1995 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S320 3.2 from North America


A major disappointment


Three front seat belt sensors have had to be replaced.

Valve cover leak had to be repaired.

Memory seat had to be repaired.

Radio had to be repaired.

Air conditioner evaporator had to be repaired.

Odometer readout became unreadable.

Power steering box had to be re-sealed.

Wiring harnesses deteriorating because of faulty materials and will soon need replacing.

Motor mounts are deteriorating and will soon have to be replaced.

General Comments:

My S320 Mercedes has been plagued by problems that I have never experienced in any car. The quality is far below what I expected when I bought this car brand new.

The car drives and looks great, but it is very weak in the area of "creature comforts." The electronics, in particular, seem especially prone to failure and are extremely unreliable.

This is a fairly low mileage car, so I can only wonder what lies in store if I still have it when the odometer passes the 100-mile mark. It is not pleasant to contemplate.

If Mercedes loses its reputation for quality, it is dead. Thanks to the C-Class, it already has lost its snob appeal.

Mercedes would be wise to quietly extend the warranty on its problem-plagued mid-1990s S-Class to at least 100,000 miles. For cars cost $70,000 and up, that is not an unreasonable idea.

I also own a Porsche and a Lexus and have experienced no comparable disappointment and/or satisfaction. In other words, it's not me, it's the car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 31st August, 2002

21st Sep 2002, 19:51

Looks great you say? I reckon the "Diana" S Class looks like its pregnant! This model was the start of the downhill slide for Mercedes S Class, a slide which has only accelerated. Too many electronic gadgets (which no longer last) and too much plastic in parts of the cabin where there used to be wood or metal. Even cheap looking plastic cup holders these days.

My advice - buy a W126 series in good condition and smile for years to come!