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Mercedes-Benz S-Class

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  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    image


    Just a reminder that the MB chat is on tonight (6-7pm Pacific/9-10 pm Eastern). Hope to see you there!

    http://www.edmunds.com/chat/mercedeschat.html

  • I am considering the purchase of a 1996 S 320 with about 75k miles on it... one owner, well maintained.

    Anyone owned one like this or any 96' S series in general?
    Likes / dislikes ?
    Reliability / repair issues?
    What should I look for in considering this Benz?
    What would be a reasonable price?
    Advice on whether this is a buy?

    Appreciativly,
    Christchurch
  • is4b2rdis4b2rd Posts: 66
    One of the bad things I've heard on the 3.2 engine is that the gaskets tend to leak. Other than that the W140 body cars are glorious. However, they are VERY complex. You may have problems with the remote trunk release working, the hydraulics can be a headache. However, if you are diligent in maintaining the car, which can be very costly on its own, it should bring you lots of joy.
  • Thanks for the post is4b2rd. I appreciate the information.
    With the items you mentioned "on the watch list"
    it seems prudent to purchase an extended warranty.
    The extension would take the vehicle out from the 75k to, say another, 30k to 45k over 3 years. That should take care of potential expensive repairs.

    Questions:

    What reasonable mileage limits would you expect for this S series? (We are starting at the 75k point.)

    Any advice on the best extended warranty which would cover all the items you list above and anything else during the mileage period?
    I am really in the dark on this one. I have heard pros and cons. But, it seems to me that a warranty with this sort of expensive to repair vehicle is essential. Ideas?

    I appreciate all of your loyal Benz owners advice.

    Christchurch
  • benznutbenznut Posts: 104
    Does the Espresso Designo Edition feature everything that the Desert silver does? Namely the leather covered dash extra wood etc?
  • is4b2rdis4b2rd Posts: 66
    I don't know why they don't. If I am going to spend that much additional, I'd expect the extra leather.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    image


    Just a reminder that the MB chat is on tonight (6-7pm Pacific/9-10 pm Eastern). Hope to see you there!

    http://www.edmunds.com/townhall/chat/mercedeschat.html

  • paulchiupaulchiu Posts: 378
    I want to get money back for my 2001 S500 after seeing those spy shots of the 2003 E class.

    Also, Is it hot in New York city or what! 6 straight 90 degrees days, 90 at 11pm last night. 103 yesterday.
  • tomkuntomkun Posts: 10
    I have seen both pictures of 2003 E and SL, I'm going to try at least one of them, I put deposit for both 2003 E500 and SL500, see which one come first, hope they have less rattles than my 2000 S500(sold) and 2001 LS430.
    Here, SF bay area is not that hot, 65-80 all day long.
  • chapman7chapman7 Posts: 23
    tomkun: At what site or publication are you finding the pictures of the 2003 models.
  • hfrankelhfrankel Posts: 18
    Take a look at this site -- they supposedly shot these pics during a movie production in NYC. I highly doubt these could be computer generated images. Looks like a mini S-class to me... but with a better front end treatment.


    http://mbspy.bacosys.be/w211.htm

  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    They're definitely not computer generated. Other European magazines have managed to snap shots of the same car, at different angles. MB is not very happy at all that the car wasn't kept underwraps outside of the filming, and they're currently conducting an internal investigation of the matter.


    Drew
    Host
    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • hfrankelhfrankel Posts: 18
    I'm planning to sell my 2001 S500 Sport. Any recommendations on the best web sites to post my vehicle, besides mbworld.org? Thanks
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    You might want to try Edmunds.com's Used Power Shopper. Good luck.

