2006 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Review
Pros & Cons
- Elegantly appointed and spacious cabin, feels nimble for its size, state-of-the-art safety features, strong resale value.
- Complicated COMAND system, not as athletic as some of its competitors, a few low-grade interior materials.
Used S-Class for SaleSee all for sale
Edmunds' Expert Review
Most helpful consumer reviews
S55 AMG 4dr Sedan (5.4L 8cyl S/C 5A)
This is my 5th Mercedes S Class and my 12th Mercedes. I have owned my share of Bimmers, Porsches, Lincolns, Caddys, Land Rovers and other luxury rides and I keep coming back to a Benz. A several year old, low mile, S Class, is the best car buy on the planet. Who in their right mind would spend upwards of $75,000 for a Lexus, Infiniti, BMW, or any other NEW luxury ride, when you can purchase a well sorted and well maintained pre-owned S Class for under $35,000 with a comprehensive warranty? I have put over 175,000 miles on two S Class Benz's, without any significant expenses other than normal service. I just spent over $7,000 on my 4 year old Grand Cherokee with under 100K on the odometer.
S500 4MATIC 4dr Sedan AWD (5.0L 8cyl 5A)
I have owned many luxury vehicles. I would never buy another American luxury car, especially Cadillac. The MB surpasses the Cadillac 1000% in comfort, stability, design, and value in the long run. Find a good MB mechanic vs. the dealer to do the maintenance because the dealers rip you off - like $300 for a oil change!
S430 4MATIC 4dr Sedan AWD (4.3L 8cyl 5A)
I bought my '06 S430 4matic in 2011 with 130,000 miles on it. It had a very subtle but nice lower body kit and new 20" aftermarket wheels with fresh tires. I paid $13,000 for the car. Despite the high mileage, it was in great shape. Having owned several German luxury cars in the past, I knew going in there'd be maintenance costs. I came up with a strategy for dealing with that inevitability. First, although it was to be my daily driver, I had backup vehicles to use when (not if) something broke on this car. That's important because it took away the urgency whenever something broke on the car - I would just drive my old BMW 3 series convertible for a few days or a week while waiting for a part to arrive and for me to have the time to install it. Second, although I'm not a mechanic, I can do research on the internet to diagnose a problem and hopefully find easy to follow instructions to complete common repairs. There are an unbelievable number of detailed, step-by-step instructions with pics and videos on the internet Mercedes forums and Youtube. Third, I have a 4-post hobbyist lift in my garage. That makes doing many, many diagnostics and repairs so much easier. 4 post lifts cost about $2,000 and can be delivered directly to your garage. You can put it together yourself in a day or hire someone to set it up for you for about $500. Fourth, I have a mechanic that lets me provide my own parts and he just charges me labor. This saves me ALOT in repair costs. You will probably need to develop a relationship with the mechanic before he allows this, but referring friends and family to him is a shortcut to developing such a relationship. It also means staying away from the Mercedes dealership and using an independent repair shop. There are some repairs that I just don't have the time, talent or tools to take on, and having good mechanic for the tough stuff is a must. Fifth, gathering up a decent set of tools and an OBDII scanner is a must. But, with Harbor Freight and Northern Tools and other discount tool sources, it's not that expensive to do that. Be sure to get a decent toolbox or chest to keep your tools organized. Sixth, don't be afraid to buy used parts when appropriate from salvage yards as well as use quality non-OEM parts. This can save you 50% to 80% easily on parts over what a dealership costs. My S430 now has over 200,000 miles on it and it is going strong. I have gotten to know the car and am not afraid to do some easy repairs - for example the Airmatic suspension system. It's relatively easy to fix the air suspension, and with aftermarket suppliers, I would even say it is cheap to repair. For example, the first Airmatic problem I had was a big one requiring replacement of the air pump and problems with both front struts. Had I taken it to the dealer, it would have been nearly $7,000 to repair. After researching on the internet, I was able to buy a rebuilt air pump and replace the top strut seals all by myself. About 6 hours of total labor and $900 in parts, including the cost of a special strut tool. If your mindset in buying a used Mercedes that's out of warranty is to take it to the dealership every time it breaks, pretty much any model Mercedes (or other luxury vehicle of any brand) will eat you alive in repair costs. But, with a DIY mindset, you can keep them running great on a reasonable repair budget. The W220 series cars are fantastic automobiles. Update: September 7, 2018 - I sold the car about 10 months ago. Replaced it with an '08 Audi A8L. The Audi is a newer generation with technology than my old S430, but it has been in constant need of repair, literally from the moment I bought it. I expect things to go wrong with an older German luxury sedan, but the Audi makes my S430 seem like a Honda Accord in terms of reliability. I will probably sell the Audi soon and go back to another S-Class Mercedes, around a 2010 model. Every Mercedes I've had has been a relatively reliable vehicle, and I've had 3 with well over 200,000 miles.
S500 4dr Sedan (5.0L 8cyl 7A)
HI everyone, I bought my 06 Mercedes s500 with only 40k on it about a year ago and put about 60k on it. The car has 100k now, but here is where the horror story begins. At 100k the Service needed to be done (Spark Plugs, Oil change, all lubes) $560 and $2000 at the dealer. After two months the SAM went out, my TPMS sensors went out, Brakes went out, AIRMATIC PUMP went out and the car sat to the floor, The Secondary Air Injection went out. This car is very beautiful and comfortable and I used it a lot. If I went to the dealership I would have paid over $9000 for all of those services i mentioned above, I am not that type to go to the dealer but $4000 is still not a cheap price to pay. This car has many pumps and gadgets that can go out, be prepared to replace them at 100k! After that hopefully it will go for another 100k with normal maintaining.