Used Mercedes-Benz S-Class (1991 - 1999) Safety & Reliability

Review by Parkers on
Last Updated: 27 Jan 2014
Old-generation S Class is technologically sophisticated, but just too big. Virtually unrivalled for prestige, comfort, power and reliability, these behemoths lack the discreet elegance of the BMW 7-Series or Audi A8.
3.5 out of 5



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You're unlikely to come off worse in an accident, unless it's with something larger, like a lorry. Most technologically-advanced car of its era. Massive structure. ABS, twin airbags and side airbags from June 1996. Acceleration skid control on larger-engined models. Alarm and immobiliser. Rvised models are more secure, many having sophisticated after-market systes including satellite trackers.

4 out of 5


Superb, but full M-B service history is a must. Electronic faults are a possibility. Build quality is unparalleled. Capable of huge mileages and usually well cared for.

Car check problem points


Needs to be mint.


No major faults reported but specialist servicing is essential as there are lots of high-tech items to cause problems.


Heavy tyre wear, general neglect.