2001 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S430 4.3L V8 petrol from North America
2001 Mercedes-Benz S430 - a wonderful driving experience, and highly recommended!
Zero things have gone wrong with my 2001 S430.
Extremely pleased with the 2001 Mercedes-Benz S430 long wheelbase. Exceptionally quiet, roomy, well-appointed, and very spirited performance. Fuel economy superb, for such a large car (26 mpg, combined city/highway).
Beautiful interior. Very bright, flowing, organic forms, throughout. Leather seats and alcantara trim throughout are exquisite, and the calyptus wood accents are very tasteful.
I could not get the car to misbehave, even in the slightest, on snow or glare ice, and this car is only 2 wheel drive. The stability program works amazingly well.
I am 6'4", so driver leg room and headroom are crucial. I could adjust the driver's seat so that my feet could not reach the brake or accelerator pedals, which was something I could not do in any other vehicle that I tested. Seats were very firm - the way I like them - less fatiguing - and very comfortable, regardless of trip duration.
The integrated COMAND GPS/audio system was not all that difficult for me to master, and it functioned flawlessly. I ordered the dealer-option trunk-mounted 5 CD changer, and it functioned perfectly, too. The Bose premium stereo system is phenomenal.
The 4.3 liter (260 cu. in.) V8 engine is superb, and provides more than adequate thrust off the line, and for passing at highway speeds, as well. Dead-quiet at idle, but gorgeous, subdued V-8 "burble" and growl sounds, when it gets up and talks. Bear in mind, this is only the S430. Its bigger brother, the S500 (5.0 liter V8, 302 cu. in.) gives more performance, but at considerably more cost - about $8,900 USD more, for only 27 more horsepower, so the overall driving experience is more a difference in degree, rather than kind. The S430 is really the sweet spot, in terms of overall performance/value.
I considered the 2001 BMW 745il, but to my eye, the overall curb appeal was lacking, particularly since this body style was essentially unchanged since 1996, so it was rather stale (the 2002 BMW 7-class would not be out for another year, and as it turned out, the styling to me was very jarring and disjointed, particularly with regard to the rear end treatments.)
An all-around beautiful car, and a wonderful driving experience.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 1st January, 2005