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Mercedes-Benz M-class vs Ford Explorer/Mercury Mountaineer vs Buick Rendezvous vs Acura MDX

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Comments

  • pilot16pilot16 Posts: 10
    Thank you for getting this site going and breaking the Merceddes vs. Exploders away from the other site. Mercedes is a car, Ford is a truck. In Newport Beach, CA there are lots of cute MB SUV's at the Mall. I have yet to see one of those cute little things off-road or in serious snow. And I don't even like Fords but if I didn't have my SUV I would take a Ford over a MB, IF I was going to use it as an SUV. Thank you. Adios.
  • sirknightdsirknightd Posts: 96
    Anyone have any idea when MB will be integrating the Durango and Jeep parts in the ML? I m sure it will make for great efficiency in production.
  • bjk2001bjk2001 Posts: 358
    Test drove both RDV and 2002 Explorer/Mountaineer.

    RDV needs more than just a more powerful engine. It needs more truck space with 3rd row seat up. I am not talking about hundreds of cubic feet of truck space just a few inches longer to be able to put grocery bags back in there when you have 3rd row seat up. Explorer has more space behind 3rd row seat.
    Obviously RDV has a more versatile interior design. It's 50-50 split 2nd row design is better then Explorer's 40-20-40 split. It's easier to get into 3rd seat of RDV than Explorer. Explorer 2nd 20% portion is fixed not as smart as Buick.
    RDV has a step in height about 16 inches so no running board is required. Explorer has a step in height about 22".
    RDV needs to have rear bumper step protector so user can load stuffs without scratch the rear bumper. GM's minivan has rear bumper step protector, don't know why its not available for RDV?

    Quality RDV vs Explorer? Hmmm well RDV 1st year model vs Explorer 1st year mmmm? Well even ML first year sucked big time too. Why didn't Toyota put 3rd row seat in Highlander?
  • proteus456proteus456 Posts: 65
    Well..you wanted to see it...

    http://4x4abc.com/ML320/ml320_rubicon_trail.html


    ML in snow?

    http://www.whnet.com/4x4/

    ML is capable of doing everything the Explorer does. It has a full ladder frame, tows 5000lbs, and has decent offroad ability..what exactly does it not handle?


    MB has no need to use Durango parts. They designed the Jeep Liberty from the ground up, should be nice. They also design the worlds best offroad vehicle, the G-class.

  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Other way around...if MB does integrate parts, it will be MB parts into the Chryslers. They would never degrade a MB vehicle/brand name by putting Chrysler parts into it.


    Drew
    Host
    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    A bunch of us did today, and in heavy fog too! ;-)


    image


    image


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    image

  • I'd think you could see an Explorer getting some air on that last hill, that you wouldn't see in the ML for fear of breaking something expensive.

    Orders for 2002 Explorers have surpassed the 100,000 mark, Which is more than ML sold last year altogether.

    The estimated cost to service this vehicle for the next 5 years is $604/yr, almost 100 less per year than previous models. I would dread the cost of servicing the Mercedes, but if you got 8-12 thousand more to spend on the cost alone, you probably wouldn't sweat it.

    Alot of people are saying Ford's quality (in explorers) has gone down, saying they are cutting corners etc. etc. Ford is cutting corners, not for the sake of cheaper equipment, but cheaper in cost to build its vehicles. This is how Ford represents the best value or bang for the buck, that makes it's America's Best Selling SUV, hands down. Yes I think for most communters the ML might be the way to go, but if you're an mainstream american, you can appreciate the money saved and earned by a Ford Explorer. Just think of the Aftermarket parts you can get with the price tag difference alone. Ford is listening to it's customers, and delivering what they want, and at a cost that is easy to swallow.

