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Mercedes-Benz S-Class S500 4d Auto (02) (2003/53)

Mercedes-Benz S-Class S500 4d Auto (02) (2003/53) - Owner Review

It's huge. Plenty of room for all the family inside and a boot that swallows everything you can throw at it. This was the only car I found that I could lie my child's buggy flat lengthways with room to spare. In other cars it would have to go diagonally, wasting boot space. And it's so comfortable. We can cover huge distances without getting bad backs and being deafened by engine and road noise.
5

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Review submitted by
Stuart Davison on

Mercedes-Benz S-Class (99-05)

Summary

5 out of 5

What does this car say about you?
I have no idea. I'd hope it's pretty understated apart from the fact it's big. I don't actually want to shout out "look at me". I just want to silently cruise past unnoticed.

What do your friends / family / neighbours think of the car?
They love it - the luxury, the comfort, the speed! People always think the car must have cost me a fortune and they can't believe it when I tell them it cost £8K.

Would you buy this car again and why?
Maybe. All being well I hope to keep this car for a very long time unless my circumstances change. The combination of speed and luxury will be difficult to top but I'm always open to looking at other vehicles.

What are you likely to buy next?
Either another used S-Class or maybe a Mercedes ML and as I like having 4WD, and that puts a Volkswagen Phaeton in the picture too. Or maybe I'll just go nuts while the kids are still small and get a Jaguar XK convertible.

Buying experience

4 out of 5

Type of dealer you bought from?
Didn't buy from a dealer

Did you buy this car new?
Used

What price did you pay?
£8,200

When did you buy the car?
May 2011

Did you get a good deal and why?
I think I got an excellent deal. The car was immaculate, had only done 36,000 miles and had all the history to back it up. I don't think the previous owner realised just how fully loaded the car was and was keen to do a quick sale as they had their new car lined up.

Is there any special reason why you bought this car?
I like comfort, I like speed and I wanted plenty of room for small children inside and a big boot. I don't do huge mileages so the thirsty engine wasn't too much of a concern.

What was the dealer like?
N/A. Private sale.

Driving it

5 out of 5

What's it like to drive?
I love driving this car. It is a huge old boat and can be a bit wallowy on the softest setting (which is usually just fine for wafting around - but does soak up the very worst bumps that our potholed roads can throw at it), but if you need to get a move on around the twistie then a couple of presses on the air suspension button firms thing up nicely. Power is more than adequate and I have never wished it was faster. Overtaking is effortless and little stays with me if I decide to boot it from the lights. Every time I drive this car it feels like a special occassion. It's so well built and the materials in the cabin are gorgeous. It makes you feel special.

What's it like to park?
Hahahahaha - thank god for parking sensors! It's a huge car. It's not my only vehicle and therefore I would not normally use it to pop down the local shops as you do need a big parking space. I've also stopped taking it to supermarket car parks as I get the impression people see the car and think it must be owned by someone really rich and deliberately slam their car doors into it as it's picked up a few "dings".

Living with it

5 out of 5

Have you had any problems with the car?
Within two weeks of buying it the alarm started playing up. Turned out this is a common fault as the battery back-up leaks when it gets old, causing the PCB to short. Cost about £100 to fix. Nothing has gone wrong since.

What's most practical about your car?
It's huge. Plenty of room for all the family inside and a boot that swallows everything you can throw at it. This was the only car I found that I could lie my child's buggy flat lengthways with room to spare. In other cars it would have to go diagonally, wasting boot space. And it's so comfortable. We can cover huge distances without getting bad backs and being deafened by engine and road noise.

Favourite gadget, option or accessory?
So many to choose from! In cold weather the heated steering wheel and seats are lovely and during the summer the air conditioning in the seats is very welcome too. The electric rear blind is useful to be able to lower on the move to keep the sun out of babies eyes. But then again, keyless entry is lovely, as is the remote boot open and close....

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