1983 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Review from Australia and New Zealand

1983 Mercedes-Benz S-Class 500 SEC 5 litre petrol

Year of manufacture1983
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 5 litre petrol Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.8 / 10
Distance when acquired230000 kilometres
Most recent distance273000 kilometres
Previous carAlfa Romeo Alfetta GTV

Summary:

Magnificent and handsome

Faults:

Nothing has "gone wrong". A pre-purchase inspection recommended new engine mounts, timing chain and tensioner, exhaust and a few other minor things - an extra $5,000 (Australian) to add to the purchase price of $24,000.

General Comments:

This is my first big (V8) car. It is simply magnificent, reliable, cheap to maintain and very handsome. City fuel economy is reasonable (16litre/100km) if you can avoid heavy traffic. This is a great car for a do-it-yourself mechanic because apart from regular oil and other fluid changes it needs only a careful eye to watch over it!

All accessories still work after 19 years, unlike my Alfa (or any other car?).

Is the W126 series Mercedes best ever? When the company was still driven by engineering instead of marketing!

Warning - avoid rusted and abused imports with low mileage from Hong Kong or South Africa. These cars are made to be driven every day - the engines can last forever.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th June, 2002

6th Jun 2002, 22:13

I got mixed up. Running cost should be 5 out of 10. Try to avoid buying genuine parts - the others are usually made in same factory as genuine Mercedes parts, but you pay double for a box with silver star on it!

4th Jun 2003, 17:06

Driving a 560SEC myself I totally agree with you. Never had a car with such a "Voom" before. Using unleaded fuel it is not guzzling more than 20.0 l/100km even if its running inner city traffic only.

But cruising is what it is really made for. Nothing better than rolling along a beautiful landscape with pillarless windows and roof open, and a good sounding CD or the pure V8 Sound satisfying my ears.

Average review marks: 6.8 / 10, based on 1 review