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S-Class (W221) 2007-2013: S 320 CDI, S 350, S 450, S 500, S 550, S 420 CDI, S 600

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Old 07-13-2011, 08:42 AM   #1
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Not much difference S500 vs S550

Hi guys and gals. I own an 04 S500, was loking to get 06 S55 or possibly 07-09 S550, so got a chance to drive an 07 yesterday with 40k miles on it and must say was a little disappointed.
A tad faster and that's about it. The car feels just about the same. Even my wife that was telling me not to look at the old body style and get 07 and up saying int should be better all around, got disappointed.
Not saying a bad car at all, just other than the toys driving feel does not seem to be different.
I also noticed that there was no controls for suspension like in the previouse models.
I know this section of the board might be a tad bias but I'd love to hear some thoughts from someone who owned or drove both generations of S.
Thanks all.
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Old 07-13-2011, 10:25 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by malahhaor View Post
Hi guys and gals. I own an 04 S500, was loking to get 06 S55 or possibly 07-09 S550, so got a chance to drive an 07 yesterday with 40k miles on it and must say was a little disappointed.
A tad faster and that's about it. The car feels just about the same. Even my wife that was telling me not to look at the old body style and get 07 and up saying int should be better all around, got disappointed.
Not saying a bad car at all, just other than the toys driving feel does not seem to be different.
I also noticed that there was no controls for suspension like in the previouse models.
I know this section of the board might be a tad bias but I'd love to hear some thoughts from someone who owned or drove both generations of S.
Thanks all.
Hey Dude,

I probably won't agree with your conclusion, though I think you already covered the bias in your original post.

First, I had a 2004 S500V4 for over 2 years. I got rid of it because the extended MB CPO warranty was going to expire, and I'd had enough "trouble" with the 2004 that I wasn't going to risk getting hit with a huge repair bill post-warranty. Now, I have a 2010 S550V4. There are a number of differences.

You mentioned no suspension controls - that isn't entirely true. I believe the S550 has a "sport" mode button for the suspension in the instrument cluster, right in between the primary speedo area and the secondary NAV screen area. It only has two settings, as opposed to the old car's 3 settings. But, whenever I would fiddle with the suspension on my old car, I'd go with "Comfort" or "Sport 2" anyway, so the middle one was useless to me. I like the new setup because it doesn't have the middle setting.

Honestly, I feel like I'd be writing here forever the differences between the two, and why I'm not personally disappointed that I made the switch to the new car. It boils down to build quality as a major factor. My 2004 was so squeaky, my passengers made comments about that. The new car is smoother, from the operation of the auto trunk to the engine to the gearbox. There are just way too many variables to consider here, and I don't have the time.

In the end, I'm not looking back - I'm happy I made the switch. Now, I jumped from a 2004 to a 2010, not a 2004 to a used 2007, so there are probably some differences there! Good luck.
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Old 07-13-2011, 10:51 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by malahhaor View Post
Hi guys and gals. I own an 04 S500, was loking to get 06 S55 or possibly 07-09 S550, so got a chance to drive an 07 yesterday with 40k miles on it and must say was a little disappointed.
A tad faster and that's about it. The car feels just about the same. Even my wife that was telling me not to look at the old body style and get 07 and up saying int should be better all around, got disappointed.
Not saying a bad car at all, just other than the toys driving feel does not seem to be different.
I also noticed that there was no controls for suspension like in the previous models.
I know this section of the board might be a tad bias but I'd love to hear some thoughts from someone who owned or drove both generations of S.
Thanks all.
Just to comment on the suspension settings. On the W221s with no suspension controls (aside from the button to raise the car) The Airmatic setting is automatic and based on what transmission mode you have set. If it is in Sport mode the suspension will be firm and if it is in comfort mode the suspension will be supple.
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Old 07-13-2011, 11:28 AM   #4
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There are lot's of changes. The W221 is a length better in every aspect.
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Old 07-13-2011, 11:30 AM   #5
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For me, I can't see the reason for the switch. If you have a loaded 220, a 221 will not offer much new in terms of goodies, nor will the driving experience be hugely different than a late model 220.

My biggest disappointment is that you can't get full leather in the 221 in a 550, designo or otherwise. Thats one of the things I love the most about my 220.

There is nothing wrong with thinking the difference isn't huge...and it will certainly save you some coin.
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Old 07-13-2011, 11:32 AM   #6
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There are lot's of changes. The W221 is a length better in every aspect.
In ways that really affect the driving experience? I can't agree there.

