When you bought an older S-class, you should have expected it to cost you $$$ in repairs. My 2000 S500 has cost me $12,000 in repairs since I bought it 4 years ago. Now that sounds like a lot, but when you spread it over the 4 years, it has cost me $250 per month to drive the sweetest production car on the road. When you throw in depreciation, it has cost me about $400 per month to drive it. Show me a comparable vehicle that you can drive for that cost--it's not out there. So although the S500 gives you heartache and wallet-ache at times, do the math and you'll realize it has been well worth it!
I purchased this car used in January of 2012 with 480k miles. Now, before you think I'm crazy, my reasoning was that after I test driving the car, it appeared to be mechanically sound in every way. The engine was as quiet as if it had 60k miles and the transmission shifted to perfection. Being a long time lover of Lexus, I can now appreciate the maintenance-free GS300. Since purchasing the car, I've replaced the water pump and the pulley, along with the brakes and rotors all around. So far my air suspension has been fine, although I suspect the ball joints will need replacing soon. Despite that, I'm very happy with the car. It's a joy to drive and gets a lot of attention.
Powerful 5.0L V8 engine. Very smooth and agile for its size. The timeless look of this vehicle can fool most people as to it's actual age. Also, the many MB forums on the web are great and full of very helpful information that any MB could ever need.
Putting air suspension into this vehicle was a horrible idea. Mercedes could also have done a better job with the electronics in this car. I didn't pay MSRP for this car, but I couldn't imagine buying this car brand new and dealing with the issues that I've read about so far.
Beautiful car in design. That's where the enjoyment ceases. This car is like a beautiful woman with a bad personality and poor morals. Great to look at, but once you touch it your wallet and health go south. Mercedes knew this car was a piece of trash when they built it. My car has 64,548 miles and it has managed to go through two A/C systems, CD player, window electrical problems, brakes, transmission replacement and so forth. It's fun to drive when it finally runs, but it's best to keep a good wrecker service on call at all times. Mercedes lied to their customer base and myself about this car. I will never drive another one unless it's a vintage 560 sel or 560 sl.
When it's not in the shop.
Send the car to Lexus Corporation and have them get a good laugh about their so called competitor .
Maintenence expense for this car exceeded $10,000 in the first two years. The quality was a disgrace. Major components had to be replaced. Finally found an independent machanic who virtually rebuilt it for us. Now it is a great car. Mercedes should be ashamed of the quality of this car.
Drives like a dream, plenty of interior room and great seats. Once its manufacturing flaws were corrected it became a super vehicle
A 700 page 2 vol. owners manual is beyond the average mans comprehension. Car is far too complicated to master
Overall, this is a very beautiful car that is fun to drive. However, the maintenance, even routine, is very expensive at the MZB dealers. The car is fun to drive with a smooth, solid ride, and makes long trps enjoyable. Even police officers have commented on what a beautiful car it is. I have had to pat to replace the left headlamp assembly, and the locking gas cap several times. The entire driver's seat assembly, had to be flown in from Germany and replaced, but fortunately I had purchased an extended warranty. The entire steering assembly also went out. Being so heavy, the car needs frequent brake repairs, and goes through tires quite quickly. Nevertheless, I just love this car!
Smooth ride with a very powerful, quickly accelerating engine and elegant feel make it a joy to drive. There is a lot of interior room both in front and back. The automatically closing doors are a neat feature.
The navigaton system, though handy, could be improved. Since my vehicle was manufactured in July, 1999, replacement navigation DVDs are not available. Turning the varius interior lights on and off can be confusing. The tank for windshield water seems to be defective.