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My 91 300SE W126 is on its way out due to several problems and I'm thinking about getting a 98 or 99 S500. How would you compare a W140 to the W126 in terms of performance, ride, and handling? Also what are some issues that the 98,99 W140 has with reliability? I found a 1998 S500 with 66K miles for $18k, is this a good price?
 

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I have a 91 560 SEL and a 98 S 500. I've had the w126 for more than 2 years now and the w140 for a little more than 2 months. Performance, ride and handling are all light years better in the 500. It's almost like they're not made by the same company. But that's what technology and engineering do for you as time progresses. The 560 squeaks and rattles like crazy, but the 500 is nearly silent... but not as rattle/squeak free as my previous 98 BMW 740iL. It was as quiet at 125,000 miles as it was new.

I still love the 560 and drive it about 3 times as much as the 500, but it's mainly to keep the miles down and road wear a minimum on the 500. I've put about 1,200 miles on it so far.

I bought the 500 with 50,500 miles for $17,000. The original asking price was $17,896, but it needed rear suspension accumulators, so they knocked off $600 for those, then I talked them down to 17 even. I thought this was a fair price as the car was in near mint condition otherwise and came with service records. It also has the very rare Parktronic feature and the rear window shade.

It's hard to tell if that's a good price for the car without knowing more about it. How has it been kept? Do they have service records? What part of the country are you in?

There are numerous threads on the board with information regarding reliability. I highly suggest you search and read through the posts before jumping in. The car is far more advanced than your 126 and will cost equally more to keep in top shape.

If you like the car enough and it's in great shape, a fair price will be what it's worth to you. I feel I got an excellent deal on mine - especially after looking at about 25 of them over 5 months and finding a bunch of turds.

But... most of all, I can't stress enough - get a PRE-PURCHASE INSPECTION done by a QUALIFIED MERCEDES SPECIALIST before you sign anything. It can save a lot of heartache down the road and gives you ammunition in negotiating a good price.

Feel free to contact me via PM if you'd like any specific questions answered.

Best of luck -

trey
 
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