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2004 Mercedes-Benz S-Class

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Consumer Reviews & Ratings

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 103 Ratings for the 2000 - 2006 models.

Review this car
more rating details
  • Value
    8.5/10
    Quality
    9.1/10
  • Reliability
    8.8/10
    Performance
    9.3/10
  • Comfort
    9.5/10
    Styling
    9.2/10
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Mercedes In Court? 2004 S430 gone bad

By on Saturday, July 2, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 54,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great if they're good"

Cons: "Dump it NOW if problems start. It won't get better, only expensive"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Let me preface this by saying I enjoy driving MB products. There are few equals to their luxury lineup. I try others, it's just not the same combo of luxury and ability to get it on. Street or track. Anyway.... I had a 2001 430S, Trans and drive train were great. Outstanding acceleration and response. Too bad it started rusting through... Got the 2004 430S. Four times vehicle would not move away from a stop light normally. Trans would go into limp mode, and not go over 10 mph. Each time, Dealer: "There aren't any codes, even if there were, doesn't mean anything is wrong" Huhh? Finally got sick and tired. Asked four very aggressive attorneys for the best lemon law guy. All recommended same guy. Called him. Told him it was a Benz. "Ohhh". He says something like... MB doesn't settle. This will go to court. Look, I can get you the value of the car, but here's the thing, if you ever spit on the side walk, MB will trot that out in court. Ever not smile at a neighbor's kid, they'll ask why. Ever smiled at a little girl? They'll probably have a suggestion for that too. OK then. MB did eventually find a meaningful error code for the trans... about a month after warranty expiration. Oh, and I forget the other problem with the 2004, where one day the engine started running rough. Dealer had car for two months. "We had to order a part ALL THE WAY FROM GERMANY..." Gee, I said, Toyota ordered a part for my Avalon from Japan on Tuesday. On Friday Toyota called and said car was ready with new part, and please accept apologies for the unacceptable long delay. Thank God it didn't have to come from GERMANY. So, why did I rate the car so high? When it's good, it's without peer."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

By on Wednesday, February 16, 2011

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
6/10

"Seats are not comfortable for distance driving. It does not ride or handle like a full size BMW I previously owned. I would not make this my first choice again. Just a stable basic car!"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Wonderful vehicle

By on Friday, February 4, 2011

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"The S-430 is a fabulous car. It's performance is terrific and drives more like a sports car than a larger saloon. It's powerful and holds the road like glue. I also found it to be very economical getting between 22 and 26 mpg depending on highway or city cycle. It is comfortable and luxurious. I have been very pleased with mine."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Best car I've owned but watch repair cost.

By on Friday, September 30, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 112,600

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fit and finish, the seats are comfortable on long trips. Car still looks like showroom."

Cons: "Cost of dealer repairs. Naviagation system is a pain to use."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Bought this car 4 years ago with 50k on the clock....now have 112K. Great Ride, Quiet and quality. Dealer cost repair can be expensive. If you are have any mechanical skills you can save a small fortune. Only had 3 issues with this car. Catalytic Converter was warrantied by Mercedes for 8 years...failed after 8 year 2 months. Mercedes Dealer wanted $1200 to repair..Mercedes does not manufacture converters, took it to a muffler shop...replaced for $250. Dash Display was warrantied by Mercedes for 10 years....failed after 10 years 2 months. Dealer wanted $950 for the display and 128 Labor to fix, all replacement display units are re-manufactured. Located a re-manufacturer in Mass. Took less than 30 sec to remove display...shipped unit to them, it was returned in 3 days. Cost of repair $165 included free shipping. Took 15 seconds to reinstall. Electric cooling fan started making noise at 110K. Dealer wanted $1100 to $1200 to fix($750 to 900 for the part)...located a new fan assembly online for $349 including shipping...ordered and had it the next day. Three bolts to remove old unit. Total of 10 minutes.."

55 people out of 56 found this review helpful

Problems with air suspension,ABC Pumps,

By on Thursday, January 6, 2011

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

"This car is good "BUT" has a major problem in suspension air suspension is very very expensive to fix , ABC(Active Body Control) pump went bad spend over $2000 In repairs,Humming Noise .The Major Problem with this year is Air Suspension ,Engine and trans are great .Under the Driver seat Compartment breaks easily Very light material used my Mercedes Benz .Think Twice Before you Buy 2000 to 2004 benz they have a lot of problem with Air Suspension and very costly to fixed"

23 people out of 24 found this review helpful

Best S class ever

By on Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 270,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Looks, reliability, fuel economy, comfort"

Cons: "none."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is my 4th S Class and 12th MB in 38 years of owning Mercedes and this is by far the best riding and best looking. I drive 40k/year, 95% on the hwy and I can easily go 6 hours or more and still feel fresh when I get to my destination. Fuel economy has gotten better as the car ages averaging 28+ on the hwy. Even at 270,000 miles the car still looks great and has all the power it had when new. Engine and transmission are original and aside from normal wear parts has never needed major work."

