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Mercedes-Benz M-class (ML320, ML350, ML500 and ML55) 2005 and earlier

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Comments

  • raybearraybear Posts: 1,776
    I drove an ML at a Subaru event that had a mild offroad course. I found it lacking in visibility under tight cornering situations. It didn't handle as well as I had expected.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    I've taken both the ML320 and ML430 off-road a few times at Mt. Seymour provincial park and I was impressed. Visibility was just fine and the power folding mirrors were handy. Because of the ML430's lower profile tires, the ride was noticably firmer and at times harsher. The ML320 seemed to be smoother and just as capable. Based on what you've mentioned above, I doubt that you'll have any problems. Low range is great for towing your boat and it can even be used on dry surfaces (and full lock turns) since the ML has 3 open differentials. I recommend that you skip the fairly rigid plastic MB mudflaps though, since they will hinder clearance. Get yourself some rubber flexible generic mudflaps instead if you want mudflaps (good idea since it helps to keep the rear bumper paint intact when you're driving on gravel).


    You may want to refer to my previous message (with pictures) via the following link:

    drew_ Jun 19, 2001 5:55pm


    Check out these links too:

    http://www.escribe.com/automotive/european/mbmc/m14951.html

    http://www.dragnet.com.au/~groberts/mlpagerec.html

    http://4x4abc.com/ML320/ml320_trips.html



    Drew
    Host
    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • gncgnc Posts: 27
    I replaced my Dun lops with approximately 19,000 miles as the wear bars on both rear tires were showing and there was a significant amount of "toe-in" with wear on the outside of the tires. I replaced them after a fair amount of research with Michelin LTX MS (my wife has them on her Yukon AL) for $600. The tires seem to ride very nicely and there is decreased noise compared to the Dun lops. I have already contacted my dealer to check the alignment as it is apparently the cause of the excessive wear.

    By the way, I have a charcoal interior with third seats as well and have never had passengers (small children) complain that it was too warm despite high ambient temperatures. By all means get the third row of seats if you occasionally need to transport that many people.
  • gpvsgpvs Posts: 214
    Is the 20k average life of the Dunlops correct for most of the ML's? I had a '97 Disco before with Michelin tires and when i got rid of it, i had about 50k miles and the tread on the tires looks like it can go another 25k. Of course, the ride on the ML is so much different.
  • kenyeekenyee Posts: 738
    No, that's not normal. 20K is only if you have bad alignment.
    Folks on the M-class list have routinely reported 45-50K mileage before replacement, even with the Generals.
  • biker5biker5 Posts: 199
    As of now I have 19K on my general and its look like I have 50% tread left and Ken is right it depends on allignment and tire preasure I check my tire every week.

    Hey guys, My fuel pump and fuel sender replaced last weekend, Because I had an incident while I'm driving from NOrthern Cali. to San Diego my fuel hose came off from the pump and my ML just died on highway.. due to no fuel going in to the engine (it was scary when your warning lights came on and your engine was no response) I thanks GOD that I managed to pull my ML to the safe side. To make my story short. The road side Assistace response are pretty quick but the problem was there is no available flat bed at that time so we had to wait for 3 1/2 hour( it happened on Sunday) so no service dept open on any dealership, We spent a night at the hotel. Monday, at the dealership they found out that my fuel hose were worn out. This incident happened to me twice, the same problem. I want to ask anyones opinion. Is it considered a safety issue? What happened if the car behind me hit me when my car died while driving 70mph?
  • michml320michml320 Posts: 42
    Robsuts,
    I just ordered the 2002 ML320 from the new MB in Rochester Hills. I think they are owned by the same owner. They took my deposit about 3 weeks ago so you should be able to order them in Michigan. Try Rochester to order if Novi won't take your deposit yet. Good luck.
  • gpvsgpvs Posts: 214
    Thanks Kenyee. I knew it was too early for the tires to be replaced.

    Biker5, where you reimbursed for your hotel stay then since isn't that part of the MB program?
  • biker5biker5 Posts: 199
    Yes, it should be, the servicing dealer is responsible to forward the claim to MB and the MB will then send me the check, I just don't know how long it will takes before I actually sees it.

