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Specs for S500 & S420 & S320

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Would anyone know where I could obtain the specs (size, weight etc and performance) for the subject models? I am considering buying a used MB and I have pretty much narrowed it down to these.<br> <br> Thanks,<br> Larry
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Re: Specs for S500 & S420 & S320

We just went through the same search and settled<br> on a 99 S320 SWB.<br> <br> The weight is about the same on all of them.<br> 4200lbs empty +=5% depending on options. Low<br> speed performance for all three (say to 30 mph)<br> is about the same. Low speed cornering performance for all three (say to 60 mph) is<br> about the same, but depends strongly on the tires.<br> <br> The 320 gets better mileage but is much less <br> zippy from 50-120 mph. In high-speed cornering<br> the 500 has a clear edge, but hardly anybody <br> drives that hard for long distances. (My <br> perspective is distorted: I have an actual race<br> car for when I want to drive hard for hours.)<br> <br> My conclusion is the 5 speed 6 cyliners is the <br> best bang for the buck. The S500 is the nicest.<br>
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: Specs for S500 & S420 & S320

Thanks for the info. Does your S320 have the double door glass like the S500? How is the S320 in passing on 2 lane roads? Did you find much performance difference between the S500 and the S420? I have an 87 BMW M6 now and I realize I will be giving up some performance but I also don't want to feel like I am driving a underpowered car. I've driven the S500 and it was fine, but I have no experience with the others.<br> <br> Thanks,<br> Larry
 

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Re: Specs for S500 & S420 & S320

The S320 has double glass doors.<br> <br> For low-speed, easy driving, there is not<br> much difference between the S420 and 500.<br> <br> For me, the limiting factor for quick driving <br> of any of these cars is the seats! I am about<br> 6' and 170lbs; by the time the stability control<br> is kicking in (quick driving) I am sliding all<br> over the front seat making precise braking,<br> turning and throttle control almost impossible.<br> <br> If your intent is to do any 2-lane driving you<br> will need to change the seats, or use something<br> silly like Rubber Maid 'grip sheet' to keep your<br> body in place. ($10 at Home Depot!) Only those<br> with really wide behinds can use the stock seats<br> for sporty driving.<br> <br> The cars are fundamentally wide and heavy. The<br> width means you need to move more to pass. The<br> weight means you simply cannot push the cars as<br> hard as an M6 -- the tires just will not do what<br> you want. My 320 does a 4-wheel drift just fine,<br> but not without complaint.<br> <br> As far as the passing issue is concerned, I have<br> never had any trouble at posted speed limits. <br> The 5 speed really shines. <br> <br> High speed backroad work is not the place for<br> these cars. Here in SoCal, I would stay away from<br> Mulholland, East Fork Road, Ortega and the <br> front side of the Angeles Crest. The car works<br> well on 33 out of Ojai, and big open places,<br> like say the northern approach to King's Canyon.<br> Also I see 110 mph on freeway transitions and <br> similar well-designed roads.<br> <br> Of course there is no better car to CRASH in, <br> so from one point of view the choice does not matter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re: Specs for S500 & S420 & S320

I own a '98 S500 and my wife has a '97 S320 short-wheelbase. One thing's for sure: I greatly prefer the driving dynamics of the SWB chassis -- don't know if it's a function of the lighter weight or the different geometry or both. I find the SWB more attractive, too. Of course, the 500 is more powerful off the mark ... I wish they had made SWB's with V8s, wonder why not. That being said, the V6 in the 320 is surprisingly powerful, and has required absolutely zero maintenance, unlike the 500 which has needed frequent attention. The gearing is just absolutely optimal on that 320 and wreaks every single bit of useful torque out of the motor ... the boys really did their homework in deciding on the ratios. (Is it exactly the same motor as is in E320s, or are the heads/cam different? ... I ask because it feels like it has a totally different torque curve than an E motor does.) If I could find a supercharger kit for the V6, I'd buy her a new car and keep her 320 for myself. But I think the CR may be too high -- the owner's manual says 10:1 -- to work well with a blower unless the head were pulled and worked on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Re: Specs for S500 & S420 & S320

Bill you are the 3rd person to mention the SWB as an attractive alternative. I assume that there would be some weight savings with the SWB also? Is your S320 the V6 or inline? Do you think that the difference in length is all in the rear seat room? If that is so then the SWB would be fine for me because we have regular size family/friends.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re: Specs for S500 & S420 & S320

Larry, the SWB is 4' shorter. Yeah, I think it's all in the rear legroom ... in fact I am almost sure that the front doors and seat configs are exactly the same. It's still a big car, and rear legroom is still excellent, if not quite limo-like! The 320 motor is an inline 6 ... much, much less complex than an OHC V8. There must be quite a bit of weight saved between the motor and the shorter chassis, but I'm not sure of the exact specs. As I understand it, there were far fewer SWB cars (S320W) than LWB cars (S320V) ... I'm not sure exactly why.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: Specs for S500 & S420 & S320 and 400SEL 1993

I have a 1993 400SEL and i changed the badges to S 600 and put a S600 after market MB star Grill.... this car is great and very fast i really feel like i am diving a S600. This is a Euro model i think. The pickup is extremely Quick and if u going like 80mph and down shift it to 3rd gear and push the car to like a lill over 4ooo rpms u are not gonna believe how fast it goes from 80mph to 120 mph in the 3rd gear.. <br> On the highway its great and noc car other than a very expensive sports car {like ferrari or corvette} can beat it. Mustangs dot even come closer.<br> S320 is not as fast but good on gas in the city. 400 SEL is great for highway 18-20mpg but in the city only 12-14 mpg.<br> Great car to drive and no major problems. smooth ride no air breaking sounds.<br> Try driving 400sel its great i am upgrading the head lights to xenon and changing the rear lihts to a 1997 and up. <br> If u wanna buy a Benz S class get S420 or higher.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Re: Specs for S500 & S420 & S320

Always hear of the great safety and crash worthiness with the S class (particularly the 1999s)but never have seen actual test results. Can anyone supply this info? Any real life stories? Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Re: Specs for S500 & S420 & S320

Note that the performance specs for a 400SE and an S320 (I don't know whether a long or a short) are basically identical. Take a look at <br> <br> http://www.syclone.freeserve.co.uk/rivals.htm<br> <br> ... which is a compendium of acceleration times for some 569 different cars. The specs for the two Mercs in question are<br> <br> 1991 Mercedes 400SE Auto; 286hp; 0-60 8.4 sec; 1/4-mile 16.5 sec<br> <br> 1999 Mercedes S320 Auto; 224hp; 0-60 8.4 sec; 1/4-mile 16.6 sec<br> <br> This hardly seems to make sense unless the gearing is totally different or else the weight of an S320 is much less. Perhaps the torque converters have different stall speeds; anybody know?<br> <br>
 
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