After about a year of contemplation, I drove a 1998 S500 today. I was very surprised by how well it performed, and how nimble it felt despite its size and weight.
I was expecting it to feel heavy and sluggish -- especially in comparison to my 260E -- but it actually felt not much different, except for a somewhat softer ride, smoother transmission, and softer-touch accelerator.
In my opinion, the 1997-99 S500's are what owning a Mercedes is all about. That being said, is there anything I should know before taking the plunge and buying it?
Also, for those of you considering an S600, as I was, the independent dealer I was visiting emphatically advised against it, mainly because you are stuck going to MB dealers for service and repairs (engine and dignostics are very different on the S600) and they, of course, will gouge you on costs. He says they had S600 and they were a service/repair nightmare. Also, there is so significant power or performance advantage over the S500.
1989 260E (soon to be S500)