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Mercedes-Benz S-Class



  • Has anyone upgraded to 18" AMG wheels w/o having the sport package? Since I don't have the side skirts, et al, I'm wondering if I should just make the tire/wheels 18X8.5 w/ 245/45/18's all the way around, basically sans the staggered look (275 rr, 245 ft as on sprt pkg). Any suggestions would be appreciated. Also, for those that have made this switch, did it affect your navigation or speedo accuracy?
  • jgts1jgts1 Posts: 32
    absolutely, do not do the 8.5's all the way around....the staggered setup is so much better looking, I put the W220 Sport AMG's on my fathers S500 (9.5' in the rear, 8.5's in the front)- Pilot sports.

    Actually, not having the sport package- makes the wheels appear even bigger- because there are no flares sticking out.

    Do the staggered setup and nobody will be better than you :).

    Nothing is affected by this change (at least nothing noticeable)- just handles better.
  • Any pics?

    Did you put the 275's in the rear?
  • ejerodejerod Posts: 86
    I'd be happy to post pics.. how do you do it in here ?
  • rk618rk618 Posts: 1
    I am thinking of purchasing a '94 s-420. It has approx. 110K miles. Anything in particular I should be looking at in terms of particular problem areas, etc ? Any thoughts on how many trouble-free miles are left in a car with this mileage ? Thanks.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    To post pictures, I recommend you first upload them to a free photo site such as . You can then simply provide us with the URL to your album for us to access your pictures. For example, you may see my Photopoint album by clicking here.

    Looking forward to seeing your pictures!

    Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • taisontaison Posts: 71
    What's the best way to keep the Java interior clean? The floor mats will get dirty quick. What is the best way to allow dust to not stick? Should I use Scotch Guard or is there something better? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

  • mbfanmbfan Posts: 1
    Where can I find info on the quality and performance of the 1995 S320 long-wheelbase? Is there a website? thanks.
  • wbwynnwbwynn Posts: 246
    Keep buying these S500's and just maybe the Lexus LS will get a small discount on MSRP. Just no comparison unless you enjoy throwing money down a hole.
  • The LS is just not worth what you pay for it. I swore it was the absolute cleanest 140 chassis the other day. If I wanted to save money I would have opted for a used 140 S Class, maybe 98 or 99 instead of the LS. That said, the new S500 continues to be the "Best Car in the World" - bar none, and is well worth the premium if you have it to spare. For the unfortunate folks who don't, they will have to content themselves with the old bodystyle S or God forbid, the LS, ugh, perish the thought...
  • ejerodejerod Posts: 86
    I honestly have to say that Lexus has it's niche market identified very well. 47 year old professsional that earn 200k+ per annum. I own a Leuxs 99 GS 300 ,as I've said on many occassions, and what won me over to that car as opposed to the E class Benz was the radical styling and the unmistakable fact that you were looking at a Lexus and not some sad attempt to imitate the MB or BMW. From both the front and rear the GS car has it's own unique look. Then Lexus comes out with their flagship LS430 and what do they do ? They imitate the old MB body style and do a bad job of it at that! Then up pops the new Lexus SC430. Radical design and no mistaking who makes it. Gorgeous Car !!! So it wasn't the price alone that attracted me to the Lexus initially. I never buy for price alone. I buy what excites me. I buy cars that give me an excuse to drive them. The GS did that for me and the new MB S500 with AMG does that for me. In short I buy excitement to heck with the price tag. Lexus will sell a lot of these cars on price, but MB S class is still the number 1 selling ultra lux sedan on the planet. There's a reason for that. Sure some older Benz owener are a bit disappointed with the newer S, but to those of us still in our 30's we're praising God and the engineers that remembered us when designing this car. Maybe if GM learned this lesson Olds wouldn't be going out of business. You can't stay in business without constantly challenging the status quo and being bold and beautiful. MB has done that whereas Lexus, when it comes to flagships , has missed the mark this time.
  • paulchiupaulchiu Posts: 378
    Where did you read this 200K 47 year old buying Lexus LS Class? Thanks.
  • ejerodejerod Posts: 86
    Actually I read it in a couple of places. I Subscribe to Car and Driver magazine and read it there in their "First Drive LS430" article. I think I still have that copy and if I do I'll post the date and the issue number so you can look it up. I also read it in Robb Report when they had a one page article on the car. Last but not least the salesman I dealt with when I bought my wife's GS told me the same thing. I'm certain you can find it in other places and if you can't, just ask your local dealer. They are provided this info from the manufacturer. I'm sure you know this but all manufacturers have target markets, especially when they are sinking a billion + dollars into R&D. They want to be sure that they appeal to people that can and will buy these expensive toys.
  • wbwynnwbwynn Posts: 246
    I owned MB and BMW... liked the MB and loved the 93' 740iL. When I test drove the LS430 last week, it was very responsive, tight, and pin-drop quiet..... maybe the best new car drive ever. I know for sure that driving an MB430 (for $15000 or $20,000 more) will not make me feel any better.

