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S500 vs Monte Carlo

I need help on this one.At a car lot sits to car that I have always been into. One is a 96 S500 mercedes benz ( 2 door coupe) and the other one is a 06 monte carlo. S500 sits at a little under 100,000mi with a 10,900 price tag.while the monte carlo sit with a little over 100,000 mi with a 9,000 price tag.the cars are going to sit there until spring .i dont think anybody wants a v8 or a sports car with todays gas prices.thats a plus for me cause i really dont have a problem with gas prices.Im thinking about getting one of the cars around 3-4 mo from now if they rare still their( they been their since nov of last year) SO I AM STUCK AND NEED HELP

Well, it’s not an S500 if its a 2 door. SL500, maybe? And the costs to keep it running are huge, so, unless you’re prepared to spend big$ on maintenance and repair, drop that from your list. Monte Carlo, that’s up to you.

Talk about apples and oranges!

If you buy the Benz you’ll spend another ten grand, or more, on it within the first year. With more expenses to follow. This is a car for a rich person, and you’re not a rich person.

Trying to drive an S-class Mercedes will bankrupt you.

The price of premium gas is just the tip of the iceberg.

You are exaggerating. But I do agree that the Benz will be expensive to maintain. It’s 14 years old. Any car that old will require fairly constant maintenance that a 2006 car won’t. I will caution you on the price of the Monte Carlo. It has high mileage for a 2006. Edmunds estimates the price reduction at $1900. What style Monte is it (LS, LT1, LT3, LTZ, SS)? What options does it have? It appears that you live around Chicago. We can calculate an acceptable price for you, or you can do it yourself at,, msn autos, or

You can’t afford the Mercedes, and you’d be paying about 3k more (according to than the Monte is worth. Add that to that the fact it would have been sitting around for seven months before you bought it…

If cash flows into your bank account far faster than it flows out, the Mercedes will be much more fun. And it’ll solve that problem of what to do with all the excess cash.

If not, the Monte Carlo is the better of these two choices.

Whichever you choose, get it thoroughly checked out before signing anything. Know what you’re buyng.

I agree with the others about the Monte Carlo and maintence cost on the Mercedes. The Benz has a huge oil capacity and calls for full synthetic oil. Your oil changes will be between 50 and 100 per change.

The cost of ownership and repair are huge on those premium German cars.

I love W140 series MB S500 but would go with a 1997 - 1999 as they have five-speed (rather than 4-speed) transmissions. The sedans are nicer than the coupes IMO.

Keep in mind these were $80,000+ cars when new. Although they are $6,000 – $8,000 cars now, they are still $80k cars to maintain and repair. Are you ready to spend $5,000 for all four shocks or $3k+ to fix the AC?

Consider the purchase price to be a down payment. A nice W140 S500 is an expensive car and a bad S500 is even more expensive. Find the absolute best one you can find, pay an MB specialist (not your shade tree mechanic) for a detailed pre-purchase inspection.

NADA clean trade-in on the car you are considering is 7,500 – the most I’d pay in today’s economy. Then, I’d subtract the cost of whatever repairs it needs (trust me, it will need some). I’ve seen a few of these cars even if they were free, they would still be too expensive.

Good luck!


Exaggerating? Do you really think so?

It’s an MB 500SL.

Can you think of a more expensive car to maintaian?

Don’t mention Ferraris or Lamborghinis. They’re in a whole different class.

Thank you, Twotone, for your excellent advice. You obviously have more experience with these cars than I do. My experience with MB cars is zero.

When the OP compares a Mercedes Benz SL 500 to a Chevrolet Monte Carlo, you have to wonder.

At least, I have to wonder.

Well, for a person who’s not a car nut, two cars, same price, one’s a Mercedes-what a DEAL! Of course, the reasons the Mercedes is the price of a Monte Carlo is because nobody wants to pay for the maintenance…

The OP is long gone, and no longer cares what we say.


“There is nothing more expensive than a cheap Mercedes”

Unless you have a good shop nearby, the Mercedes will probably be a bit more of a hassle than the Monte. It’s 14 years old, the Monte is 4, wear items such as belts, hoses, suspension, etc is likely worn out. Call around and ask the mechanics how much it’d be to replace worn suspension parts or serpentine belt on the Mercedes and you’ll probably get a good idea of what it’ll cost to keep it running.

I think that $10,000 in the first year is a gross exaggeration. And it’s not an SL, it’s an S500 coupe. Expensive? Yes, but not that much. If there are that many big problems, they should be apparent right now.

No such thing as an S500 coupe.


The Monte Carlo, whatever its flaws, has excellent ergonomics, and handles alright for being a big FWD car. I’d say it would definitely be more reliable, but the 3.8 liter wasn’t available that year, so I’d say PROBABLY more reliable.

Mercedes Benz was not known for making particularly reliable cars in the 90s, and parts and labor are not cheap. With any European luxury car (save maybe the bottom two classes of BMW and Audi), if you can’t afford a new one (and you aren’t a mechanic), you probably can’t afford a used one.

thanks for puting the pic up.there is a s500.the one im looking at is just like that one but just black

My mistake, there was an “S500 Coupe” from '94-'97. Before that it was called an SEC, after that a CL.

It’s the high-end MB, with many, many systems and options to break. You’ll need some serious money to keep it running, as others have said.

thanks for the help.