Mercedes-Benz S-Class Saloon (99 - 06) Owner reviews

No longer on sale

S350 2010 model. This is a beautiful car. I bought it used for a quarter of its new cost and use a reputable independent service company who I trust to do the servicing and as a result it is no more expensive to run than a Ford Mondeo. 40 mpg on a run. Clearly if something big goes wrong then that may be scary, but of course that applies to all upmarket cars. I swapped this for a 7 series. The BMW is a little more fun to drive but tended to tempt me to drive too fast. Overall the S class is a better car than the 7 in my opinion. It ticks all the boxes - beautiful motor! End of story.

Alan Spedding, Tyne & Wear, February 6th 2015

0 BlueTEC SE Line 4dr Auto

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG32 mpg

S350 2010 model. This is a beautiful car. I bought it used for a quarter of its new cost and use a reputable independent service company who I trust to do the servicing and as a result it is no more expensive to run than a Ford Mondeo. 40 mpg on a run. Clearly if something big goes wrong then that may be scary, but of course that applies to all upmarket cars. I swapped this for a 7 series. The BMW is a little more fun to drive but tended to tempt me to drive too fast. Overall the S class is a better car than the 7 in my opinion. It ticks all the boxes - beautiful motor! End of story.

Alan Spedding, Tyne & Wear, February 6th 2015

0L BlueTEC SE Line 4dr Auto

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG32 mpg

I got my new S Class on October 9th. Four days after it broke down and more than a month later Mercedes Benz still has been unable to fix it. Repair attempts have been a circus of errors. Problems with Comand System that do not start, safety programs that disconnect suddenly, water leaking into headlamps.

Jose Lema, Santarem, November 15th 2013

0L BlueTEC SE Line 4dr Auto

  • Overall verdict2/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs2/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I got my new S Class on October 9th. Four days after it broke down and more than a month later Mercedes Benz still has been unable to fix it. Repair attempts have been a circus of errors. Problems with Comand System that do not start, safety programs that disconnect suddenly, water leaking into headlamps.

Jose Lema, Santarem, November 15th 2013

0 BlueTEC SE Line 4dr Auto

  • Overall verdict2/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs2/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

Beautiful car out of the dealership, Quite, smooth engine, comfort and safety. By it stops there. I have owned the car for 5 years and now I have developed a true hate for this car. First starts the rattleing, from the dashboard, from the back and from places that I could not identify. At every service the dealer supposedly fixes them, but new ones soon appear. The suspension of the car is awefull. I have driven 100,000 km and have already changed the suspesion 3 times. The gearbox has also failed at 100,000km and needs replacement at a cost of Β£12,000. Woo, what quality!

Ali Husseini, July 15th 2012

0 4dr Auto

  • Overall verdict2/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs1/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG18 mpg

Fantastic to drive when it was running very good fuel economy for the size and capacity but staggering unreliability. Air suspension, gearbox, electrics, Command, mechanical suspension all failed. My advice, If you want one buy the MB extended warranty. Expensive but well worth it!

Mike Lloyd, August 15th 2008

0 CDi 4dr Auto

  • Overall verdict1/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs1/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG35 mpg

Dream to drive. Smooth, powerful. Very poor reliability. Recurring electrical problems for no reason, which no one seems to know about. Indicators, SatNav, CD player seem to come and go as they please. Gearbox stuck for no reason at all, which even the Mercedes dealer could not figure out. Very disappointing for Merc. It is not what it used to be.

Bilal Rana, February 25th 2008

0L 4dr Auto

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs2/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

This looks like a big car, and initially it feels like one too - but the more you drive it, the more it "shrinks to fit". Having read the negative experiences of some of the other reviewers, I must say I do not share their problems. I have had no rattles or squeaks, no unreliability, I can not achieve the "out of town" fuel consumption in the adverts, but my average over 10,000 miles is 38 mpg, and by using a Mercedes Specialist (Andy Gayle, Oldbury) my servicing costs are sensible and I have had no cause for repairs. The pneumatic suspension gives a choice of ride and handling. I am happy on the medium setting. The ride comfort and low noise levels can lull you into forgetting that not everyone has acres of power and performance to spare when cruising at motorway speeds. If considering one of these cars, there are plenty of good ones to choose from. I used a franchised dealer and bought a 2 year old at 20,000 miles. If you did not check, you would think it was a new car. There are not many extras you could specify, but it is worth finding one with Xenon lights as the original equipment is feeble for a car of such performance. Depreciation? I have had mine for 15 months and today would have to pay all but Β£4,00 of the price I paid, so no worse than many cars, and better than most new ones. The final bonus is unseen. In London, taxi drivers will compete with an E Class, but they will give way to an S Class! Perhaps they do think I am a drugs baron, or a rapper?