    Customer-Driven Refinements of the 2002 Ford Explorer:

    Seven-passenger seating capability with an all-new optional third-row seat
    Wider coat hooks to accommodate large plastic hangers
    Interior grab handles moved to the door-pillars where they’re easier to see and grasp
    Grab-through exterior door handles, with finger grips on the back
    Larger door openings and lower step-in height
    Wider, more substantial optional running boards
    Adjustable safety belts in the first and second rows
    Power adjustable pedals and a tilting and telescoping steering wheel
    Larger radio buttons, and an optional six-disc, in-dash sound system
    Wider front-door map holders, designed to accommodate larger items – including water bottles or 20-ounce soft drinks
    Frequently used controls placed higher on the instrument panel, and color adjustments making panels easier to read for color blind drivers
    A larger fuel tank holding 1.5 more gallons of fuel

    Not because Ford's engineers thought "we can do it cheaper this way" but because the customers wanted it. I wish I could figure out how to post pictures directly here, as I'd offer plenty of examples of Ford's interior not being cheap or ill fitting. (That is GM's job anyway).
  • robsmithrobsmith Posts: 71
    Just curious what have RDV's been selling for excluding presells?

    I know the dealers in Cleveland, OH said they were going to try to charge MSRP but I've seen some Ads where one dealer has 27 and another 10.

    Somehow I don't think they're selling like they thought they would(at least at MSRP).
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    What are you, some kind of Ford salesman or something??

    Please don't tell us Ford has some big quality advantage over GM. With 5+ recalls on the Escape and 2 and counting on the new Explorer, Ford has nothing to brag about.
  • proteus456proteus456 Posts: 65
    On one point you get no arguement. The 2002 explorer is a huge improvement over earlier models. No denying that. As an everyday vehicle, its a good deal. Luxury buyers are simply looking for more luxury..and I think thats where the disagreement is.
  • sirknightdsirknightd Posts: 96
    pics looked great..especially the first group..nice poses...great photographic angles.

    oh..so you doubt that the durango parts will ever make it to the ml...or maybe slap some mb badges on some Chryslers...

    oh ok..maybe they ll employ that Chrysler engineering in the mb line..just hope i don t see an ml with the bright Dodge red..i dont know if I can take that.
  • thor8thor8 Posts: 303
    "Ford is a truck, Mercedes is a car"
    Why don't you take a look at my pic in post #41 and see if that tranny is not for a truck, sitting inside a heavy ladder frame.

    Mercedes also makes the Gwagen, by all means is the top off roading SUV. Also Mercedes makes the Unimog the top dog of all when it comes to go off the road. Here is a pic of my 406 next to our Passat, it is shorter but weighs almost 10,000lbs and can carry that much weight in the platform, it has an MB 6 cylinder diesel, 23 forward and 8 reverse, front and rear PTO, front and rear hydraulic PTO, seven and a half ft snorkel, air over hydraulic brakes, all synchronized, front and rear locks on the go, differential locks on the go, portal axles over coils, and rated at a 300 ton pull as a rail car.


    image
  • proteus456proteus456 Posts: 65
    As Time the "tool man" would say. My god thor, THATS a truck! I'm just curious though...what on earth do you use it for? And how much do they run?
    Thanks,
    Mitch
  • gpvsgpvs Posts: 214
    "The estimated cost to service this vehicle for the next 5 years is $604/yr . . ."

    Well, for the MB, it's $0 for the first 4 yrs/50k miles.
  • barresa62barresa62 Posts: 1,379
    Re post#77: Yeah, it's that 5th year or 51k miles when or if that first thing goes wrong w/the MB that the maintenance cost advantage gets wiped out in one deep dig into the owner's pocket. :-)

    Stephen
  • gpvsgpvs Posts: 214
    Well, if it's properly maintained, i don't see why it would be a problem. We've had MB's that lasted three times a long as five years that are still going, for that matter, we've also had Toyotas and Isuzus last that long. At the same token, we've had vehicles having problems within 3 years of ownership. I guess, it's the luck of the draw.
  • barresa62barresa62 Posts: 1,379
    Very true. Even the best vehicles have problems. Conversely, I've read of people owning traditionally poorly built vehicles having no significant problems. As you said it's the luck of the draw. The best one can do is purchase those vehicles that have demonstrated a propensity for being reliable. BTW, just for the record, I didn't mean to insinuate that MB's are unreliable vehicles. Just want to be clear. :-)

    Stephen
  • I have seen the gas mileage discussions in the past, where proteus has commented that the Mercedes ML320 "sucks FAR less gas" (at 17/21) than the V6 2002 Explorer 4x4 (at 15/20).

    One thing that bugs me about this point is that I would think most consumers would be more interested in how much _money_ they're going to have to spend on gas (miles per $), rather than how many miles they'll get per gallon.

