Sure, the W220 was low in Mercedes history, but it was still an S-class.

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class has always been the gold standard for judging luxury cars. A car for diplomats, money tycoons, celebrities and Disreputable. Luxobarge that announces to the world that you have made it while at the same time enveloping its occupants with luxurious luxury.

At least, this applies to every generation, except for the fourth generation. Produced between 1999 and 2005, the W220 S-Class gained notoriety for being the black sheep of the S-Class line, envisioned during an era when Mercedes-Benz’s bean counters tightened cash chains across the range.

Taken out of context, the W220 was the world’s standard luxury car. It introduced new tech, like adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, ventilated and massage seats, LED brake lights, 300 command voice control, and a hydraulic open-and-close trunk — all things that might have flowed into the mainstream over the past two decades, but it was cutting edge. in their days.

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But regardless of technology, compared to the previous generation W140, the new car did not live up to the demand. The W140 is known as one of the most over-engineered cars of its era, with little regard for budget constraints while designing it. By comparison, the W220 lacked the ruggedness and tank-like build quality of its predecessor. The interior trim and plastic were less of the slashes users were accustomed to, and the exterior design itself was more well-rounded and faceless than the boxy but plush W140.

This thread ran to test drive. The W220 lacked the same locker-like driving experience that was in the car it replaced. It was still a cozy place, perhaps a lot quieter than the previous generation, but an air of mystery permeated all the controls, removing the shine from what was, in fact, a very capable configuration.

Unfortunately, the W220’s reputation has done nothing to its liking. And with so much falling into unwanted hands on the second-hand market, good specimens are few and far between.

In that respect, it occupies as much space as the Porsche 996, says Doug DeMuro, in that it’s the least desirable, sure, but it’s still an S-class, with comfort and gaming unavailable. This means that a good sample can offer tremendous value to those looking for a used luxury car from the early 2000s.

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