Vehicle Type: Luxury Sedan

History/Description: Baller! One of the world’s foremost flagship sedans, the last-generation Mercedes S-Class was available from model years 2007 to 2013 inclusive, and packed industry-leading pedigree, technology, styling and presence. Today, thanks to depreciation, owning a few-year-old copy of what was once a six-figure super sedan is within the realm of possibility for many shoppers.

Competing with big-dollar rides from BMW, Lexus, Audi and Jaguar, the S-Class offered up numerous engine options, available All Wheel Drive (AWD) and special versions, including performance tuned models, hybrid-powered models, and many more.

In the used market, S-Class examples with the AMG designation are equipped with upgraded engines, brakes, chassis components and track-validated driveline upgrades for a high-performance package. The 4Matic designation indicates the presence of All Wheel Drive (AWD).

Feature content was exhaustive. Look for options like navigation, voice-command, adaptive xenon lights, night-vision, adaptive suspension, premium audio, climate controlled seats, an emergency calling system, heated steering wheel and plenty more.

What Owners Like: No surprises here. S-Class owners rate the style, comfort, presence and exclusivity of their rides very highly. World-class comfort and a very quiet ride are also reported. The AWD system, wide range of safety features and a locked-on driving feel all add confidence.

What Owners Dislike: Owners of cars in this price range are typically reluctant to list any complaints, and the S-Class is no exception. Other than issues with parking (because of its size), and a few gripes about windshield-wiper performance, complaints are hard to track down.

Here’s a look at some owner reviews.

Common Issues: Plan to spend an hour or more for a test drive of a used S-Class, as you’ll want to confirm proper operation of all of its numerous electronic systems and features. Double check all windows, locks, power seats, the navigation system, air suspension (if equipped) and climate control system. Did you know the S-Class has door computers? These handles inputs from all the door-mounted switches which control things like seat memory, position, temperature settings, door locks, mirror controls and more. If the door computer goes bunk, you’ll need the dealer to replace and re-program it, so be sure all door-mounted controls are in good working order.

The seats in the used S-Class you’re considering can tell a tale. Look at the outward edge of the driver’s seat. Is it cracked? Peeling? Missing chunks of colour or leather? Faded? If so, call it into pricing negotiations. If not, investigate further. Does the interior look clean and well maintained? Or is it full of fries and garbage and pet-hair? A well-maintained car will tend to look like one, and like any vehicle part, leather should be maintained to preserve it and prolong its life. If the seats look to be in sound shape, be sure to keep them that way with regular use of a leather cleaner and conditioner product.

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