"I have read about half the reviews here, the individual comments, most of them very flattering, and as I read each one of them they reminded me of my own mostly excellent experiences.
I bought my Magnificent 7 Bondmobile (an identically styled and Arctic Silver colored 7 starred in "Tomorrow Never Dies", except it had the V12, I believe) 1998 740iL in Oct 2005, at the peak of the gas prices. Its owner drive it 120 miles a day but needed the large trunk of a Yukon and was selling it. He would give it to me for only $9k as is, or $10.5 k fully fixed and detailed, and I chose the latter.
I took a risk, did not even take it to a mechanic, test drove it twice first, though. But I thought, even if it proves a total lemon, what did I lose? $10.5k is not even half the first year depreciation of a new 7, and mine looked better than the Bangle-butt next gen back in 2005.
I bought it with 113k miles and now it has 127.5 and still drives like new. It is a Decathlete Renaissance car, not only good on the highway, where its weight, size and Loooong Wheelbase brilliantly contribute to a fantastic enjoyment, but also, amazingly, in narrow one-lane country roads and in the city as well!
This is a no-compromise car, more than enough power, excellent handling, good highway MPG (22-25 at high speeds too!) excellent interior, luxurious wood and leather, tasteful design. This is not a Buick! It is a DRIVER's car.
Reliability has not been as bad as Consumer Reports would lead you to believe. I change the oils every year with expensive synthetic. I had one or two repairs in 4 years that were serious, but not Engine or Transmission, I also replaced the (original!) battery.
On the downside, the car hates very cold weather, I garage it in the winter but my work has no close garage and more than twice last winter its new battery needed a jump. Also don't expect more than 15-17 city MPG, and on short cold trips it can go below 12.
I have not owned an S class but I see many owners here who have, say the 7 is far superior in driving experience.
I gave it 5 stars everywhere, except in Quality (it is unacceptable that some interior trim can fall off, like door clips etc) and reliability (because of an oil leak and a belt break which required a new radiator and hoses and belts, and left me stranded until a friend picked me up)"
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