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Old 01-27-2011, 08:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Date registered: Jun 2010
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S400cdi 2002 vs 2400cdi 2003


Im considering the 2 cars mentioned in the topic. Now ive read through some forums and seen that the facelift 2003 ofcourse has upgrades and is a tad bit more reliable then the 2002. Which normally is a given that they become better and not worse.

Now being that i live in norway the prices for cars and especially cars with engines that have more then 80HP are insane. The price diffrence between the 2 cars ive been looking at is about 15-17 000$

If i go with the 03 im stretching my budget pretty big really. So im wondering is it really worth it shelling out extra for a 03 facelift ? People on diffrent forums do disagree alot on this, some say that the pre facelift have lots of problems, like rust and the electrical. I really dont know what to do and im dying to get my hands on an s-class.

Oh and another thing, im thinking of getting it tuned as ive read this will increase the engine to go faster than a s500. Any thoughts on this ?
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Date registered: Mar 2008
Vehicle: 2003 S500
Location: PA
Posts: 256
I recommend 03! better seats, navigation screen, and of course front fascia!
Airmatic compressor and Hela relay ~$600 . Instrument cluster(quoted $1200)-$0 Dealer recall
Rear differential seals & fluid ~$850 . 2 Michelin's MXV4 ~$500 . Alignment & Service A~$300. Windshield OEM(quoted $1200)-$0 Insurance

Fuel filter $150 . Brake fluid $90
. Steering wheel $200 . LR airstrut(quoted $700)-$450 Arnott . Engine air filter(quoted $90)-$60 installed myself
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Old 01-28-2011, 11:32 AM   #3 (permalink)
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thanx for the reply.

Now even if i did get the 03 i would still remove the comand and retrofit a 2xDIN with gps,mp3,ipod and all of that.

This is the one im looking at btw: Mercedes-Benz S-Klasse S400 CDI SE BIL OG UTSTYR, SMYKKE! 2002,

My main concern here ofcourse is money as the upgrade to the 03 is really expensive. Im kinda left with a feeling that the pre 03 w220s are more or less useless compared to the facelift upgrade.
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Old 01-28-2011, 01:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Date registered: Jan 2010
Vehicle: 2000 and 2003 W220 S500
Location: Baltimore, MD - Bergenfield, NJ
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I own both pre and post facelift cars ('00 and '03) and for most practical purposes they are the same animal. They need almost the same things at almost the same times. The front struts, a/c blower motor, radiator fan, SRS seat sensor, all had to be replaced on the '00 and I expect the '03 to follow the same fate.

If you are retrofitting and aftermarket kit (although I hear this is more complex than it sounds), then the command differences are moot. For the price difference, you can certainly make it look like the '03 with a tail light and headlight upgrade and just sell the OEM parts (or keep them as spares).

In terms of prestige, comfort and difficulty to drive in the snow, they are the same car.

Of course, I'm speaking if both these cars have similar mileage, optional eqipment and vehicle history reports.

If the price difference is as high as you say it is, then go for the '02 and mod it to look like the '03. You'll have less stress on your budget and more money to spend on things you didn't plan to spend on with this car. This car is funny like that.
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Old 01-28-2011, 02:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yeah ill have to dig pretty deep just to get these minor upgrades, id rather spend it on making the car the way i want it. I was just concerned that if the 02 reliability was pretty poor compared to the 03, then the money id save on the 02 would be used on repairs and such when it could have been avoided by just getting the 03 version.

Hopefully the previous owner or owners have already changed and repaired the things that are known to go wrong. The ad says that it has a full service history and receipts and he did tell me that the car is 100%

Hopefully im getting a good deal and i cant wait to get my hands on it, been waiting years to afford an s-class
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Old 01-28-2011, 07:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Date registered: Mar 2008
Vehicle: 2003 S500
Location: PA
Posts: 256
I do have to admit the car looks sharp!

A few observations:

-No xenon headlights, but the upgrade was already discussed.
-i see it has the proximity sensors in the front bumper, that's a nice upgrade.
-Wood steering wheel,looks good but i personally don't find it practical, because of lack of grip and too cold in the winter.
-After-market wheels;that could be a good or bad thing. Good if they went to all the trouble to upgrade the wheels,maybe they fixed the struts at the same time.Bad, if they only put on the fancy wheels for looks, and neglected to address the obvious problems or contributed to making them worse.

Overall, good, nice , clean looking car, if you like the color combination.

Good luck with whatever you decide and make sure you turn on and off every button twice, check it at an independent and meticulous mechanic that's familiar with Mercedes and triple check the paperwork for maintenance, repairs and recalls.
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