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  #1  
Old 01-17-2008, 11:20 AM
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W140 vs 300SDL

Greetings: I previously owned a 1987 300 SDL. I am contemplating the purchase of W140 S320. I have read most all of the posts concerning the W140 so I am aware of the potential expensive repairs. My question is how much difference is there between the size of a 300 SDL and the S320. I found the 300 SDL almost too big for around town and the ride was harsh over anything but a smooth road. How will the S320 compare in these terms.
Thanks for any advice.

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  #2  
Old 01-17-2008, 11:37 AM
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The W140 chassis is MUCH larger than the W126. Most likely 600-700 lbs. heavier.

The long wheelbase S320 is almost too much car for the engine.

IF you can afford a 1998-99 car you should be pleased with the car.
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  #3  
Old 01-17-2008, 02:36 PM
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Comparing my friends SWB S320 to my SDL:

The S320 rides many times better, even with 18in AMG's. It just soaks up the bumps. It also feels smaller and quicker than the SDL. It weighs slightly more but has 80 more hp and a 5spd, so its quicker.

As for size, length is about the same, the W140 is slightly wider and taller.

I'd only consider a 1997-99, so it has the 722.6 and all the updates.
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  #4  
Old 01-17-2008, 03:00 PM
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I sold my 300SDL a couple of years ago and bought a 1992 500SEL

A couple of thoughts:
-There are "expensive" repairs on a 300SDL, but nothing like $500 Bose amps, $2000 evaporator cores and $400 wiring harnesses! These were very expensive cars new, and cost more to maintain than an SDL
-You can fix the 300SDL yourself. You'll need a good tech for at least 25% (more likely 50%) of the repairs on your W140 depending on how handy you are. I did everything on my 300SDL except for an exhaust system, and we probably split the work on the W140 about 50/50 between my mechanic and I.
-W140 is heavier, but doesn't feel it. It's much softer over bumps, and steering is lighter. SDL had better steering feel, but I love driving the W140!
-W140 feels about a foot wider putting it into the garage!
-W140 goes through brakes and tires a lot faster. Heavier car!
-Even though some may say an S320 is underpowered, it is certainly not underpowered considering what you're driving now!
-Not sure about the S320 (shouldn't be bad) but gas mileage on my 500SEL is killer! (I'd say I spend almost double on gas to drive the same number of annual miles!)
-More creature comforts. If you thought your SDL was nice to drive, wait till you drive a W140

One piece of advice.. be absolutely SURE you are ready to own a W140 before you test drive one. One common thing I've heard from W140 owners is that they fell in love with the first one they drove. From personal experience, do NOT drive one till you're ready to buy one or you'll be hooked

Having said that, I see 300SDL's around town and drool. They're much more rare (W140's are way more popular) and look like classic cars now. I'd drive a 300SDL in a minute!

Hope this helps...
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Old 01-17-2008, 03:03 PM
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What kind of mileage are you seeing with the 500? My friend gets high teens around town in the S320 and low 20's on the highway.
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Old 01-17-2008, 03:11 PM
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Off the top of my head, I'd say I can max out in the high teens when on long highway trips.

About 15mpg combined hwy/city if I drive with a bit of a heavy foot.

I can get in the low teens range if I try hard enough

Definitely miss my 300SDL when I'm filling up the W140 at the gas station........
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  #7  
Old 01-17-2008, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhatt View Post
I sold my 300SDL a couple of years ago and bought a 1992 500SEL
One piece of advice.. be absolutely SURE you are ready to own a W140 before you test drive one. One common thing I've heard from W140 owners is that they fell in love with the first one they drove. From personal experience, do NOT drive one till you're ready to buy one or you'll be hooked
Hope this helps...

That's part scares me the most - I am very impulsive.
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  #8  
Old 01-18-2008, 08:17 AM
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Thanks for the responses, they were what I was looking for.
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  #9  
Old 01-18-2008, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhatt View Post
One piece of advice.. be absolutely SURE you are ready to own a W140 before you test drive one. One common thing I've heard from W140 owners is that they fell in love with the first one they drove. From personal experience, do NOT drive one till you're ready to buy one or you'll be hooked
This must be a matter of personal taste. I drive these things and just can't get interested. They seem about as sporty as a river barge.
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  #10  
Old 01-18-2008, 11:31 AM
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The S class isn't supposed to be sporty is a big car. Thats what they make the SL's for.
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  #11  
Old 01-18-2008, 12:11 PM
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I recently drove a family friends 1999 S500.

Its had an amzingly smooth ride, and its sooooo quiet on the inside.


Had a pretty good amount of pep, but nothing spectacular. Handled really nicely for such a large car.

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