The 221 airmatic offers a bit of a smoother ride, and the brakes are a touch better in my opinion, but other than that, I don't care for the electronics suite on the 221 series cars, and I can't say the 221 I drove was any better assembled than my car.

I'd say its more about the looks than about a shocking difference in how the cars drive.
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Old 07-13-2011, 04:16 PM   #7
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In ways that really affect the driving experience? I can't agree there.

The 221 airmatic offers a bit of a smoother ride, and the brakes are a touch better in my opinion, but other than that, I don't care for the electronics suite on the 221 series cars, and I can't say the 221 I drove was any better assembled than my car.

I'd say its more about the looks than about a shocking difference in how the cars drive.
agreed have had both w220 and w221. I'm going back to 06 W220 S65 you can't beat the performance you get for under 50K. Just find one with an extended warranty. under 4 sec 0-60 and around 12 in the 1/4 for a 6000 pound 4 door.
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Old 07-13-2011, 05:10 PM   #8
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What the heck are you guys talking about? I don't even know where to begin...W220 is probably the worst quality built S class EVER! It is well documented. there is a reason why you can buy one for couple of thousand bucks.

Every aspect of the W221 is light years ahead of the W220 along with other chassis refinements and other ENDLESS improvements.

AZCTSV, you are going back to w220 after you owned a W221? Really? you owned a W221? probably like you own that lambo sitting on the bentley lot.
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Old 07-13-2011, 05:25 PM   #9
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agreed have had both w220 and w221. I'm going back to 06 W220 S65 you can't beat the performance you get for under 50K. Just find one with an extended warranty. under 4 sec 0-60 and around 12 in the 1/4 for a 6000 pound 4 door.
Yeah S65 weighs 6000lbs
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Old 07-13-2011, 05:29 PM   #10
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What the heck are you guys talking about? I don't even know where to begin...W220 is probably the worst quality built S class EVER! It is well documented. there is a reason why you can buy one for couple of thousand bucks.

Every aspect of the W221 is light years ahead of the W220 along with other chassis refinements and other ENDLESS improvements.

AZCTSV, you are going back to w220 after you owned a W221? Really? you owned a W221? probably like you own that lambo sitting on the bentley lot.

first off- i've owned both cars and my current list is in my sig (no biggie)
i don't need to explain anything to you when you have blinders on about cars you speak of.

ahh and your correct on one thing you posted- bentley dealer (towbin in vegas) where the car was bought 3 years ago and the day i drove off in it.... now move on unless you have some useful info for the board and not psycho babble HATER drama!!

FYI S65 weight is over 5,000 LBS and again i'll say for around 50k it's an AMAZING car for performance based value.
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Old 07-13-2011, 05:57 PM   #11
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first off- i've owned both cars and my current list is in my sig (no biggie)
Yea no biggie, that's why you have a picture of a lambo (sitting at the LV Bentley's lot) that takes up an entire page.

Quote:
FYI S65 weight is over 5,000 LBS
http://www.fastestlaps.com/cars/merc..._amg_w220.html

Now it's 5000lbs?? Ok. Yeah sure they do....Just like a w220 is better than a w221. Face it, if you could have a w221 S65 you would have on and not look at a w220 and try to convince yourself that it is better.
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Old 07-13-2011, 06:02 PM   #12
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Yea no biggie, that's why you have a picture of a lambo (sitting at the LV Bentley's lot) that takes up an entire page.



http://www.fastestlaps.com/cars/merc..._amg_w220.html

Now it's 5000lbs?? Ok. Yeah sure they do....Just like a w220 is better than a w221. Face it, if you could have a w221 S65 you would have on and not look at a w220 and try to convince yourself that it is better.
YAWN..... please go away..... your embarassing yourself.

We get it you love your W221 but that doesn't mean others may have varying opinions... try and stay on topic without the anger and personal attacks!

You seem fixed on weight it's been stated hundreds of times (S65 FORUM) S65 W220 with full tank of fuel and driver is over 5,000 lbs..... not hard to find.
Also your analysis of the 220 chasis being the worst built Benz ever is documented where???? certainly not by the majority of owners.
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Old 07-13-2011, 06:21 PM   #13
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Congrats- you showed more class than the reply I would have giventopic:
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Old 07-13-2011, 08:40 PM   #14
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YAWN..... please go away..... your embarassing yourself.

