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Mercedes-Benz S-Class



  • I believe the common complaint from the 430 owners was "hard" seats. The Nappa leather on the S500 is significantly softer than the standard leather on the S430 and could explain the difference in opinions.
  • bozelbozel Posts: 3
    I turned on my 2000 S430 yesterday and the multifunciton display started flashing ESP/BAS SEE WORKSHOP.
    it didnt stop doing this, so I turned the car off and then turned it back on and the message never returned. I took the car for a short drive in the snow and the ESP seemed to be working fine... anyone have ideas on a problem... or if I should get it checked out... the message hasn't appeared since then.
  • I have a 2000 S430, and many months ago I had my MB dealer install a Calyptus shift knob. However, the calyptus wood steering wheel is still not available. I also had the lighted MB door sill plates installed, which I really like.
  • ejerodejerod Posts: 86
    I'm back from Cali and I'm having the time of my life. I now understand why the critics praised it as simply the "best car in the world". I drove by the Lexus dealership and parked next to the LS430. No comparison whatsoever. Everywhere I go it's "wow, nice car!!" Even my plumber spent at least 20 minutes admiring the car before he could get to work lol. S500/600 series with the AMG sports package. Simple leaves everyone speechless..I'm off.. don't have anywhere in particular to go.. just want to drive this take care guys and gals
  • I'm taking delivery of an S500 in a few days. My dealer says S2 option (CD+timeport phone) will cost over $3000(vs $2190) to be installed at dealer (vs at port). So, he recommends me only to buy the CD for $850. Can this timeport phone be installed in the after market? Is it worth it?

    Thanks for any advice from experienced S-class owners.
  • paulchiupaulchiu Posts: 378
    No, the 'S2' phone system is a factory-installed part, requiring special internal fiber-optics wirings and connections. You could get an analog aftermarket phone install at any good car-stereo shop. But at $1000 or higher for such a system, I didn't think any of these mobile solutions are worth it.

    Besides, driving while talking, even with the truely 'hands-free' system in the S can be distracting and dangerous; especially in the big cities; like New York.

    I simply keep a $300 timeport startac-like cell phone in the driver-side door; to be available for use by my wife.

    PS. I only drive in the weekends, so I do not need the phone for business use.
  • ejerodejerod Posts: 86
    I have the phone system and the voice command system and I love it. I no longer have to look for the numbers on my cell phone i can just speak " dial number" and it dials the number for me. I don't find this distracting at all but a great safety feature. I just love the car overall. If you can swing it the AMG sports package gives the car a different look altogether. Sets the car apart from everything else on the road. Not too many S500's here though. The dealer sells S430's for the most part. All of them are great cars, just a matter of preference when it comes to features. Have fun when you get it. I love mine...:)
  • kwinkwin Posts: 1
    I am about to order my S430 with sport package but I am stuck on what color to order. I am generally a black car type and would like to order black but I think the S with the sport package looks best in silver. I have not seen a 430 in black with the sport package but would imagine that with the dark color, the "sport" lines would not be very visible and would not be worth the extra $'s. Anyone out there have a black with sport? Any comments from the board would be greatly appreciated.
  • Paul & Eric:

    Thanks for your advice. I'm sold on the phone, I think every S-class should be equipped with it. My question now is either I take the S-500 without the phone or I order and wait for one in about 2 month? (I was told.) Anyone knows of any dealer will install the phone/CD option for $2190?

  • I have the S500 in Obsidian Black with the Sport Package. To be honest, black diminishes the effects of the Sport trim. I really like the wheels, but it's tough to distinguish the Sport vs non-sport.

    My suggestion -- if you have to have black (like i did), but the non sport model, and then pick up some AMG wheels.

    Good luck.

    PS - Also have the S2 Integrated phone and it's awesome (BUT - the car doesn't tell you that you have a voicemail message..and instead bleeps out the radio/cd sounds for a second...every minute or so.
  • ejerodejerod Posts: 86
    Hfrankel is right. I didn't know what the heck was going on when I first got my car and the radio/cd player would stop playing every few minutes. I thought it was a tech problem until I called the info center and they told me. George: I had the dealer install my phone and it works great. You just ahve to amke sure the car you get is already prewired to have the phone installed. My dealer installed mine at his cost. It helps to wait til the stock market goes willy nilly and the car lot is empty when you buy your car. My dealer is Phillips mercedes Benz Virginia Beach Virginia . Great dealer and outstanding service. have fun. I love mine, I'd sleep in it but my wife won't let
  • Black on charcoal S500. Too early to make a complete observation but it is quite an experience. I especially like the ADS airmatic system. ABC may be a little better but it works as ABC is advertised. In sport mode it handles almost like a BMW 5 series (and that's with the stock 16 inchers). Looking to make a Brabus wheel upgrade soon. I thought about what someone said regarding the black interior looking more luxrious - whoever you are, I believe you are right! Will post a picture when I get a chance.

