• (4.8) 21 reviews
  • Available Prices: $2,363–$13,975
  • Body Style: Sedan
  • Combined MPG: 15-22
  • Engine: 275-hp, 4.3-liter V-8 (premium)
  • Drivetrain: All-wheel Drive
  • Transmission: 5-speed automatic w/OD and auto-manual
2004 Mercedes-Benz S-Class

Our Take on the Latest Model 2004 Mercedes-Benz S-Class

What We Don't Like

  • Price
  • Fuel economy
  • Control layout and complexity

Notable Features

  • Three potent powertrain choices
  • RWD layout
  • Stylish two-door profile
  • Mercedes-Benz pedigree
  • New seven-speed automatic

2004 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Reviews

Vehicle Overview
Like its two-door CL-Class coupe sibling, the ultra-luxury Mercedes-Benz S-Class rear-wheel-drive sedan gained two potent new engines for 2003. A supercharged 5.5-liter V-8 generates 493 horsepower in the S55 AMG. The twin-turbo V-12 in the S600 produces the same output. An available Pre-Safe system can recognize an impending impact before it occurs so that it can adjust the seats to the safest position and activate seat belt pretensioners.

Four versions of Mercedes-Benz’s largest, most costly sedan are available. The S430 has a 4.3-liter V-8 engine; the S500 holds a 5.0-liter V-8; and the S600 carries a 5.5-liter V-12. Performance-oriented buyers may choose the S55 AMG, which features a supercharged 493-hp V-8, a sport suspension, larger tires and aerodynamic body trim.

A new seven-speed-automatic transmission that replaces the previous five-speed unit goes into S430 and S500 sedans for 2004. A DVD-based navigation system and MP3 play capability become standard. During 2003, new 4Matic all-wheel-drive versions of the S430 and S500 went on sale.

Exterior
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 sedan’s 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 ready 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.

Interior
Fitted with a three-place rear bench, the S-Class seats five people. A split rear bench with power adjustments is optional. The front seats have 14-way power adjustments and head restraints that can serve as pillows. Full leather upholstery and a Bose audio system are standard.

Befitting its price, the S600 gets four heated power seats and a higher level of wood and leather trim. Radar-based Distronic Adaptive Cruise Control is optional.

Under the Hood
Mercedes-Benz offers three V-8 engines and a V-12. The S430 holds 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 493-hp, supercharged 5.5-liter V-8. The S600 sedan carries a turbocharged 5.5-liter V-12 that delivers 493 hp and 590 pounds-feet of torque. A new seven-speed-automatic transmission goes into rear-wheel-drive S430 and S500 sedans, while the S55 AMG, S600, and 4Matic-equipped S430 and S500 sedans use a five-speed automatic.

Safety
Side-impact airbags are installed in each door. Side curtain-type airbags in the front and rear deploy from the roofline to protect occupants’ heads. An Electronic Stability Program combines traction control with lateral-skid control technology.

Driving Impressions
Loaded with technology, 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, the steering seems just a little too light.

Even in the S500, 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.

 

Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com;
Posted on 9/26/03

Consumer Reviews

(4.8)

Average based on 21 reviews

Write a Review

Nicest car.ive ever owned

by Mike h from Aurora ill. on August 31, 2017

Most reliable car I've ever Owned nice looking clean drives good looks nice good motor nice interior quiet engine good takeoff

Read All Consumer Reviews

6 Trims Available

Photo of undefined
Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2004 Mercedes-Benz S-Class trim comparison will help you decide.

2004 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports

Recalls

There are currently 6 recalls for this car.


Safety defects and recalls are relatively common. Stay informed and know what to do ahead of time.

Safety defects and recalls explained

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $4,800 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Other Years