2003 Mercedes S500... true cost to own? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-07-2010, 05:18 AM Thread Starter
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2003 Mercedes S500... true cost to own?


I'm new to the forum, and not a Benz owner myself (yet anyway), but I've come to a "crossroads" so to say, my current car (1994 Lincoln Town Car) has done it's work and it's time to park it in the garage and start a little project. However, this also means that it's time for me to get a new daily driver, I haven't looked at cars much in the past 10 years to be honest, and being a Lincoln owner I simply went down to the dealership and was shown what they had to offer, well the once proud Town Car has been reduced to a taxi grade vehicle and the MKS is a monstrosity on wheel (FWD V6? Are you kidding me?). So, that led to me leaving and starting to research what exactly I want. A few test drives later it's down to two vehicles.

One is a 2009 Jaguar XF-S, the other (as the title suggests) a 2003 Mercedes S500. While I'm familiar with what the Jaguar will cost to run/maintain etc. I haven't been quite as able to familiarize myself with the S500, I'm not a man of tremendous means (though I do have some) and as such I could afford the XF brand new if I wanted to, but couldn't do the same with the S500, I realize this car is made to compete with Bentley and Rolls-Royce level quality, hence I fear that the maintenance costs might be reflective of that. If I could get some honest input regarding this I would really appreciate it. The vehicle in question has 40K on the odometer and is in stunning condition. And are there any things I should particularly look for in a pre-purchase inspection (maybe mileage specific items)?

Let me know, thanks.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-07-2010, 07:04 AM
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Better question for the W220 forum. Scroll down from this general one and look in the sedans section. I think you'll get quicker answers there. Good luck and welcome to BW.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-07-2010, 07:26 AM
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Cost to own ANY Mercedes is higher than for lesser cars.

S-class is top of Mercedes' line and will very likely exhibit highest cost of ownership. (This is not necessarily a criticism, as you get what you pay for ... if you can afford it in the first place.)

Being "top of line," S-class has all the latest (at the time) toys, and there's no reason to think cutting edge stuff will be refrigerator reliable.

S-classes probably depreciate fastest of all Mercedes due to their "status" position, and therefore initial cost of ownership (depreciation, etc.) is probably highest.

I think this is replaced when depreciation settles down by higher cost of maintenance. It's still the best stuff although it may be old, and replacement parts will be expensive.

It's my philosopy that if you can't afford to own a new S-class you can't afford to own a used one, either. NO Mercedes is a drive-it-and-forget-it car.

A useful comparison occurs in the BMW club magazine, where the tech editor states the only people that should own used 7-series (BMW's S-class competitor) are professional BMW technicians.

Kent Christensen
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Last edited by lkchris; 11-07-2010 at 07:28 AM.
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