    I can buy a Bentley or a Rolls, but I don't, because it's overkill. The MB seems to be both overkill & overrated. I have yet to find an old LS400 owner who has been unhappy, yet I know many MB owners who had some "bad experiences for the money"...

    Please keep this dialog going, and let's hear more from new owners of the LS430 or the competition.

    By the way the GS430 is a rocket ship, bar none.... but too small for me... if only I was 25.

    You know I see quite a few wealthy people driving the S430 and LS430....something makes me wonder what reasoning separates the two types...
  • ejerodejerod Posts: 86
    I agree with you on all points. I too can afford anything. To answer your question about why wealthy people are so diverse in their buying decisions, this is America and that's what makes it the greatest marketplace in the world. I agree that the Lexus is a wonderful car. This is the first MB I've owned (S500) I figured if I was going to buy a Benz, Buy a BENZ!!!! I used to sell cars years ago and I can tell you from experience that people buy for the strangest reasons. I've had a lady pick a car that was 8 k more than another because she liked the cup holders better. I've seen others that could afford a luxury car purchase a base model sedan. Who knows. But it's great to finally have someone else join the boards.. Welcome
  • ejerodejerod Posts: 86
    And I do know some old LS400 owners that are unhappy. There's no such thing as the perfect car
  • flint350flint350 Posts: 250
    I have researched these 2 cars (S430-500 / LS430)since Jan of 2000. I came to many of the same conclusions expressed here. Final decision was, I just took delivery of my LS430 Black Cherry Ultra Lux two days ago - and don't regret it for a minute. While I don't profess to the wealth of many of you, I could have afforded the extra 15-20 thousand for the Benz, but decided not to. It was, for me, a matter of quality and reliability. For me, while prestige is nice, I also appreciate the value and long term reliability of the Lexus. The only downside (and a subjective one it is) to the Lexus is the somewhat controversial exterior style. On almost EVERY other count, the Lexus wins. I have read this board and the Lexus board and the number of complaints about both the car and service and dealership attitude is stunningly high for Benz and low for Lexus. No, no car is perfect, but my LS430 (so far) comes much closer than the Benz. As for the reasons some people buy: my wife was initially much more interested in the Benz bcz we could go to Germany for delivery and drive there for a month or so. (Takes all kinds - lol) Any car purchase is, of course, subjective and personal, as was mine. But, I truly feel, if the only real advantage a car has is its name prestige and it costs so much more, then my choice is easier. I'd rather be on the road in ultimate comfort with a Nav system that is intuitive and an unparalleled ride in quiet, than sitting in the dealer's service dept. complaining about the rattles, squeeks, cheap plastic parts and various other failings I have read about here. Lastly (sorry for the length), I don't intend to put the Benz down - I almost bought one and think, generally, it's a fine car, just not a smart buy for MY purposes - but obviously it is for many/most of you. And if we pass each other on the road, let's wave and smile and revel in the wisdom of BOTH of our choices rather than belittle the other person's wisdom for his decision.
  • FYI, for those of you leasing and have no wish to purchase the LS430 (X-Lux) at the end of the lease, be careful with your math. I ran the numbers and there is only $100 difference per month between the LS430 lux and what I'm paying per month for my beautifful shiny blk/charcoal S500. With zero down, 48 mos. you are looking at 1,300+ for the Lex, and about 1,400+ for the S500. If you don't believe me, go to and run the calculator for yourself. The Benz retains more resale value and gives it the 4 year leasing value edge... . If you decide to purchase the car at the end of the lease you would realize the difference in residual value, which could be 10-15K in favor of the Lex depending on your bank.
  • Should have added that Lexus loses 58% of its value through the term and Mercedes is at 40%, hence the lease advantage. If depreciation values were equal, the Lexus should be about $300+ less per month.

