Used 2003 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S430 Sedan Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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2003 Mercedes-benz S-class - Consumer Reviews

2003 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan

Average Consumer Rating

21 Total Reviews

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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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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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A best buy
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By The Young Looker
on

Vehicle

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


Review

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


Favorite Features

COMAND navigation system ( very sophisticated for a 5 years old car ) The 10 speakers Bose sound system. Self leveling air suspension


Suggested Improvements

Use directional pad button for navigation system, the circular ones, tends to be confusing for many people, and lacks efficiency.


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1st time
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By WE-R-1
on

Vehicle

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


Review

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.


Favorite Features

Ride, handling, cabin room. Eye catching body lines.


Suggested Improvements

Cup holders, navigation system.


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Best Car I Have Ever Owned
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By john
on

Vehicle

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


Review

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.


Favorite Features

Glove soft leather, navigation, all the wood in the car, looks inside and out, the huge size and amount of space for the driver and the passengers.


Suggested Improvements

Improve the brakes! I hate having the clean the rims once a week because they turn black!


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