Pros: "Outstanding integration of Mercedes engineering."
Cons: "none, I knew what I wanted in a car."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have owned this for many years and this 2005 S430 has proven to be an outstanding road car. Travel from the the West Coast to the East Coast I adveraged 27 mpg mixed driving. I save the numbers and ran the math after 3,700 mile trips of mixed driving and the average was always 27 MPG. This car runs like the 280 SE I had. Point it down the road and all of the engineering comes into play. The integration of the engineering is outstanding.
I found a 2006 S430 4matic and shipped it to my brother in South Carolina. He told me that he would not purchase another car unless it was a Mercedes S Class.
I like preventive maintenance so at 50,000 miles I replace the brakes on both axles, replaced the transmission fulid, the differential oil, the radiator fluid, new fuel filter, new transmission fliter, rocker panels that run under the doors, new battery, the best Michelin tires I can place on this car (including spare) and the B Service. I always ask for an oil sample and send it to the Blackstone Labs for oil analysis. The oil reports have always come back as perfect.
My main area of driving is in the high altitude deserts of Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico. I have my car detailed twice a year at the Mercedes. I use to commute to work at an average of 180 miles per day. This car has not diappointed me. I expected the best in engineering and the integration of that engineering and this car continues to provide that satisfaction."
"The S500 is a dream car to drive locally or cross country. Raw power coupled with shear comfort sets the S500 apart from others. Really like the body style of my 2000 model over the 2012/13 models. Just terrific suspension and the Bose sound system fit perfectly for cruising up Pacific Coast Highway outside Santa Barbara. Really easy to blow people off the road on the interstate."
"I bought is car second hand and paid $7,436 in Jan 2013. It has done 165,000km and in very good condition. I think the ex-owners had looked after it very meticulously. It has a greyish colour body and blueish colour interior. Fully optioned to the extent that it has a fridge, electric trunk lid and a TV + in-car mobile phone. I have spent some money to repair it, the key ones being: O2 sensors, MAF, oil changes (engine + transmission), water host and recently oil leak at the front of engine. Considering a 11 years old car,it is not bad. However, like other reviews had mentioned, it has a flimsy build in the passenger compartment and also give an impression that very plastic feel. Things break easily. Compared to a BMW 7 series E38 I drove, this one even has water stains sipping into the window glass from the top. I feel a bit disappointed with the quality but then for a well maintained car which worth $90+K when new, I think it is still worth the money as long as the maintenance is not catching up with me in a big way... soon."
Cons: "Weak cup holder, gas mileage, 2 tire choices"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought a 2004 AMG 55 8 months ago with 64,000 miles. To be honest, I was expecting something expensive to pop up shortly after purchase, because this is what happened when I bought a used BMW 740il, as well as when I purchased a used 911 cabriolet. I expect to spend about $2000.00 to $2500.00 when I purchase a used German vehicle. It's just the nature of beast in my eyes. But after 8 months and 11,000 miles, I haven't spent a nickel on this car yet beyond gas. I drove it from TX to Phoenix and back 2 days after I bought it. I always knew I would eventually get an 04 to an 06, because the 07 looks horrible to me and I am throughly pleased with this car. I am due for it's Service B soon and it will need new ball joints, but the way I drive it, yeah, I'm not surprised. I don't see me ever getting rid of it minus it getting totalled in an accident. I can never go back to a BMW now and I used to be a die hard Bimmer lover. I am a MB man now."
"Quality in all aspects, very comfortable - Lots of leg room in front and back, superb drive with total control and braking, we love everything about this car. We have maintained (oil, check-ups, etc) according to MB's recommendations and expect this car to go for 300K miles or more. Another good point for these cars is that MB does not alter the style dramatically year to year so even after several years, they are not "dated"."
"Best car I've owned and/or driven.
Bought it used in 2011.
Aside from an electrical issue w/ the battery, and automatic trunk, this car has been perfect.
Acceleration, ride and comfort are best in class. Need to pass on the highway, 60mph to 80 with no hesitation or downshift. Smooth.
Tons of interior room (i'm 6'4"), even w/ 3 kids in rear.
4-matic performs fine in snow, even w/ performance tires."
"This is my third Benz and have found them to be of high quality, safe, and very comfortable. I was struck by the value with the S55 AMG. It's a car that is relatively low maintenance with the exception of the rear tires, my enthusiastic driving makes full use of the torque and horsepower available with this car. I use this as my everyday car and thoroughly enjoy the balance of performance and comfort. Doing 85mph at 2800rpm is a gentle example of the headroom under the hood. It's a great to travel with, readily accomodating 4-5 adults with lots of leg room in the back. Overall, I would encourage many to at the very least, take the S55 AMG for a test drive, it is an excellent combination of many captivating elements that will provide pleasure for many moons."
"Purchased a 2001 s430 used with low mileage 62000. Vehicle drives great plenty of power and comfort. Plastic bottom seat trim cheap and cracked. The dealer replaced it. CD changer magazine would not be recognized but dealer seemed to solve the problem. Gas mileage not bad for an 8cyl."
Pros: "Nice, solid, heavy car. Drives smooth and quiet"
Cons: "Maintenance Cost!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Nice, solid car with plenty of room. Has been a delight to own except for when needing maintenace. Every time you take it in it's about $2000 in repairs. If you can get past that, it drives beautifully!"
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."
"Amazing power combined with extreme comfort. This is a great choice for long road trips. The high torque makes very respectable mileage at internatate speeds. Ample power for quick passing and quite nimble for such a large 4 door sedan. Dynamic seats are extremely comfortable."
"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."
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.."
"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."
"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"
"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."