2003 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Mercedes-Benz S-Class

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Mercedes-Benz S-Class Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 4.3 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 275 hp @ 5500 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 15/22 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation Yes
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2003 Mercedes-Benz S-Class

  • With sizable increases in performance, safety and refinement, Mercedes-Benz has shown that it's not about to take a backseat to anyone else in the premium luxury sedan market.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    World-class performance, state-of-the-art safety features, spacious and comfortable cabin.

  • Cons

    Complicated COMAND system, standard V8 models not as much fun to drive as BMW 7 Series.

  • What's New for 2003

    For 2003, there is more power for the S55 and S600 models, both of which now put out nearly 500 horsepower. Also Pre-Safe, a system that detects an imminent impact and quickly adjusts seating positions as well as seatbelt tension to better safeguard the occupants, debuts. Mercedes' 4Matic all-wheel-drive system becomes available on the S430 and S500 and a minor freshening inside and out are meant to keep these big Benzes near the top of luxury car buyer's shopping lists.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (21 total reviews)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Farewell to all that

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Vehicle: 2003 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S430 4dr Sedan (4.3L 8cyl 5A)

Owned the car for 3 yrs, bought used at 38,500 mi. Beautifully styled exterior and luxurious, comfy interior -- wonderful to look at and to ride in. However, I have never owned a more problematic Benz (this is my fifth). Most of the issues were electronic defects, most notably gear shift that jammed in "P" because of defective sensor, which took dealer months to figure out; A/C sensor needed replacement after a few yrs; the V-belt broke apart on the highway, causing loss of power; front-end vibration required new engine mount; air suspens. struts replaced; CD remote multi-changer stopped working -- and more. I bid farewell to the car today, more in sorrow than in anger.



2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sleek, powerful, problematic

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Vehicle: 2003 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S430 4dr Sedan (4.3L 8cyl 5A)

This is my 5th Benz, but first S-class. The car is beautifully designed and well-appointed. Handling is excellent, comfort is superb. It is one of the greatest highway touring machines ever made. At the same time, there have been irksome quality issues. I have had the car about one year, and in that time have endured five major (and costly) problems. A sensor malfunctioned in the trunk, effectively immobilizing the car. The gear shift assembly jammed in park and had to be replaced. The air seal struts developed a leak and had to be sealed. The V-belt broke during a highway drive, lost all power and the engine promptly overheated. Disappointing. Fuel economy is good, 26 highway.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

A best buy

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Vehicle: 2003 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S430 4dr Sedan (4.3L 8cyl 5A)

Definetely a real good deal when buying used ( low mileage ). Besides the car's still a real good looker, the 2003 430 can provide exceptional comfort, nothing a car of it's age can. Performance is not significant, however is not underpowered. Those who desires performance might go with the 500 or the twin turbocharged 600. Watch for driver's side electronic seat, it might be disfunctional due to aging. Others, are exceptional



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

1st time

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Vehicle: 2003 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S430 4dr Sedan (4.3L 8cyl 5A)

An outstanding auto on the open road. Eye catching vehicle with a smooth and quiet ride, handles well, plenty of cabin room. Been in shop 4 times for power assist problems with trunk (on last trip, power assist doors went on blink as well). Scheduling another appointment- this time trunk will only open with valet key. Noisy front seats remedied after 3rd try with replacement of plastic seat guides. Cup holder design poor. Navigation system- too many key strokes and street info on CD is paltry. Still love the vehicle, but frustrated by the mutiple vists to repair items that I would not expect on a vehicle with less than 32000 miles- let alone a MB.




Best car i have ever

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Vehicle: 2003 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S430 4dr Sedan (4.3L 8cyl 5A)

I bought this car 6 months ago and have not had any major complaints so far. The interior is very comfortable and the fact that it comes standard with navigation, leather, and heated front seats was a huge bonus. It handles very well, and even though it is rear wheel drive, it has shown to be pretty reliable in the snow. Definitly a "looker". The only thing that I dont like is the occasional knocks and bump that I hear in the doors and ceiling. That happens on all cars but I didn't expect it from this one. And the brakes create excessive brake dust and cause a high pitched sceech when applying the brakes. It's always fixed but still a nuisance.




S430

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Vehicle: 2003 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S430 4dr Sedan (4.3L 8cyl 5A)

I traded in a 2001 LS430 for the S430. The Lexus was a little too pretty, could not corner and terribly boring to drive. The S430 now has 18000 miles on it, no visits to the dealer except for one oil change. It drives like a BMW with the quality of the Lexus.



Full 2003 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Review

What's New for 2003

For 2003, there is more power for the S55 and S600 models, both of which now put out nearly 500 horsepower. Also Pre-Safe, a system that detects an imminent impact and quickly adjusts seating positions as well as seatbelt tension to better safeguard the occupants, debuts. Mercedes' 4Matic all-wheel-drive system becomes available on the S430 and S500 and a minor freshening inside and out are meant to keep these big Benzes near the top of luxury car buyer's shopping lists.

Talk About The 2003 S-Class

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 15
  • cty
/
  • 22
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs