1997 Mercedes-Benz S-Class from North America


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


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

26th Jul 2018, 18:26

Try switching to inside air. I think this will avoid the cold air to the passengers.

28th Jul 2018, 15:10

I have a S Class Mercedes, and what a great old school 14 year old car. Bought it from the Mercedes Benz dealership for 7895.00 plus taxes. Has some odd controls that you have to get used to, and it has buttons galore inside of it. The original cost of this S430 was about $70,000 new in 2004. It's a big floating tank that you feel safe in.

Recently took it to a Carmax in my area to see what they would give me for it. They had a technical person go through it, spends about 20 minutes going through the car. Inside of it... outside of it... under it... testing all the buttons and controls in it... testing doors, then driving it. They said they have a buyer that gives them the offer. Never really explaining who the buyer is and where he is. Then the offer, which was $2000.00. Very low from the hide and seek Carmax buyer. But that is the cut throat business of cars sales. Here is a car that originally cost $70,000... then I bought it for 7895.00 plus fees, then I get an offer of $2000.00 from the Carmax. Would I sell it for that, no way, it drives too nice and everything works on it, and it's as solid as a rock on the road. Also Carmax does a follow-up to see if you still want to sell it, because their offer is good for 7 days. So Carmax called me and said the buyer is still interested in buying my car for 2000.00. Being a car lover like myself does have some ups and downs, and investing in cars is not for the faint of heart.

1997 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S320 from North America


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?