option.
  • mickylmickyl Posts: 14
    Thanks for your response. Before I tell you about this crazy scam that this guy tried to pull off, the car did have the option that I wanted, which was the night view assist, plus P2. There were two other s550s with night view assist around DC areas (with the color combination that I like) but one was loaded with everything and the other did not have much on it besides night view assist. I did search around before settling down on this and while there are vehicles in your area (and I am sure I can get a pretty good discount), the vehicles in your areas simply did not have the night view assist that I wanted, not to mention the cost of shipping, and hazzle of dealing with the seller if the vehicle did not meet my expectation.

    Now, getting back to this scam, I came across this ad in the autotrader from this guy who was selling his fully loaded vehicle for $79K (got everything except night view). Got his contact info and spoke with him over the phone. I asked him for the specific details of the car, including any and all 0ptions of this vehicle. He emailed over 25 photos of this vehicle, including a photo that showed that the car was located in FL. However, this guy was calling from CA. So, I asked him for the VIN which you gave me. Did the carfax and the vehicle checked out. But, I still was a bit concerned so I asked him to send me a copy of his driver's license, car registration and title, so that I can verify the ownership. He said he would send it but I never saw it.

    A few days later, I was checking out cars on ebay and found this identical vehicle, including all of the photos and VIN.

    I realized then that I was talking to someone who tried to defraud me.

    Now, he initially sounded like he was leery of internet transaction so he proposes to do the transaction via escrow.com. In fact, he said that he would register on escrow.com and then notify me to make the payment. I know that this guy probably has something on his sleeve. This guy is probably good enough to phish the escrow.com website and take the money that way.

    For the difference of $1 to $2K, I wouldn't want to be penny wise and pound foolish.
  • canngacannga Posts: 20
    Posted this on another forum, would like to repeat the question here:

    For those in the know, any recent news on this elusive model please? I already searched the forums; no one seemed to know for sure. Someone somewhere did mention October as the possible introduction date. If not October, what is the possible release date, if at all? Thanks in advance.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Probably sometime next summer as a 2008 model. It definitely won't be here anytime this year.

    M
  • Mickyl, that helps explain why you got only 3k off MRSP and not 5k. I too gave up better % off MSRP deals to get the night assist option which is pretty rare - most dealers at the time had only one car or none with the night assist, so I knew they had little reason to negotiate beyond a certain point. I was able to negotiate just over 3% off MSRP for the car with night assist that I did lease. I had a deal for the same car, same color, same options basically, but without night assist at another dealer that was close to 5% off MSRP - but once I found out there were night assist cars available I had to have one! As a follow up, I've had the car about two months now and driven about 1000 miles and never used the night assist except for a few minutes to test it out...it is pretty cool and does impress the friends, hahaha. Sorry to hear about the scam experience, but congrats on the new wheels - it's a freakin' rocket!
  • psychdocpsychdoc Posts: 147
    ...Well, I just got home from a wonderfully stimulating afternoon of gawking at and driving cars.

    Here's some of my thoughts.

    First off, Lexus did a wonderful job and had enough cars that the lines to drive them weren't excessively long. The entire affair was handled with polish and class. Kudos to Lexus for an entertaining and informative afternoon.

    Lexus LS 460 - Very much the "big brother" to our car. Nice but not drop dead "holy cow, I can't believe it" nice. Very fast, nicely balanced and pretty flat through s-curves. On the negative side, the throttle is still very non linear with small changes corresponding to either no change in power or massive "throw you back in the seat" acceleration; the brakes, too were very notchy and "grabby" with small moduations in pressure causing unpredictable and overly aggressive braking. All in all the drivetrain was a major dissappointment in it's lack of harmony and linkage. As this is clearly present in our cars (the ES) one begins to think that Lexus just can't get engines and tranny's to link together properly.

    M-B S 550 - WOW!!! Both inside and out, this car radiates class and elegance. Literally everything about it pretty much screams "in this car you have reached the pinnacle of automotive sophistication and refinement." Everything looks like quality and radiates good taste. Awesome, simply awesome. The engine is incredibly torquey (sp?) and it feels like the ability to accelerate is limitless. Power delivery is entirely linear with the degree to which the accelerator is pressed and there is no hesitation whatsoever when you push the gas pedal. Power delivery is immediate with your right foot, the accelerator pedal and the drivetrain all feeling as if they are governed by one mind. Very impressive! The transmission is as smooth as fresh butter and you never feel any shift points at all. On the negative side, the car is heavy and the front end doesn't respond to rapid direction changes as nimbly as the Lexus. There is very little body lean, however and the car maintains a nice neutral posture thru s-curves. The steering is positively awful. The steering wheel is too big and feels like a Mack truck it's so heavily weighted. All this comes at a price (what doesn't?). $86k is what you'll need to bring one of these home.