We get it you love your W221 but that doesn't mean others may have varying opinions... try and stay on topic without the anger and personal attacks!

You seem fixed on weight it's been stated hundreds of times (S65 FORUM) S65 W220 with full tank of fuel and driver is over 5,000 lbs..... not hard to find.
Also your analysis of the 220 chasis being the worst built Benz ever is documented where???? certainly not by the majority of owners.
I like how you keep editing your post. I bet you wish you could have edited out the 6000lbs huh?

It has nothing to do with my love for my 221. My 221 is going to be gone as soon as the w222 comes out and I know I won't look back.

Of course no 220 owners are not going to say they own a car with poor quality but if they move on to owning a 221 then they will realize.

I have never owned a w220 but thought about it in 2002 but after driving the E65s it was a no brainer. I ended up leasing a E65 745I. Looking back, the E65 is a POS compared to the W221. However, at the time, it was probably the hottest 4 door sedan under $100K plus the free service was huge!

Cars get old and technologies advance. I move on and dont ever look back. Saying a 220 is better than a 221 is like saying your 20 year old computer is better than the current models.

They are all depreciating assets, if you like it that's all that matters.
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:13 PM   #15
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I edited my post because of grammar errors.

Listen friend quit being stuck on the 6000 lbs thing you've already been proven wrong with your other accusations, and really I should expect an apology... but that doesn't seem like the kind of person you are.

Here this will make you happy S65 with full tank of gas and average male adult will weigh in at aprox 5,200 lbs

Thanks for mostly geting back on topic. I will offer an opinion to the best of my ability of what the original poster asked and that is "my experience has been the driving impressions themselves are not that much different from 220 to 221"
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:14 PM   #16
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Thank you all for emotional speeches, not exactly what i was looking for. Hopped to have a more of an observational and logical conversation like some tried to provide, thank you


my 04 has 92k miles on it and other than occasional annoying sound from the loud stock struts it's a very solid and quiet car. Other than a couple of small wear and ter things that are expected the car is solid, knock on wood. So from point of reliability of 221 from my point of view, I see no difference. As I have mentioned, yes the toys on the car are newer and superior tech, but I am specifically talking about the feel of the car when you sit and drive it. In that regard I personally did not see enough of a change to warrant going after the 221. I actualy feel that you are able to see less of the cars surroundings when in the drivers seat, but maybe because it's a tad bigger then 220 and I'm not used to it.
It very well may be a small difference because it's used and first year of prod, so I will try and jump in to 2010 or 11 and see if I like that better.
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:16 PM   #17
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What the heck are you guys talking about? I don't even know where to begin...W220 is probably the worst quality built S class EVER! It is well documented. there is a reason why you can buy one for couple of thousand bucks.

Every aspect of the W221 is light years ahead of the W220 along with other chassis refinements and other ENDLESS improvements.
What the heck are YOU talking about? Are you basing this on your test drive of a 2002 or some consumer reports non-sense.

The reason you can buy one for a few thousands bucks is because they are 11 years old and high mileage. All these cars plummet in value. You don't think a 2007 S550 with 100k miles will sell for a few grand in 2018? If not, you're dreaming.

Light years? Like what? Material quality is about the same 05-06 to 07. Same goes for the available options. I granted you a slightly smoother ride (although its not like a 220 rides harshly). Is it faster, you bet...but none of these cars are rocket ships. In fact, I feel that the leather on my 220 steering wheel is far softer and higher quality than the 221.

What else you got? How about describing these endless improvements and "light years" of differences.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zelement View Post
Just like a w220 is better than a w221.
Quote:
Originally Posted by zelement View Post

Of course no 220 owners are not going to say they own a car with poor quality but if they move on to owning a 221 then they will realize.

I have never owned a w220 but thought about it in 2002 Saying a 220 is better than a 221 is like saying your 20 year old computer is better than the current models.
You seem to struggle a bit with reading. I'm not sure anyone said a 220 was better. I think some said that they may "prefer" the 220, which is subjective. I like the interior/exterior look of my 220 better than the 221. Thats a preference. I'm not dumb enough to think that MB made a worse car, but to me (and I've spent plenty of time in 221s and 216s) the difference is incremental and not any where close to monumental.