    That weekend was really a terrible one for me. Here is another on i always brought a spare key with me everytime I do long driving but when I got home I couldn't find my spare remote key none in my jacket or pants, under the seat, luggage, bag I could not find it for 2 days. So Wednesday I order one thru dealer it cost me $99.00 plus tax with out activation. Last night I clean and vaccuum the car and guess what my spare was in the driver side back pocket. I asked myself how it got there, so this morning I called the dealer if I still can catch it to cancel....the key came in last night. Now I have 4 keys including the mechanical one.(Arghhhhhh @#$$&&&%$#*&@#)SORRY FOLKs for the OT story I just one to release my frustration...Have a nice weekend to all of you guys.
  • kenyeekenyee Posts: 738
    Sounds like one of those days... :-P
    When the fuel hose fell off, your car didn't suddenly slow down a lot right? The person behind you probably thought you were just an old lady. It's pretty unlikely that you would get hit though it does increase your chance so it is a safety issue.
    Did you bring it back to the same dealer who "fixed" it the first time? I'd think twice before doing that. Yours is the first case I've heard of it happening multiple times (it sometimes happens after they replace the fuel sensor and forget to hook up the line).
  • biker5biker5 Posts: 199
    Ken, It happened at two diffirent places. First time it happened on Saturday at Pleasanton, Ca and the most recent one was at I-5..45 miles from Bareksfield they are about two hundred miles apart. You are right I have to contact the dealer who performed the service last time, just to shake them out a little bit. I'm glad it didn't happen when my daugther was the one on the wheel, she could panic. Also the technician told me that the hose came out the first time should not be reused, It should replace the whole thing. The tech. showed me the defective parts and I even asked him if I can have it, he said no because they will return it to the manufacturer for warranty. The hose was about 12 inches long with snap on connectors at each end. It wasn't the type of fuel hose we used during the old days that we have to use a clamp to secure it, clamp type I think is more secure and safe.
  • cticctic Posts: 291
    Don't activate your key and sell it to someone here or on e-bay.
  • biker5biker5 Posts: 199
    ctic, Is it possible to sell it to anybody? Are those laser cut diffirent from anyones key? I donno I have not pick up the new key yet, not till this afternoon. I'll keep you posted.
    Thanks citc
  • cticctic Posts: 291
    Sorry, me wrong. I was just thinking of the remote, but I checked my keys and the teeth on the metal part of the key is different from others.

    But you can look at it this way, you can put a spare at work, at the gym, etc.
  • djdjdjdj Posts: 111
    The dealer picked up my 2000 ML320 on Monday morning for "about 3 days" of work they should have done previously. By 3PM today they called and told me it 'should' be done sometime Monday.

    So I went into the dealership, expressed "my dismay" at their performance, or lack thereof, and I told them I wanted an SLK loaner instead of an ML (I now always get a MB loaner after their last major screwup). The Service Advisor said they didn't have SLK's in the loaner fleet but would discuss it with the Sales Manager. A short time later, the Dealer Manager approved a brand new SLK320; silver, charcoal leather, I love it. What a toy! I don't care when they finish my ML now.

    I found my response rate with the dealership staff vastly improved after I wrote a two page letter to MBUSA's Customer Service Dept in Montvale, NJ blasting MB and this dealer and faxed it to the Dealer Manager. They may not service it any quicker but my loaners have improved and they are very careful with what they do.
  • biker5biker5 Posts: 199
    I picked up my key and it wasn't activated to open the door or lock but its work for the ignition. Now, I have 3 remote keys. and U R right I can put it in 3 diffirent places but the problem is I keep forgeting where I keep them :-))) have a nice weekend.
    JimB
  • drivenowdrivenow Posts: 45
    I've just finalized my ML 500 order with my local MB dealer. I asked him to order the "special lighting package," which I assume means Xenons, and he said, "Xenons are included in the Sport package" - Is he correct?? Also, any other recommendations before the computer "finalizes" the order entry. Thanks
  • mtsangmtsang Posts: 70
    Any thoughts and/or opinions on the differences in ride and handling between the 320 and 430 (500)?

    And, how do you like the MB GPS?

    Thanks in advance.

    Mike
  • michml320michml320 Posts: 42
    I'm pretty sure they are included in the sport package but I'm also positive you can now order them separately as I didn't want the sport package but did want the Xenon's for my 2002 ML320.
  • bob259bob259 Posts: 280
    mtsang: IMHO, I think until MB goes to the DVD system others use the current MB GPS system is over priced and not worth the additional money. I don't like the fact you have to pay well over $100 for the additional disks needed, which could mean one or several depending on how far you are going, to take a trip out of your home area. Just my opinion...
  • mtsangmtsang Posts: 70
    How do you like the system - in terms of data presentation, interface, and accuracy? Thx.
  • bob259bob259 Posts: 280
    mtsang: I personally thought it was a lot of steps to go through. But in an unfamiliar city I suppose it would be nice to have and save some time. Having elected to not install it, I'm not the best one to ask and maybe one of the folks that have it could better answer that. I know there have been numerous post on inaccurate readings, but it seems to have happened to only a small amount of units and not everyone.
  • ron320ron320 Posts: 9
    mtsang: I'm happy with my GPS I had the dealer install it in my 00 320. I have a terrible time finding new addresses and hate to stop and ask so it works great for me. After using it for >10 months in and out of the city I'm pleased and no longer late for appointments. I plan on buying an 03 320 and have the dealer re install if it is compatible. It's expensive but cheaper than getting married again to have someone tell me when to turn. For some reason I'm not having problems that other users are expercing. I use the Ohio Valley CD.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Hey folks. Just went to the Mercedes Benz Power Trip on Saturday, and it was a blast. Thanks to Drew for letting me know about the event - very fun.

