The 1998 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is a luxury sedan series that was manufactured by Mercedes-Benz since 1954. The classification was introduced officially in 1972 with the introduction of the W116 S-Class, which succeeded the Mercedes-Benz models from the mid-1950s. The S-Class is the flagship model of Mercedes Benz, which is why it has traditionally debuted many of the German automaker’s innovations, such as the first seatbelt pretensioners. It is the world’s bestselling Luxury flagship sedan, and the 1998 Mercedes-Benz model is a W140 S-Class, which was introduced in 1992.
Body Styles: sedan
Engines: 4.2-liter V-8, 3.2-liter I-6, 6.0-liter V-12, 5.0-liter V-8
Transmissions: five-speed automatic
Models: Mercedes-Benz S-320 SWB, Mercedes-Benz S-320 LWB, Mercedes-Benz S-420, Mercedes-Benz S-500, Mercedes-Benz S-600
The 1998 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is expected to be replaced by the next generation very soon, which is why the 1998 Mercedes-Benz S-Class has not been subject to many changes. Notable changes include the addition of the Baby Smart feature and Brake Assist. Interestingly, the S-320 does not have a V-6 engine like the E-320 and instead continues with the straight-six engine.
The 1998 Mercedes-Benz S-Class has a more mature exterior compared to the SLK Roadster or the SL-Class. The car’s exterior reflects prestige and confidence, and even a certain amount of coldness. Overall, the 1998 Mercedes-Benz S-Class has a very imposing and commanding presence on the road. It is responsible for introducing innovations like double-pane window glazing, rear-parking markers that appeared on the rear wings, and electric windows with a jam protection feature.
The 1998 Mercedes-Benz S-Class offers one of the largest interior spaces in the luxury sedan class. In fact, the space available inside the car can be compared to that of a limousine, and this is not surprising at all keeping in mind the huge exterior of the car. The extended wheelbase (LWB) models have even more space than the normal models. Entry and exit is a breeze for anyone, no matter how tall or how broad a passenger may be. The car provides optimum comfort for a driver of any size. Overall visibility is also good considering the size of the sedan. One poor aspect of the 1998 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, however, is the quality of the interior parts. The dashboard is laid out very nicely with convenient and self-evident controls, but most of the buttons feel low-grade compared to the luxurious vibe of every other aspect of the car. Moreover, the terry cloth fabric that covers the lower dash feels and looks so down-market that it ruins the whole upscale environment of the 1998 Mercedes-Benz S-Class’s cabin. Overall, the 1998 Mercedes-Benz S-Class has an incredibly large cabin, but its quality is unacceptable for a car with such a high price tag and of such caliber.
Performance & Handling
The 1998 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is available with four engines: a straight-six engine, two V-8 engines, and a V-12 engine. The model numbers reflect the size of the engine under the hood. The SL-320 models have a 3.2-liter straight-six engine that delivers 228 horsepower and 232 lb-ft of torque. The SL-420 models have a 4.2-liter V-8 engine that delivers 282 horsepower and 302 lb-ft of torque. The SL-500 gets a five-liter V-8 engine that delivers 322 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque. The SL-600 has a six-liter V-12 engine that delivers 389 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. The S-320 model provides tepid acceleration, while the S-600 models can accelerate from standstill to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds. Fuel economy varies a lot, but none of the models have good figures. The S-320 models are underpowered, while other powerful models have thirsty engines. These cars are expectedly heavy, but they can be handled with sheer agility. In fact, its cornering, stopping, and steering are quite good considered to its size.
The 1998 Mercedes-Benz S-Class offers side and curtain airbags as well as stability and traction control. No crash test data is available on the 1998 Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
EPA Fuel Economy
Mercedes-Benz S-Class: 13/19 mpg city/highway
- Decent acceleration except in the S-320
- Good ride quality
- Lots of interior space
- Good steering and handling
You Won't Like
- Poor fuel economy
- Lack of interior quality
- High price tag
A classic German flagship.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Acura RL
- Audi A8
- BMW 7-Series