1987 Mercedes-Benz S-Class 420SEL 4.2 GAS from North America


You are driving a "cloud"


Nothing mechanical. Just my recirculation button for the climate control doesn't work, maybe I need a new switch? other than that the car is perfect! Even the A/C works.

General Comments:

After owning a previous 420SEL and currently a 560SEL, I would say that my 420SEL now is absolutely awesome! Very smooth, No rattles or noise and just like new! My 560SEL has 150k miles and still running strong. The 560 motor is super fast, but the 420 motors is ultra smooth. If you know about these models then don't hesitate to buy one. The number one reason most people stay away from these cars is because they think they are very expensive to maintain and break easily. That is not simply true! As with any car, If you maintain it properly, it will serve you well. If you abuse it then it will abuse you later on for repair costs and such. My 420 now is absolutely like new and runs perfect.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd December, 2005

30th Oct 2008, 00:47

The 420 SEL is superior (in my mind) over the 560 SEL due to the difference in suspension parts. I have never been impressed by the air suspension in the 560, and have known a few horror stories regarding them when these units go out. Think "very costly". God forbid if you should fail to service them regularly. Give me stock shocks and springs any day!

I am not impressed with rip roaring performance when all I want is a reliable, smooth and quiet V8 that has enough torque to hold its own at intersections and on ramps. It will get you a speeding ticket if that's your thing. Once in the desert (on the way to Las Vegas) I took my 420 SEL up to 120 mph and still had more on tap. This is a car conceived in a country that loves its autobahn.

24th Jul 2009, 17:59

Well I'm proud to own 1987 420 SEL with 111500 miles when I bought it. It now has 122200.

Well I went to South Carolina, it was a beautiful trip back and forth. It was a 1500 mile trip, very strong smooth, elegant, then two months later I drove to Louisville Kentucky.

So far this is my best car ever. I just love it, get yours.

28th Jul 2009, 09:14

Yes the 560SEL rear suspension is a bugger when it breaks, and really has not much use in the states unless you're traveling at high speeds, which is hard to find legally in the states.

If I could have my 560SEL and 420SEL at the same time (had 560 first then 420.), the 420SEL would have been more of the daily driver and the 560 would've been for those days when I'm feeling froggy or when I spend long times in Europe.

All in all, the self leveling suspension is not much more expensive than the others of that era i.e. Cadillac or Lincoln, but many people don't bother putting that much cash into those type of cars at that age, and thus it's normal to see a Lincoln of early age draggin its behind. Most Mercedes owners wouldn't even be caught dead driving a Benz dragging its ass.

1987 Mercedes-Benz S-Class 420 SEL 4.2 V8 from North America


Better quality than the new S430 and S500


Cooling system.

General Comments:

The Mercedes-Benz 420 SEL is solid, safe, ergonomic, roomy, responsive, stable and quick which delivers 201 horsepower @ 228lbs of torque. This car does not have a bad gas mileage rating for a large V-8 engine because I get about 13 mpg in the city and 17 mpg on the freeway. Typically, these older S-Class Mercedes models like the 350 SDL, 420 SEL, and the 560 SEL are designed for long distance freeway driving.

The only concern is the timing chain which can bend the valves if you fail to repair it in a timely manner. I was told by my mechanic that, if the car starts to jump during sudden acceleration, then the chain may need to be adjusted or replaced. It is best to check the timing chain during your oil change or maintenance service by a reputable Mercedes repair facility.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st June, 2005