by Jersey guy on Apr 2, 2010 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.
by Lawman on Jul 15, 2008 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.
by The Young Looker on May 2, 2008 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
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.