2002 Mercedes-Benz S500 with 5,100 miles

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Recently I looked at a couple unique W220s in a short wheelbase 2006 S350 and an armored 2001 S500. Today’s car isn’t anything odd or unique, just a regular 2002 S500. But makes it special is that it just happens to have only a little over 5,000 miles and look basically brand new. So lets take a look at this W220 up for sale in California before it starts rusting away and the interior buttons peel.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Mercedes-Benz S500 on eBay

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2001 Mercedes-Benz S500 Guard

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The last report I saw had 97% of the world’s governments owning a Mercedes-Benz S-Class. By process of elimination of car manufacturing countries, you can probably figure out which countries don’t need the services of the S-Class. Statistically, this means that some governments with less than stable political climates have been subject to attacks on politicians riding in the S-Class with some ending up OK while others ending tragically. A big part of that has to do with armoring.

In 1980, Anastasio Somoza, then President of Nicaragua, was attacked by a Sandinista commando team while riding in an armored W116. Two machine guns, two AK-47 assault rifles, two automatic pistols, and a RPG-7 rocket launcher with four anti-tank grenades and two rockets were used to bombard the car. One rocket even hit the upper part of the windshield and blew the roof off. Amazingly the car still ran but sadly, no one inside survived. In 1995, then Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze was attacked while riding in an armored W140 by a group yielding AK47s and was hit twice by RPGs. One hit the hood, the other hit the grill. Two body guards in the front seats didn’t survive but Shevardnadze? Riding in the rear of the car, he survived. In 2008, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s motorcade which included a model similar today’s featured car, an armored W220, was hit twice in the windows by gunfire. No surprise – if a rocket couldn’t get through, neither did the bullets.

That record of survival alone is worthy of us taking a look at this 2001 S500 Guard for sale in Los Angeles.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Mercedes-Benz S500 Guard on eBay

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2006 Mercedes-Benz S350

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Another week usually means another S-Class from me. Today is no different with a 2006 S … 350? Wait, they made a S350? For the United States? Yes, they did and that’s what we have here today for sale in Florida. So this is just a regular S-Class with a V6, right? Not quite. So lets take a look at what makes this W220 so different.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 Mercedes-Benz S350 on eBay

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2008 Maybach 57S

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There is depreciation. Then there is German car depreciation. Then way on another planet there is Maybach 57S depreciation. If you walked into one of the 42 United States Maybach dealers in 2008 and took home the car pictured above, it would of cost you a little north of $400,000. Now a short eight years later you can take home that same car pictured above for $63,800. It’s fully serviced and ready to go as well. Not some kind of click-bait photo tricks where you see a cheap listing on eBay that just shows the front of the car only to find out the rear end has smashed in by a cement truck at 55mph. If you are still interested in this 57S located outside of Albany, NY, then let’s try to break this one down rationally.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 Maybach 57S on eBay

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Feature Listing: 2001 Mercedes-Benz S430

Right now, the least expensive car you can buy in the United States brand new is the Nissan Versa Sedan, which rings in at a very budget friendly $11,900. For that you get such amenities as wheels, seats, mostly translucent glass and an engine. Sounding a bit like a sewing machine with a hangover, the Versa’s 1.6 liter inline-4 struggles to produce 109 horsepower. Inside are cheap plastics, cheaper fabrics, and plenty of toxic new car smell. Okay, I’ll admit it does come with a warranty which, judging by the used Nissan products I see covered in soot and broken down around me, you’ll probably need at some point. You know those commercials for the toy (Flashing Lights! Realistic Siren Sounds!) you always wanted when you were a kid that they made seem so cool, but if you were lucky enough to get one you found out it was pretty much complete crap and broken immediately? Claiming that you’ve achieved something in buying the Versa as a new car is pretty much the same thing. I’d say it was a toaster on wheels, but I wouldn’t want to insult toast.

On the other end of the spectrum is the luxury executive market. Cars in this realm are crafted to be silent but perform like Swiss watches; powerful, smooth and seamless. They are expected to bathe you in luxuries; supple leather, the tactile feel of real wood – an airy feel of a ski chalet in Saint Moritz, but with the computing power of NASA and the convenience features of a Brookstone catalogue. They are made to have presence but not in a showy, pay attention to me way; more often, a regal, stately suit to brush the pedestrian cares of life away as you isolate yourself from traffic. They’re transportation cocoons spun by silk worms, and as such if you’re budget says “Versa”, they’re thoroughly out of your price range. Or, are they?