Alex Grieve, Warwickshire, February 21st 2008

0 CDi 4dr Auto

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I drive the S600 V12 and every time you sit behind the wheel it puts a smile on your face. There is a sense of occasion to driving this car which is just as well as - to take your mind off the running costs which are significant. A change of spark plugs will set you back Β£700 and the last service was Β£2000. However, the smoothness of the V12 is almost disconcerting. I know the S500 is the more sensible choice but chuck your Β£4.00 into the booth on the M6 toll road, floor the accelerator and listen to the grumble of the V12 beneath you like a distant but menancing storm whilst you try to lever your head forward out of the dent in the headrest and you'll be glad you didn't take the sensible option, even if it does mean your kids don't get the private education you had planned for them. If you live in the city and have a conscience this is probably not the car for you. However, if you often or sometimes have the opportunity to pelt down the M6 toll road with its merciful lack of speed cameras then that brief but truly awesome 20 minutes that you will spend topping autobahn speeds may be sufficient justification to justify the cost and guilt. If it isn't buy a diesel and embrace middle age with dignity.

David Royden, December 31st 2007

0L 4dr Auto Bi-Turbo

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

This is second review my s320sdi is eighteen months old i have had a lot of bother with it, 6ooo miles on the clock 2000 going back and forth to the garage, the car is still the same, the mercedes dealer wants nothing to do with it, my next car will be a B.M.W

gardner dixon, tyne @ wear, October 31st 2007

0 CDi 4dr Auto

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs2/5
  • Quality2/5
  • Average MPG28 mpg

FOR : - Fantastic reliability. Great cabin with good seat comfort. Good boot space. Smooth 3.2 litre engine, but underpowered. Superb styling & nice finish. AGAINST : - Far too much bumping & banging from the over-hard dampers makes the ride, for me, un-relaxing, not an insulating luxury ride, ( Too much boy racer influenced suspension ). Cabin rattles, though this is mostly down to hard shaky ride. Gearbox, side to side Tiptronic has lack of controlled selectabilty, not as good & precise as BMW up & down shift. Auto-mode, not bad by dreadful modern standards, better than BMW, but not as good as Lexus. If Mercedes STOPPED trying to make luxury cars like the S320 drive like 'Hot Hatches' this car would be a winner. A car IS NOT a luxury vehicle if it doesn't provide a luxury ride. If I wanted a car with hard sports suspension there are plenty to choose from. If Luxury vehicles don't address this problem then they are bringing their own cars down to the same ride quality levels as much cheaper & lesser brands. So, what's the point of buying a luxury car?

phil kean, hants, October 28th 2007

0 4dr Auto

  • Overall verdict2/5
  • What it's like to drive2/5
  • Running costs2/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

Five months and 12000mls since I gave this car a 5 star review and now .....oh my god!!!!!!!! Rattles galore, steering creaks clatter and bangs, gear box clunks and it keeps "coughing and chugging" sometimes when you start it. Doesn't need the sat nav to the main dealer its been so many times!!!!! But I still love the 35 to 38 mpg!!!!!

ANDREW TAYLOR, W.YORKS, October 23rd 2007

0 CDi 4dr Auto

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

My S63 AMG four-door is so fast and the handling is so great that 10 days later I brought another four S320s.

ivan golem, australia, August 14th 2007

L 4dr Auto

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

Quintessentially, this is the most powerful model in the Mercedes-Benz portfolio. Precision steering, a smooth engine (as I own a CDi version), lavish extras (TV, satellite-navigation, a rear-centre TV) and the bonus of self-levelling suspension makes the drive in an S-Class even more executive.