Now then, show me a 221 s550 with better interior materials:

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 07-13-2011, 10:30 PM   #18
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I would tend to agree on most of this, but again, just my opinion. And apparently OKs as well.
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Old 07-13-2011, 10:46 PM   #19
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It was discussed here many times – W221 undoubtedly has better material quality and reliability if compared to W220. Both great cars but W221 pretty much better in almost everything. Exterior of W221 alone far ahead of old W220.

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Old 07-13-2011, 11:25 PM   #20
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I edited my post because of grammar errors.

Listen friend quit being stuck on the 6000 lbs thing you've already been proven wrong with your other accusations, and really I should expect an apology... but that doesn't seem like the kind of person you are.

Here this will make you happy S65 with full tank of gas and average male adult will weigh in at aprox 5,200 lbs

Thanks for mostly geting back on topic. I will offer an opinion to the best of my ability of what the original poster asked and that is "my experience has been the driving impressions themselves are not that much different from 220 to 221"
No. you kept editing your post to backtrack and to change your false statements. I read you unediting post prior to your changes.

What exactly did you prove me wrong???

You were the 1st to get off topic by bring up a 220 65. No one cares that you are going to buy a used 05 65.

I am sure you want me to forget about your false 6000lbs statement. Like I said, don't you wish you could have edited that before I caught it?
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Old 07-13-2011, 11:35 PM   #21
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What the heck are YOU talking about? Are you basing this on your test drive of a 2002 or some consumer reports non-sense.

You seem to struggle a bit with reading. I'm not sure anyone said a 220 was better. I think some said that they may "prefer" the 220, which is subjective. I like the interior/exterior look of my 220 better than the 221. Thats a preference. I'm not dumb enough to think that MB made a worse car, but to me (and I've spent plenty of time in 221s and 216s) the difference is incremental and not any where close to monumental.
I seem to struggle with reading? Famouss550 post said the w221 is lengths better than the w220 and in your next post you said you can't agree.

I didn't have to drive the 220 to know its is a boring car to look at and drive (but I did drive it before my E65). Consumer reports and every other car publication **** on the car for the entire production run. What else is there to get unbaised opinion on a vehicle.

You've spent a lot of time in a 221 and 216? I love it when people make those statements.

I know you love your w220. You have already proven that in the other thread against 65number1. Its your car and if you think you got a better car with that interior than good for you.

In 5 years, you will probably own a 221 and get into another argument with me in the 222 forum on how the 221 is better.
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Old 07-13-2011, 11:42 PM   #22
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Are you taking any prescription medicine? because
you seem to have a hard time replying to others without being
a complete jerk.

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Old 07-14-2011, 12:06 AM   #23
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malahhaor: hopefully you received some of the real info and thoughts you were seeking when you started this thread. Obviously there seems to be quite a varying of opinion. Newer does not always mean better.
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Old 07-14-2011, 01:07 AM   #24
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lol, why is everyone so sensitive about there cars? They're both S-class's...lol.

I think W221, is a pretty nice car, and we never owned a W220, we actually opted for a 745li at the time, but drove around in one...As far as the car preference goes, I personally think the W220 has a great interior, but the w221 is much more refined on the inside, it went from a completely manual "push-button" interior into a fully auto "command center". Which I personally think is a huge step, in the car.

As far as the rest of the interior goes, I wish I had a pic of my interior,but it's absolutely beautiful.

The Exterior, once again is beautiful on the W220, but W221, is a very well crafted car. The curves and wide body is just really hard to beat. It's not very fair to compare the two body styles though...because they both represent two different generations of style. W220 slightly more boxy with the classic "triangle-like"(?) tail lights, and the W221 the base for all the newer MB's deep, exaggerated curves, and LED's lol.

Overall both cars are awesome, but the interesting thing is, while I like both cars, and they are both great...

How do you not see much of a difference in them? Whether or not the W220 is better or not....I think they are two different worlds when you sit inside lol...

Anyway both great cars but I love our W221
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Old 07-14-2011, 10:34 AM   #25
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I seem to struggle with reading? Famouss550 post said the w221 is lengths better than the w220 and in your next post you said you can't agree.

I didn't have to drive the 220 to know its is a boring car to look at and drive (but I did drive it before my E65). Consumer reports and every other car publication **** on the car for the entire production run. What else is there to get unbaised opinion on a vehicle.

You've spent a lot of time in a 221 and 216? I love it when people make those statements.