    Finally got to drive a pair of M classes. It's a short course, but still pretty fun. Thought I'd share my impressions (from a poor man who couldn't afford to own one).

    First the bad. It felt heavy. Big and heavy. Tall, too. Granted, I'm used to cars, and drove a Miata to the event, but it almost felt silly wrestling this truck through the slalom with all the lean and the relatively slow steering. I guess you have to compare it to other SUVs, but it was the C class' competitors that were also available, no SUVs. The transmission also seemed a bit slow to downshift when I floored it.

    That engine is a gem, though. And I mean the 3.2l V6. Sweet "zzzzing" in the mid range, plenty of umpf even if the 0-60 numbers aren't that great. I liked the ML320's ride, and the sitting-on-a-throne view afforded to the driver. Materials seemed really nice, and room was abundant.

    I then tried the ML430, but honestly, it still felt tall and heavy, so the stiff ride didn't seem worth it for the improvement in handling. I surprised myself as I always crave power and sporty handling, it's just that it didn't encourage you to drive fast enough to take advantage of it. So even though the 430 had the Sport package, I actually preferred the ML320.

    Overall a nice vehicle that seems to have a better interior and quality feel than I had remembered (incremental improvements?), but trucks just aren't for me. Of course if the wife wanted one I guess I wouldn't overrule her choice.

    -juice

    PS My favorite was the SLK320 6 speed, the only manual tranny at the event. I was very impressed.
  • bargamonbargamon Posts: 302
    Biggest diff is larger tires and acceleration.

    Gas milage also, but since 6cyl has to work harder its not big difference. We opted for 6cyl as its primarily wifes car and she liked it enough. we opted not for gps for its cost, but I think its a nice toy. Can only recall 3 times in 18 months where it was needed. But thats just my opinion. Larger tires give it a different ride, more sporty. In the Suv world, its a great riding vehicle which ever you choose. The 320 lacks for nothing, the 8cyl just gives it more of whats good about the vehicle. I think brakes are heavier duty in 8cyl. Actually what happended in our household, I recently got the E-430. If I spent more on the ML, I would not have been able to do so. So I got the big motor in my car, and eveyone happy!
  • crapgamecrapgame Posts: 43
    Does anyone know if MB has plans to offer the diesel ML's in the near (or distant) future? I really would prefer one of these over the gas versions.

    Thanks
  • cdiccdic Posts: 36
    Over the past few years I have had several GPS units in cars. Mostly aftermarket units from Garmin. As for the GPS in my '01 ML430, well the display is better (bigger for sure), but the info displayed is sometimes inferior. Additionally, there are very few user selectable options if you are familiar with the basic operation of a GPS (eg., waypoints, routes, track back, bread crumbs..) Also, you cannot save your current location on the unit, although it says you can. What it actually lets you do is save the nearest 'known' address on their CD. Sometimes it is actually miles away from your current location because of the poor coverage by the CD in that particular area. What I don't understand is how Garmin can charge you less than $200 for the entire country on 2 cd's at considerably better resolution than I get through the MB GPS. Once familiar with the unit I have to admit that I was actually quite disappointed with the ML GPS. Otherwise I love this SUV. I have purchased a few of the MB CD's and traveled up and down the east coast. I have found areas where the coverage is very good, and then others where it is less than poor.
    I suppose it has good entertainment value for the passenger, however, in my case that would be my wife who has trouble with paper maps, never mind a machine that is complicated to use. Bottom line is MB has integrated a GPS into a car they figure will be operated by less than suffisticated operators. If you can afford the time to figure out how to get your destination into the unit - it will take you there, and do it well - if the destination is in there. Otherwise, it does work well for finding alternate routes when in a jam, construction, accident backup, etc. It's not a total waste of money, but a good aftermarket one will perform as well for less.
  • tlwwsotlwwso Posts: 12
    I didn't get the navigation system, but did subscribe to the Information Service. I am able to program my route and have traffic information sent directly to my screen. I love this service, but recommend not reading it while you are driving.
  • corine1corine1 Posts: 14
    I have been lurking on this board for about 8 months. I have been to the MDX, Lexus and BMW boards as well. I couldn't decide what to buy, I had a 99 Lexus RX300 and was somewhat disappointed in that vehicle, but nevertheless I was checking out Lexus again. But I am happy to say that I have just bought the MBZ ML320 2001. I felt that it offered me more of what I needed than any of the others. I did get the 3rd row seating..that was a must. Thank you to everyone on each and every board for helping me make the choice I made. I'm very pleased so far. Of course, the MBZ doesn't ride as smooth as the Lexus, but is sooo much more fun to drive and a lot more zip! Thanks again....

    Corine in California
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