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Feature Listing: 2003 Mercedes Benz S55 AMG Designo Edition

Depreciation: it’s a wonderful thing if you’re a German automobile fan with an affinity for a good bargain. What was once an astronomically priced vehicle could be firmly within reach thanks to the passage of time and a reputation for wallet draining repair bills. Of course the latter is the reason many people still steer clear of used German vehicles, even in today’s world where any question you need the answer to is just a Google search away. Nobody should be afraid to work a car these days, unless it’s so new that you can’t do anything without a computer or you’re completely helpless when it comes to wrenching. If you have the space, tools and the time, there’s nothing you can’t do. I say all of this because I know that right off the bat people will point out that the W220 chassis S-Class is a big scary car with little mechanical demons lurking in its bones just waiting to wreak havoc on your bank account. While it did have its issues, it was actually rather reliable and parts for these things are very easy to come by, even the AMG examples like this one. Sure there is a learning curve when it comes to working on over engineered vehicles but it’s really not as daunting as armchair experts would have you think. Between brand-specific fora and YouTube there’s plenty of information out there to keep you from loosing sleep over things like a vanity mirror door break or armrest failure.

The tradeoff for taking the plunge seems well worth it, especially with pristine examples like this one. The seller’s pictures of the gorgeous Designo Espresso don’t do the color justice which is too bad because the right setting would show off just how much this paint pops. Early morning light along the Hudson, now that would have been the way to go. Even with some glare the car still looks great, a testament to just how nice this color is. What he did do a good job of was taking pictures of the very clean interior with those cozy looking Light Brown Nappa Leather seats. It’s hard to see some of the special details included in the Designo Edition from the photos, such as the extended leather (it even encircles the floor mats!), the Alcantara details and the lovely Elm trim. I have only been in one W220 S-Class and I was riding in the back, reclined with the massage function going and let me tell you, it’s everything it’s cracked up to be and then some. Of course this is the S55 AMG and behind the wheel isn’t a bad place to be sitting either. The 493hp, 5.4L supercharged V8 will take you and 3 willing participants to 60mph in 5.5 seconds. Even by today’s standards those numbers are impressive and this is a 4,260 lb car built in 2003 that you can generally get for under $20k. Just think, you could have this and some sort of two seat canyon carver with plenty of money left over to cover replacement parts for less than a Lincoln MKZ.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Mercedes Benz S55 AMG on eBay

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10K Friday: Practical Performance Edition – S4 Avant v. 944 Turbo v. S600 v. Passat TDi Variant v. M5

One of the things I love most about these 10K posts is the breadth of selections and ideas that I dream up to try to pull together. Today’s thought was about practical performance – what’s the most your can buy for $10,000? As a result, we have quite a diverse selection to make it through today, ranging from a 2.0 TDi gas sipper through a 5.5 liter, twin-turbocharged V12 torque monster. In their respective ways, each is a great car (at least, in premise) and probably defines its category. What’s your favorite of this group?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi S4 quattro Avant on eBay

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10K Friday Sonder Edition: 280s v. 300SEL v. 560SEC v. S420 v. S600 Coupe v. S430 v. CL500

It’s pretty amazing when generations of cars come together in value; right now, there are 4 generations of Mercedes-Benz S-class models that all seem to hit market for around the same amount. From the beginnings of the “Sonder” Class Mercedes with the W116 through the W220 cars that are only just over a generation old, there’s a tremendous amount of luxury available in these super sedans and coupes. So what would be your choice? We’ll go by age this time, starting with the W116:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1975 Mercedes-Benz 280S on eBay

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10K Friday: A8L v. 745i v. S500

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Today on 10K Friday we’re going to look at how much luxury you can buy for around $10,000. Unlike last week’s look at two sport sedans, today’s cars are more focused at isolating their drivers from the proletariat. It’s hard for some people to believe that on a Kia hatchback budget you can pick up a top-of-the-line German luxury car. But if you’re a fan of the bigger German cars, it should be no surprise that at around 10 years old, the value on them falls; but it’s a delicate balance between buying one that’s new enough that it won’t be a heap and buying one old enough that you can afford on a budget. Today we’re going to look at one from each marque; a 2004 Audi A8L, a 2004 BMW 745i, and a 2004 Mercedes-Benz S500 4Matic. We’ll start with the Audi EDIT: it appears the original A8 sold; I have updated the links to a similar 2005 with slightly more miles:

Year: 2004
Model: A8L
Engine: 4.2 liter V8
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Mileage: 101,551 mi
Price: $9,990 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Audi A8L on eBay

2004 AUDI A8L AWD Quattro. Beautiful Sparkling green color with tan leather interior. Nice and Sharp Looking loaded with most of the options. Texas Owner. Even with slightly high miles, it runs and drives awesome. Non Smoker. Equipped with Navigation, Heated Seats, Xenon Lights. Engine sounds great and transmission shift swiftly. I personally drove it for over 50 miles and checked the A/C, alignment, and Suspension. NO flood, water. Clean Texas Title with no lien.

