2005 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S600 from North America


Active body control (ABC) = expensive.

Coil packs (misfire) = expensive.

Passenger seat SRS sensor.

Tire pressure sensors.

Pneumatic door closing mechanism.

Trunk struts.

General Comments:

This car has been essentially a bad marriage for me. It's like I married a rich girl who wants you to maintain her wealthy lifestyle, and your job pays well but you're certainly not rich. Gimme, gimme, gimme is all hear! I just can't keep up. Seems like it's never enough. The owner before me did not do any of the maintenance, so it all fell on me ... one system after another ... and I'm ready to be DONE! He pretty much bamboozled me. I'd like to slap him to be frank.

The issues started with a leaking ABC up front. Once I repaired that the tire pressure sensors went. And then the ABC in back needed fixing, and that was followed by a loss of the pneumatic door closing system. SRS light for passenger seat comes on intermittently. It needed new tires too, which is to be expected. And most recently I fired it up and felt an instant vibration and the check engine light came on. F***!!!

Based on my research, this generation of S Class has a ton of sensors, and their failures give owners headaches. I feel like this is by design so you have to roll into the stealership so they can tell you what's wrong with your car. Lo and behold it's a sensor ... easy fix ... that'll be a $1000.

So I did some homework and this car has two major failures that occur on a consistent basis. The ABC goes out like clockwork due to the MBz using cheap O-rings. However, if you have an indie mechanic it can be done fairly cheap as the parts cost $70 (online); it's the labor that can be spendy. Some people recommend doing a flush every 40,000 miles, but you really just need to change out the old O-rings for new better quality material O-rings.

After the ABC the coil packs go out like every 30,000 miles. Each coil pack costs a little over $1000. At the stealership it's $1095. So before they even pop the hood you are looking at shelling out 2-4K, and then you'll need 24 spark plugs. OMG.

On the flip side this is an awesome automobile. It is fast, comfortable and stylish. When it starts up it rumbles on. And it eats up miles. You'll get there faster and more comfortable than any other car. Absolutely no one will beat you on the road. This car is fast and pulls very smoothly! Feels like it can pull forever and never get tired.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 17th April, 2020

2005 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S500L 5.5L V8 from Australia and New Zealand




Suffered damage while on display at motor-show, otherwise faultless.

General Comments:

Quite simply, an astonishing car.

My previous car (S350) was a fantastic car, which I bought as a little gift to myself for over 40 years of hard work. I had high expectations for the new generation of S-class, all of which were met... and shattered.

The car was purchased from the Melbourne motorshow, in metallic black with AMG styling kit and 19" AMG wheels.

The ride comfort is incredible, performance is amazing for a car of its size (0-100km/h in 5 and 1/2 seconds)

The car is just as nimble as an SLK, yet feels as solid as a tank, all the time disguising its just on 2 tonnes of weight.

Although it is only early days, the car has been absolutely outstanding, does everything you ask it to do, in style, with ease.

If you are fortunate enough to be able to afford one, it's a decision few will regret.

Of course the running costs on a Aus$300K plus car won't be cheap, but if that's an issue then this isn't the car for you.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th April, 2006

2nd Aug 2006, 00:47

I found Lexus to be better. They haven't resorted to cost cutting from the mid 90's.

The JD Power Survey awards speak for themselves.

Don't buy a car based solely for the badge.

10th Aug 2006, 05:31

Buying a car is all about choice. You like the Lexus, I prefer the Benz. I DROVE the S-class before buying it, as well as the 7-series and LS430, and while the other two are fantastic cars, they were nothing in comparison.

In reference to your comment about the Power survey awards, I have never heard of them, but having searched on the internet, I figure I must add a Mini Cooper to my shopping list.

One final comment, a re-badged Toyota with Sat Nav hardly qualifies as a luxury car in my eyes, but there is always the saying about opinions and armpits!

You enjoy your Lexus, and I will enjoy the S500.

Safe motoring.