1997 Mercedes-Benz S-Class from North America

Summary:

A Mercedes is not worth the MSRP, but is truly a satisfying car to drive

Faults:

Both side mirrors internal cast metal framing cracked, tilting and dropping the entire plastic housing; this really looks bad.

The self closing feature has gone haywire, affecting the truck sealing, though the truck can be shut manually, the seal is not made so going through the car wash is not a good idea. This is a common problem with the W140 vehicle.

The paint was really bad for the age of car. The Mercedes is notorious for corrosion. It is surprising that Mercedes would allow this to be a continuing issue.

The front leather seats are truly unremarkable. They have lasted, but just barely; stitching is beginning to separate. Feels like I'm on an old sofa!

Rear passengers have to deal with continuous cold air through the rear vents.

General Comments:

The car is truly impressive. The engine is a dream. The car feels absolutely stable at high speed and I believe it is designed for the freeway. Acceleration and braking are very good, though not performance. This model was years ahead with automatic raindrop sensors on the windshield, and fuel efficiency comparable, or even better than my 2002 Honda Odyssey.

I used to own a 5 Series BMW, and it outperformed the Merc any day, but I feel a lot safer in the Mercedes.

Interior space is large, and the trunk is huge. The double pain glass keeps all sound to a minimum.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd August, 2009

1997 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S320 from North America

Faults:

Passenger side mirror stopped working. Luckily I noticed smoke emitting from the mirror.

Long story short, wiring harness in the mirror was too short, and wore off the insulation from moving the mirror in and out. I was able to repair the wires before any serious damage occurred.

General Comments:

Love it overall.

Do not particularly like the factory paint job. Very thin and "orange peel" finish for an upper end car.

Impressed with the mileage.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th May, 2007

30th Dec 2009, 22:01

Want to know how you fix the mirror problem. I have that same problem with my 97 S320 passenger side mirror?

1997 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S320 3.2 I-6 from North America

Summary:

A lot of car for a small price!

Faults:

Faulty wiring on passenger side rearview mirror motor.

Trunk does not sit flush.

Third brake light bulb went out.

The wiring and trunk were issues that were there when I bought the car and still need to be fixed. Only new prob since I've owned it is the third brake light bulb.

General Comments:

Did some research on these cars before purchase. Between the S320, S420, S500, and S600, it seems the S320 is the one with the least amount of trouble and expense.

The car is in immaculate condition and was purchased for only $14k. Drives and looks like new. Absolutely the most comfortable, solid car I have ever owned and this is not my first Benz. On paper the 3.2 litre motor does not look impressive with 238hp considering the weight of the car, but it moves the big Benz very well. In fact, it feels downright fast on the highway. Seems to make good power at 3500 rpm and up. An absolute joy to drive and gets up to 28mpg. The quality of the interior materials is second to none, even the newer S series look cheap by contrast. The double pane windows do a great job of keeping the cabin quiet. Turn the radio off and you cannot hear a whole lot inside the car even at 100mph. This is truly an upscale car.

I am not looking forward to making repairs when they are needed because of the cost, but I have to keep in mind that even though I paid $14k for the car, the repairs are for a $70k car. I believe it worth it. Seriously, what kind of new car could I get with that money? A low end Hyundai? No thanks.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th December, 2005

7th Dec 2005, 00:26

I agree with you about it being a nice car, but repairs for this car are above and beyond expensive. In 1985 I bought my first Mercedes which ran great until it hit 150,000. Now it costs me around $10,000 a year to keep my baby running. I nought a 560sel in 1991 and that still runs great, but only has 70,000 miles. I'm guessing when I get that car up to 150,000 it will be the same way. I also have a 1997 s320 and love the car, but theres always annoying little problems going on with the car. I'm not sure why you think this car is powerful. Getting this car up to speed on the freeway takes some effort. I might think that cause I'm use to the V8s. I went out in 2002 and bought a Lexus LS430. I'm now hooked on Lexus. This car has 120,000 miles on it and has not, I repeat, has not had one major problem except for general matinence. I'm hooked on Lexus. I'm just waiting for a new body LS to come out. You can get a 97 LS400 for the price of your Mercedes and I think you would be a lot happier. Take my advice when your ready for a new car give Lexus a try, you won't regret it.

1997 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S500 5.0 V8 from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Fast, reliable, and serious motoring for little cash!!

Faults:

Only problems have been the automatic boot locking being problematic.

Rear blind motor stopping working.

Otherwise totally reliable.

General Comments:

These big S classes are great they look like proper grosser Mercedes and are so well built they put the new S class to shame.

Motorway cruising is serene.

When driving hard on A roads the car seems to shrink around you and become almost sports car like and reacts and performs in a way that totally belies it's weigh and size.

Once the gearbox has mastered your driving style you can always be the first away from the lights should you want to be, or you can waft around like on a huge crest of torque feeling good about yourself and frightening other road users in small GTI's as you roar past them.

Passenger comfort in these cars is truly excellent with the rear of the cabin being seeming removed from all that is going with the rest of the world.

There is no other car you can by for so little money that will give so much road presence and luxury for so little money, it really does look like its off invading other countries when you stop using it!

I would reccomend buying a late model S500, its just the best of the range, superb engine and not that expensive to run if you are careful.

Great great car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th August, 2004

1997 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S320 3.2 from UK and Ireland

Faults:

29,000 miles and have had no problems with the car.

General Comments:

A very good reliable car, well worth the money if you have it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th October, 1999