How very different American SClass Owners seem to be!

PJayUK

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Last year I purchased a rather fine 2000 MY long wheelbase S320, my first MB after a period of Jaguar ownership. My reasons were pretty simple I needed a car to commute to work every day and my old XJ8 was just not coping with the rigors of the M25. I spent a few weeks debating what to buy. It was either another "proper" car or a 700cc lesbian peace wagon, that runs on margarine. Seeing as I was inevitably going to spend many hours on the M25, the thought of sitting in some sterile flower friendly box was not at all attractive. So I opted to surround myself in the cavernous luxury of the SClass with its opulent trim of dead animal skin and wood.

During the first few weeks of proud ownership I set about making a list of things that needed doing on this fine vehicle. Some were pretty serious like a new propshaft coupling and fixing a transmission oil leak, others simple like replacing internal LED's and generally a bit of TLC here and there. During my quest for knowledge I came across a number of Internet forums, this very fine site and the US based Benzworld.Org were the main two I used. During the last few months I have observed some very interesting differences between the two sites that really seem to highlight just how different we in the UK are to our cousins over the pond.

Take a moment to look through the posts on some of the forums on benzworld.org. Many of the posters there seem to have problem after problem and end up complaining that a certain feature is "crap" and "not fit for purpose" and MB must be subversive incompetents for such poor design (common examples are airmatic, soft close doors even the humble MAF sensor has come in the firing line). In fact on the SClass-W220 forum itself there was a poll asking members to share there views on what a bad car it is! (Errr clearly the US is well known for being at the forefront of automotive technology). Simple option, sell it and go and buy a 10 liter Dodge NemesisLandGrabber or whatever name they have these days.

Now on MBClub.co.uk what has struck me is a genuine understanding by the members that these are highly complex vehicles that require understanding, patience and respect to maintain properly. I must say I laugh at the requests on benzworld for information on fitting 30 inch alloy "spinnaz", tasteful neon lights and various other useless things to my "benz". I think they call it "detailing" we call it best confined to 19 year olds with Citroen Saxos or the pages of MaxPower.

Its created a mental image of American SClass drivers that is somewhat different from what one might expect in the UK. It seems that they could all be rather short hispanic gangsta's in white vest tops, wearing unfeasibly large amounts of gold jewelery. And the main reason for buying an W220 is that the large arm rest compartment is big enough to stash a .40 caliber Glock safely away from the prying eyes of the cops.

Now my S320 has turned 118,000 miles this week, I still use her daily for a relaxing sedate drive to work. Yes, its had some problems (in fact its on the drive today due a suspected faulty wheel bearing) but I am not about to inform MI5, Scotland Yard, NCAP, The AA, RAC, ROSPA and Jeremy Clarkson that it’s a piece of junk with design flaws, poor build quality and clearly places my very freedom at risk… Not at all I will look at it in a positive light, as a challenge and an opportunity to discuss my problem with the friendly, knowledgeable and supportive members of MBClub…..

Thank you all for your help so far, and have a good weekend.
 

rf065

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The biggest differences I've noticed in the US is that most non US manufacturers do not even attempt to sell cars over there with smaller engines and 17 & 18 year old kids can afford to drive 5 litre V8's.
Detailing by the way, is what we would call valeting over here.

Russ
 

Mactech

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Yo! I'z runnin' 19's on my ride brotha, but I iz well 'appy wif it!:D :crazy: ;)
 

seymansey

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I agree with what you say, it also seems to be all about the 1/4 mile times on the SU Forum, which er the SClass wasn't strictly designed for.
 

Carrotchomper

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"700cc lesbian peace wagon, that runs on margarine"


Made me chuckle!
 

Howard

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Yo! I'z runnin' 19's on my ride brotha, but I iz well 'appy wif it!:D :crazy: ;)
You have 'Lowth' too .... ;)

When are you going to have some stickers made up , like the milk campaign in the US ?

' Got Lowth ? ' :D
 

Mactech

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You have 'Lowth' too .... ;)

When are you going to have some stickers made up , like the milk campaign in the US ?

' Got Lowth ? ' :D
In the States it could be a 'Matter of lowth and death"....:eek:
 

Mactech

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"700cc lesbian peace wagon, that runs on margarine"


Made me chuckle!
My S class is bright and gay:rolleyes: , and could run on cooking oil...;)

It's bright today because I just cleaned 1000 miles of winter road grim off it and now looks like this:D
 
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HowardD

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It was either another "proper" car or a 700cc lesbian peace wagon, that runs on margarine.

Uurgh!! Whatever they are, I definitely don't want one.

Even if I thought my car was an utter terd - I would be reluctant to publicly highlight my own lack of competence by buying it in the first place.
 

Mactech

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Not shore how 2 react2 that!!!Just hope it dosen't get that bad on this forum:crazy:
 
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PJayUK

PJayUK

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Lovin da neons I just fitted on da ride, off to crooz round da hood. Seriously I was worried when I posted this that I might offend it wasn't meant to be offensive I just started to get a bit hacked off reading some of the posts on the US site. I just find it odd that they seemed to have so many problems and were so negative about what I consider one of the best cars I have ever owned (and I have owned a few for sure!)...

Anyway off to read my copy of horse and hounds in the tack room with a fine single malt... Bed soon off with the hounds in the morning...

Tally ho! :)
 

MBManInKen

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a rather fine 2000 MY long wheelbase S320
[...]
a list of things that needed doing on this fine vehicle. Some were pretty serious like a new propshaft coupling and fixing a transmission oil leak, others simple like replacing internal LED's and generally a bit of TLC here and there.
Am I the only one to see some contradiction in this? As you know, I love my s-class, but the expectation of being in excellent condition is a big part of my ownership enjoyment. I don't want a car that leaks transmission oil or where bits and pieces are continuously falling off or being defective.

I will do my part, i.e. make sure the car is maintained to the highest standard, but I don't want some barge that is continuously giving me grief or having things not working.

So, if you are in the category of s-class owners who buy a new or nearly new s-class in the expectation to get the finest luxury saloon in the world, and paying a premium for that, then I think you're perfectly entitled to expect well above standard reliability and performance from your car.

I am on my 4th s-class now because I want something better, safer, more comfortable - so I expect not just average reliability and I certainly don't want to spend my time either lying on my back under the bloody thing to fix yet another problem or waste my time going back and forward to the garage all of the time either.

For the record: I am a very satisfied s-class owner and I think many people cause themselves grief by buying an old s-class that is not in good condition, has not been fully inspected, does not come with a good and comprehensive warranty and where they aren't prepared or able to put the money on the table to keep them well maintained and in prime condition...
 

st4

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And then drives one in the form of a Fiat Panda....;)
:D

I had one on holiday. Its the only car I've driven where the accelerator pedal is stiffer than the clutch.




In short, snot box is about right, and all the press reviews are wrong. It handled like a boat although chasing local boy racer MkIV Golf GTis was in its reach (as JC says, "nothing handels like a hire car"), the driving position awful, (steering wheel too far away, and pedals too close). It had this botton called city which made the steering so light that you could manouver the car with 1 finger.

Still, it didn't stop me driving it @ 170kmph + and like a complete pillock.
 

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