Date registered: Feb 2008
Vehicle: 2004 W220 (S430) ; 2001 R129 (SL500) Sport
Location: Alabama Gulf Coast--formerly Charlottesville, VA
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You'll find W220 haters that will say all 220s are junk. Of course, they don't own one. The early ('00-'03) W220s are known to have problems with the airmatic system, some of the electrics, and some of the accessories that were largely remedied in the '04-'06 models. Some of the changes were running, so there are some '03s that have the better parts. If the problems have been repaired with the new generation parts, then they have gone away. The same people who hate all W220s will also say that their general build quality is lower than their reputation warrants. I'm not sure that belief is shared by owners. I have had my '04 for about 6 months and it's as solid and well-built as I expected. I have a friend who just bought an '01 S55 AMG with 77k on the clock and it's solid as a block of steel. I'd talk to owners and see what experience has to say, and I would ignore opinions you get from others.
"Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you."--John Steinbeck