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Thinking of buying an S class

Discussion in 'General Mercedes-Benz Related Discussion' started by Brian T, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. Brian T

    Brian T Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    2002 C270cdi estate
    I've owned my 98 E300DT Avantgarde Estate (7 seater) for over 2 years, with very few issues. When I bought it (160,000 miles) we changed the suspension bushes, exhaust rear section, and changed the transmission oil (mine has the drain plug in the torque converter). Rust issues are quite minor, and the engine (now at 190,000 miles) is very sweet, as is the gear change. Spares from the main dealer haven't been as scarily priced as I initially thought, and everything has been available off the shelf. So I've had a good experience. It's been a lot of car for little money.
    Only thing I still can't get on with, is pulling out of busy junctions it's a bit of a slug right off the line, which I gather is down to the soft start torque converter. I've driven a couple of others of similar vintage, and they are the same.
    So, as I've been impressed with my first Mercedes experience, I'm considering an S class.
    Budget wise, I'll likely be looking at something 2002-2005, and the 320cdi seems to make the most sense, although I don't rule out a petrol V8. Based on my experience with the current E300DT, I'm not necessarily put off by higher mileages, especially if it's been a motorway car with good service history.
    I've looked over this forum and read what opinions others have expressed, but would like to gel my thoughts a little more, so I have some questions.
    1) Is the potential rust issue the same as the E class from the same era?
    2) Are MB spares similarly priced?
    3) Is the S class 320cdi quick off the mark when pulling out into traffic?
    4) I believe there was a facelift in 2003. What benefits (if any) were there?
    Thanks for any advice, and sorry if these questions have already been asked.
     
  2. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    The 220 that you are referring to is a well liked car, yes the rear wheel arches can rust on the early ones. The 320cdi is a good lump and quite lively, they do have the expensive air suspension if it fails but it is nice to drive on and not that many problems
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012
  3. E500 Pete

    E500 Pete Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    S500 (W222) 2014. Turbo 4.7 V8 with loads of toys. Superfast luxury.
    Isn't the 211 an E class?
     
  4. Naraic

    Naraic Moderator

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    It is...he meant 220.
     
  5. OP
    Brian T

    Brian T Member

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    Thanks for the comments. Spoke to a couple of traders and it would seem that the petrol V8s were invariably specified with many extra options. This appears to somewhat negate the potential lower second hand prices due to the higher fuel consumption. On that basis the diesel makes more sense to me.
     
  6. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    It is a hard one re any pattern in real terms to it all,,, sure I love all the toys and was thinking of the 221 320cdi, but finding one with a single extra was nigh impossible so I settled on the 216 CL where 50% come loaded.

    Most diesel 220 cars were company cars and hire cars
     
  7. grober

    grober Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
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    EARLY W220 S CLASS can? have SBC brake problems, AIR suspension problems- struts/compressor, dash display problems, paintwork problems [ though not quite as bad as the early W211s] Post 2003/4cars will have better paint since MERCEDES introduced improvements around that time.[ thread on here will be more exact on dates] As soon as prestige models like the S class slip out of dealership/good specialist servicing things begin to deteriorate and repairs can get bodged rather than whole items getting replaced as per factory recommendation. I would be wary of any S class of that age without a cast iron service history.
     
  8. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    Sorry Graeme, SBC was never ever fitted to the 220, only ever fitted to the 211,230 and 219
     
  9. grober

    grober Senior Member

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    OOPS:Oops: one less thing to go wrong thankfully.;)
     
  10. BillyBoy

    BillyBoy Senior Member

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    An S Class is like a wedding - everything cost twice as much as it would normally. However you don't care!

    Get one - it will probably cost a lot to run, but every time you drive it, whether it is to the local shop or 300 miles up the motorway, you will feel special sat behind the wheel, and feel a cut above all the other road users. It's not called an S Class for nothing and the 220 iz a fabulous car :)
     
  11. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    Indeed that is the way it is,,,,I sit there in my CL looking down at all the riff raff in their CLS's and other lowly models :rolleyes::rolleyes:
     
  12. OP
    Brian T

    Brian T Member

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    Not surprisingly, prices vary quite a bit, but I am intrigued that the private sales seem so similar to the trade listings for similar age, mileage, and descriptions. I didn't find this when I bought the E class, or anything else second hand for that matter. Is this optimism from private sellers with the S class, or do they tend to be better looked after cars?
     
  13. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    Nope. I think it is the breed of people who buy them new, most are not living in the real world, when looking for my CL and S class, so many adds from private individuals say no canvassing as they believe their car is worth as much as the dealer. I read adds in July where the pictures showed snow on the ground, most of them never sell.
     
  14. andys320

    andys320 Senior Member

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    Mercedes S211 280 CDi 2009, Porsche Boxster ,much missed Mercedes S320CDi 2003
    I bought mine 18 months ago, so far had to refurbish alternator, new thermostat, water pump, pads, discs and tyres.

    Have to say parts prices from dealer nothing like as bad as I feared. Sure if something major goes (airmatic strut) etc then it may cost a lot, but well worth it for the pleasure of driving.

    Be realistic with costs, if you can do basic stuff yourself so much the better.
     
  15. stevieb15

    stevieb15 Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    98 r129 sl500,90 W126 500SE,03 CLK 320 Avant Convertible
    You could always do what I've done and spend a couple of years finding a first class W126, none of the complications of later derivatives, low purchase price, probably much less cost of maintenance...and what you arrive in has at least as much presence and class.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2012
  16. OP
    Brian T

    Brian T Member

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    I'm probably not enough of an enthusiast to do justice to something older, and I much prefer the interiors of the later cars.
    I like the feeling of every journey having a sense of occaision about it, which I used to get with my Jags.
    I still love the drivers eye view over the bonnet of my E class. Took me six months to stop thinking I was off to invade Russia.
     
  17. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    A very fair point I think, and it is nice to move on a bit for an everyday car
     
  18. Xtractorfan

    Xtractorfan Senior Member

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    You could have tried reading up on Adolfs attempt and how that failed so miserably ...
     
  19. OP
    Brian T

    Brian T Member

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    Trying to pre empt the questions from potential insurers. Is the factory fitted alarm/immobiliser Thatcham approved?
     
  20. st4

    st4 Banned

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    Yes.
     

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