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Mercedes-Benz M-Class (2006+)



  • ajayapteajayapte Posts: 1
    Does the new 2006 ML350 have 3rd row seating option?
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    No, thank goodness it does not. The optional third seat in the first gen car was not only useless, but cumbersome. There are rumors of a long-wheelbase M-class that would offer 3 rows, but for now that's still a rumor. See R-class, coming this fall.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I see the dealers are awash in new ML's. Seems to be a lot of buzz surrounding to their arrivial. Here in IL the dealers are closed on Sunday, but you wouldn't know it by all the people gawking at the new MLs outside. I still need to sit in one to see if the interior is up snuff.

  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    Of course I see and show them every day now, but let me now when you get to drive one. It's a whole new vehicle, and I'd like to hear your thoughts on it.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    If I ever drive one I'll be sure to let you know!

  • jpouchetjpouchet Posts: 38
    Got the call from my local dealer, Fletcher Jones Mercedes of Newport Beach, where we bought our previous cars including my wife's Wonderful 2004 E 320 to come test the new ML 350.

    First observations, very nice styling. The body is sleek yet still keeps the rugged SUV looks many drivers want. The fit and finish were on par with the E and S class so this speaks well for US assembly.

    Climbing in was okay but not great. The wood was fine but not excellent like the E. I feel they missed the mark on the dash. It looks mid-market not high-end.

    The seats were firm but the leather was a joke. I had to go back to the window sticker on every ML I saw to confirm the seats were really leather inserts and not 100% MB Tex. My C had nicer feeling seats.

    The drive was firm without being stiff. I did notice a bit more body roll than in the X3/X5. Very little dive under braking and the brakes are excellent!

    Performance was fine, I never really pushed the car hard but the 350 V6 seems to have a good bit of power on tap. The 7-speed is like a hot knife through butter. Smooth and quick shifting all the way. I did notice a LAG in shifting when using the steering wheel toggle switches. Driver training will be required to remember the odd shift pattern especially putting the car in Park.

    Sun roof seemed small. AC worked well. Sound system was quite good but not up to the E class standard.

    Interior is a bit stark. It just did nothing for me. The instrument panel is plain and feels more Nissan like than Mercedes. The doors are boring and would be third-world if not for the wood trim. I can not imagine how cheap the aluminum trim version must look.

    Interior volume is excellent. If you want room for a family of four or five this baby has it. The rear seats, other than the questionable "leather", are comfortable, easy to get in and out of, and have plenty of room to relax in. No cramped feet or legs here.

    Cargo bay has some nice size to it. Easy to take a ton of luggage on a trip and stuff the dog back there at the same time with room to spare. This is one area Mercedes really got right.

    Overall - I wouldn't spend $48,000 for this SUV. The interior is cheap, the ride is less than sporty, the fuel economy is not very good especially when compared to the Lexus or Toyota Hybrids. For a lot less you can buy a very nice GMC Denali, get similar MPG, have more room, and get a REAL leather interior. Both have similar instrument styling and mid-market feeling interiors.

    As a multi-Mercedes owner it pains me to say that this was an easy vehicle to walk away from. I wouldn't want one in my driveway unless perhaps it was priced in the $35-$38 range where it would be more comparable to the X3 or XC 90. even then both of those get much better MPG. Finally, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid is available fully loaded in 4x4 configuration for around $42k and gets 33 MPG city, 28 Highway. Now thats a serious piece of technology in action.
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    reviews of their previous new vehicles would hammer them for having too many controls, the switchgear was too busy. So now they try to go back to their traditional austerity from before, and they get hammered again. Just goes to show, you can't please everyone...

    As far as sporty, think X5. The M-class is a luxury car, it's fairly athletic, but the priority is on luxury.

    The E-class costs more, it should feel and look nicer inside, shouldn't it?
  • afifafif Posts: 10
    I took a look at the new M class, but did not drive it. Interior seemed diappointing, especially the leather. I have a 2001 M class and a c320 (MB of Laguna Niguel). Reliability of both has been dismal, although dealer service has been excellent. I am sure that Mercedes will sell a fair number of these, but you probably get more for your money (and probably better reliability) with a lexus or toyota.
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    Recent history is what it is with these vehicles, but only time will tell with regards to reliability on the most recent product. The interior is sturdy, the switchgear isn't flimsy or unintuitive. The leather isn't Nappa, but it's thick and a bit rugged, which, for what is often times a family car that kids and dogs have their way with, is what should hold up the best. If it's that disappointing, just what level of expectations do you have?
  • afifafif Posts: 10
    you are probably right about the leather, but I guess I am used to the leather on my other cars. The dashboard felt a little plasticky. Who knows, I might end up with one in a few years, but only if the reliability is good.
  • jpouchetjpouchet Posts: 38
    We already own an E 320 with a purchase price of just under 50k and I expect that an ML going for the same price should be equally as well appointed. When you look at it its the same basic motor and transmission with all wheel drive instead of rear wheel so there is a bit of extra cost there but the platform for the ML has got to be a lot cheaper than the E. Let's deal with reality here, the car is built in Alabama, it has to have a lower material and labor cost than the E. So why price it at $48-50k and then saddle it with cheap interior materials. If I'm going to pay luxury prices for an SUV then I expect the manufacture to deliver.