    Pat
    Host
    Sedans Message Board
  • elgritonelgriton Posts: 67
    Anyone else knows of other sites with '03 E and SL?
  • benznutbenznut Posts: 104
    I saw the new E on Road and Track of this month, together with the redesigned SLK. While i was highly impressed with the E, I was not that much with the SLK.
    The E will resemble more the S-class. Finally the E gets those sporty looks that may give it the edge over a 5 series.
    Will the E indeed have a 500 engine on it? great, after all even the ML is getting it. I sure hope they offer the airmatic suspension with it.
    As good as the e will look, still it will be hard for me to divert the eyes off of the S-class. After all the S is one of the most beautiful cars ever coming from a MB assembly line, the most technically advanced too. I just hope the MB will correct those minor quality glitches in the near future. A better tire package(17 inch 255/55 maybe on a better wheel design, or dare I say that of the current 600 models) and the introduction of a 4matic option would help matter.
  • hfrankelhfrankel Posts: 18
    The URL link is valid -- their site is often down or slow. Give it another try.


    http://mbspy.bacosys.be/w211.htm

  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Yes, it will have Airmatic. But no, it will probably not get the 5.0L V8 engine right away anyway. 18 months after the new E-class is launched, MB will probably be introducing their new line of direct injection engines. They will be slightly larger in displacement, and have quite a few more horses, but yet equivalent, or even better fuel economy due to the much more efficient direct injection.

    Drew
    Host
    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • rexconde1rexconde1 Posts: 278
    What happened to the message center icon on all of the boards?
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    It's a bug and will hopefully be fixed soon.

    Thanks for hanging in there!

    Drew
    Host
    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    image


    Just a reminder that the MB chat is on tonight (6-7pm Pacific/9-10 pm Eastern). Hope to see you there!

    http://www.edmunds.com/townhall/chat/mercedeschat.html

  • kcfankcfan Posts: 2
    I want to get a new luxury car and have already narrowed it down to a ultra luxury LS430 or a mercedes S430/500. I love the LS430's interior and features that I want like park assist, laser cruise control, the mark levinson audio system, and the DVD NAV is great. My huge problem is the exterior. It looks just like a Toyoata Avalon and looks like in an old S class from the side a little. I don't know if that look can grow on me. I was offerd 65k at a local auto show for an ultra in March but I didn't know how rare that opportunity was because I wasn't in the market. I called back up today and they offered me 68k. The S class has an awesome sleek design that I love. In fact if I had to say one bad thing about the design it would be that it looks too much like a c class, but you can tell the s class is much bigger though. I wasn't so sure about the command system but my co-worker has one and says it isn't that bad after you learn it. My problem with the s class though is the plastic used in the interior and the price. By the time I get the 6 disc cd changer, the phone, distronic, parktronic, and ventalaited front seats I am looking at 80 grand and one local dealer is pretty set on or about the msrp price? I have a 98 ls 400 and I love it and I want to keep this next car till or about 2010. I know the lexus will last and I do know that the benz can be very expensive to repair but to me there just doesn't seem to be a clear cut winner. Any opinions and advice will be appreciated
  • I was facing the same situation last October. I was on the list for one of the 1st LS 430 Ultra's: however when they started coming in I hated the way they looked and the driving position and feel was not even close to the Mercedes S 430. The interior of the Ultra is more luxurios but I felt the whole car was more suited for women. The Levison sound system was not that great compared to the Bose on Mercedes. Also, I didn't like the touch screen in Lexus and found the Mercedes controls for radio/nav/a/c easy to learn after a few test drives. I ended up getting the Mercedes S 430 with no optional equipment except CD. I love this car. It has had a few minor problems but the Lexus has also. I previously had a 98 GS 300 and have decided to never buy the 1st year of a new model ever again. I guess I couldn't stomach spending almost 70 grand for a car that didn't excite me that much. If you can afford close to 70 grand for a thinly disguised Toyota; than one can surely afford 75-80 for the real thing. The way car are so complicated today with computers and gadgets; I wouldn't keep any of these type expensive cars past the warranty.
  • bitkahunabitkahuna Posts: 206
    Your message was OK until you said "If you can afford close to 70 grand for a thinly disguised Toyota; than one can surely afford 75-80 for the real thing."

    That was a crock. The LS430 may be made by the same company that makes a Camry and Tercel and Avalon (all front wheel drive 4 and 6 cylinder cars), but they're so far apart from the LS that you can hardly say it's a thinly disguised Toyota. Also saying it's more suited for women is rather sexist. What makes you say that?

    The LS430 and MB S430 and S500 are all terrific cars. The S430 and S500 are overpriced by about $10K, but still terrific.

