Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), also known as "sticker" price, is a recommended selling price that automakers give a new car that is above the invoice price paid by the dealer. It is a price that does not include any options that can be added to a particular car style. When shown as a range, the prices are starting MSRPs, without options, for multiple styles for that model.
This price range reflects the Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail value for all trim levels, but not necessarily all available options.
The Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail value represents the amount an auto dealer might ask for a specific vehicle; the actual sale price will vary. A vehicle's popularity, condition, warranty, color and local market conditions are factors involved in determining a final price. The retail value is not a trade-in or private party value.
The Suggested Retail value assumes that the vehicle has been fully reconditioned and has a clean title history. The Suggested Retail value also allows for advertising, sales commissions, insurance and other costs of doing business as a dealer. Most vehicles offered at this price have passed an inspection, and some may carry a warranty. Vehicle mileage is assumed to be normal or below normal.
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Expert Reviews 1 of 2
By Jim Flammang
December 9, 2002
Vehicle Overview Safety, performance and appearance headline the changes in the top Mercedes-Benz sedans for the 2003 model year. Mercedes-Benz unveiled the revised model at the Paris Motor Show in September 2002.
An innovative Pre-Safe system is the big news for the S-Class this year. Up to 5 seconds before an unavoidable impact, additional electric seat belt tensioners are activated and the seats adjust to the optimum safety position: the backrest is raised and the seat bottom is lowered and moved rearward. The sunroof closes automatically if skidding occurs, and the tensioners relax when a crash is averted.
All S-Class sedans get a new front fascia and new headlight and taillight glass. New 4Matic all-wheel-drive versions of the S430 and S500 will go on sale during the 2003 model year; these models will feature a 40/60 front/rear torque split. A new bi-turbo V-12 engine that delivers 493 horsepower and 590 pounds-feet of torque goes into the S600.
The high-performance S55 AMG gets a new supercharged V-8 power plant that produces 493 hp thats 138 hp more than last years version. Redundant Speed Shift buttons go on the steering wheel, a new racing-derived braking system is installed, and the S55 AMG interior has been revised.
Mercedes-Benz describes the S-Class as a sedan with a coupelike profile that is highlighted by a low nose and taller tail. A laid-back grille and smooth underbody improve airflow, which keeps the sedans coefficient of drag at a low 0.27.
With its sport suspension, racy aerodynamic body trim and 18-inch tires on Monoblock alloy wheels, the S55 AMG is equipped for high-speed travel. Both the ultimate-luxury S600 and the S55 AMG have Active Body Control that continuously adjusts suspension firmness to eliminate body roll during cornering, acceleration and braking.
With its standard three-place rear bench, the S-Class seats five occupants. A split, rear bench seat with power adjustments is optional. The front seats have 14-way power adjustments, as well as head restraints that can serve as pillows. Full leather upholstery, a navigation system and a Bose audio system are standard in the S430 and S500.
Befitting its price, the S600 gets a higher level of wood and leather trim, four heated power seats, four-zone climate control, a CD changer and a voice-controlled digital phone. Features in the S55 AMG include active ventilated/multicontour front seats. Radar-based Distronic Adaptive Cruise Control and a Keyless Go feature are offered as optional equipment.
Under the Hood
Mercedes-Benz offers three V-8 engines and a V-12. The S430 comes with a 275-hp, 4.3-liter V-8, while the S500 gets a 302-hp, 5.0-liter V-8. The high-performance S55 AMG uses a new 493-hp, supercharged 5.5-liter V-8. The S600 sedan carries a turbocharged 5.5-liter V-12 that pumps out 493 hp, which is an increase of 131 hp from the previous V-12 power plant. All models have a five-speed-automatic transmission that incorporates a manual-shift mode.
Side-impact airbags are installed in each of the four doors, and inflatable side curtain-type airbags in the front and rear deploy from the roofline to protect occupants heads. The automakers Electronic Stability Program combines traction control with lateral-skid control technology. Antilock brakes are standard, and a Parktronic system is included in the S600.
Because the S-Class is loaded with so much technology, it can seem overwhelming. The S-Class is a smooth and supremely capable cruiser that may initially be marred by a slight sense of detachment, but that sensation soon eases. Despite its bounty of alluring attributes, its steering seems just a little too light.
The S500s performance approaches the level of stunning, and automatic-transmission response qualifies as masterful. Even though the ride is smooth, the S500 hits a few bumps rather hard. In fast curves, the big sedan stays remarkably upright.