    That said, all that doesn't matter if you truly like the LS430 at any cost. If you like a quiet Japanese-style ride, you're an audiophile, and generally care little about aesthetics, it is definitely the way to go. I will indeed wave to all you Lex movers.
  • ejerodejerod Posts: 86
    No need to belittle anyone. Both are great cars and anyone that owns/leases either of these and several other lux sedans are blessed and priviledged to do so. I'll wave too.. happy motoring..:)
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    My experience after lease pricing an LS430 and a Benz S-430 are quite different than what I saw on Their residuals are quite low vs. dealer leases. When I priced the S-430 the residuals on a 3 year (12k miles per year)lease was 65% of list resulting in $25.6k of depreciation in the lease. The LS430 (not the ultra but with nav/levinson package)had a residual percentage of 62% of list which resulted in $22.9k of lease depreciation. Both are 0 down, 0 security leases. The LS430 priced out at $200 per month lower plus a buyout that was $10k lower. Based on this math Lexus is closing thhe gap on residuals while also offering better interest rates. There is no way the LS430 will lose 58% of its value after 4 years as someone else posted. I'm coming off 98 LS400 3 year lease and my buyout was at 60% residual but car was selling at substantially higher price than that at the time.By the way also still is pricing the LS430 over sticker. In the end I chose the LS430 simply because I thought it the better car. No knocking the Benz from me though --- I wouldn't have looked at it if I didn't think it was a great car. Negative posts on LS430 on this board can't possibly come from anyone who objectively drove the car. The car is too good for that.
  • pathdocpathdoc Posts: 126
    I believe one of the posts that indicated a lower residual was on the Ultra lux and the explanation had to do with the fact that it is listed as an option which according to the poster was not given as high a residual. Has anyone gotten a firm lease #/ residual on an Ultra lux model?
  • wbwynnwbwynn Posts: 246
    Please give the specifics of your LS430 lease vs. the S430 lease...

  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    The S-430 included heated front seats($600), cd player ($800), and high intensity headlights ($1,100) plus floormats etc. - all in price was around $73,900 or so. LS430 includes levinson/nav package, Lexus link (std. on MB's) and floormats etc. - all in price of $61,130. Both cars have standard items which are optional on the other. For example the high intensity lights are standard on the Lexus and optional on the MB whereas the MB has an auto ride height adjustment (something only the Lexus ultralux has) at higher speeds and the link as standard. The Lexus has far superior leather and lots of wood and an overall much more luxurious interior than any MB except fot the S-600. Of course it also has a significantly more powerful engine than the S-430; one that is only a small step away from the S-500. The MB residualized at 65% of list and ran around $1,245 per month (the S-500 was $1,387 with same residual percentage). LS430 is $1,040 and residualizes at 62% of list. This includes 6% sales tax and of course the luxury tax. I noticed a big difference in LS430's power vs. S-430 and didn't feel much difference between LS430 and S-500. MB's handled a bit better but LS rode a lot smoother and quieter than S-Class but latter is not at all noisy. My experience with these cars is that Lexus is the best riding, BMW best handling and the Benz tries to bridge the two. But Lexus has made big move on road feel and handling and somehow improved the ride and kept the cabin extremely quiet. For me its the best car on the road but these cars are so great that its like evaluating a test score of 95 vs. 98. Hope this helps you.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    One last thing - my dealer tells me that Lexus is going to increase base price of LS430 soon. I haven't heard or read anything about this. He says it would happen by end of March. I am actually considering leasing a second LS430. My company is re-locating me and I will need to drive 100 miles a day. My wife will not let me take the LS I already leased.She actually complained that I got it dirty the other day. I would have done a deal on my old LS 400 if I knew this ahead of time as that car never had a problem. I negotiated a large enough auto allowance to cover the lease. Anyway that gives you an idea how much I love the car. I'm also looking at GS430 & MB E class. But I can't resist the LS430 - its that good!
  • wbwynnwbwynn Posts: 246
    Thanks for your comments....your lease term was 36 months?