    As far as looks, I think the S430 with 16" wheels (I think that's the basic size) looks lame, just as the LS430 does. I saw a silver S600 with 19 or 20" Lorinser wheels that looked unbelievable the other day. I also saw a silver LS430 with 17" factory chrome wheels (and I'm not into chrome wheels) that also looked great. But I agree the LS430 with 16s looks unbalanced and pretty fugly. But color and wheels can make a big difference.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    "The S430 and S500 are overpriced by about $10K, but still terrific."


    That's interesting because for the past few years, MB has halved the dealer profit margin for all of their vehicles. They make a lot less than they used to. It has been said that Lexus could cut their profit margins as much as MB has, but there is still enough markup for them to easily make significantly more than the MB dealer would.


    The S-classes has always been around that price level. I suppose that is what makes it a rather exclusive model, along with the SL and CL-class.


    The 16" wheels for the S-class aren't too bad, IMHO, but the sport wheels are great! The tradeoff is that like other cars, the larger wheels = lower sidewall, and hence a higher chance that the wheels will get damaged by debris, potholes or curbs. The lower sidewall also results in a firmer ride due to cushioning from tire, as well as higher unsprung weight. It's also quite difficult to find winter tires for 17" wheels, unless you buy another set of 4 dedicated wheels for winter tires only.


    There is also another explanation as to why MBzs (and BMW or Volvo) are more expensive:

    http://www.escribe.com/automotive/european/mbmc/m15466.html

    Good luck,

    Drew
    Host
    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • benznutbenznut Posts: 104
    The 17 in, wheels in the S600 look terrific
  • rexconde1rexconde1 Posts: 278
    Having test drove both these cars on the same day. I would have to say the S500.

    --I -- M -- O

    The S interior was very expansive and luxurious. Very open and cockpit like (a bit more swooshy than the previous models. Handled extremely well. ABC extremely helpful, kept the S flat on the road. Handled like I expected it to. My father drove it too...and he had one comment, its SLOW... (keep im mind our other cars are CLK55 and E55, however I dont live with him any more :(
    The car had a certain firmness that you just knew that the car was dead on the road. Although I love how our 560SEL did feel.

    The LS very nice inside and out. We drove the fully loaded one with ML sound system, however we did not have a cd :( . EXTREMELY quiet but still on the light side of steering and just didnt handle. I do not like this lack of road feel -- but thats me. My father, while retired, does like to take the turns and the Lexus did not fit him. The Lexus is one hell of a cruising car. One can sleep extremely well in the back. The leather didnt impress me (This did not have the Ultra). We had a 90 LS400 and the leather was stiched up better, maybe the Ultra would fix this gripe. But the interior was generally boring. I"m not too sure how the leater would wear as well. I do know that we didnt have one single problem with that car OR more importantly THE SERVICE DEPARTMENT.

    To go off in a tangent, the Q45 is kinda wierd looking, with a face reminicent of the J30 with the round front. Interior is nice, I just dont like the cliff look.

    The new 7 Series is a bit too comtemporary for me, reminds me of the concorde... but done well. I guess intime I'll learn to like it. .

    As for price.... the LS is a lot of car for the money and it does represent good value. The MB/BMW you are getting pretty much what you pay for, not to mention the safty of the passengers and they had the autobahn in mind when they were designed and they show in the performance. Dont Forget that the MB also has free maintainence for 4 years, while lexus does not. One overpriced car I feel is the A8...

    R
  • boxer6boxer6 Posts: 20
    I'm not in the market for a new one of these but the other day I saw a 1996 s320 w/89000 miles. Any recommendations re: the longevity left on this vehicle? We put only 9k a year on cars. It looked like a nice car and is priced at 23.5K very reasonable. I currently have a '98 s70 volvo and this wold be quite a nice upgrade I would think. The volvo has lots of problems (under warranty). It has cost me around $1,000 a year to maintain...so far, so I figure why not maintain this beauty. I'm working on convincing the wife at this point but would appreciate any input on the car......good or bad.

    Thanks
  • mbnut1mbnut1 Posts: 403
    If you are sensitive to $1000 / yr maintainace costs, then I would do my homework prior to purchasing a used S class. If something goes wrong, a $1000 could be a drop in the proverbial bucket. I was told of an S-class which required $11K worth of warrenty maintainance work. I would highly recommend that you consider a Starmarked car. Bear in mind that I think they are one of the finest cars ever made, just complicated and expensive to repair.
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