    As a side note, I do not like the new boards as much. It appears (and the lack of new posts might further substantiate) that interests are hard to find.

    Happy Holidays everyone.
  • Well this is my second attempt at leaving a message. It appears that inventory is increasing and deals are being made on the S and C. Specifically, my dealer told me he is now discounting the S by $1000 off sticker and $600 off on the C. Also they have both vehicles available for immediate delivery! What a difference a month makes! In any event if anyone is interested in the dealers name and number... please feel free to email me. By the way the dealer is in the Boston area.
  • Does anyone know of any deals in the Maryland area on the I class? If so, please give the who, what, when, where and how.

  • Sorry Correction!!!



    I bought my 2001 S500 4 weeks ago from Herb Gordon Mercedes in Silver Spring, MD

    I ordered the car, paid MSRP, but got them to throw in 4 extra stock S500 wheels/rubber, since i ordered the Sport Package with the 18" wheels (which i'll take off during the winter months).

    So - i guess that's worth about $800 to me -- give or take. You definitely have more flexibility in getting the dealer to throw something in from "inventory" as opposed to a factory installed option.

    Good luck - Howard
  • test...this new board is not working well...please help
  • Hi, I was wondering if anybody would like to trade Command maps... All you have to do is copy them onto a CD-R and it works cause I just tried it. I have command map 7 and is looking to build up a collection because $120 a map for every year is pretty expensive. Also I have a 2001 S430 and I was wondering if I wanted to tint the windows, if there are any special requirements in the tint film because of the special glass that they use in the S Class?
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    I would strongly recommend against tinting the windows. The problem is that MB uses extremely tight seals (partly to keep out road/wind noise) and the film gets scratched easily. In addition to this, the insides of the door panels also contain electronics for the window switches/power seat controls. The solution that tint places use to apply the tint can corrode the contacts, hence causing problems.

    As an alternative to tinting, I recommend the window mesh shades that you can purchase from your MB dealership. These mesh screens are custom fitted to the windows (same material as the power rear window sunshade) and can be removed at night for better visibility.

    Hope this helps!
    Drew Townhall co-host
    Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories conferences
  • Did anyone who purchased an S class consider or test drive a Lexus LS430 w/ Euro suspension package? On the outside, the LS is very bland compared to the gorgeous lines of the S, but it offers about the same amount of room inside and is $15-20k less. Of course, in this class of car, I'm not so sure price is all that significant, $15-20k is not chump change, even for the well to do.
  • I hope this post goes through.

    I took delivery of a silver on charcoal S500 a week ago. Options bought were wood grain steering wheel/knob and k2a phone/CD.

    So far, I like the feel of the ride. I'm having some difficulties of the voice recognition system, especially in the AM frequency range, to recognize my voice precisely.

    Trading map CD seems a good idea, except possible violation of copy right law?

    I'll post as my experience builds up.

    Happy New Year to all!

  • I just set up my Verizon voice mail. Does anyone know how to do the voice mail routine hand-free while driving?

    Please share your experience and know-how.


  • Have a 91 350 SDL, with 80,000 miles on it. Developed a real funny noise. Took it to a Mercedes repair shop (not a dealer shop). Was told it is a rod problem that will cost approximatley $10,000 to fix!!!They also advised that this problem is a common one which has resulted in a class action suit against Mercedes.
    Has anyone any information about this??? Would appreciate any help I can get.
  • jgts1jgts1 Posts: 32
    the sport package looks the best in light colors IMO (Silver, White specifically) oldman has a 00 S500, bought right when the sport package became available, I just ordered the W220 rims (staggered setup) and got Pilot Sports all for $2400. The standard wheels on the new Sclass, do "nothing" to enhance the cars looks. I'm also not that thrilled with the quality level of certain parts of the new Sclass- overall though, the car is very nice.

