Galvanised body has 30-year warranty and car carries 30-year MB Mobilo roadside assistance (**but see ''What's Bad').
Nice looking, beautifully built, unaggressively styled big cars.
Sensible engine range from S280 through To S600. Smaller 280 and 320 are V6s.
Rack and pinion steering gives good road feel and makes the cars much better to drive then 140 Series without sacrificing ride comfort.
Excellent 'Tipfunction' side-flick manual control over 5-speed automatic. S320 V6 is just about adequate. 430 V8 probably the best compromise.
Nothing better as a quiet, refined 140 mph Autobahn cruiser.
Straight-six S320CDI diesel arrived in UK in Spring 2000 with 197 bhp and 347lb ft torque giving 143 mph or 35 mpg.
V8 S400 CDI has 247 bhp and a staggering 414 lb ft giving 155mph or 30mpg. Not unreasonably priced for what you get. Probably the best car in the world from 1999 to 2001 after which it is only supplanted by the new W211 E500.
Revisions from autumn 2002 include 493bhp S55 V8 with 515lb ft torque and fantastic 493bhp S600 V12 with 590lb ft torque.
Also new S350 with 242bhp 3.7 V6 and new 197bhp S320CDI with 369lb ft torque. 2002 S280s started at £44,4120; 204bhp C320 CDIs (369 lb ft torque) at £47,645; 245bhp S350s at £49,810; S430s at £57,470; S500s at £60,110; 500bhp S55 AMGs at £83,240; and 500bhp S600 L V12s at £87,580.
Both the S55 AMG and the S600 get to 60mph in 4.5 seconds. All new S Class fitted with Pre-Safe system which closes sunroof, moves seats upright and tightens seatbelts in the event of any kind of accident. Works brilliantly.
2003 model year S320CDI got nine stars in Autocar test on 10-12-2002.
A GREAT CAR HAS GOT BETTER. S600 NOW HAS TO BE THE BEST SALOON CAR IN THE WORLD. 35 MPG S320CDI IS THE MOST SENSIBLE LUXURIOUS CAR. VERY HARD TO ARGUE AGAINST.
5,980cc S65 AMG announced summer 2003 with monster 612bhp and electronically limited 738lb ft torque (unlimited would be 885lb ft) getting it from 0-60 in just over 4 seconds and to 125mph in 13.3 seconds. Top speed electronically limited to 155mph, but would do close to 200 unrestricted. Has AMG Speedshift autobox with steering wheel button shift. Arrives UK early 2004. 7-speed G-Tronic autobox standard on S500 from December 2003. S320CDI voted one of Autocar's top ten cars of 2003.
New V6 diesel replaces previous in-line 320CDI six-cylinder engines from spring 2005. 224bhp and a maximum torque of 510 Nm. Exhaust emissions meet the stringent EU4 limits; in addition Mercedes-Benz offers the V6 engine with a particulate filter as an option in the UK.
S and T reg cars came 19th in 2001 Top Gear / JD Power Customer Satisfaction Survey. MB had fifth lowest average cost in warranty claims for cars up to 10 years old in 2002 Warranty Direct index. MB generally 9th lowest average warranty repair costs in 2003 Warranty Direct Reliability index (index 70.79 v/s lowest 31.93) Link:- www.reliabilityindex.co.uk
Road test S600 bi-turbo and S500 4-Matic at Mercedes Benz S Class W220 2001 Road Test
More at www.mercedes-benz.co.uk
Usergroup linked to 'Mercedes Owner' magazine www.mercedesclub.org.uk
Useful online forum: www.mbclub.co.uk