I bought this car in Nov. 1996. After 80,000 miles I had to replace the transmission. That was the blast and only unreasonable repair I've made. I now have 200,750 miles on it. At 200,000. the evaporator in the A/C was leaking and had to be replaced. It was costly, $3400. but it is a great car and I paid the price. My family suggested`I buy a new car, but even an E class was going to cost me close to $60,000. and since I love this car it was`a no brainer. The trunk is large, and as they say, I could raise a family of five in the back seat. When I buy a new car it will probably be a diesel, not because of gas mileage, but because of less maintenance. I get 17.5 mpg city.
My 1997 S420 is the worst car I have ever owned! I bought it with 80,000 miles on it and now have 160,000 on it. I have a lot of problems with it. The engine is good and everything but the trim on the doors was coming off, the rear passenger side window doesn't work, the soft-close door/trunk feature doesn't work anymore, the A/C isn't as cold as it use to be, and the brakes squeak very loudy although they were replaced. The black paint is starting to show its age and rust. The front springs are squeaking and need to be replaced too. Everyone else that owns this car doesn't have these problems so maybe I got the bad apple of the bunch. I do like how solid and fast this car is at high speeds.
12-power seats with power lumbar support. Power-folding side view mirrors.
Mercedes-Benz really needs to step up the quality of their cars considering how much they cost up-front and to maintain. My next car will definitely not be a Mercedes-Benz S550!
She's a highway machine. Silky smooth accelleration. She holds the road like an autobahn purebread. The engine rules, except for those pesky oil journals (nice job designer guys). When the miles start to rack up, the strangest things start to go out on it. Air coditioner wierdness, transmission gremlins (limp home mode?!) leave you and the dealership scratching your head as to what's wrong (computer diagnostics?!). The heaviness of the car eats suspension and brake parts. On a positive note, if you can find a mechanic who can identify and fix the little strange things that will happen to this car, it will last forever!
Engine and suspension.
Engineer the parts on the machine to last as long as the engine.
This was the car that turned a
certified car nut like myself into
someone who just wants cheap
transportation. I bought this car new
and in the first year had over $10K of
warranty work . . . I finally sold it
after 12 months and bought a
Volkswagen! A partial list: engine
torn down to replace timing chains due
to constant whine, transmission slip
shifting, rattles, radio not connected
at the factory, temperature sensor
intermittent, damaged paint, and
finally, the total arrogance of the
factory zone reps!
The solid nature of the car. Feeling
of heft and security
Benz has continued downhill with the
build quality of the ML, C Class, and
others. Can't think of anything that
would bring me back to Mercedes. C/D
put it quite aptly: "Anyone with
wiggle room on their MasterCard can
afford to get into the Benz."