Amish Dudhia, WS5 4NF, July 17th 2007

0L CDi 4dr Auto

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

Be prepared for a deluge of annoyances and pointless features symptomatic of the modern trend for complication! While the engineering and quality are improved no end, actually living with the car can at times be genuinely irritating. Aside from COMAND, which is the crowbarred-in nuisance we now expect from the Germans, the single most aggravating thing is the car's seven-speed box. It holds onto the wrong gear, snatches/thumps when you hesitate (eg. at busy roundabouts), and searches endlessly on a trailing throttle. My old S-Class allowed you to select comfort suspension and a sports box, giving you the ideal combination of responsive throttle but pliant ride. The new one links the two settings, meaning if you want fast reactions to your right foot you also have to have to have firm suspension. So it stops feeling like a luxury car. It's also too big. The previous model shrunk when you drove it and was a cinch to chuck down small lanes. Because of the trend for high flanks, the new one can feel unwieldy and that rising bonnet and flared arches mean it's trickier to negotiate narrow streets. Overall the new S rides superbly - it's better than any other car at any price - and is reasonably quiet, but it's turned into a computer with integrated armchairs. Heaven only knows who'll buy these things ten years from now when they technology they contain is seriously out of date and all going wrong.

Philip Wand, June 1st 2007

0 CDi 4dr Auto

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs2/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

my w reg s320l has been a joke from new eventhough i had imported direct from germany,after problems with waterleaks into cabin,rust,cat converter being replaced,sat nav problems,amplifier problems.all having to be replaced at a hefty cost to myself.mercedes did not want to help in any way.finally during april,my dream car caught fire,i had travelled from wales to langley.i had parked the car on my drive way at 8.00pm, next morning at 5.00am,the car was on fire,it is a total right off,i contacted mercedes to find why a sclass after being parked for 9 hours could catch fire, their answer,contact germany.i did so but they just dont want to know. iask if any one else has had similar experience with mercedes.i will not be parting any more money to mercedes as i now know that their cars are rubbish along with their customer service.if u drive a sclass,be aware of a fire breaking out on your own driveway while u sleep,fire brigade told me that another merc in their area had the same sort of fire after being parked for a few hours

nilesh patel, berkshire, May 28th 2007

0L 4dr Auto

  • Overall verdict1/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs1/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

i purchased this car in january of 2007 for the sum of Β£82,000. now as you would of guessed my car is fully loaded being that a diesel does not cost that much. i chose the amg wheels but not the body kit as it spoils the look. i have found that the interior is fabulous but it lacks that special feel which you used to get in the mercedes 560sel, which is one of my all time favourites from the mercedes product range. the diesel is underpowered being the fact that i owned a 5.0 V8 before so i might be missing that feel of power. but all in all iam ver pleased with the car but unfortunately i shall not be purchasing another in time to come. my next choice will be the bentley flying spur or maybe the bentley continental gt.

michael robertson, worcestershire, May 20th 2007

0L CDi 4dr Auto

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I have owned my S320 CDI for just 2 weeks and covered just 1000 miles, but I already know the decision to spend such a large amount of money on this car is the right one. I spent my previous 20,000 miles with the same engine and transmission combination in an E Class, but the installation in the S class surpasses my expectations. The car is so much better than the sum of its parts and works perfectly. The ability to arrive at destinations ahead of schedule with negligible effort continues to impress along with the average of almost 40mpg. The COMAND system is worth the effort of getting to know and with the addition of linguatronic becomes second nature very quickly. Night driving with the ambient lighting and the active bi-xenon headlights is a pleasure and the reversing camera makes parking simple. I have never driven a car which makes so little fuss of completing a swift, safe journey. Is that the definition of the best luxury car of the moment? I think so.

Alastair Macqueen, Norfolk, May 12th 2007

0 CDi 4dr Auto

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

The car is just fantastic - it's smooth, powerful and a pleasure to drive. I am amazed at the miles to the gallon it does - it averages 35 to the gallon. The car looks good outside and inside. The safety features are second to none. I will definetely purchase another after this one.

John Smutek, Wilts, February 22nd 2007

0 CDi 4dr Auto

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I have owned many luxury cars and at first I simply hated this! Why? Well, to be honest, it's just too nice. If you want to feel like you are sat in a country house's library served by attentive butlers and sleep off a lazy sunny afternoon, it's great. If you want to feel like you are driving a car, forget it! It drives like a week in the Maldives, handles like a moody whale-size Porsche, and looks like you won the lottery, rap or deal drugs. That said, I would fight anyone to the death for the keys and plan to park it with an ocean view and retire in it (I'm 38). Mine is a 2001 S320 petrol. When nursing it, 35mpg is good. Service bills are ridiculous and you get nothing for it. Bodywork is showing rust already, which is bad. Would I own another? I will never buy anything else!

Steve Kaczmarek, Lincolnshire, February 22nd 2007

0 4dr Auto

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg