1989 Mercedes-Benz S-Class 300 SEL 3.0 from North America


Other 20 year old cars can't even come close to it


Really nothing has gone wrong with the car, just sometimes when you start the car, it will idle roughly until warmed up, then it will run properly.

The car needs a brake master cylinder, as the brakes are mushy.

The A/C condenser needs to be replaced as well as the seals, but hey, 20 years, it's about time for it.

Otherwise, it could use a full service and tune up.

General Comments:

I will say that they don't build Mercedes Benz cars like this any more. The car is clearly over engineered, and the materials are of the highest quality. Most Japanese luxury cars from this era did not age well, this car has fit and finish that are just not seen anymore.

The inline 6 cyl engine is a bread and butter engine for Mercedes, and gets excellent MPG and give you all the power you need on the highway for a big body Benz. To me, the 560 SEL is just overkill.

It's rock solid on the highway; it's a car you want to take on a long trip and no other 1989 car can touch it in terms of aging well, performance and 5 star safety

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th September, 2009

6th Oct 2009, 23:49

I agree with you, the 560SEL is overkill, a gas guzzler, and also the 560SEL has issues with the rear hydraulic suspension where it will go out and cause rough rides, and the car to sag in the rear.

Also the 560SEL is notorious for the timing chain going out and that includes the 420SEL.

The 300SE and 300SEL have the best straight six in them, and low on maintenance with good gas mileage.

I own a 1989 300SE, and they are the best and will last longer than the 420SEL and 560SEL V-8 engines. Just follow the recommended routine service by changing the spark plugs, air filter, fuel filter, and other services.

1989 Mercedes-Benz S-Class 500SE 5.0L V8 from Australia and New Zealand


Get the 5.0 lt in SE or 560 in the SEL; otherwise the 420SE/SEL is a good compromise


Nothing, although I will replace the front brakes soon due to slight uneven wear, due to a poor previous pad change by the previous owners.

General Comments:

A very rare car in the SE, short wheelbase. The SEL is the common longer wheelbase for the V8 models.

I have owned a 5 Mercedes now, and this is the best one.

The interior is almost new due to the hardwearing leather and materials used.

The exterior looks like it's almost been carved from a large hunk of steel. The interior feels like a vault.

It has the 2 stage gearbox, which selects sport, economy modes and also manual first gear select.

With a professionally installed exhaust system, there has been a power gain of 25hp taking it to approx. 285hp. This also brings out the V8 sound, but is not intrusive in the cabin unless the driver wants it that way..

It doesn't sound like much, but due to the lesser weight over the longer wheelbase model, the 500SE hauls when asked to and purrs when required.

These are classics now, and good ones are holding values very well. I had a hard time selling my 1988 300se as these cars are simply beautiful.

The best way these cars can continue to be enjoyed is to make sure that items are fixed when they break, and also the service/maintenance schedule is adhered to.

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

Review Date: 14th August, 2009

1989 Mercedes-Benz S-Class 560SEL 5.6 V8 from North America


Roomy family stylish sedan that hauls it weight effortlessly


210,000 miles - water pump went out (superb lifespan) - $800 for parts and labor. (Shopped around for parts and avoided dealership.) - Missouri.

220,000 miles - Neutral Safety switch kicked bucket (Normal) - 120 euro including shift bushing. (Parts ordered from Stuttgart from this point as I'm stationed in Germany)

225,000 miles- Fuel line rupture (Superb life span of original fuel lines) - 150 euro. both fuel lines.

250,000 miles - Flex disk breaks while on autobahn doing 80. Blows hole in floor, cause air bags to deploy, tranny is yanked off the mount. Drive shaft destroyed. End of life. Built in Germany died in Germany 2 hours away from birthplace.

General Comments:

This car was one of the most sturdiest, well built cars I ever driven and owned. For an 89 the acceleration and power was good. It still could keep up with the younger cars and run most of them down. On the autobahn is where this car belongs and is at home.

With normal maintenance, this car is pretty reliable. It never left me stranded anywhere, never failed to start nor did it even stumble. Only things that went wrong is things that goes wrong on anything after a while and was expected at these miles. It was cheaper to own overall when you stay on top of stuff regularly and cough up a few extra pennies for the specialized recommended stuff, i.e. coolant, which many people just throw ya normal blue stuff in there, which rusts the aluminum parts.

The interior is very roomy, only the 1995 Fleetwood seemed roomier. The ride is extremely smooth, quiet, and there is no fighting to stay on the road regardless of what speed, whether it's 60 mph in the states or 150 mph on the autobahn it all feels the same. And this car can haul butt.

This car is heavy, so the front end needs tweaking as a preventive measure when something don't feel right more often than lighter cars, but the bushings are relatively cheap and it saves lots of headaches.

The down sides is that this is not the car to trust in any smoe mechanic's hands or things will get done wrong. The dealership is a rip off and usually gets stuff wrong anyways to have you come back. And repairs to the engine must be done to spec or it will never run right, so who ever works on it has got to know the specs and not just turning wrenches till it feels tight.

The paint is good also, but watch out if you damage that paint and need a repaint, it will cost you to get it right.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th July, 2009

15th Feb 2010, 10:51

This Mercedes is a wonderful machine, mine has done 200,000kms - but yet moves like a tracer bullet, quality of engineering is too good, it's machine forever, I will never sell this.