    I too have heard the a price increase is on the way for the LS430; it seems to be a good deal now even with the wide margin.
  • I would be willing to bet that there are no Mercedes S folks on the Lexus LS 430 board trying so hard to justify their purchases. We are all real happy that you have found the car of your dreams, its just that the title of the forum is Mercedes S, not MBZ S vs. Lexus LS. If however one of you wanted to create such a forum I think that would be a fantastic idea.
  • benznutbenznut Posts: 104
    The Mercedes now has replaced the "cheap" plastics in the interior with leather, like the CL coupe's. I am not sure, But I think this will be standard on the S600 and optional on the others.
    Has anybody Driven an S55? Is it Much more different than S500 Sport in terms of Ride quality, and overall refinement? Because I know that AMG is no longer an aftermarket package, but I don't want to trade the traditional MB quality, even for some extra fractions of the second in acceleration. Thank You
  • rads67rads67 Posts: 1
    Just picked up my new s430. Drives great, and for someone with long legs is extremely comfortable. Voice activated system is a little quirky, but a cool feature. The car drives smoothly and is great in bad weather, which surprised me. One issue though, the cars leather on the dash, makes popcorn like noise from vibration, it is extremely irritating. Does anybody know a fix for this? Is this a break-in issue like a baseball glove?? The dealer told me this is should not occur. I'm concerned they're going to have to redo the leather on the dash. Help???
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    Yes - 36 months. Let me know what you do. I agree with other post - let's move dialogue to LS board. And to post 229 - I'm hardly trying to justify my purchase. Take the LS for a spin and see what you think. I also thought some lease data on S-Class would be helpful.
  • wbwynnwbwynn Posts: 246
    No one is trying to justify purchases on your S-Class board; competitive comparisons and lease information belong here. Sorry you are offended by a lot of Lexus 430 vs. S430 talk. Most readers want to know the differences...good and bad. Chill..
  • Yeah, I'm going to say that is not normal. Have them fix it. Unless you got the Designo pkg., which has the alcanatra leather dash, I wasn't aware that the dash had leather. Maybe I've just never paid enough attention. Regardless, your dash should not be making popcorn.
  • 4426444264 Posts: 67
    For what it's worth, I test drove a LS430 with high hopes but was totally disappointed. The S430 seems much more nimble, and ultimately more safe in my opinion.

    The LS430's brakes, regardless what they claim are quite weak in my opinion. The sport mode doesn't make enough difference from my test drive. I felt car sick in the back from the car's excessive body lean.

    I don't own either car and I'm not loyal to any brand, just wanted to share my experience!
  • Unless you get the Silver Edition Designo, the S430 and S500 have vinyl dashes. Only the CL's and the S600 have leather dashes as standard.

