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Mercedes-Benz S-Class W221 (2006 - 2014)

Last updated 8 July 2014

 
5
Wonderfully luxurious. High-class cabin. Superb refinement on the move. The best looking saloon this size. Improved again from 2010.
Feels as big as it looks. Sophisticated systems expensive to maintain and replace. Costly servicing and tyres.
Updated 31 May 2013

In July 2012 a 2005 CLS350 with the M272 V6 engine was diagnosed with worn timing mechanism, which was replaced at a cost of £3,000 , after a 75% discount on parts. Then in January 2013, car back with...

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Introduction

The old W220 S-Class was to most eyes a beautiful looking car, the svelte lines of which belie its bulk. It was a great favourite, selling 17,852 in the UK alone, the most common car parked kerbside outside the embassies and consulates of Kensington. Now you can pick one up used for around £12,000 they are even gracing the station taxi ranks of posh suburbs like Walton-on-Thames.

I liked the car very much. Always felt at ease behind the wheel of a big Benz, especially the twin-turbo S600 and the LHD only S500 4-Matic that cornered in the wet as you might imagine a Mitsubishi Evo limousine.

But the car had its critics. Not enough boot room was one complaint. Quite a lot of niggles. And a perception that quality of build and materials used was progressively downgraded. Add to that extremely high servicing and repair costs and there had to be another reason why 70% - 90% of owners stayed loyal to the model rather than desert to Audi, BMW, Lexus or Jaguar.

The looks? The 3 pointed star? The way the car drives? What it says about them? Make your up own mind if you aren't already an S-Class owner and know.

Next: Model History

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