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What's the Verdict on Merc S Class W220

Discussion in 'Other German' started by 76Steel, Jul 8, 2009.

  1. 76Steel

    76Steel Formula 3

    Sep 8, 2007
    1,296
    New Jersey
    Full Name:
    Mike
    Hey everyone:

    Interested to hear thoughs from owners who had/ have the 2000 - 2006 Generation of the Mercedes S350/430/500. I was just curious to hear real life stories from owners.

    I enjoy the looks of the car and the ride, but did hear many airmatic / electronic troubles especially on the 00-02 cars.

    Thanks very much for anyone with thoughts.

    Kindly,
    Mike.
     
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  3. Kds

    Kds F1 World Champ

    I sold these cars for years at the dealer........Airmatic suspension is a problem in cold weather, and the COMAND navigation system module also fails a lot and requires replacement. The electrics suck. They are also prone to premature surface rust on the body panels.

    Not the best MB ever built...........
     
  4. Jedi

    Jedi Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Mar 18, 2008
    28,719
    Seattle Area
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    Jedi
    #3 Jedi, Jul 8, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2009
    My experience with both a 2003 and 2006 E500 (same electronics) was H O R R I B L E !!!!
    Both cars were in the shop CONSTANTLY for bizarre electronic problems with the Command
    System, air suspension, battery charging, seat controls, on and on.

    RUN AWAY from a Benz from this period. My '08 E350 is perfect. I was told that until
    LATE 2007, the Asian subcontractor for electronic controls systems was horrid. MB is
    now using a different supplier based in Europe.

    Jedi
     
  5. LetsJet

    LetsJet F1 Veteran
    Owner

    May 24, 2004
    9,238
    DC/LA/Paris/Haleiwa
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    Mr.
    Mike,

    Since you asked for owners thoughts......

    I would purchase a 2003 and above. Preferably an S600 with the ABC instead of the airmatic system. I've owned mine for 3 years and I've had a TPMS sensor that needed replacement and the coolant filler cap was yellowing so I had it replaced.

    The S600 is a monster and very comfortable ride. The nav system sucks though....

    Though when things do break it will be expensive. I have a manufacturers extended warranty that you might be able to get on an '05-'06. If you get one, PM me and I can point you in a direction to a gd price on a warranty.
     
  6. 76Steel

    76Steel Formula 3

    Sep 8, 2007
    1,296
    New Jersey
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    #5 76Steel, Jul 9, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2009
    Gentlemen:

    Thanks for taking the time to respond. I must admit, I absolutely love the look of W220 S class. I guess I got the Benz bug when my dad had one in early 80's ... it was a 70's diesel model and I just remember sliding around in the front seat inside it on trips, ha, ha.

    I have been looking at these W220 series cars for a while and to save some dough and maybe get the large sedan need out of my system (I always drove sporty cars and an SUV when we had our little boy - and, I am tired of seeing SUVs/ Vans on every street corner).

    So, I purchased a nicely kept 96 Jag XJ6. Its a really nice car with low miles and I enjoy it ... but, still think about the Benz.

    I poked around at the BenzForum and many people did point me toward 03 and on cars. Most recommended an aftermarket warranty as well.

    I'm just thinking of what is problem ratio vs the post on the W220 forum area - it seems like everyone there is posting about an issue and there has not been too many - "I just love my car" threads, so I'm just spinning the wheels in my mind. Wonder. Also, close to me there is an Indie Benz shop and I see all these new Mercedes sitting really low to the ground and I'm going, hmm.

    Well, I'm crazy enough to try - after all - I own a Ferrari, ha ha ha.

    I guess one way to do this is to buy a lower mileadge car and get the bumber to bumper aftermarker warranty.

    If you have your 2 cents - would love to hear!

    Kindly,
    Mike
     
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  8. ibesuc

    ibesuc Formula Junior

    Jun 16, 2009
    477
    NY
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    Steve
    #6 ibesuc, Jul 12, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2009
    I've got an 06 S430 and have had an 02 S430. I've only had two problems (on the 02): First the airmatic pump went, then there was a leak in the system somewhere.

    Every thing else has been fine. I take it on 4 hour trips about once a week and it is very comfortable and reliable (knock on wood).

    I haven't had any type of electronic problems either.

    I was also in a 50 mph head on collision in the 06 NOT wearing a seat belt and I walked away from the car with literally NO bruises or anything. I still have it after having it repaired ($21000 in damage).

    So if you were to get one, I would recommend an 06 (latest year) with mid range miles (not too low) to make sure most of the problems have already been fixed.

    Soon I am to upgrade to a W221. Love S-Classes!
     
  9. ibesuc

    ibesuc Formula Junior

    Jun 16, 2009
    477
    NY
    Full Name:
    Steve
    Correct me if I am wrong, but I always thought that ABC was just a feature added on to the airmatic suspension. As Mercedes thinks the airmatic is as comfortable as it gets I don't think they would take that away from their flagship model (S600). It is just a feature that you can turn on and off it does not effect the type of suspension that is fitted to the car.
     
  10. LetsJet

    LetsJet F1 Veteran
    Owner

    May 24, 2004
    9,238
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    Mr.
    Different system......

    I've read a lot of problems with the airmatic but not with the ABC system. You can get more info on the mbworld.org site. The w220 subforum is very active and you get more answers there, if you would like.

    Good Luck
     
  11. 76Steel

    76Steel Formula 3

    Sep 8, 2007
    1,296
    New Jersey
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    Mike
    Thanks again everyone -

    Ibesuc - do you remember roughly what the cost was for the air pump fix?
     
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  13. ibesuc

    ibesuc Formula Junior

    Jun 16, 2009
    477
    NY
    Full Name:
    Steve
    The air pump was about $800, which really is not too bad, but I am also very friendly with the guy who did it for me so I would guess the dealer would be almost double.

    Steve
     

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