    Has anyone driven the new S600 yet, does it feel $25k-$30k better than the S500?

    The Lexus LS430 is about as exciting as a wart to look at, very nice interior though.
  • ejerodejerod Posts: 86
    I subscribe to Sprint PCS ( not that I'm thrilled about ) On Sprint PCS if you dial your own cell phone number it takes you to the voicemail . What I've done is program the name and number of my own cell phone ( I used the spoken term "cell phone messages") into the car's voice command system. Now while driving I can tap the stalk, say " cell phone messages" and the car dials my voice mailbox automatically. Make sure you tap the "telephone button" on the command system when listening to messages. With Sprint I can delete my messages by pressing "7" or save them by pressing "9". You can only do this while the command system is displaying the telephone screen. I've pretty much gotten it down to a science where I don't even have to take my eyes off the road to press "7" or "9". If you don't delete or save the messages you'll get that pause effect on your stereo system that occurs when you have messages on the cell phone. Hope this helps....
  • ejerodejerod Posts: 86
    I looked seriously at the LS430 and IMO the car has hit it's target market perfectly, (47 year old professionals that earn 200k+ annually ) I'm 37 years old and still think I'm 20 and no offense to anyone but The LS430 looks like the car I'll drive when I'm 50 or 60 and just want something nice to tool around town in. The LS430 has probably the most gorgeous interior I've ever seen on a luxury car save the Bently. But the body style is about as exciting as watching paint dry. I didn't care for the old MB S class body style and was as happy as a pig in slop when MB decided to go with the more aggressive looking current body style. Although Lexus has the DVD based NAV system that doesn't require 9 discs of various parts of the country ( in fact the Lexus nav has 8.5 gigs of memory and maps the entire globe) , the MB has the style, the racing heritage, the legacy,the creature comforts, and with the sports package just looks as though it will chew up and spit out anything on the road except a Lamborghini or Ferrari. I bought the 2001 S500 with all the toys save distronic, park assist, and rear powered seats. I'm happy I didn't "save" 25k with the Lexus because I knew that every time I saw a new Benz S class on the road I'd be kicking myself and wishing I'd just spent the stupid money and got what I really wanted. So I did, and I love the Benz and have no regrets. Yes there are people who drive Lexus that can afford the Benz but choose to save money, and there are people who buy the Lexus because they can't afford the Benz. I do love Lexus GS series cars and bought one for my wife on her birthday. So I can attest that Lexus does indeed make fine automobiles. I can afford any automobile made on planet earth and chose the Benz not for snob appeal, but simply because I love the car. Can the Benz be improved upon ? Sure ,and I'm sure they'll address those things in the 2003 SLR Vision that I've already gotten in line for.. Happy motoring people...:)
  • I am in the same boat, although my "ol' man" won't spend the extra dough on the larger wheels. It is my understanding that the 16" wheels were a sacrifice made to the car for fed. mpg requirements.

    On the Lexus note... it is a great appliance.. no more, no less. It delivers a beautiful numb feeling when guiding it down the road.
  • -

    The only thing I would add to Ejerod's posting is that you can also verbalize voicemailbox numbers and passwords. After you have dialed the voicemail number and connected to the system (as Ejerod suggested), they usually ask you for a password. Pull the stalk towards you and say your password (usually incl. a #), then say dial. It takes a couple more seconds, but you never have to take your eyes off the road or key any numbers in.

    I also have Sprint PCS Ejerod. I love the options and the pricing plan (even though my company pays) but I hate the current coverage. It seems like I lose my cell more than my wife with her Cellular One coverage.
  • Drew,

    The shades that you mention up in 170, they arent available for the M-class, right? I took a look and they didnt have one.

  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    I contacted MB Canada about the shades and they in turn contacted MB Germany about this. Unfortunately, there are no plans to design any for the M-class, probably because they feel that most people think that the dark tinted glass for the rear windows is good enough.

    Host of Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • I just want to thank you all who share wonderful experience in this ultimate driving machine- the S-class. I want to second ejerod's opinion relative to LS430 vs. S-class. I'm very pleased that I purchased an S500 and not a LS430. The advice on hand free voice mail routine is highly appreciated.

    Wish you all a prosperous and happy new year!