    The reason there is a difference is because with the Mercedes high compression engine, you are forced to burn premium gas, while the Explorer can burn regular gas. In Atlanta, GA, that typically equates to about $0.20 difference per gallon (currently $1.389/gallon regular vs. $1.589/gallon premium).

    To give a real world example, here is what it would cost you to go 300 miles in each vehicle, using the average of city/highway mileage for each (17.5mpg for the Explorer, 19mpg for the ML320):

    Explorer: 300miles / 17.5mpg * $1.389 = $23.81
    ML320: 300miles / 19mpg * $1.589 = $25.09

    As you can see, the Explorer has an advantage in what it will actually cost you for gas. If proteus were arguing the point, he would say something like "the Explorer sucks FAR less dollars". But then again, he'd never say that, because it would be a positive statement for the Explorer.

    Just my 2 cents worth.
  • sirknightdsirknightd Posts: 96
    great post...i could never had said it better...

    its funny how things get spun....

    the side airbag curtain now on explorers on the road but not yet on the mercedes until 2002 doesnt get mentioned either...
  • nikorrnikorr Posts: 23
    First of all, you dont have to use the premium gas to ML ,OK ?

    I had a trip 650 mile trip from Salt Lake City to Yellowstone NP and back.I have been driven V6 2001 Explorer 4x4 and ML 320.First was Ford from rental com. at airport.With Ford it was 657 miles,41 gal. and 67,65 $ for regular gas.MB was trip 2 mo. later and it was 652 miles,34 gal. and 62,90 $ for premium.It was non hwy. driving.In the Ford was me and 100 pounds of photo stuff.In MB was me , my wife and 100 pounds of stuff.Average Ford 16,03 ------------ MB 19,20 mpg

    AND I count all the gas bills . So it's not car computer average.Both ,,trucks,, comp trips was wrong +/- 0.5 MPG

    << ,,Just my 2 cents worth ,, >> uh :[))
  • sirknightdsirknightd Posts: 96
    Ok..

    i m impressed with your accuracy.

    Seems like the Explorer costs 8.5% more in gas to operate for the city driving according to you.

    So for me, I drive about 10,000 miles per year.
    I use regular at about $1.80 per gallon.

    The Explorer will cost me $95 more per year for gas than an ML320

    To have the truck I want, I d pay the extra 95 per year.
  • Interesting that you were only able to get 16.03 mpg in the old V6 Explorer on a highway trip (if I understood correctly that this was a highway trip from SLC to Yellowstone NP). I have a 2002 Explorer with the V8 (not the V6) and get better highway mileage than that, every single time.

    So far I've gotten anywhere from 17.2 to 18.6 highway mpg in the first 2300 miles, and from 14.3 to 15.6 city mpg. The V8 is supposed to get 14 city/19 highway, so I guess what I've been getting seems to be pretty dead on with how it's rated.

    Also, FYI, I accelerate quickly and set my cruise on 80mph. If I accelerated slower and set my cruise on 65-70mph, I could easily get an extra 1-2 mpg for both city and highway.

    I also calculate my own mileage, rather than trusting the trip computer, which I have also observed to be +/- 0.5mpg. I would have thought that it would have been consistently low or consistently high, but I have seen it both ways.

    The mileage figures I used for my example were the average of the city and highway mpg for both vehicles. For the Explorer V6, the average of 15 city and 20 highway is 17.5 mpg. For the Mercedes, the average of 17 city and 21 highway is 19 mpg. I was just trying to make an objective comparison using the rated mpg for each. I think that is a more fair comparison than basing it on one trip by one person with a rental car vs. a car they owned.

    My point, however, was not to say that the Explorer will be greatly superior in how much it costs you for fuel. Rather, I was just trying to say that the two are in pretty much the same league. I think that in the long run you will spend a _little_ less on fuel with the Explorer than you will with the Mercedes. However, I would certainly not make my decision on which vehicle to buy based on this small difference.

    (If you drive 15,000 miles a year, with the current Atlanta costs of regular ($1.389) and premium ($1.589) gas, using the average mpgs for each, it would cost you $63.90 less per year for fuel for the Explorer -- not very significant on a $30,000 vehicle).

