2001 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S320L 3.2V6 from Hong Kong
A car not only for rich & famous
A/C Pump replaced in 2007. Airmatic pump replaced 2008.
This is the most reliable car I have ever owned. The running cost is low (compare w/other full size cars). You can see the rich and famous in Hong Kong using this car, although the design is 10 years old. Most are in top touch condition.
It is very very crucial to have the car checked every six months. The repair cost can be greatly reduced if following regular check ups.
The V6 is good for Hong Kong, but for Europe and America, the V8 or V12 are a big plus.
I am a little disappointed with the interior quality, but the 2003 face lifted versions already changed that. The built quality is far better than BMW and Lexus of the same period, but, in my opinion, can be improved.
This is by far the most comfortable car for passengers. My friends w/Bentley & Rolls do not feel a big difference in ride quality (back seat, if you have a long version S class) w/their cars which cost 2 to 4 times more than the long version S class.
The V6 is extremely fuel efficient on the expressway. The trip computer shows about 8.5L/100KM. For city driving, it is more than doubled.
V6 is a little noisy but very smooth & responsive at under 100 KM/Hr. If you are a big spender must get the V8 or V12, and it can further experience the ride quality of this S class.
The stiffness of the suspension can have 3 different settings. Even my new S350L does not have that feature, and the S class does have a softer ride for standard setting. Larger wheels for this car will only lessen the quality of ride.
This is a recommended car for families and businesses.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 30th December, 2008
I agree totally with this article, but you must have a very reliable workshop to work on this car, otherwise, it can be very expensive to own this car.
I suggest using extra high quality oil for this car. For example, Voltronic 5W40 German motor oil, and the car can actually feel lighter and more responsive, as the 3.2 V6 is a small engine for this full size German sedan.
This car will not last as long as the W140, but can easily last for quarter of a million km if taken care of properly.
I also fully recommend this car!