  • tomsky3tomsky3 Posts: 48
    Does anyone know how I can turn off the radio (or CD) while the navigation system is on? I know I could press the mute button, which will shut the sound off. That works temporarily, but sometimes when I inadvertantly hit the volume "+" symbol on the steering wheel with my thumb, all of a sudden, the radio comes on.

    The COMAND manual says that you should press the AM/FM button, but I found that it simply toggles between AM and FM.

  • Jack

    To turn the Radio of CD off, you push the respective button (RADIO OR CD) on the Command system, and then hit it again to turn that particular system off. The 1st time you hit it, it switches to that choice,,, the 2nd time turns it off.
  • Before I take my S500 back to dealer for problem in voice recognition, I wonder if I am alone in this problem?
    First, I thought it must have been my pronunciation that caused difficulties for the system to recognize my command correctly. During the New Year holidays, I had my 18 years old daughter, who delivers "all-American" public speech at the high school, tested the phone and radio voice command. And the system simply failed to recognize correctly 50% of the time.

    How are you folks doing with your voice recognition systems? Please note that my K2a option (hence, voice recognition) was installed at the dealer instead of VPC(Vehicle Processing Center).

    Thanks for any feedback,

  • First of all, I doubt it has anything to do with the installation. It is a solid state system, so if it works at all, it is working as good as it is supposed to. I wouldn't worry about that. I've been pretty happy with it so far, except for it having the habit of pulling up the navigation menu when I'm trying to change radio stations. I would recommend spending some time with the voice recognition manual that came with your owner's manual. Keep it in the crapper and read it when time permits. There is a lot of technology in this car so be patient...

    I'm off to watch bowl games...

    Happy New Year everyone!
  • Scargo, thanks for your response. You're right, it's a machine with many sophisticated technologies. I'll spend more time reading the voice recognition manual and practice more.

    However, I do want to point out the potential drawbacks of dealer installed options. For example, my dealer installed wood grain steering wheel/knob (much barker) does not really match the color of the rest of the wood grain that comes factory intalled. (Dealer says nothing they really can do to correct it!) Now, remember, my car is an S500, and on paper, there should not be any difference if the option is either installed by factory or by the dealer, right?

    As far as the voice recognition sub-system, even though it is basically solid-state system, there are still mechanical factors (such as cable, connections etc.), and different software chips (or versions) that might have been installed. Last, but not the least, the dealer technician who installed the option might have done this the very first (or first few times) time and hence workmanship and testing/quality control might not have been up to required level.

    Anyway, it is my experience that for most options, one would be better off ordering from the factory than having the dealer install them.

  • You're correct George. Solid-state usually denotes a "black box" with no capability for change. Voice recognition uses software extensively, so there may very well be an upgrade available. I doubt it would have to do with any connections. If the unit sat on the parts shelf for while, it may have missed a software upgrade or two. That brings up a good point. Now that there is so much software in cars, how does it get upgraded? Does it become part of scheduled service, or does the owner have to report problems? Good luck. Let us know what you find.
  • ejerodejerod Posts: 86
    My phone was installed by the dealer as well. I've noticed that if it's raining ( and there's noise from the wipers ) that it isn't as accurate. But for the most part I haven't had any problems with the system. I know the system is capable of "learning" in that the more the driver utilizes the system, the more the system fine tunes itself to that particular voice with the articulation of the words. Not much different from software that types what you speak. I love the car. As the others have said, familiarize yourself with the system, if you still have problems take it back to the dealer and havethem check to make sure everything is as it should be. God speed my friend...
  • He out there! After 16 months of comparing, I finally brought a Horizon Blue I 430. This car is a 2001 and I received a discount of $2,650. Has anyone made a better deal than this one. I would love to know. Please respond!!!!!!! Thanks
  • He out there!!! I think that I made a mistake. I saw a AS 430 today that blew me away. It was absolutely ferocious. This car almost cause me to have an accident. The interior is gorgeous, I mean absolutely breath taking. SOMEONE OUT THERE PLEASE HELP ME TO FEEL BETTER ABOUT MY PURCHASE.
  • legs2legs2 Posts: 2
    I am looked at a 2000 S430 today. The dealership was closed but the window sticker was $70K. It is a demo or loaner on the used lot,roughly 7000 miles,with all the bells and whistles. Any experience on the price one should pay or the discount that might be negotiable?
  • Go back a few posts and read the same from ejerod. He had the same doubts. Ask him what he thinks now. I can't imagine trading ms S500 for one of those bland beige-mobiles. No balls and I can't tell you how many times I've mistaked the new LS for the W140 S Class (old big body). There are no lines to the car. Agreed the interior is nice, but it is not a Benz!
  • gdtobmegdtobme Posts: 17
    you're better off with the B. As #194 says, the Lexus looks too much like an BB copycat. They couldn't even copy the new design. Both interiors are nice but the BB looks more distinctive, asp. the "horizontally" placed wood trim on dash. Plus with the Lexus, you won't have a three-pointed star to look at way in front of you while driving. However, I do think that the plastic tissue storage drawer under the front seats make the BB look cheap. They could have used a heavier weight plastic or integrated it more into the seat design and material.
  • legs2legs2 Posts: 2
    re post 193: the car was the owner's wife's/demo. It has 1100 miles and has not been titled. They are asking $70K but indicated on the phone that they could come down $1500. Original warranty, etc.
  • Larry:

    What is the original MSRP price? For your information, most of MB dealers around New York area are giving $1000 - $ 2000 discount off S430 MSRP, brand new and your choice of color and options. And, as the model year drags on and car sales dropping, I bet the discount can only increase rather quickly.

    If I were you, I would ask for much deeper discount off the original MSRP. Another point, make sure that you do not mind buying an S430 that is not really brand new, and that the car has not been hit in any accident. (Dealer does not have to reveal certain minor accidents!)

  • taisontaison Posts: 71
    Which one is better in terms of appearance and maintenance? The main difference seems to be that one is metallic and the other is not. Which one reflects better and shines more?
  • I have black and am happy with it. It's like champagne, when its nice it is really nice, when it's bad (ie. dirty or thrashed) it's really bad. Plain black is probably going to show swirl marks more and require a little more regular maintenance, whereas the metallic will be harder to touch-up and harder to maintain when you do actually need it (because of the clear coat). If I had to choose again I suppose I would be indifferent. Black is beautiful baby!
  • ejerodejerod Posts: 86
    Well it's been over a month since I chose my S500 over the LS430. As I've said in previous posts, the Lexus is a wonderful car. I bought a 99 GS300 brand new for my wife on her birthday 2 years ago and I'm still excited about that car. The ultra luxury category is another story. Mercedes Benz makes the best luxury car dollar for dollar period. THe reason I didn't buy the Lexus for 15-20k less is I didn't care for the bland look. It simply looks like an oversized Toyota Avalon crossed with the old body S class. The interior is gorgeous, the build quality is superb, it's quieter than a teenage boy sneaking out of his girlfriends bedroom window when her dad gets home. But the body is not exciting. Now as far as creature comforts the Lexus offers some of the best features available at a very competitive price. However Lexus does not have the history, they don't offer the free maintenance for 4 years, they don't have the voice command for all the features such as the radio , tape, cd player etc, and most of all the Lexus does not turn heads like the new S class does, especially with the AMG sports package as mine has. I've been asked to pull over, I've been stopped in parking lots by couples(and women) and I've almost caused others to have accidents as they sped up to get a closer look at the car on the highway. I've yet to see that type reaction with the Lexus LS430. Now the new Lexus SC430 is another story. I may buy one of those when they've been out for a year and the bugs have been worked out. But when it comes to large luxury sedans Mercedes is still king. Look at it this way. When the Japanese were developing Lexus they visited Europe and America to get a concept of luxury. No one in America nor Europe has visited Japan to figure out the concept. Again, that's no affront to Lexus . They are a top notch company with excellent products, but they simply are not MB.....
  • cvrinccvrinc Posts: 16

    I took delivery of my 2000 S430 in July of '99 and the car has been superb, not only from a quality perspective, but for all the new technology the Germans have integrated and you are correct about the car being a head turner. This car is the best anti-depressant on the market because it puts a huge smile on my face every time I drive it. It is a wonderful driving experience.

    This is my 4th Mercedes S class, I have owned the 3 previous generations: '76 450SEL 6.9, '85 500SEL, '96 S420, and now the best of the bunch the 2000 S. Mercedes is king for large luxury sedans because of all the Teutonic German heritage. And after all, Lexus is a fine product, but it is still a Japanese Toyota that tries to desperately copycat the Mercedes, which is fine for that segment of the market, but there is just something incredibly unique to driving the S Class that no one can understand until they drive one.
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