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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,

This is my first post on this forum and I apologize in advance for the its length.On top of that, it will be translated from my native language, so mistakes might occur.
You have been warned, so let's get on with it!

I am planning to change my car sometime next year, and the S Class was one of the cars that drew my attention. Funny thing, at the beginning I was not even thinking about it, wanted to choose between BMW 7 series, Audi A8 and VW Phaeton, but the more I was looking at it, the more it got my attention, and now I can not get it out of my head.

I drive around 30.000 to 35.000 km (18.000 to 22.000 miles) per year, mostly on the highway, commuting to work and back. The model I'm interested in is the W221 S350 CDI from 2013 (basically the latest W221), due to its lower fuel burn and especially due to the lower tax bracket (in my country, the tax for the V8 diesel is almost 4 times more than the 3.0, so it really makes no sense to get the bigger engine).

I have a "few" question for you regarding this car:

1. What should I watch out for when buying this car? Any knows issues or design flaws? I saw some users complaining about the air suspension, especially the air struts, but the cars were the older W220 model. Is this problem common on the W221 too?

2. What's the real MPG, highway and city?

3. Maybe a stupid question, but does it have a USB port?

4. I know a major face-lift occurred in 2008-2009, and that the model was build until 2013. Was there another change/face-lift in between?

5. How reliable is the car? Engine? Gearbox? Electronics? Is it expensive to fix? I know the labor cost is different from country to country, but are the parts expensive?

6. Please post any other info you think it's relevant.

Thank you and I am looking forward to your (I hope many) answers!

Regards,
Dan

PS: please don't get discouraged by my username. It's an old college nickname that sticked till now, and it's related to the old Norse mythology, not internet.
 

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W221 & Audio Moderator
2013 S550
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10,914 Posts
As for problems with the car, you should take a trip through our four DIY & FAQs. There is not much addressed on the particular engine in the car you want, but it shares the other systems with the other W221 models, and the comments would apply.

I have no idea of the mileage; hope you get an answer.

My 2013 W221 has the Media Interface option, which provides a USB port. Not all W221s have that interface.

The styling was refreshed again in 2010, with relatively small changes.

Again, look at the DIY & FAQs.
 

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2013 s550
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19 Posts
you can find them for about 22k with around 70 to 110k miles on them, they are very reliable cars, of course a probplem is the shocks, but can be found for under $300 each and can be done by you if you don't mind getting dirty, besides that ive had no issues with anything on my car. find one with as many options as you can, they are just cool to have.
 

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2013 Mercedes-Benz S-Class
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I currently drive a 2013 Mercedes-Benz S-Class. It is really worth buying for your daily commute.
 

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2010 S500
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45 Posts
Don´t forget to check the possibility of converting to LPG!!!

You loose nothing and gain a lot, at least here in Europe.
 

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Outstanding Contributor W221 Moderator
2010 E350 P1/P2, 2008 S550 Designo, 2002 ML320
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1,886 Posts
I love my S550 and have put 50k miles on it in 2 1/2 years. It is my daily driver and just a joy to operate. The air struts do wear and eventually leak and are more expensive than standard struts to replace, but still very much worth the cost and effort.

The 350 CDI being a diesel ... that car should last a LONG time. My gas motor is still super strong at 161k miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you for the answers guys, keep em coming!
I was browsing through the DIY & FAQ section, looking at a thread with high millage cars (over 100k) and I saw a very common problem was the engine and transmission mounts, which wear out and have to be changed. My present car (a 2012 KIA Optima) has around 120.000 miles and I didn't have to change any mounts. Truth to be told, the cars were the S 550 with the big V8. Is this problem related to the size of the engine?

A side question: in your opinion, how reliable is the car, overall? Don't get me wrong, I know that the normal maintenance will be more expensive that with my KIA, and I am prepared to pay for it, but I don't want to spend 4-5000 euros per year, and the car to turn into a bottomless pit in which to keep throwing money, just to keep it working... Have you ever been left stranded somewhere because of some fault?

