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1999 Mercedes Benz S320 Long Wheelbase.
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544 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone, I don't hang out much in here, as I mainly hang out in the W140 section, but I was thinking, in a number of years that I'd like to be able to move into a W220, preferably either a 2003+ S55 or S600. I'd like to wait until the cars are in the 25-30k range, so it'll be 4-5 years, but I like to dream, lol. Anyways, both the S55 and S600 are amazingly fast cars, I'd assume the S55 is sportier, but is it a lot more so? Is there a big difference in the way the two cars act and drive? The S600 is probably more expensive to own and maintain?

Thanks in advance,
Chad.
 

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w201,w124,w126
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2,318 Posts
both the s600 and s55 are gonna drink more fuel than a fuel tanker. But its not stopping me, I'm going S55 AMG shopping in the summer. I've been watching prices for a while now.

You can get a '03/04 s500 for about $25k and a S55 for about $35k
 

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Mercedes 600
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I, too, was considerding a 2003-04 S600 to replace my father's aging W140 S500. But decided that the expense of potential maitainance after the extended warranty ran out would be too great. Went with a 2007 S550 instead.
 

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1999 Mercedes Benz S320 Long Wheelbase.
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544 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
^ You have the coolest collection on here. Classic Benzes, classic Cadillacs, classic Jaguars, classic Porsches, modern Benzes, etc etc.
 

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2003 S600,2007 C350, 1994 C280
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17 Posts
i have an 2003 S600, and so far it has been nothing but trouble. SRS airbag sensors, airmatic abc sensors, tyre pressure monitor failure. beware if you dont have big pockets.
 

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2003 S55, 2004 SL55
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138 Posts
You do not want to jump into the service disaster know as a S600 They are great cars - as long as someone else maintains them. Search any forum and you'll find owners who are very unhappy with what quits, falls apart or fails and costs stupid amounts of money to fix.

I bought an S55 which has been decent, but not remarkable in its service history. The steering angle sensor has quit 3 times in a year. The active seats have been repaired twice and are now inactive again. But, even with the problems, I like the car and do not plan to part with it.

Someone mentioned that an S55 drinks fuel. I disagree. Mine gets perfectly decent mileage on long cruises. I cannot argue with 20 MPG out of a car that hauls and stops like it does. The instant fuel display has never been right during warmup. It is convinced the car is getting 2 MPG for the first 4 miles. It is a "we can't fix it" thing at the dealer.

I have a Mercury insurance extended warranty on my S55. Pay heed to the fact that Mercury won't sell you one for an S600.

The fact that such a glorious car that 4 years ago was about $120K and now sells for a third of that tells you that the market has figured out that Benz makes cars that break. This is my eighth Benz, but is probably my last until something changes and their cars improve a lot.
 

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w201,w124,w126
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since you own a s55, does it have the "umph" that you get from the e55? The heart wrenching feeling you get when you floor out of a corner?
 

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2002 honda civic (sold), 2009 Mercedes ML350
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alot of companies now are saying no to the s600 as once the oil cooler starts leaking the repair cost exceeds the amount paid for the policy by almost 4-5 times.
 

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The 600 will definitely be more expensive to maintain. If I hada choice, I'd get the v8 s/c because I like boost.
 

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E500Es
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I have not talked to a single independent shop that remotely recommends getting an S600 [or CL600]. The issues include known leaky main seals, intake manifold gaskets and internals at the 50-60,000 mile range and repairs to not FIX the car, just prepare it for the next set of leaks in another 50K. It is why there are so many 50K S600 and CL600s on the used market all the time. And the repair is around 80 hours for the basic rebuild/R&R.
 

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w201,w124,w126
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S55 is the way to go, you can get a good 2003-2004 S55 AMG for under $40k, and if you were really going to skimp, you can find some at just over $30k.

I dont recommend getting the first generation w220 (pre 2003).
 

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07 Escalade ESV
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63 Posts
I can say since I own both currently I like them both they both are different in their own respects. The 600 is clearly quicker off the line and up top, it just pulls like a 747 on takeoff. The S55 I like its ride and its larger brakes (where the 600 does have, which I dont understand why).

But the 600 gives me normally 12mpg around normal mixed city/hwy driving. The S55 gives me about 15mpg in the same stuff. But HWY they are great, the S55 ive got 21-22mpg and 600 Ive got 20mpg.

As far as issues, only issue I had on the 600 was the oil level sensor was faulty and they had to drop the upper oilpan to replace it, which was done under warranty. Other than that, 3 of my 4 TPMS went dead which they replaced under warranty. No major issues yet.

Dixit
 

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S500/W220/2000
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I too have read some horror stories about the S600's so I would concentrate on the S55. Do a search in this forum and you should be able to pick up some serious insights. Apparently the newer S600 have improved a lot, but the early W220's were troublesome.
 

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As the owner of a Designo S600 Sport, I can say that I was not impressed by the $2,000 hydraulic pump replacement cost, and when they told me a spare set of floor mats were $635, I settled for an AMG set at $85. As for repairs - 3 words - Maintenance, Maintenance, Maintenance - The hydraulic pump, was user abuse (burp ;) ) - in addition to the power steering, it supports the Active Body Control.

A V12 with 24 plugs, is simply SMOOTH!!!! (oh yeah 93 Octane = 21MPG Highway - 14MPG City - but you don't drive an S600 in the city - it can't breath)
 

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500E, E320, 190E, E55
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Mercedes reputation for solid, dead reliable and durable motorcars died years ago with the demise of W126 S class and W124 E class. Way too many reliability and part failures to justify the prices for the late models. Any true Merc afficianado will tend to agree.
My 2001 S430 had ABC front strut failures/leakage @66K miles! It cost me close to $3K to repair after all was said and done. I sold the car immediately as it left a bad taste in my mouth. My W124's had almost 3 times that mileage with absolutely minimal issues!
 

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1999 E55
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S600 vs 55 detail

The 600 depreciates at a much greater rate than the 55. So much so that you can buy a 2-3 year ext warranty (daimlerchrysler, etc, exclusionary, a GOOD policy) and break even on the 55's price for the same year car.

No doubt about it, the maintenance costs on the V12 will be higher. Just like a V8 costs more than a 6 to maintain. It does seem that they jack the prices up a bit on everything related to the TTV12.

It is faster than the 55 stock, and with the ECU replacement (+100-150 torque) you will have the same specs as a stock S65. The smoothness of the V12 has to be felt. When the car came out in '03, MB had to detune the car and fib about the torque and 0-60 (since no 'normal' MB was allowed to be faster than the AMG equivalent in the class).

You will lose out on the exhaust note of the 55 (more 'sports car' sounding) and the AMG styling, although you can find some 600's with the AMG bodykit. The 600 is like a quiet jet on takeoff, you really don't realize you're doing 100 when just doing simple passing manouvers, etc.

Quality of interior is upgraded on the 600 - leather/alcantara etc. And options are more likely to be standard, whereas some are not included on most 55's (steering wheel heater/orth seats/distronic/etc), if that is important to you. Many features are not mentioned by MB (eg. it has Brembo brakes, but is not outwardly labeled!) You just don't see that many on the road.

Not sure if there is a 'better' choice (since this thread has been resurrected so many times), just my $0.02.
 
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