I highly advice you to go for '96 S420 is you can shave out couple more $$. '96(as well as 1995) has updated interior, and minor updated exterior. '96 has digital cluster, which is also redesigned, and different from those used on 1992-1994 W140s.
'95 and '96 are IMO the BEST build W140s. However, there are some minor difference between '95 and '96. Not a big deal, but just for your info.
1992-1995 W140s have parking guides which extend from rear fender when the car is in reverse, and is dropped in 1996 model year and newer.
1992-1995 has powered INTERIOR mirror(1995+ with auto dim). 1996+ W140s has conventional, manual mirror.
1992-1995 W140s have the same exterior mirrors, which 1996+ has W210-type mirror, which IMO has smaller view-field.
Also, 1995+ W140s have quieter, more reliable door-close assist pumps(2 in each W140).
One thing I am not certain is the A/C controls. 1997+ definitely have newer type of control panels(with one LCD display, with buttons around it) for A/C, and I believe 1996 has it, too. But 1992-1995 has older type A/C controls(which buttons are divided into 3 groups, form 3 rectangular button groups, with seperated LCD read out for left and right).
Try use search function of this forum, and search for "W140 S-Class", there are alot of info, and I have posted a message regarding changes during the life-span of W140.
<LI>1992 Mercedes-Benz 400SE
<LI>Pearl Grey/Black Leather
Mercedes Owners ICQ ActiveList ID#61730549
Mercedes S-Class Page
[This message has been edited by akry (edited 07-06-2000).]