Mercedes-Benz S-Class Review from Italy

1988 Mercedes-Benz S-Class 500SE 5.0 V8 petrol

Model year1988
Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 5.0 V8 petrol Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired108000 kilometres
Most recent distance136000 kilometres

Summary:

I can't stop smiling when I drive it

Faults:

1) Power steering is leaking oil.

2) A/C pipe had to be soldered because it was leaking gas; the replacement would cost more than the car...

3) I'm not quite happy with the automatic gearbox; it changes roughly instead of being like velvet. Some progress made after the replacement of the oil, but it is not perfect.

4) I had to replace the sparkle wiring (300 Euros) because of its age.

5) I had to replace the terminal exhaust; a bath of blood, we say in Italy...

6) Radio is old and shows signs of age.

General Comments:

I bought it used for very little money, as no one wants these cars in Italy. People here say they are old-fashioned, good for gypsies and for the mob. Well, I think that gypsies and the mob have a very good taste, and 70% of people are stupid!

The car was almost perfect; no rust, no signs of wear in the interior. Perfect engine, not a single drop of oil. I converted it immediately to LPG.

Now I have a second car, as a reserve, costing me as a Fiat Punto. 11-12 liters of gasoline or 13 liters of LPG for 100 kms.

It is an absolute dream to drive. Oh well, one could say it is boring, because it makes exactly what you want, with no other scenes. It is the perfect car for hours of relaxed driving. Perfect comfort. If you want to run, to outperform other people, it is the wrong car. With it you have to be a calm gentleman.

Perfect brakes, never had better brakes on any car I drove. Good road holding. The engine has a very good torque and should last 500,000 kms or more. It is important to change the engine oil every 10,000 kms.

I think it is the most (or, at least, one of the most) elegant cars ever made.

I'm an ecologist. For the purpose of saving raw materials, I deeply like the idea of using this car for other 30 years and making 1 million kms with it, while other people buy 10 cars in the same time (cars that require raw materials, paint, energy...).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th April, 2010

16th Sep 2010, 14:55

I have a 87 500SE euro from Italy. It is mint as well. For sure I have the only one in Canada. It's not for sale. Even for the mob. Unless they made me a offer I could not say no to.

15th Oct 2010, 06:13

Hi, I have just bought a 87 560 coupe, what a car!! I totally agree with you both, they will have to bury me in it.

John, Perth, Western Australia.

20th Oct 2010, 15:58

I'm the original writer. 140.000 kms now. 50 cents worth of a special product in the power steering fluid drastically reduced the leak. Automatic gearbox much better after 3.000 kms with the new oil, and still making progress. No engine oil consumption whatsoever.

A very, very big problem for a car 22 yrs. old: the wood on the ashtray has detached! I think I'll need 30 cents worth of glue...

As the Canadian friend wrote, not for sale, not even for don Vito Corleone...

3rd Mar 2014, 02:50

I'm the original writer. 170.000 km now. Just changed the rubber collector under the air filter (180 Euros). No other problems. At 200.000 km I'll change the timing chain, with guides etc. The best car I ever had.

Average review marks: 7.0 / 10, based on 1 review