1986 Mercedes-Benz S-Class 500 SE 5.0 litre from UK and Ireland


You only live once, enjoy this V8 and leave the MPG chatter to those with Euroboxes


Driver's seat collapsed, and electrical adjustment became temperamental.

Front electric windows only work after being pushed half way down - teeth worn on half moon (mechanical internals).

Battery drain 1/4amp - no idea yet.

General Comments:

Very flexible for a large automobile, it pootles happily around town, absorbs A roads with glee, and absolutely dissolves motorways.

The engine is a work of art. Bullet proof, no smoke or oil usage at all (water vapour steam when cold though).

Other drivers tend to be more aggressive, once the 500 badge is noticed - don't waste your licence on a stupid M3-GTI-souped up Ford light start. Just sit back, happy in the mature knowledge that they're only ahead because you've let them be.

Handling is a little barge-like, once you get used to it, it is very rewarding and smiles soon come aplenty.

Plan your parking - avoid multi-stories.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th December, 2007

1986 Mercedes-Benz S-Class sel 500 from UK and Ireland


Top value for money


No problems to report.

General Comments:

Everything feels robust and oozes with quality and craftsmanship.

Reliability is second to none. It starts first time every time.

They represent great value for money when you consider what you get, and all for the price of a second hand Escort.

Bags of room for driver and passenger alike.

Handles well and is a pleasure to drive.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd February, 2007

1986 Mercedes-Benz S-Class 420SEL 4.2L petrol from North America


Absolutely Outstanding! A Classic forever

General Comments:

This car is absolutely amazing! Even to this date, this car turns a lot of heads. Champagne colour and brown interior is a great looking combination. The car has always been very well maintained, by MB and an independant repair facility, specialized in MB. I am not driving the car much anymore and not in the winter at all. When I go on a long trip, I still prefer the 420SEL to anything else. The maintenance has been an average of $1500 Can. per for the past 20 year! It seems high, but... considering all, depreciation, reliability etc. It is still among the best and the finest cars ever built. In 1986, the choices of true luxury european automobiles, was very limited. Mercedes-Benz was "The car to own" Jaguars were not reliable, the BMW did not look good at all! (And still in 2007 don't look good to my opinion). Audi had some square boxes on four wheels. The Lexus and Infinity, (Which are Glorified Toyotas and Nissans) were not around then. The price was $76,500 Can dollars then (Ouch!)

Follow the manufacturer's recommended maintenance, and the car will last FOREVER. Here is Canada, the challenge is to keep it away from the dirty winter road conditions, which cause premature rust.

Have fun!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 3rd February, 2007

1986 Mercedes-Benz S-Class 420 SEL 4.2 liter V8 from North America


Money Trap


EVERYTHING, a/c broke $2,800, new brake system $1,200, drive shaft problem $1,800, power windows failed, sunroof failed, motor mounts, leather seat cracked and stopped working, burned through batteries, gremlins in the electrical system I know it's a old car, but all this in 23 months?

General Comments:

Worse car I ever owned! I would never consider another older benz.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 5th December, 2006

5th Dec 2006, 14:32

You clearly bought a poor example of this great car. Old Mercedes never die.

2nd Jan 2007, 13:44

Mercedes-Benz are still among the BEST CARS in the world! Especially of that vintage. You must be careful before buying any of the older imports. Their systems were well ahead of the time, and the older technology makes them somehow complicated to fix, unless you are very familiar with the products. For example the climate control... a common headache for Benz owners. If you take the car to "the corner garage" they are likely to spend so much time trying to fix it.

I have owned 3 olders Benz, a 300D 1982, 190D 1985, and I now drive a 420SEL and I LOVE the car. I purchased it from the original owner (an 83 year old lady) who had kept the car in MINT condition. The average maintenance cost has been about $2000K per year since the car was purchase in 1986.

23rd Jul 2007, 06:22

Should have had a better look at it before you bought it (or even better get someone pro to). Sounds like the bad apple of a otherwise great bunch.

31st Dec 2010, 12:26

I got my 1986 420 SEL brand new in '86. It has NEVER been in the shop for anything but service and oil changes. Only the timing chain and tensioners needed replacing at 100,000 miles. Cannot say enough good about this car. Will never sell it.