Dan
 

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2012 S350 BlueTEC (2), 2005 S430, 2005 E320 CDI, 2009 E320 BlueTEC
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I own 2 different 2012 S350 CDI (BlueTEC) cars and can offer my experience. Here is the United States this model was offered only for MY 2012 and 2013, and both are identical. The common problems are the NOx sensors in the exhaust system (there are 2, both the same) and the urea tank heater module. Both my cars had both NOx sensors fail and also both cars had the heater module fail. The heater module has an integral temp sensor and also an integral fill sensor, and in both cases the temp sensor was the failure. Another very common issue with the 642 engine is the oil cooler seals failing, and the intake flaps swirl motor/linkage issue.

My cars do have a USB port in the glove box. These cars ride and handle great. Once you get the common issues sorted out they are good cars in my opinion. I get mid-to-upper 30's mpg consistently, and that's with 4Matic. It's a pain in the neck to add the AdBlue urea liquid as on these models as the spare tire must be removed to access the urea tank. My cars are mainly highway driven and only use about 1 gallon of AdBlue in 5000 miles, so adding the liquid is not required often.

I really appreciate the comfort and spacious cabin of the S. The Airmatic ride is great and I have had no issues with that. Also I have had no DPF issues either.

Hope this helps!
 

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Outstanding Contributor W221 Moderator
2010 E350 P1/P2, 2008 S550 Designo, 2002 ML320
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Thank you seubill! I have to say that this made me pause for a moment ...

It's a pain in the neck to add the AdBlue urea liquid as on these models as the spare tire must be removed to access the urea tank. My cars are mainly highway driven and only use about 1 gallon of AdBlue in 5000 miles, so adding the liquid is not required often.
So I found some YouTube videos and holy guacamole that's an odd design!
 

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I’ll give you some true advice, I love my s550 it’s a phenomenal car...until something goes wrong. Which seems to be often at least with my last 2 Mercedes. Either do your work yourself or be prepared to spend thousands on minuscule things, especially on something over 100k
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I own 2 different 2012 S350 CDI (BlueTEC) cars and can offer my experience. Here is the United States this model was offered only for MY 2012 and 2013, and both are identical. The common problems are the NOx sensors in the exhaust system (there are 2, both the same) and the urea tank heater module. Both my cars had both NOx sensors fail and also both cars had the heater module fail. The heater module has an integral temp sensor and also an integral fill sensor, and in both cases the temp sensor was the failure. Another very common issue with the 642 engine is the oil cooler seals failing, and the intake flaps swirl motor/linkage issue.

My cars do have a USB port in the glove box. These cars ride and handle great. Once you get the common issues sorted out they are good cars in my opinion. I get mid-to-upper 30's mpg consistently, and that's with 4Matic. It's a pain in the neck to add the AdBlue urea liquid as on these models as the spare tire must be removed to access the urea tank. My cars are mainly highway driven and only use about 1 gallon of AdBlue in 5000 miles, so adding the liquid is not required often.

I really appreciate the comfort and spacious cabin of the S. The Airmatic ride is great and I have had no issues with that. Also I have had no DPF issues either.

Hope this helps!
Thank you for your answer seubill, very good info! How did you realised that the NOx sensors failed? Fault errors on board or specific engine symptoms? How about the heater module? And how much did it cost to fix them?

Can you play music through the USB port, or charge a phone? How is the phone connectivity (I have an iPhone). I guess no Apple car play... Is there any way to know if a specific model has an USB port, if it's not specifically mentioned in the add?

Have a nice day!

Dan
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I’ll give you some true advice, I love my s550 it’s a phenomenal car...until something goes wrong. Which seems to be often at least with my last 2 Mercedes. Either do your work yourself or be prepared to spend thousands on minuscule things, especially on something over 100k
Can you please elaborate a bit your answer? What problem did you have and how much did it cost to fix them (time and money).

Thank you!

Dan

PS: a side question for the big V8 owners: for my curiosity, what your mpg (city and highway)?
 
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