22 people out of 23 found this review helpful

A fantastic apex automobile

By on Friday, May 17, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Quality, technology, driving dynamics, features"

Cons: "MPG, dated navigation system"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

First photo after I detailed it the weekend after I bought it

"I never thought I would buy a Mercedes, let alone an S Class, but I found this 2002 last year with only 6700 miles on it and complete A and B services done 100 and 300 miles earlier (the Mercedes dealer obviously took advantage of the 80 year old widow that owned it). I have put 16K miles on it in the last year and I now understand why people spend $100K for these superb sedans. Even though it was built 11 years ago, it bristles with technology that has only begun to become available on lesser cars in the last few years. The fit and finish is impeccable, the materials are rich and beautifully crafted and the quality is everywhere. I have always found the 1999 - 2006 S class one of the most elegant and understated looking executive sedans out there, and I like the styling better than the 2007 and later. I am fond of telling people that it is the best handling living room I've ever driven. I live on the rugged north coast of California, so my "driveway" to get to the SF Bay Area for business is 60 miles of Highway 1. With the AMG Sport package and Active Body Control it is amazing how well this 4600 lb sedan hustles through the turns. Effortless acceleration, superb braking and all this while I am being coddled by heated or cooled seats with a back massage. The Distronic cruise control is amazing, I am so spoiled by it now I forget I don't have it in my other cars. The only feature that I really don't care for is the Navigation. Definitely showing its age, requires way too much clicking and twirling and it is not intuitive. On the other hand, the COMAND system that allows me to use voice commands for the sound system is great. I spent 5 hours the night I bought it reading the owner's manual and all the other manuals for the various features. Talk about an incredibly engineered and designed car! The number of small, thoughtful features just amazed me and I am now so completely spoiled by this car that I can't see much chance of ever getting something nicer. I expect this car to last for 300K miles with good care and still be as solid as a bank vault. One of the other downsides to the car to other buyers is the resale. I only paid $17,600 for what was originally a $101K car and I see that S Classes seem to be available cheap after about 6 years, although my suspicion is that it is because of maintenance costs as the mileage mounts. I don't care about that since I plan to keep the car for a very long time. I have put new tires on it ($1100 for Michelin Pilot Sports) and paid $425 for a B Service and Brake Fluid flush and replacement. Great service by the dealer, I can go to any Mercedes dealer anytime and have the car washed for free. My next scheduled service isn't for 10K miles since the last one, I consider that to be a plus since my other cars all ask for oil changes at @7500 miles. I have become a huge Mercedes fan after living with and thoroughly enjoying this beautiful piece of German engineering and design for a year. I look forward to many more."

38 people out of 40 found this review helpful

First photo after I detailed it the weekend after I bought it

Great value if purchased as a lease return

By on Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 125,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Quiet, safe, fast. On multiple hour trips this car keeps you fresh"

Cons: "few. Parts are more costly than a run of the mill car - but they last longer."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have had this car for car for 6 years and it has provided good value, first class comfort, amazing handling, plenty of power, and it keeps me safe. If I had to use the local Mercedes dealership to maintain the car, my rating would certainly be lower. The car is great when you have someone good maintaining it, or rather not screwing it up. The local Mercedes dealership garage would likely sabotage anything they get their hands on and then charge you an arm and a leg. They are clueless and suggest repairs that my trusted mechanic laughs about. My S430 runs like a top and has only had one flaw - something (a compressor?) in the emission system that only affects exhaust quality if it does not work. I have replaced a suspension pump, brake pads and rotors, spark plugs, battery, filters and tires - all ordinary stuff for a 9 year old car, a car that drives like it was new. These cars depreciate in their first few years, but if you buy a good used one, you get an amazing car for the same price as a cheap new car. My S430 has proved itself a value, even if it stopped working tomorrow. But I am sure, that with a honest and capable mechanic doing preventative maintenance, this car will drive like new for years to come."

20 people out of 21 found this review helpful

very expensive for maintenance

By on Saturday, March 31, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 119,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "handling style comfort durability"

Cons: "overall high cost to maintain"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Have had the S55 for 10 years---terrific car fast great handling only real downside is that it's a very high maintenance car--parts are really high/limited production and due to the complex engineering--labor is also high---I have followed the MBZ guide and for normal maintenance plus things that just break I have averaged about $4500 a year in expenses----my brother has one and he has averaged about $5700 a year so have your budget set for repairs--for example the front ABS shock went bad last month $2800 to repair versus probably $450 for a Camry--if you can't set that aside you will be very soory/and shouldn't buy a S55"

18 people out of 19 found this review helpful

So it could have been cuter.

By on Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 105,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great price, fun to drive, prestigous in nature"

Cons: "thirsty for high-dollar fuel, not a head-turner"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"What a fun car to drive in this size class! It's roomy enough for all the folks you really want in the car and nimble enough to be treated like a sports car with all five of them in there."

16 people out of 17 found this review helpful

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