    Granted, the ML is still one FINE vehicle. Please don't think for a moment that I do not find the ML to be a vast improvement offer the previous offering. The ride and handling are much better, the visibility is improved, and the cargo area is fantastic, probably the best of anything in its class with the possible exception of the Escalade/Denali/Navigator which are all on a larger truck platform.

    I truly believe Mercedes Benz North America will sell as many as they can produce with very little trouble just not to me.

    (Note: after a lot of research on the subject, several lengthy test drives, some research on the cost of a rental SUV, and a series of long talks with the family to determine what we would really use versus want, I opted to go and buy a convertible instead of an SUV. Long story short - more fun, cheaper to drive, significantly better MPG, and I can rent a plain-jane SUV for about $275/week if I really want one for a long trip. So I will be leaving this forum shortly. Best wishes to those of you who pursue a new ML. I think you will be quite happy with your purchase.
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    this is an instance where we're not only comparing two very different vehicles, but two vehicles that are from different eras. The W210 e-class was designed in the mid 90's, so an '02 model is the same car with a couple of more airbags, V6 rather than straight 6, and a couple of cosmetic changes, but mostly a '96 car. An '06 E350 is an entirely different car, with a base price of $50,050. Even with just a sunroof package and freight, that car actually prices at $52,320 in black, white, or midnight blue only. So if you want silver, or navigation, or satellite radio, etc., the sky's the limit. New 268 hp motor, 7-speed tranny, very up-to-date.

    The base on the M-class is $39,750, over $10k less than the E. Once you put the basics on that vehicle - leather, power seats, roof, tint, sound + 6-disc, you're up to about $45k, maybe $46K. Once you've reached the $48-50k range, you have navi, metallic paint, heated seats, a very well equipped M-class. Same 268 hp, same 7-speed gearbox, and now a monocoque chassis, that there is no reason to believe is inferior in build quality to the W211 E-class.
  • clsclassclsclass Posts: 4
    Just picked up our new ML500 last weekend. Silver with dark charcoal interior. Bought it off the showroom floor and it was pretty loaded....premium package, light package, comfort package etc. In fact, the only options not on the car were the off road package and the AMG package. Took it to Chicago this weekend and so far, love the vehicle. The 500 has lots of power, and with the airmatic, handles very well. The M class is also the first vehicle that doesn't require the "hockey puck" for satellite radio. It's already intergrated, so we got that too. Can't give you much help on getting a good deal because we used the Daimler employee discount of 12.25% off of sticker (my son works for Daimler-Chrysler). However, over the next few weeks, will be able to comment on the car in general. FYI, also picked up the new CLS500 on the same day. Got it in the Launch Edition. Two really great cars, and we are excited to be in the MB family.
  • Congratulations on both purchases! Please let us know the good/bad regarding the ownership experience for both models as time goes on.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yes! Please do stick around and let us know all about your ownership experience with both of these brand-new Mercedes models. The M I'm especially curious to know about in regards to reliability and build quality.

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "Stroudman & Merc1 - do you know if Mercedes is planning on doing a "test and ride" event for the new ML - similar to the C-Spot and Love Mercedes events last year?"

    Here you go:

    I'm signed up for June 3rd (Chicago area)! Though I could just to drive one at the dealer by then huh, but I like these type of events.

  • This is much appreciated. I'm signed up for the weekend in NJ. I really enjoy these events as well!
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Your welcome. What date do you go? If you go before June 3rd I'll be wanting to hear what you think.

  • nileshnilesh Posts: 5
    bought ML350 with premium and comfort package.already drove 2500 miles.went to idaho and back to san jose ---1500 miles in 2 days.great SUV.Exellent ride,comfort,lots of room in the back and in the cargo.will keep posted.
  • ace654ace654 Posts: 8
    Hi which do you think will win bmw,lexus,mb.I think the lexus will win dont shout at me plz dont.
This discussion has been closed.