I have owned my car since 2003, it currently has 212,000 mile runs as new, everything works. Maintenance is a must- after warranty never never take to a MB dealer - find an independant shop that work on MB's. The car drives better than the new S550, just missing the technology of the newer car, but rides and handles much better. take care of the car and it will take care of you in comfort.
i purchased my 2001 s500 with 86K miles on it for $12K. i now have 188K miles and it still drives like new. i am still amazed that people still bring their cars to the dealership for repairs??!! ANY vw mechanic can work on your benz. it is not rocket science. i needed to have my water pump replaced and it cost me $500.00 out the door including parts and labor. other than that, i just bring it to jiffy lube for the fluids and oil changes. this car has cost less in repairs than any other car i have owned and gets about 20 mpg.
I bought my 2001 S500 with 8,000 miles back in 2004, and it presently has 110,000 miles on it. I have been generally happy with the vehicle. My worst experience in owning this vehicle is having to deal with Mercedes Benz Dealers/Dealerships/Service Departments. Once your Mercedes warranty runs out, the service departments at Mercedes dealers are forever trying to recommend unnecessary repairs to the vehicle. The dealers are constantly looking to fabricate repairs to bill to the extended warranty company. Most, if not all of these repairs are unnecessary. The Mercedes dealers make the ownership experience miserable. Stay away from them and you'll do fine.
I bought it in 2013, thinking I was getting a good deal, but it is old and now the car is starting to deteriorate quickly. I spent over $4,000 this past year on the AC, Motor Mounts, Transmission mounts, oil valve cover, O2 sensors, hoses. It hit 100,000 miles and the tune up is due. Even without labor and wholesale, the cost of 16 spark plugs and wires is $500! Now my suspension is going and its in the shop. Waiting for a revised estimate since they keep adding more parts. I would not buy a old Mercedes again. I spent another $3000 on the car in 2016. I loved the car, but it is a money pit.
I currently own a 1983 380SL and a 2001 S430. I have owned a 280SE and a 380SEL. My S430 radio will not receive AM anymore; a $1200 estimate by Mercedes to fix. The fob does not unlock, nor will it lock the doors; a $2400 estimate from Mercedes dealer to fix. The trunk will not open, only by the key in the fob; $1200 estimate to fix. This S430 is fragile in many places, like the seat frames and center console ash trays (doors) plastic grill, and over 100 switches between the front door buttons. The AC controls are fickle, and the "check engine" light comes on for no good reason. This S430 will be my last Mercedes Benz. I feel as though I have been snookered. Quality is fleeting. Given the multitude of buttons and the lack intuition with most of them, it is nearly impossible to make a selection without taking your eyes from road. In times of heavy traffic, it's dangerous - so you end -up tolerating the auto selections set by the "technologies designed in", until you get to your own driveway where you can spend the rest of the evening in the vain attempt to reset every damn button. Simplicity and safety are synonymous. I look forward to the self driving cars, so you just say the name of your psychiatrist and bingo, if you're lucky you'll get there before he takes his own life - found dead, sitting in HIS Mercedes Benz with the owners manual in his lap; handwritten notes all around, engine still running, and a flashing light saying "start again"!