Reliability issues - W220 pre-facelift?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by cathalferris, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. cathalferris

    cathalferris New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    Location:
    Limerick, Ireland
    Car:
    02 A4 Estate, 91 MR2 NA
    Later this year I plan on changing my current car to one that's a bit more comfortable and that has a few more toys, albeit on a fairly limited budget of under about £6000. If I get the car in the UK I'll most likely have a large block of registration tax to import into Ireland :/ so that's limiting my choices a bit. On the shortlist I've got the w220 S320 cdi. While I would prefer the post-facelift model, are there many issues present in the pre-facelift that are not problems with the post-facelift?
    I'm well aware of the w210 e-class and w202 c-class paint/rust issues and the various electrical gremlins and build quality issues that were 'plaguing' MB at the start of the Naughties. Would I have much to worry about regarding these things when looking at a pre-facelift W220?
    From my own research so far I've not been able to find out whether there were many electrical gremlins or build quality issues in the '99-'03 cars that were resolved in the '03-onwards, and I'm hoping for some expert experience here ;)
    Thanks!
     
  2. OP
    OP
    cathalferris

    cathalferris New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    Location:
    Limerick, Ireland
    Car:
    02 A4 Estate, 91 MR2 NA
  3. modzi

    modzi Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    108
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2006
    Location:
    London
    Car:
    W164 ML 320 cdi & W220 S320
    Def don't go for a pre facelift.

    Issues with Airmatic are very common and will be expensive
    If you go for an early model it WILL rust as they had issues with paint on all early W220 models upto 2002
    Major issues with electrics (cluster, seats and others)
    The interior in the facelift is much smarter
    Headlight and bumpers are a better design and sportier and have clear lenses

    You'd be much better of with a late facelift which are available for near £6 - £7k.
     
  4. Borys

    Borys Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    1,746
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2011
    Location:
    Nowe nad Wisla
    Car:
    2005 cl500
    I had a 2000 S320 with 170k on the clock no issues.
    Airmatic is very reliable as long as owner takes care of the car.Mine was from the first owner and was really happy with it.Only reason for selling I was after bigger engine.
    Most important is service history.Good owner keeps everything,even a bulb receipt.
    For the airmatic when it goeas wrong is the pump which U can get for 300£.
    We need to remember that this is a top of the range merc model it's been made to proper standarts-it is not a ford,vw,audi etc.
    After 2002 they have different headlights,sat nav and all the buttons are upgraded-lovely.
    If I would be you would be looking for 2002 + even petrol they are not so bad in mpg.
    I drive S500 now as a daily driver 20£ petrol 70 miles in the town.
    Good luck
     
  5. OP
    OP
    cathalferris

    cathalferris New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    Location:
    Limerick, Ireland
    Car:
    02 A4 Estate, 91 MR2 NA
    Thanks for the input. I'll be back to let people know what I'll have got..
     

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