1999 Mercedes-Benz S320

The W140 Mercedes-Benz S class couldn’t have been introduced at a worse time, other than in the economic turmoil of present day. In 1991, the world was going through a recession, global warming critics were gaining ground and spreading anti-big car hate and people were looking to start the new decade fresh, breaking clean from excesses and the cocaine induced hangover of the 1980s.

So along came a new generation of S class to replace the beloved W126. The W140 introduced many new technologies such as double window glazing and a heating system that would circulate once the vehicle was turned off. It was also one of the first vehicles to feature Electronic Stability Control as an option. A wide range of engines was available, from a six cylinder diesel to the newly developed 6.0 liter V12.

Here is my favorite of the W140 range. The S320 sedan. 1999 marks the end of the line for the W140 as well as the M104 inline six. I’ve driven an S320 before and while it won’t set your hair on fire, it has adequate power and drives like any big Mercedes sedan should. A tank.

1999 Mercedes-Benz S320 on eBay

Offered for your consideration is this gorgeous and extremely well maintained 1999 Mercedes-Benz S320 SWB luxury sedan with just 48,460 original miles. The vehicle is a carfax certified, two owner that was traded in on a new vehicle. Carfax report also shows complete service history for this car since new (48 service redords). Finished in beautiful Brilliant Silver metallic exterior paint that is matched with a fresh and clean light gray leather interior. Loaded with options like ice cold air conditioning, full power options, electronic stability program, power folding mirrors, factory power moonroof, aluminum alloy wheels, matching set of Michelin tires, two master keyless entry remote keys and the original factory owner’s manuals.

The 3.2L inline six cylinder engine runs strong and smooth with plenty of power. The transmission shifts smoothly through all gears and the ride quality is superb. All power options function properly including all windows and the air conditioning. The vehicle has just been serviced with a fresh oil change and all the fluids being topped off. It has a fresh Virginia State Safety Inspection valid through September 2012 which covers all major safety and emissions items. This vehicle has been road tested and there are no known problems. It has been regularly maintained by Mercedes-Benz since new. The exterior paint is in pristine condition with a gorgeous shine. The body is free of any dents or scratches. There are a few if any stone chips and no door dings to report. The wheels are in wear free condition all the way around.

The interior is in like new condition throughout with no wear to any of the seats. The carpets are spot and stain free from front to back. All door panels are wear free. The dash and console show no wear. All wood is in beautiful shape and the cupholder assembly is intact. Overall this 1999 Mercedes-Benz S320 sedan is a spotless example with extremely low mileage. It shows less than normal wear and should not be missed. We take pride in our vehicles and do our very best to describe every detail of our vehicles accurately so that our customers across the street or across the country will know what they’re buying. The vehicle has been serviced. All miles are the original miles and the title is clean.

The W140s certainly aren’t the most reliable of Mercedes-Benzes and God forbid think twice before buying one with a V12, because, as one Mercedes service advisor once told me, the engine acts like a massive heat sink and cooks the damn wiring harness to hell. The S320 should be the most reliable of the range and with this kind of mileage, it should soldier on for quite some time. As it gets older, electrical gremlins could of course rear their head, but for me, it’s a small price to pay for what is one of the very best in S class history. For me, short of a late model W126 or vintage 300SEL 6.3, this is what the S class is all about.

-Paul

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8 Comments

  1. The seller’s website indicates that they are looking for $14,700 for the car. A bit high don’t you think?

  2. The samething I wrote about the BMW 7 series a few days ago applies here. This was an expensive car when new, just because you can buy it for peanuts now does not mean you can afford to own it. When you roll it into the shop its still and $80k car and it still costs just as much to fix all the little things which WILL go wrong. In the case of this car its slow as a SLUG. Any Honda will have as much or more bHp and better performance, plus all the modern stuff this car does not.

  3. Any Honda will also pale in comparison in terms of collectibility and desirability in the eye of the enthusiast. Cars like the Honda have their time and place and for most people, are good enough. For someone like me, it’s not enough, which is probably why I write for this website. After driving one of six cylinder S classes for a time and having owned older Mercedes-Benzes, the repairs are worth it to me in order to keep one of these modern classics on the road. It’s a driving experience a modern Japanese vehicle can’t emulate.

  4. I agree with you to a point. That particular S class has no collectability, they were made in vast numbers and are rather mundane. I am a huge fan of older German cars, I have a couple of classic 911’s. I have and will continue to shuffle my fleet of older German sedans as always. Like you I would never drive a modern Honda over an older German sedan, on the other hand I don’t look at them for collectability and I especially don’t care about the “image”. The image is something that prompts people to buy these cars and get in way over their heads.

  5. Thanks for the link, Howard! Sweet E28 M5!

    The big appeal for this S320 is the low-mileage. Once you use it, it’s perceived value in the market will drop quickly (along with your desire to continue paying big $$$ for repairs and maintenance). If you can afford to “save it” for occasional use and showings, great.

    There are definitely people out there who fixate on low-mileage cars, and for them, $15K may not seem unreasonable.

    We’re all here because we’re car guys. German car guys, in particular. But I’d steer toward the slightly older (read: less complex) models to keep the cost-to-own in check.

    A nice 70’s-80’s 911 or E28 535is might be the right balance of “classic” and “performance” – at least for the weekend toys.

  6. Of course, despite my earlier comments, I still like the *idea* of buying something like that earlier 740i Sport or even something like this S320.

    I usually like it enough to raise the discussion with my wife, who then reminds me that I really won’t enjoy the *reality* of the ownership experience quite as much as I think I will.

    She’s probably right.

  7. Since Honda entered the discussion, I have to comment. In my garage is a Honda and Volkswagen.

    In 2011, I put 10k miles of urban and suburban punishment on the Honda. Maintenance (I diy) cost me $11 in oil during a sale. I’m pretty confident I can handle most anything that goes wrong, it’s simple and easy to fix. The engine is fun, it puts a smile on my face every day.

    But, if I was driving a lot of highway, while capable, I wouldn’t be happy with the Honda. High winds blow it around. This S320 would be a fine car for that. If I was needing a car for high speed cruising, something like this would be perfect.

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