Mercedes S Class

Mercedes claims that their S Class is the finest luxury saloon in the world. Other manufacturers may of course disagree. However it has to be accepted that it is packed full of modern technology, including:

All wonderful toys of course, but they all share the same huge drawback; they are very expensive. The car itself is very expensive too, currently retailing at anywhere between about £74,000 right up to more than £185,000 if you include all the standard options!

You get, of course, a lot of car for your money. The interior is comfort writ large with deep armchair like seats and you can even get one that massages rearseat passengers, and reclines to almost horizontal, if you pick the LWB model! The suspension automatically looks for bumps in the road and irons them out by lifting wheels over them and the climate control and entertainment systems are superlative. This car really is a luxury living room on wheels.

So why would it be second-hand bargain?

The vast majority of these cars are bought by large companies for their senior personnel. As such money is often no object; the purpose of the car is not so much to provide a means of transport as to exude an air of superiority! We lesser mortals of course are more careful with the money we spend and most of us are simply not prepared to splash out many thousands of pounds on extras that we consider to be just gadgets which we may or may not ever make use of.

In addition, insurance costs can be stratospheric. Insurers have not had a great deal of experience with the latest technologies that this car incorporates, but they do know that they are very, very expensive to repair in the event of an accident. It could well be that in the future the technologies will reduce accidents and therefore the number of claims; but this is not filtered through to the underwriters yet. If you want to insure an S Class comprehensively (and you would be crazy to just opt for third-party only!) then stand by for some eye watering insurance premiums.

Is it economical?

In a way. The S350D has a top speed of 155 mph but Mercedes still claim that it can exceed 50 miles to the gallon. Even the six cylinder petrol engined car is still claimed to exceed 40 mpg. These are not the only cost involved in running a car however. Servicing costs come at the sort of price that you will expect for a top of the range luxury vehicle that can only be properly maintained by a Mercedes dealership; and don't even think about the cost of repairs if some of the bells and whistles break down.

Should you buy one?

Well you would certainly get a lot of car for a relatively reasonable price. This would depend greatly upon condition and mileage, but to give an example, you should be able to pick up a decent 2016 S 350D with around 25,000 miles on the clock for less than £35,000; a huge discount on the new price. However, be aware that running costs will be high and it is likely to depreciate in value considerably in the future, especially if you cover a high mileage.