2000 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Review
Pros & Cons
- Stylish, smooth and bursting with power, the new S-Class boasts more gizmos than Inspector Gadget.
- Complicated COMAND system is difficult to operate.
Edmunds' Expert Review
Fast, luxurious and technically advanced, the S-Class should continue to be a favorite of movers and shakers.
Large Mercedes sedans have always been sought-after by the elite. They scream success, are engineered to be driven hard, and keep the general public at bay. The S-Class projects confidence, prestige and good taste. For 2000, Mercedes offers a new breed of S-Class sedan that is both technologically advanced and seeping with style.
Sporting a coupe-like profile and a traditional oval-headlight face, the 2000 S-Class is leaner and sleeker than ever before. Weighing nearly 500 pounds less than the previous model, the V8-powered 2000 S-Class is three inches shorter, but gains an inch of rear legroom.
Two models are available: the 275-horspower S430, which comes with a 4.3-liter V8 engine, and the 302-horsepower S500, which boasts a 5.0-liter V8 under the hood. Both are suited up with fully independent four-link front and five-link rear suspensions, ABS and Brake Assist (which reduces braking distance in panic stops), Electronic Stability Program (ESP) and BabySmart child-seat protection. Eight airbags are standard, including two head-protection curtain airbags and a passenger airbag that deploys with partial or full force, depending on the car's speed at impact.
New on the S-Class is a standard COMAND (Cockpit Management And Data) system, which can be directed by voice commands, steering-wheel controls or buttons near the display screen. The system controls the navigation program, hands-free cellular phone and stereo/CD controls. Another new innovation is Mercedes' TeleAid function, which puts a driver in touch with a Protection One representative for help in emergencies, roadside assistance or general information. Also premiering on the 2000 S-Class is a smart cruise control system that utilizes radar sensors to keep the car at a specified distance from the car in front of you. When the car you are following slows down, the S-Class automatically applies the brakes to maintain the specific distances you have set.
Performance buffs can add some sport to their S-Class by ordering the S-Class Sport package. Offered on both the S430 and S500 models, the Sport package includes an aggressive body kit with an AMG-designed front spoiler, sculpted rocked panels and a new rear apron. AMG Monoblock 18-inch alloy wheels with 245/45YR18 tires up front and 275/40YR18 tires in back are also part of this $4,800 package.
Other amenities include a Bose Beta sound system, automatic transmission, an optional ventilated seat that circulates air through the cushion, 14-way power front seats and a tilt/telescoping steering column. Priced conservatively, the 2000 S430 and S500 models are quite enticing.