    I just get tired of proteus using the ML mpg as a huge bargaining point, as if it is SO wonderful, while the Explorer's is SO awful. In my opinion, the Explorer may win by a nose in overall fuel cost, but there's not a big enough difference for anyone buying a $30K (or $40K for the ML) vehicle to care.
  • nikorrnikorr Posts: 23
    HI , take my post as my experience. I dont post much , I just read them . THAT TRIP WAS NOT ON HWY . Both ,,cars ,, drive OK . But in the hills and mountains was biger diferent between them . The transmition was working not OK . It shifts on the way up to hill from 5 to 4 and you dont see any improvments in the speed or power .For exempl , driving on cru.control 50 MPH Ford shifted from 5 to 4 and to 3 to keep same speed . MB from 5 to 4 ,I think that is why Ford need more gasoline .I'm driving well above speed limit , and I speed up a lot , so I dont care about couple extra gal.of the gas .
    One more thing . You still mention PREMIUM and REGULAR . MB DON'T NEED PREMIUM ONLY . The comp. is ,,watching ,, for you what type of gas you put in . Not even manual says that you have to use premium . And I dont think manny people who wants to buy a truck thinking between EXPLORER or ML BECAUSE THAT 10 k MORE .I have been thinking between 4Runner and Outback and ML and Volvo and Audi and E - wagon .
    But I needed higher view and space inside where I can sleep . And car must drive in deep snow and mud too . For me is it just a car that I'm using to deth and than I get another one and another one....( I'm traveling a 60 mi./ year for nature photography )
    Anyway good luck with your ex. :-))

    PS : I dont like some things on ML , but I can live with them .

    I will try to post pictures from the trips , but maybe in couple weeks.. 3 or 4 I hope :-))) From SW wilderness
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    True that the manual doesn't say that you HAVE to use premium, but that you should use premium. If that's not available it says that you can use regular octane, but you should switch back to premium as soon as possible. The retardation of the ignition and other adjustments that the computer makes causes the engine to run slightly less efficiently and hence the savings that you get from running regular will be none at all (or perhaps very little + you get slightly less power) so there's not much point anyway.

    All the best,

    Drew
    Host
    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • nikorrnikorr Posts: 23
    Right , but what is PREMIUM ?????????
    Premium in Europe is 96 oct.
    Premium in Chicago is 91 to 93 oct. Premium in Iowa , Col , Utah and manny other places is 87 to 89 oct. So what you can do ? I'm using premium , but what is premium in Chicago is not premium over there.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    MB specifies premium as octane 91 and above. The different explanations are in the owner's manual. In Colorado and other high spots, 91 is not needed since the air is thinner up at those altitudes, and their 89 would surfice.


    Drew
    Host
    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • tavgradtavgrad Posts: 201
    My turn.

    Remember, price is what you pay: value is what you receive in return.

    Looks, aftermarket friendly, and the ultimate reason, VALUE, are my reasons to my Suburban vessel. Safety, race car-like speed and drawing attention to yourself are not.
    A vehicle is only as safe as the driver. If you need all of those curtains and sensors to increase your confidence on the road, you have no reason behind the wheel.
    Resale: If you are leasing (of which, I know most of you guys will), It does not matter. If you intend to keep this thing longer than 5 or 6 years, who cares? It won't be worth much anyway.
    Gas? Most of these things suck gas (except for the worthless baby suv's). If you cannot afford to set aside $30 weekly on gas, you have no reason considering an SUV.
    Reliablility: C'mon people. No car lasts forever, they all need maintenance!
    SOmething that is based off of a TRUCK that costs luxo sedan price is a waste of money. It is not an SUV, it is a bloated ego soother.

    Your decisions of your consideration to purchase should not be based on others.

    My conclusions:
    ML: Looks like a minivan.
    Buick: It IS a minivan with 4 doors.
    Explorer: That box shape has grown old and dull. Needs more aftermarket stuff to spice it up.
    Mountaineer: It looks good from the front only. Other than that, see explorer.
    Acura: Looks like a minivan, but is a far better value than the ML.

    I wish the Industry would go back to the stone ages of 4x4's. Just like it used to be. Luxury was having your spare tire out of the rear!
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Check out a 2002 Envoy. It will make ya smile.
This discussion has been closed.