Used 2003 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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2003 Mercedes-benz S-class - Consumer Reviews

2003 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan

Average Consumer Rating

57 Total Reviews

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I miss my BMW 750iL
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By motts71
on

Vehicle

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


Review

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.


Favorite Features

It feels quality for the most part.


Suggested Improvements

Needs more get up and go, better handling in the sweeping bends of the highway.


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Farewell to all that
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Jersey guy
on

Vehicle

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


Review

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.


Favorite Features

Sleek, handsome styling, great interior room and comfort -- best appearance of any vehicle in its class. Excellent sound system. Power assist doors and trunk quiet and efficient. Wood trim surpasses in quality and appearance anything offered by the competition. Leather seats of high quality.


Suggested Improvements

Engineers, electronics experts, please start over. (Actually, new version S class is much better.) Mind your suppliers' quality. Daimler used to do this so well. Hard to believe such a beautiful vehicle could cause such trouble and stress.


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Straight Line Speed and Comfort
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By S600 Owner
on

Vehicle

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


Review

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.


Favorite Features

Power from the TTV12, Comfort Wow-Factore Stares (White exterior) straight line performance


Suggested Improvements

Handling - the amount of understeer is making me consider selling the car (2,000 miles on tires). If you are looking for speed and comfort as long as recognition this car is for you. But if you are looking for a sports car-better be ok with "just" drag races


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2003 S500
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By FRANK
on

Vehicle

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


Review

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.


Favorite Features

Excellent ride and acceleration. Great gas mileage for type of car


Suggested Improvements

Plastic front splash panel too low. Sometimes scrapes


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Sleek, powerful, problematic
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Lawman
on

Vehicle

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


Review

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.


Favorite Features

Interior is posh and extremely comfortable. Exterior design is handsome. GPS system is very good, although need to change disks is a nuisance. Voice recognition for audio commands is fun and it works well. When the car runs well, it is exceptionally smooth and powerful -- a joy to drive.


Suggested Improvements

Surprisingly cheap plastic at bottom (frame) of seats. Better to have fewer electronic gizmos and ensure that those retained do work. Allow autonomous operation of radio (now linked to COMMAND/GPS system).


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