Unlike Doug Demuro, I’m a fan of the W220 generation S-class. It’s one of the last shapes to come from the glorious reign of design chief Bruno Sacco, and I find it far better looking than the somewhat overwrought W221 that replaced it. It’s true that, as Doug points out in this article, there are a lot of shabby-looking examples out there. And in the first few years of the run, there were indeed some teething issues.
But this example, offered on craigslist HERE by a private seller in the Phoenix area, isn’t shabby in the slightest. Plus it comes from the chassis’ final year, with most of the bugs worked out. As a bonus, because it’s in 4matic trim, you get one of the most reliable powertrains ever offered in a modern Benz: the torquey M113 V8 backed by the old-school 722.6 5-speed automatic, which is a lot more reliable than the early versions of the 7-speed gearbox (722.9) that by 2004 had found its way into most other versions of the S-class.
So, in short, if you like the idea of an S-class that’s relatively affordable and reliable and that’s penned by arguably the best Benz designer of all time, this is the one to have.
At $16,500, the ask is on the high side, but I think it’s the right ballpark for such a nice one.