Date registered: May 2016
Vehicle: 2000 S430, 2003 S430, 2003 S600 TT, and 2005 E320 CDI
Mentioned: 169 Post(s)
Quoted: 962 Post(s)
^^ And that's because people don't typically change their transmission fluid/filter. I've seen W220's go well in excess of 300,000 miles. One of those, the owner does the fluids religiously. The thing still runs remarkably well.
Buying a late-2003 to 2006 W220 is your best bet to avoid rust issues. It was in the 2003 (North America) model year in which M-B started switching to the double-galvanized steel. By late-2003, as evidenced by both of my 2003's, they had apparently used up all the earlier, left-over body panels from 2002 (my two '03's have no rust--they do use road salt here).
Since you're in Rochester, NY (i. e. snow and ice), I'd suggest considering a 4Matic. Just know that the suspension components for 4Matics do tend to be a bit more expensive than the 2WD versions. However, it'll be worth it when you drive the thing. Count on the need to do a full front suspension overhaul, and possibly the rear AIRmatic springs as well. If you do go 4Matic, then that takes care of two other things as well. First, all 4Matics are post-facelift (2003 and later) cars, so body rust won't be nearly as big a problem. Second, all 4Matics use the more durable 5-speed transmission.
2000 S430 (Dad's car, used for special occasions)
2000 S500 (wife's DD: my first W220 project car)
2003 S600 ("sex on wheels"--second w220 project car)
2003 S430 (one of two current DD's--third W220 project car)
2005 E320 CDI (the other current DD--first W211 project car)
Last edited by cowboyt; 06-05-2019 at 07:31 AM.