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

2003 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan


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Mercedes-Benz S-Class Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 5.5 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 493 hp @ 6100 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 13/20 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…

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (56 total reviews)

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

Straight talk on heavy repair

by on
Vehicle: 2002 Mercedes-Benz S-Class

The bargain price of today hides expensive repairs. It has design flaws: cup holders, knee hits seat warmer, ugly center console. It has known leak issues and electrical issues. It has air suspension issues. Auto door locks and trunk flaws. Don't forget the untreated metal that rusts from the inside. Watch for rust around tire wells all up and down sides. Rust quote was $2700. The gorgeous slick design holds water. The car is now 11 so expect collapsed engine mounts, catalytic converter rattles, drive shaft flex disk...So you can plan on buying it for $6-7K and putting 6-8K into it and you will get a beautiful smooth powerful ride that originally cost $80K+ and the engine will go to 200K mi.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Balanced perspective

by on
Vehicle: 2002 Mercedes-Benz S-Class

I bought a used 2002 S430 in November of 2012. It was $11,000. I immediately had an issue with the air suspension which leaked and I had Peter, a local mechanic (SilverStar Motors) who specialized in Mercedes fix it. He is much more reasonable than the dealership but the repair was $1400. He warned me the car has a history of expensive issues. I replaced the tires with ContiPro fro $600. I did not have any additional issues until recently it was side-swiped on the street and the driver mirror was tore off. The parts alone are over $1000 and I'm looking at 1300-$1,500 with labor and paint. To pile on my check engine light came on and the car has a bit of a shake and rough idle. We will see.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

Very expensive to repair

by on
Vehicle: 2002 Mercedes-Benz S-Class

Bought this car new. Thought I would keep it for 10 yrs. Or 200,000 miles. It might last but the repair bills after 100,000 miles is way out of line. Had many problems with this car. Front end work, gear selector replaced, auto doors repaired, all items you would not expect to break, could not lock doors, many other items. I made the mistake in keeping this car too long. I have had many Mercedes this was the worst for repair. Do not think I will be buying another one.

Gas Mileage


  • 13
  • cty
  • 20
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

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

2003 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Discussions See all Started By

My girlfriend has a 2003 S600 with about 40k on it. She found out a few months ago that the warranty had JUST expired on the car. Turns out it has LOTS of problems with the engine and transmission.?...

My $70,000 Mercedes S430 2003 is showing signs of significant Rust above both rear wheel wells. Has anyone ever experienced this problem before? To correct and repaint the rusty areas I am looking ?...

MBUSA's website is hinting that there is an "addition" to the S-Class for 2003. I wonder what that could be. Anyone have any info on the 2003 S?...