Though results are random at best, most users recommend 97-99 models since alot of problems have been ironed out, etc.
Any [MY] 600SEL/S600's are to be avoided, unless current owner/dealer can provide detailed records about the religious maintenance and major repairs already done. That, or you have several thousands in reserve for whats to come
The older ones do have some problems but for the most part the entire line is plagued with them. Evaporators, wiring harnesses, etc
The older ones were built with a "price is no object" attitude. The newer ones were subjected to cost cutting measures that make them not quite the massive diplomatic corps cruisers the earlier ones were. The body was lowered and the paint was changed so that the bumpers and body panels match. All this was done to make the car look "smaller"
Back-up masts in the rear 1/4 panels - not available after 1995
Power Rear-View mirror - not available after 1994
Reclining Rear Seats - optional after 1995
1996 + has:
New HVAC controls
Some will say that 1998-99 are the best years because things have been "worked out." But a low-mileage example is not likely to have any age-old problems worked out.
Any 12+ year-old W140 should have a new wiring harness and evaporator by now.
The pre-facelift models are worth a look. They have a different interior after 1995 and it's mostly apparent in the materials used for the dash and doors. The exterior difference on the facelift is noticeable in the trunk, clear front turn signals, and lower rocker panels - among other things.
Just make sure you find one with a service history.
Ok, thank you all for the helpful information. I once had a 95 S500 coupe. Sold it due to some finance trouble back then. Now, things are better and I kind of miss driving the bank vault like coupe. The W126 was my mother's car and she passed away last Nov. So, I will keep it just to remember her. But I'd like to get another CL in the near future.
my 95 was fine but little things like the spark plug cable, seat control unit...can double the cost of the W126 easily. But with may companies like Stoprepairbills and USFidelis now available to cover 15 yrs or younger cars. I might consider one of them if I get one later.
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