I've owned just about everything in USA and European cars but never a Mercedes. I'm in my mid 60's and finally decided to take the leap. I looked and looked and nothing rang my bell until I saw a 2000 S/430 and drove it. I was hooked. It's the finest riding car I've ever put my old frame in and I've been told the same by all my BMW Sedan owners as well as Cadillac, Porsche, Lincoln, all SUV models sold in the states as well as other makes and model owners. Everyone I've had in the car has raved about it's fine/smooth ride.
I wasn't going to buy a new Mercedes Sedan until I tried one and didn't want to risk the ranch on being satisfied. The 2000/S430 I bought had 115,000 miles on it but was show room condition and looks like it's brand new inside and out. I'm no dummy so I checked in detail the Car-fax details, Mercedes dealer recall of what service was performed on the car and RECALLS by the manufacturer.
Then, I started reading reviews on the 2000/S430 and some of the post on this website would scare you to death about the air-matic system, command system, engine, transmission, Mercedes Factory Reps, Mercedes dealers, jack-leg mechanics, etc. I thought to myself, who in the world wants this type of headache.
I then made my own decision to buy the car. I said to myself, a car that rides and handles this well with the comfort equipment it has not to mention the power and response of the S430 engine just can't be that much of a beast. So here we are today. I've completely replaced the brakes including disk and all other parts. I didn't do it at a dealer and it wasn't cheap but nothing that caused my old heart to stop. I'm also looking into the airmatic system to insure all is well. Otherwise it's been a driving pleasure that I drive about 50 miles per day. Time will tell if this was a brain shortage on my part.