The review is suspect at best because MB xenon bulbs are not so expensive and they did NOT come with the S430.
I have an S500 with LOADS of rust. From what I've found, apparently the 00-03 S-Classes are a complete gamble. You'll either be the common owner and have many problems, or be the lucky 1 in a hundred and have no problems at all (or very few).
I have rust all along my rear wheel wells, and on the doors by the side skirts. I just sold my 89 300e not too long ago, that had NO rust whatsoever, but my S5 is just too much!
The hydraulics for the doors have gone out, the fan belt has gone out, the wood on the back left door has started coming apart, the head piece from the back right door for the power seat has fallen off somehow, and my headlights have given me grief to the point where the dealer has told me to just go ahead and buy new headlights ($3200 for the pair).
I got a crack in the windshield that is not repairable for a reason I was never told, and airmatic is working at 50%.
The first aid compartment in the passenger seat has almost come completely off, the left windshield wiper applies so much pressure, it's scratched my window, and bent the wiper itself.
The pulleys have given me minor issues, the radio is stuck on 0.00FM, and won't change stations AT ALL, my seat won't move forward unless I hit the 1 preset to move it into its preset position.
I always got a windshield washer fluid warning even after I've filled it, it sounds like a bulldog is grumbling once I turn the car off after a 10+ min drive, but you know what?... I'd never drive anything but an S-Class. I hate her, but I love her too, she's a joy to drive, I still get looks and stares, and thumbs up from people, LOTS of power, GREAT handling, GREAT sound system, and comfortable!
I will absolutely be getting an 04+ S-Class after I retire Bessie (I call her Bessie because she's as big and heavy as a cow, and by retire, I mean primp her up to look good, then sell her to an unsuspecting sucker.) Cheers!
2002 S430 with rust bubbling through near the center of all 4 fender wells.
Don't be so sure of yourself.
I too have had many MBs and never had rust problems. But, like this gentleman, my 2001 S430 is, indeed, a rust bucket. It's embarrassing to drive. I know someone in the industry and it seems that in that year MB tried to cut corners by doing a cheaper job on the finish than is their standard. And it shows!
Shame on Mercedes-Benz; as the writer, I too love the car, but it looks awful. I am currently negotiating with MB to have the car repaired; they offered to fix the doors but the rust is everywhere - wheel wells, fenders, etc.
I never stop until I get satisfaction... and I won't in this case either!
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