I know you love your w220. You have already proven that in the other thread against 65number1. Its your car and if you think you got a better car with that interior than good for you.

In 5 years, you will probably own a 221 and get into another argument with me in the 222 forum on how the 221 is better.
yes, in this post you prove that your reading comprehension is missing.

Lengths better= significantly better

I stated that I disagreed. I did not state the 220 was better, I just think that the difference is much smaller than "lengths". If I anywhere said the 220 was better, please quote me on it.

220 is boring to look at? I disagree (obviously), but thats subjective.
220 is boring to drive? Its a luxury sedan, just like the 221. Neither one is fun to drive in the base models. If you want fun to drive, you should be looking at sports cars.

Let me get you some quotes on the 220:

"So, while there may be more serious issues with other Mercedes models, the S500 is built remarkably well and it feels it. The doors close with a graceful yet solid thunk. The systems and controls are intelligently laid out. The materials used for the interior are handsome and of the best quality." Forbes, 2005

"Mercedes-Benz has embarked upon a self-imposed makeover mission during the past decade. The goal: to aggressively redefine its role as a producer of contemporary luxury vehicles. Without a doubt, the most convincing manifestation yet of the firm's success in that endeavor is the all-new S-Class. Just on sale in Europe and due here in the spring as an early 2000 model, M-B's flagship sedan has been totally recast for the new millennium. It emerges from the crucible with a bold new look and feel that only hints at the scintillating character lying within. Make no mistake, this fabled four-door remains the undisputed leader of the Benz Pack.

Saving the sybaritic best for last, the S-Class interior boasts generous room for five adults, a user-friendly driving environment, and the same kinds of quality appointments you'd expect to find in a corporate boardroom. Augmenting its bounty of rich leather and fine wood is just about every comfort and convenience feature imaginable--plus a whole lot more

The best individual elements mean little if they're not combined in a way that extracts the full potential from each. Here, too, Mercedes has done a fantastic job of fostering synergistic relationships. The result is an exceptional four-door that simply redefines the term world-class luxury sedan. Far more of a driver's car than its predecessor, it feels nearly as much at home slicing through a Black Forest backroad as streaking down the autobahn in triple-digit cruise mode. Steering response is quicker, reflexes are sharper, and road imperfections are dispatched with near total disdain. Inside, the vault-like ambiance is interrupted only by the subtle whir of a torquey V-8 and the subdued whisper of wind passing over the outside mirrors." Motortrend, 2000

"Like its rear-drive brethren, the S500 4MATIC is more successful as a highway cruiser than a back-road burner. Its straight-line stability and tracking are first-rate, complemented by low-effort steering that is progressive and linear if a bit numb on-center. The standard Airmatic DC suspension with its adaptive damping delivers a soft, plush ride in comfort mode that's perfect for fully enjoying the 14-way power-adjustable front seats and 10-speaker Bose sound system. It's the kind of car that actually makes a long road trip fun. the S500 4MATIC remains a classy, comfortable, capable car for any season. As far as all-weather luxury yachts go, this one's tough to beat." car and driver, 2003

"The new W220 S-class builds upon the greatness of its predecessor and refines it to levels you must experience to believe. It is clear that Mercedes has made a few changes with its 340+ patent applications and eight years of engineering. The entire feel of the car is more of a driver's machine. What is truly amazing is that they accomplished this while actually exceeding the ride comfort, safety, and luxury of the W140 model. The air suspension shrugs off everything from potholes to railroad tracks without a hint of disruption or noise to the passenger compartment. While doing this it also allows for much flatter and predictable cornering. Is it perfect? Very close...the new electronic gauge cluster might bother some traditionalists and the computer screen/control center needs a tasteful wooden cover. To take the W140's world-class luxury and poise and match it with vastly improved handling, braking, and acceleration in a package that costs $10,000 less is truly amazing. Unless you're a die-hard performance junkie this is perhaps the best Mercedes yet." peachparts.com



As to my time spent in a 216, my mother owns one. I drove almost a dozen 221s ranging from the 550 to the 65 when she was in the buying process. At least 3 friends have various 221s so not only have I been in them a lot, I've driven them on extended roadtrips. Do I own one? no.

In 5 years I might own a 221. Will I argue its better than the 222? nope...just like I'm not arguing that the 220 is better than the 221. reading is fundamental.
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Old 07-14-2011, 10:34 AM
 
 
 
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