    BMW 750 - This is one seriously ugly car. And you know what? It gets even worse (if that's possible) when you get in. The interior looks cheap and as if it's ergonomics (I admittedly use the term loosely) were designed by a psychotic, retarded person. Buttons and knobs are strewn everywhere with little or no apparent planning. The button to adjust seat position is mindlessly placed on the side of the center stack by your right knee. Buttons are everywhere and you don't even want to get me started on the mind nubbingly dumb-assed "I-Drive" system. It's all a design and ergonomic nightmare. Chris Bangle should be shot for the exterior but whoever "designed" (again, I use the term loosely as this thing doesn't appear so much designed as thrown into some cosmic blender and put together based on whatever spilled out) the interior should be given to Saddam Hussein's kids (if they were still alive, but I guess you get my point). Now onto something a bit more pleasant. The car drives like a dream. As with the M-B, there is total harmony between the engine, transmission and accelerator pedal. Power delivery is immediate and the thing is a rocket ship. There is essentially no body lean and it handles like a slot car. Pretty impressive for a 4500 lb. vehicle. There is simply nothing bad to say about the driving dynamics of this champ. If you could get by it's "Ugly Betty" appearance and hideous interior, this is a killer car. And a steal at "only" $74k.

    Lexus SC 430 - Ughhh! Who buys this thing? It looks like an upside down bathtub. It's proportions are all wrong and it's cramped inside. It's not terribly fast and it handles like a Cunard ocean liner. I simply don't know what to say. This baby is just a joke.

    Lexus GS 450h - OK, I'm on record as saying that I despise the hatchback appearance of the GS and I stick to that. And the interior is cramped. I couldn't car less about any dimensions that Lexus publishes that say that this is as roomy (or roomier) than the ES...it's not! You feel confined and claustrophobic. It's interior is quite spartan, perhaps taking its lead from it's target demographic, the BMW 5 Series. It's instrumentation is very nice, however and thankfully there are just enough buttons and knobs to control everything that needs to be controlled on a regular basis. You say you want power? Well, let me tell you, have you come to the right place! If the BMW 750 is a rocket ship (and it is), this thing is an anti-missile missle. This thing is frighteningly fast. This must be what driving a Ferrari is like (well, maybe not quite, but close). In very unLexus-like fashion, power delivery is pretty much immediate and the car feels like it could take off with another millimeter or two of accelerator travel. The chassis is as flat as a carpenter's level and it handles s-curves with complete composure and confidence. This thing is like driving a go cart at a carnival. Except it's much bigger, has a roof and goes a whole lot faster. Oh, and it costs just a little more too ($62k). The brakes are a little notchy in reassuringly Lexus-like fashion (what's the problem here guys, you can get this right...you really need to work on this..."Relentless Pursuit of Perfection" huh?...well you have some work to do here) and you have to be very careful modulating them or they grab way too hard, a characteristic seen on just about every Lexus vehicle. If Lexus wants to know how to do brakes right, they should just copy whatever M-B is doing because, let me tell you, they have it dead solid perfect.

    OK, end of rant, er, I meant review.

    Flame away!
  • My MB brakes are rock solid with a firm feel on the pedal. Have ocassion to drive Lexus--usually LS. Brakes are "soft" and go down pretty far on the pedal. Keep your foot on the LS brake and it will go towards the floor pretty quick.
  • is the work your having done to the aimatic system covered?
  • ctsangctsang Posts: 237
    Among the vehicles predicted to be least reliable by Consumer Reports, a total of eight Mercedes-Benz vehicles made the list, the most for any one brand. These are the S-Class (2006), CLS, E-Class Sedan, SL, CLK, SLK (V6), M-Class, and R-Class. The redesigned M-Class SUV and new R-Class crossover wee especially disappointing, with between 129 percent and 202 percent more problems than the average vehicle.
  • My '97 S420 has 109K miles. Noticing a little change in feel of transmission. Anyone know appoximately what the replacement cost is? New or rebuilt or is rebuilt the way to go? Had a 1978 450SEL years ago and put in rebuilt transmission. It never felt right after that. Would really appreciate advice. Thanks!
  • esuommesuomm Posts: 19
    S550 Sport, pretty loaded Sticker $103 got for $100. IMHO, there's nothing like a big sedan like the S class. Still questioning the logic of buying a first generation S, given all the issues MBZ has had with prior years but I just love the car and took a bit of a leap of faith (along with an extended warranty for $5,995 on it after the trade in).

    I loved it so much, wanted to upgrade and a month after buying it, I just traded it in for the S600 (That's the car to get.) Sticker, $143675'ish, and they took $500 off, not a good deal but at least I am done shopping and pining away for it. I got $92,500 on the trade in. The S600 is what I got the ext warranty on. Loan rate 5.99%

    Two small complaints, the sticker on the inside of the flip of vanity mirror and the ones inside the gas cap door were stuck on crooked. Why can't they get the easy stuff right. I hope they got the complex stuff done. Why bluetooth is not standard, I have no idea.

    For those deciding on options - Distronic Cruise is great & Back up Camera is handy too.

    Will keep you updated as isssues arise.
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