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

2003 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Mercedes-Benz S-Class Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 5.5 L V 12-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 493 hp @ 5000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 12/17 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.

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.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



I miss my bmw 750il

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

I miss the quick warm ups, the handling, and the performance of my BMW. The Mercedes rear window defroster works very slowly, the car takes a long time to warm up. It is strictly a luxury car. I do like the fact that it has had fewer trips to the dealer than the BMW, but it is not as enjoyable to drive. Oh yes, the windshield washer tank keeps leaking so I always have a malfunction showing on the dash, and when that shows, you cannot access the other features of the car's computer.



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.




Straight line speed and comfort

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Vehicle: 2003 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S600 4dr Sedan (5.5L 12cyl Turbo 5A)

Have owned the car for about a month now and I am no sure I still love it. The straight line speed is second to none, I have driven ferraris that won't throw you back in your seat like this does. Being able to spin the rear-wheel at any speed under 50mph is incredible. Burnouts are as simple as turning off traction control and giving half throttle. However, the handling does not compare to the BMW 760Li I own. The understeer is so overwhelming it is almost dangerous, you are stunned the first time you take an off ramp at 50 and the tires begin to squeal yet the car keeps traveling in the same direction-scary. Also, driving in the rain is asking for trouble, traction control MUST stay on.



10 of 10 people found this review helpful

2003 s500

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Vehicle: 2003 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S500 4dr Sedan (5.0L 8cyl 5A)

Excellent vehicle. has power style and ride. I get 24 miles/gal highway. Not good in snow. Other than regular oil change very little maintenance cost. Excellent sound and heating system. Handles well.



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



Talk About The 2003 S-Class

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

johndude
johndude
06-03-2006
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.?...


ebs1
ebs1
12-29-2008
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 ?...


merc1
merc1
06-05-2002
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?...



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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 12
  • cty
/
  • 17
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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