1983 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Reviews

1983 Mercedes-Benz S-Class 300SD 3.0 turbo diesel from North America

Model year1983
Year of manufacture1982
First year of ownership2008
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 3.0 turbo diesel Automatic
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.5 / 10
Distance when acquired165000 miles
Most recent distance179000 miles
Previous carCadillac Brougham

Summary:

High-end engineering for a low price

Faults:

Barely anything electrical worked on the car when I acquired it. Many mismatched parts that made me think the car had been salvaged before. I had to fix everything myself.

CV boots are worn and showing cracks after 27 years of use.

Transmission vacuum maladjusted, tranny shifting hard.

Rear windows' fastening clips broke 2 months after buying the car, replaced them with new ones, which broke off after a year.

Worn seats.

Headliner ripped.

Auto locks for the doors inoperative.

MPG went down from averaging 32 down to 23 combined city and highway, suspect worn injector nozzles.

Mid console out of adjustment due to broken plastic.

General Comments:

This car is probably one of the best cars for the DIY person. Every component is very accessible and easy to replace.

On that note, it's better to know how to do, at least, basic maintenance on these cars. Auto shops were trying to charge me US $85 for an oil change, citing the very common excuse "Oh, it's a Mercedes; a very different kind of car, you need 9 quarts of oil in it" I did it myself, and found it easier to do than in any other car I have ever owned. It does take the 9 quarts of oil to fill up though.

Also, new parts for these cars are NOT cheap. Good thing is that you can get them at you local junkyard. With a little luck you can make yourself a really great car, cosmetically and mechanically speaking, on a really low budget.

Great brakes as one would expect from an S-Class Mercedes Benz.

The acceleration off the line is not great, and I thought the engine was dying when I first acquired it, however, after educating myself better on the car via Internet forums, I learned that it is normal.

However, once the turbo kicks in, feels very comfortable at highway speeds.

The suspension is very good and comfortable. Cabin maladjustment makes it a bit noisy going over road imperfections, but the ride is very comfortable.

The engine, if adjusted properly, is very economical, yet powerful (again, once the turbo kicks in).

When I first acquired I was averaging a combined city and highway MPG of 32. I'm averaging 23 now. Time to adjust that engine.

Finally, the styling is just timeless. Properly kept, and maybe with AMG wheels, nobody could guess that you're driving a 30 year old car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th June, 2010

1983 Mercedes-Benz S-Class 380SEC 3.8 Litre V8 from North America

Model year1983
Year of manufacture1982
First year of ownership2008
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 3.8 Litre V8 Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired13200 miles
Most recent distance13600 miles
Previous carOldsmobile Aurora

Summary:

Awesome in the curves at 80 mph for its age

Faults:

The front end is shaking, but I think it is due to warped rotors. Other than that I have had no significant problems.

General Comments:

This car is a dream. I drove 350 miles to buy it. I was amazed when I got there that everything worked including the air and the infamous seatbelt arm. I drove this car from Albequerqie, NM to El Paso, TX at speeds in excess of 80 MPH with the air running full blast. When I got back home I did a little small stuff, like light bulbs, oil, and tire rotation. Since then it has been my every day driver and has given me no problems.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th October, 2008

1983 Mercedes-Benz S-Class 300sd om617 turbo diesel from North America

Model year1983
Year of manufacture1983
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission om617 turbo diesel Automatic
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 1 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 1 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.0 / 10
Distance when acquired83000 miles
Most recent distance130000 miles
Previous carPontiac Grand Prix

Summary:

There's nothing more expensive than a cheap mercedes

Faults:

Seats were dead to begin with. Sagging rear suspension, water pump seal, glow plug relay, window switches, radio died, power seat switches kind of broke, air filter housing bracket 3x, funny electrical problems, vacuum pump, interior light dimmer switch, hood release, hood ornament, door pulls, rear a/c vent, brake fluid leak somewhere (I just keep topping off the reservoir).

General Comments:

It's like a drug addiction, it's horrible for you, but you just keep wanting more. It's a great car, but requires A LOT of maintenance. If you are considering an old m\Mercedes you need to be able to do all of the work yourself, not mind going the junkyard for parts and have a second car. Everyone refers to Benz diesels as being reliable, and they are, but only in the sense that they will go forward no matter what. The engine will last forever... everything surrounding it however is a different story. On the plus side, the car is a cruiser, dead sexy, handles well for such a large vehicle, and safe.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 25th October, 2007

Average review marks: 6.9 / 10, based on 7 reviews