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Merc S320 1993 model

Hiran de silva

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I have been a Toyota user all my life and now retired. I do about 1000KM per month now.

I like to buy a Merc  and eyeing a few S320 1993- 1998 short wheel base models .

Is it advisable buying a  w140 today ( 24years old)

1. what is the reasonable price to pay.

2. Are body parts available locally  just in case.

3. Is AC good in these vehicles as they may be meant for older climate.

4. Is AC condensors/ compressors/ evaporators available here or can be fabricated locally.( thinking of age).

5. Estimated cost of ownership per year ( very average).service cost , Air /oil filter cost? etc..

6. Any known issues like corrosion prone etc etc...

7. Are wind screen / door glass findable ( what a word) locally .

8. Undercarriage rubber parts/ engine mounts available locally ?

9. Tphone number of a shop / gaurage dealing with these cars pls?

Any other issue I should know before considering these old S class big cars.

Your honest opinions are appreciated.



Edited by Hiran de silva
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There is a saying that "you can never stop mending a Mercedes S class" since we are referring to relatively old merc's here this saying is pretty true here because they come with so many bells and whistles that it is fair enough to say this.

First of all these cars were made at a period when Mercedes Benz had it's core values of engineering. And since it was an S class (the flagship model) the car had a lot of features that were well ahead of time.(like ESP,ASR Air suspension).

Now this meant that there is a lot of high tech items that could fail when the car gets older, 20 or more years. for eg:- this car is equipped with suction doors. now a failed air compressor for the Central locking system could set back around 150000 LKR. then you have the ABC which is an air suspension system. now this is a common failure among the W220 these days so you could imagine what to expect with W140's air suspension, this to could be wallet busting.

Since this is an S-class spares in any form are gonna be expensive, and then comes the biggest topic of them all FUEL ECONOMY, As for my knowledge I think close to 80% or more of W140's in sri lanka are petrol (in fact I have never seen a diesel). Now the model range starts with atleast In-6 and goes all the way up-to V12. automatic is standard across the range. so summing it up this won't make a great fuel economy value.

My verdict is I leisurely like the W140, It was one of the last Mercedes cars to be designed by the legendary Bruno Sacco. it has the classic design cues of a proper Mercedes. but then this car is pretty much comparable to an elephant these days because this car like an elephant is very big, striking to look at, and very majestic BUT you wouldn't want to own one.

On top of that if  you have not owned a Mercedes before and if this is your first time planning to own one. then for the love of good please don't buy this. as you would be better off if you resorted to cars like the W124,W210,W211 E-class models which are more practical for daily use and is the next closest contender to the S-class in the Mercedes line up.


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I saw one on this site advertised in the 3-3.5 mln range. that I should say would be the starting price. but then do think twice about the purchase and there are lots to check for. If it is company maintained then you would have found a gem or else it is a big gamble.

On a side note how big is your parking space? Because this car is immensely oversized which even Mercedes engineers agreed to.

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Well, if you're retired I guess you dont need to worry about reliability or office commuting on a daily basis.. So if you want to just enjoy a Mercedes go for it. Clearly you aren't buying it with rupees and cents in mind (if you were you'd still be driving a toyota)
Just go for it, but be aware that ownership wont be as economical as a toyota, but you'll enjoy it a LOT more than a Toyota. 

You probably know that the car's huge, right?  Alternatively you can look at a W210 which would be a bit newer, a bit smaller and a bit cheaper to own/run. Plus i think there's more vehicle's in the market so you can be a bit picky. 

Good luck :)

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Close friend of mine had one 10 yrs back (one of the Law Asia cars) had several electrical issues with power windows, climate control other wise car was reliable. was giving around 3-4 kmpl in Colombo and 7-10 on long drives. 

He had to get down used parts from UK to fix them as quotation from agent was over Rs. 600k to fix them. He was bit techy and could source the right parts.

These cars are further 10 years old now be prepared to go through the pain

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks guys that was awesome response. I am seriously looking for a merc S320 since my retirement..... I am interested in a S320 2002 petrol LWB. Have researched it on internet and mostly positive but negative comments are scary as listed below.

1. susceptible to corrosion .

2. Airmetic suspension is a weak point.  replacement cost about 150K rupees / unit . 

3. fuel only about 5-6Km/ltr colombo and 8-9 highway. 

4. Interior material is not premium.

5. reasonable  price today?

6. resale value ?

7. A competent  independent place other than DI*O to get a test report.

8. what are face lift changes... what year was the face lift. ? how to technically identify true face lift model?

Kindly give me some heads up on above.


thanks in advance.





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