    Every S-Class I've driven has had the squeeky dash syndrome. THough I keep reading posts that say they don't have the problem. Probably some type of seal that they can address.
  • benznutbenznut Posts: 104
    Is the S600 worth the extra money over the S55, appart the fact that it might be more refined and "isolated". For what i have researched, evry option on the S-Class should be available on the S55 as well, even the leather dash, because I have seen pictures. For what I am concerned, the S55 is better because it is cheaper, faster (at least Mercedes Benz says so) and with an "athlete's heart". What is the point of having 4 extra cylinders and worse fuel economy? I know the cylinder cutout is going to take care of the latter, but then, most of the time you are driving a v-6.
    I am on the market to buy a (Mercedes)luxury sedan. Differently from others here I am not even considering other brands, No offense because there might be some other great cars out there. To me however, mercedes is the choice, having driven some in the past (1995 S420, 1997 SL600, and 99 SL500 Sport) and having had a perfect reliability record. I was going to go for a Cl coupe, but I need the hauling capacity. While I would not hesitate getting a S500 Sport, I wanted to hear hat opinions are out there for the other models. And S55 has almost every standart feature that would be optional in the S500, which would bring the price to the same level. And I don't think I would ever go with S600, because it seems exagerated a little bit. I have had a 12 cylinder SL before, but the 8 cylinder model handled better, and was more economical. I assume the same will apply to the S.
    I will appreciate the feedback
  • One thing I love about Merceces is that you can trace the lineage of its cars back several years and see the similarities. This is the case with S Class dashboards too. So why did Mercedes have to alter the new S Class dash to look more Japanese or American. It's a mistake to have such a large speedo to the exclusion of a large tachometer. Is anyone else bothered by the way the designers thre all that tradition out the window? THey did the same to the new C class but the E class remains traditional. If you don't like tradition, buy a Lexus. Josh Harrison
  • Hey joshua1, I think the reason Mercedes decided not to keep the traditional dashboard characteristics was because their market studies dictated that progress needed to be made. For instance, a horse drawn carriage is very TRADITIONAL way to get from point A to point B; however, I have not seen this type of transportation available at any of my local dealerships. Why aren't dealerships overflowing with horse drawn carriages or cars that resemble carriages if the traditional look is so good...Because of progressive tastes of consumers and market research. Mercedes had to change or risk going the way of the horse drawn carriage. Tradition has its place, but holding on to it at all cost can lead to financial ruin.
  • ejerodejerod Posts: 86
    Guys and girls let me just quote from Motor Trend 2001/2002 Fall Edition New Car Buyer's Guide.The article is titled "Luxurious Maxumus and starts on page 112. In a head to head comparison of the MB S500 AMG Sports package, Lexus LS430, Audi A-8, Cadillac DeVille DTS, and the BMW 740iL, the author concludes with this statement ."To me the surprise of this quintet is the MBS500 . In AMG tuned form the already good handling S class takes on breathtaking levels of athleticism. Merely flip the suspnsion control switch and choose from two flavors of tautness; nudge the button in the opposite direction and it's back to Ritz Carlton comfort. It's my favorite all around car in the group.....In the end I'd take any one of these 5 cars but I'd hope for the nearly perfect MB S 500. Add in the sports package and AMG wheels and it gets even better. I love the interior, power delivery, transmission,and most of all it's styling. Looks count for a lot, and because of that MB gets my vote." I couldn't have said it better myself. Not to mention the quotes from Automobile 99, "Best car in the world" Car and Driver 99 "World's best automobile" etc etc. TO appreciate any car you have to have it for more than 15 minutes on a test drive. That's what I did and I came to the same conclusion as the automotive critics, the S class Benz IMHO is the best car in the world bar none.....
  • paulchiupaulchiu Posts: 378
    Any of you bought this? DID=1068&CAT ID=211&clear Attribute=true

    Any comments?

  • ejerodejerod Posts: 86
    Whoa 225 bucks for a model ? I bought the model of the SLR Vision from the parts department at the dealer for 40 bucks. Unless there is a market for model cars akin to the market that has developed for rare baseball cards I don't think any model car is worth 225 bucks... I love my Mercedes but
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Sorry, I guess I wasn't clear. No, the SLR Vision model is not $225. Just the one of the classic car models that is in the MBUSA website. I'm curious Eric, which scale did you buy? 1:18?

