I bought mine a year ago, and in spite of my love hate relationship with the car, it is still my dream car. My 99 S500 is my second Mercedes, the first being a 420sel, has enough power to move like a F16 in a dog fight with a Boeing 747. She is truly a contender for the greatest car of all time, certainly a top 3 finisher, and even at 14 years old she can still turn heads.
The way she handles, rides and the POWER. The fact that it makes enough noise that people stop and stare yet it can be quiet an subtle.
Maintenance and parts costs are outrageous yet, often validated...so I would say change nothing except fuel efficiency. I average about 13mpg and thats a combined city and highway number.
My first W140 experience was with the first year, 1992 600 SEL with 72K miles in perfect condition. I put 5,000 miles on it over 3 years and had $8000 in repairs! Avoid the early years! As of 6/2011 I decided to give the last year model (1999 S600 with 48K miles) another chance because of my fondness of this body style and incredible interior. Took in for basic oil change/tranny service. Back window bracket broke at $425 and another $1200 in adaptive dampening system. A beautiful and awesome car, powerful, incredible options but only great as a "Sunday driver" as they are just not dependable and extremely expensive to repair and maintain. So it is a "Love/Hate" relationship. 400 miles added
The express up and down windows are great. Bose stereo the best! Power tilt and telescopic wheel is great. Suction door/trunk is a nice feature. Almost 400hp and 420lbs of torque is main reason for buying, fun to drive.
The safety features are nice to have, even tho I hope to never have to need them.
Too many favorite options to list, nice that the S600 comes with all, this one has park assist as well.
Car is huge and heavy which I equate with safety, so another main reason for buying this car.
I really like the masculine design and dislike the following 2000-2006 body style=generic looking and interior bland looking.
These cars are incredibly over-engineered so lots of potential things to break down. Just make sure you can afford to maintain one if you buy a W140
Our second 140-body Benz, total 15 years. Drove a '93 two extra years while I looked for a clean lo-mile '99, the 140's last year. Father- in-law's a big guy who played basketball for Pitt, so we need big front AND back seats. Mausoleum-quiet, heavy, comfortable. Four people can have a civilized conversation @ 70 mph. Don't buy one if you're not up to the parts chase, and the search for cooperative repair shops. But at $10K for a good lo- mileage example, this is a LOT of road car for the money. Used S cars have great initial- build-quality per dollar. Don't buy one unless you really want a big old German car with a decidedly Teutonic personality.
Quiet; heavy; cruiseworthy; comfortable for ALL passengers. Best businesslike side- silhouette for such a big car ever, imo. Drive up anywhere and it still looks right. Great interior materials and build quality.
Cup holders an obvious oversight. Now there are aftermarket versions. Pneumatic door- closers are failure prone w/ age. Stronger sway bars? It's a love-it-or-leave-it big honkin' road cruiser. Great ride, moderate acceleration, some maintenance hassles. Don't like that combo? Don't get one!
This car is the ultimate highway cruiser. The 6 cyl engine has plenty of power for passing and puts many V8's to shame with its smoothness and power. I have owned this car for many years and it has been super reliable and rather inexpensive to operate. If maintained correctly a Mercedes and even a complicated S class can provide years of reliable transportation at a reasonable cost. Even though this is a large car with a 6 cylinder engine its very fast. For its size it also handles really well. I had to follow a co worker in his Nissan 350z and had no problem keeping up with him even with his attempts to loose me on back roads.
Double paned Argon filled windows, Multi-door seals with pneumatic closure system, 14 speaker Bose Audio, Brutally cold A/C system that can run for up to 15 minutes when the car is off. Bank vault like noise deadening. Ride quality and handling. Reliability A+++
Bring this car back into production. The new S class cars while dripping with electronics don't hold a candle to the build quality and features this car has. Ergonomics could be improved but some of the weirdness gives this car more personality than the boring Japanese cars.
Bought this car with 48K miles, now have 60K. First S-Class I've owned. Last of the S-classes where Mercedes only used top quality materials. Doors close like a vault. This is our mini- van alternative. I've been driving this for 18 months and still puts a smile on my face every time and feel safe putting my kids in it. Double pane glass makes for incredible quiet ride. Car is 500lbs heavier then newer models, but drives nicer. I have never experienced more comfortable seats, with their separate bottom cushion controls. No mechanical issues. Fixed close-assist motor and wheel sensor. For road trips, nothing better. Arrive relaxed. Sitting in traffic in silent cabin, no problem. Just buy one
The super silent double pane windows. Most comfortable seats. Close assist doors and trunk. High quality interior materials.