I have to say, I really like the light mint green, and that you can get into a D3 for under 10K. The interior on these cars is beautiful and well laid out; on the outside, while the D3 isn’t as pretty to me as the D2 was, it’s still quite a handsome car. I always felt the taillights were too large on this model, but like that this car does have acres of rear leg room. I haven’t heard of D3s suffering the same transmission issues that saddled D2s, and with just over 100,000 miles, there should be plenty of life in this mill. The front bumper shows signs of some curb contact and in typical fashion the dealer has failed to replace a few little things that would dress the car up ($10 centercap, anyone?), but the one item that would concern me is the trunk lid seems out of alignment; these mostly-aluminum A8s need special repairs if they’ve contacted something hard. If the thought of a higher mile Audi scares you too much, perhaps the BMW is for you:

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Year: 2004
Model: 745i
Engine: 4.4 liter V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 119,140 mi
Price: $10,995 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 BMW 745i on eBay

2004 BMW 7 Series 745i
04 745i-119K-SPORT PKG-LUXURY SEATING PKG-XM RADIO-PARKING AID-NAVIGATION

The E65 won’t go down in many people’s books as a great looking car, and few would argue that it’s really good looking; but, it is stately and it’s hard to argue with the combination of a sport and luxury. This particular car was pretty well optioned with the sport package, cold weather package, luxury package, park distance control, and upgraded wheels. Kalahari Beige looks quite nice without dating the car too much. The interior is less well laid out than the Audi but still pretty trick and full of gadgets you can (and will need to) play with all day. Like the Audi, the drivetrains in these cars were pretty tried and true, so with normal maintenance one shouldn’t expect too many issues immediately. Bangle-era BMWs not your thing? Well, how about a Mercedes-Benz S500 4Matic:

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Year: 2004
Model: S500 4Matic
Engine: 5.0 liter V8
Transmission: 7-speed automatic
Mileage: 137,339 mi
Price: $8,863 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Mercedes-Benz S500 4Matic on eBay

THIS MERCEDES RUNS,DRIVES AND BRAKES AS IT SHOULD.THIS CAR WAS INVOLVED IN AN ACCIDENT AND WAS CLAIMED TO BE TOTALED AND THE PREVIOUS CUSTOMER LIKED IT SO MUCH PURCHASED IT BACK FROM THE INSURANCE COMPANY AND HAD IT FIXED AS EVIDENT ON THE AUTOCHECK REPORT.THIS CAR DOES HAVE A SALVAGE TITLE AND IS BEING REPRESENTED THAT WAY….THIS CAR IS BEING SOLD AS-IS NO WARRANTY EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED.THIS CAR HAS NOT BEEN THRU OUR SHOP AND WE RECOMMEND HAVING IT CHECKED OUT BY AND OUTSIDE GARAGE…..

Although this S-Class is the cheapest car here and sports the largest motor, there are items that give me pause; chief among which is the salvage title. However, repair costs on these cars “by the book” are sometimes so high, it’s not unusual to see totaled cars without tremendous damage. Provided it checks out, I’m not sure the title would scare me away as I don’t think this is a long term keeper anyway. The mileage is also higher than the other two, and like the E65, the W220 isn’t high on the “favorites” list of many enthusiasts. Despite this, they’re pretty solid cars that will quietly whisk you away from your daily grind.

Were it my money, hands down it would be the Audi. More power and lower weight than the Mercedes, less technologically dependent than the BMW, and better looking than both, to me that’s the winner of the group. Which one would you like to show off in?

-Carter

2006 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG

Depreciation is a bad thing sometimes, but I guess that depends on what side of the transaction you are. When it comes to used flagship automobiles the only thing greater than the depreciation is the opportunity. In 2006 the Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG was one of the most expensive cars on the road with a price tag of close to $170K, untouchable to most. Mercedes-Benz produced the S65 AMG as nothing but an exercise in power. The 6.0L Bi-Turbo V12 produced 604hp, and 738 ft-lbs of torque sending this heavy-weight to 60 mph in the mid 4 second range.

Fast forward 6 years to 2012, what was once the chariot for the rich and famous, is now something attainable by the masses. This beautiful low mileage grey over black S65 for sale in Houston, TX is a great way to get in to a high dollar car for the price of a new C Class.

2006 S65 AMG on eBay

2006 MERCEDES S65 AMG SEDAN – CARFAX CERTIFIED 1 OWNER VEHICLE – ALL SCHEDULED MAINTENANCE PERFORMED AT MERCEDES BENZ OF FRESNO – ONLY 41K ORIGINAL MILES – LOADED WITH ALL POSSIBLE OPTIONS INCLUDING FRONT HEATED & COOLED SEATS – REAR ADJUSTING HEATED SEATS WITH LUMBAR – PDC – 6 CD – SUNSHADES – WALNUT TRIM & MUCH MUCH MORE – AN ABSOLUTE POWERHOUSE OF A MOTOR LAUNCHES THIS SEDAN FROM 0 TO 60 IN 4.2 SECONDS – ORIGINAL MSRP OVER $170K – EXCELLENT CONDITION INSIDE & OUT!!!

This is certainly a lot of car for the money. As Mercedes-Benz’s flagship sedan in 2006 the MSRP of this monster was $169,000, making $38,000 a virtual bargain for such a clean example. With just a tick over 41,000 miles, there is still a lot of life left in this beauty. That life will include long smoky burnouts, $300+ oil changes, and 11 mpg (with a light foot). With all things considered, this is not a cheap car to own, maintain, or fix, but an almost 5000lb car that does 0-60 mph like a Ferrari, that’s a car right up my alley.

-Brian