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S350 BlueTec 2010
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, hope to buy a w221 in the future.
How do they compare against the w220?
What are common faults to look out for? do they also have air suspension problems?

which is the best engine?

thanks
 

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2000 S500 Kleemann, 2007 S550
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142 Posts
I think the 2008 and newer are pretty solid cars, some 2007 models had tranny and engine problems.
The compressors for the suspension are a common problem otherwise great cars.
 

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I fully planned to trade my last W220 for a W221 last year, but I ended up with another W220. I like the new body style when the car has the AMG package, otherwise it's a toss up. I didn't care for the interiors of the 221's I drove. The tan interior has this weird mix of dark and light butterscotch colored panels that looked terrible. The black interior was a little too black and cave-like. (I don't like the black W220 interiors either.) I wasn't able to see one with the Ash interior. I did notice that in the 2012 cars, the beige interior is beautiful...no butterscotch anymore.

To my eye, I find the sweeping curves of the dash and doors in the W220 to be more appealing than that of the W221, which seemed chopped up and less cohesive to me.

There seemed to be a lot of areas of cheaper looking plastic on the dash and doors. I miss having an actual gearshift. The W220 has a significantly better sounding audio system. The 221's sounded very dull and lifeless, and not much in the way of audio controls to shape the sound.

The seats in the 221 were fine, although I preferred the 220. The exception was an 08 S550 I drove with the full massage seats, which were amazing. Ride seemed the same to me. The AMG package 19's rode a little too stiff for my taste. The standard 18's rode better, but not much different than the W220 on 18's. The W221 felt bigger and more "wallowy" on the road to me. I felt like the power in the S550 was similar to my old S500.

I really wanted to love the W221, because it's a nice looking car, and they're available as CPO's which is a huge consideration. In the end it came down to $52,000 for a CPO 08 S550 with 50k miles or $21,000 for a 2004 S430 with 35k miles. I went with the W220 and I've been very happy with it. I spent a little of the $20k spread on an aftermarket warranty, new wheels and tires, an iPod adapter and an AMG body kit.
 

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W201, W212, W221, & W222 Moderator
'84 Euro 500SE, '85 Euro 2.3-16, '51 Euro 170S, '97 Jeep Wrangler Sport, '15 G63 AMG
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8,509 Posts
Based on some spy-shots I've seen, the W222 will look like a crossover between the W220 and W221. I'm looking forward to seeing it unveiled!! Until then, I'll stick with my W126 S-Class :p
 

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1988 560SL 71000mi, 2015 S550 4Matic
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Just my two cents: while I think the exteriors rate about equal, I really like the interior of the 221's much better that the prior 220. It seems more flowing and the command is easier to use. My hand just naturally rests on the controller and makes it very easy to use. I also have the light brown (cashmere) interior and love it.
Michael in Arizona
 

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Just my two cents: while I think the exteriors rate about equal, I really like the interior of the 221's much better that the prior 220. It seems more flowing and the command is easier to use. My hand just naturally rests on the controller and makes it very easy to use. I also have the light brown (cashmere) interior and love it.
Michael in Arizona
It's entirely a matter of personal taste.

The first W221 with the Savanna/Cashmere interior I looked at, I was with my wife, and she hated it. (Our prior W220 had a Java interior, sort of the same color family). It looked to her like some of the pieces had changed color with aging or sun. The second W221 with that interior I looked at, my wife didn't come along and I was with my son. On the test drive I noticed him taking a picture of the passenger door and I asked what he was doing. He said he wanted to be able to show me later how f'd up the colors were.

I figured with two independent "no" votes I'd pass on the Savanna/Cashmere thing. I'm not sure if the dark butterscotch color is called "Savanna" or if it's "Cashmere", but on the 2012's and up it's gone.
 

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Just my two cents: while I think the exteriors rate about equal, I really like the interior of the 221's much better that the prior 220. It seems more flowing and the command is easier to use. My hand just naturally rests on the controller and makes it very easy to use. I also have the light brown (cashmere) interior and love it.
Michael in Arizona
Interesting as I disagree on both points.

I think the more traditional 220 interior flows much better and I don't like the multiple steps required to do things with the controller based command (and whats with that silly volume roller thing). I also don't like that the door pulls are integrated into the arm rest.

I have the designo package which really elevates the interior, so I really like the design and material quality of my 220.

The 221 definitely rides nicer, is faster, and has some niggles fixed (although I'm starting to see more airmatic problems and other little problems).

Both are good cars (especially the 05/06 220s). I can't find the justification to go to a 221 at this point, especially one without the full leather.
 

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If I had to sum up the difference I'd say the W221's interior is handsome, where the W220's is elegant.
 

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W201, W212, W221, & W222 Moderator
'84 Euro 500SE, '85 Euro 2.3-16, '51 Euro 170S, '97 Jeep Wrangler Sport, '15 G63 AMG
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It's really tough. I want a newer S-class, but I'm also itching for a W116 6.9, haha.

I really may just hold out for the W222. I'm hoping it'll be the crossbreed between the W220 and W221 that I've seen in the renderings. The rear will take a little getting used to if that's how it'll really be, but the front and the side lines are extremely attractive.

So many cars to want, so little space!
 

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The W221 massage seats are much better than the W220, and overall the car is more reliable. I've had less issues with the W221 compared to the W220, and no air suspension issues. Both cars are at roughly 60,000 miles. The W220 has has all four struts replaced, while the W221 has had none. Coil packs on the W220 are more likely to go - there's a whole batch of dud transformers in this model. Merc did issue a service bulletin about this, but most mechanics don't know about it. When the coil pack is replaced, the newer transformer must also be replaced.

Personally I MUCH prefer the drive of the W220 - it's sportier and more fun to drive, but the W221 is more luxurious and a softer ride, so for long trips the W221 is preferable.
The aircon on the W220 is better, and more effective at a lower fan speed than the W221, and if you have a W220 with the BOSE sound system, it kills the W221 Harman Kandon.
 

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The W221 massage seats are much better than the W220, and overall the car is more reliable. I've had less issues with the W221 compared to the W220, and no air suspension issues. Both cars are at roughly 60,000 miles. The W220 has has all four struts replaced, while the W221 has had none. Coil packs on the W220 are more likely to go - there's a whole batch of dud transformers in this model. Merc did issue a service bulletin about this, but most mechanics don't know about it. When the coil pack is replaced, the newer transformer must also be replaced.

Personally I MUCH prefer the drive of the W220 - it's sportier and more fun to drive, but the W221 is more luxurious and a softer ride, so for long trips the W221 is preferable.
The aircon on the W220 is better, and more effective at a lower fan speed than the W221, and if you have a W220 with the BOSE sound system, it kills the W221 Harman Kandon.
Dead on. I loved the massage seats in the 221, with all of the different styles and intensities selectable on the COMAND screen. Ditto on the opinion of the under performing audio system in the 221. If I could afford both I'd have one of each, but having to choose I prefer the 220. Good to know the 221 has been more reliable. Once I've run out of clean low mileage 220's to trade into I plan on grabbing a CPO 221.
 
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