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  • taisontaison Posts: 71
    We recently got our new S Class. It's a Desert Silver/Java S500 with the sport package. The pictures show it with a few coats of Zaino. My favorite picture is the view from the front. Check out the pics here and see:

  • benznutbenznut Posts: 104
    As I have said before, I am in the market for a S Class. I finally found one from a private seller in my neighborhood in Bloomfield Hills in Michigan. It is a S 500. It is fully loaded, Expresso Designo exterior, ash interior (and believe it or not, it has leather dash, fully loaded, including ABC, Sport Package, wood package and Power Heated Individual rear seats. It is wonderful to see. It has 5400 miles and the guy is asking 99K. It is a wonderful opportunity. The only thing that is keeping me from getting it is that I want to know more about the S55 AMG. I know I will have to wait a while. Would the wait be worth for what the S55 is better than a comparably equipped S500? I have a very short time to decide. The Owner says he got it for 109 total. He wants to sell it, because his wife doesn't feel comfortable driving it in the snow with the performance tires. He took me ot on a test drive, on a deserted stretch in the I 696, where he went up to 109 miles per hour, literally humiliating whatever was on the road, while the Benz was maintaining its cool as if it was cruising at 35 mph. Very quiet. I was sold, although the price is a little soared, and if i wanted to spend this much I would have liked the 355 hp S55 capable of 155 mph. And also, I do nat have four cars 100K+ in my garage, as i have worked hard for my money, and i think my CLK 320 just is not doing it any more for me.
    Hope to hear from anybody who has driven the S55 to tell me some impressions or a wait time.
  • merckxmerckx Posts: 565
    These things are so subjective,but I really don't see the attraction of the S55. The cladding and lower profile tires look too recherche--they just look silly on a car of this caliber. A large car can not really ever be an overtly sporting drive. If one wants a more exclusive car,the CL500 is a fabulous car. I think the styling is stunning. The tapered C-pillar is beautiful.i am really moved by this car. With the beautiful but low roof,I wish the sunroof wasn't standard. That,and the slippery and somewhat tacky wood steering wheel, are my only reservations..
  • I agree in principle with your statements, but only because of perception. It is generally acknowledged that a large car, such as the S series, can not really ever be an overtly sporting drive. For that reason, it does in my opinion look silly. In reality however, this car defies perception. With ABC and the low profile tires, this car is very impressive as a sporting drive. The appearance however is paradoxical.
  • I am in the market for a new car and am wondering if anybody has one or has seen the Designo Silver Edition interior in the new MB S500 and, if so, is it worth the additional $9750.00? I think the basic interior of the S500 is a far cry from the new Lexus LS 430's luxurious interiors. Also, does anyone know if MB plans to put the cd player in the dash for its 2002 models. They are behind the times with the cd in the trunk as at present. Thanks for any input you can provide.
  • I just purchased my new 2001 S600 today at EuroMotor Cars in bethesda,md. I love it and it was worth the wait! The V12 is amazing! the price was a little high, but i dont mind. it has all of the options and tomorrow im sending it up to ultrasmith in NY,NY to have some tvs, dvds, and other luxury items installed. i would recommend this over the 7-series anyday. great buying experience! if ya have the money, i definatley recommend it! - great customisers, makes it stand out a little bit

  • jgts1jgts1 Posts: 32
    At least for the S-Class, the Designo is nice looking (Silver and Espresso)- but $10,000!!!!....for different paint, leather, wood. Even the sales lady rolled her eyes when I asked about it.

    Seriously, being different is nice...but to be honest, the Designo editions don't enhance the Sclass that much to warrant such a premium.

    A standard Sclass- without a Designo package makes a strong statement.

    Just my opinion.
  • Does the sports package add anything to the car except the tires, rims, and sheetmetal pieces? Any improvement to the brakes to handle the larger tires?
  • No, it doesn't. In typical Mercedes tradition, the brakes are probably over-engineered to begin with. However, if you are really concerned and you have the extra cash, check out . Other tuners, including AMG, should have the upgrades as well.
This discussion has been closed.