Advice for buyers
What should I look for in a used Mercedes S-Class saloon?
The What Car? Reliability Index paints a poor picture of the S-Class and puts average repair costs at a whacking £600. However, that figure also encompasses the previous model, and we would expect this model to be much better.
There's no doubt it's a tough car, and the engines and transmissions last indefinitely if cared for, although the electrics can go haywire.
Equally, you should shop carefully because a few bills are horrible. Don't buy one, for example, if the air-con isn't working, no matter how cheap the car is. Overhauling the chilled air system won't leave much change from £2k.
Another worry if you buy a 320 CDI is a tinkling from under the car that grows as revs rise. It indicates that the catalytic converter is breaking up - replacing that to ensure an MoT pass will cost well into four figures.