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

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Comments

  • Mark,

    They are asking $19000 including taxes and fees. I can still get an extended warranty on the car. I drive A LOT OF MILES. Probably 20K or so.
  • mark156mark156 Posts: 1,992
    Lyrickyla,

    That's a lot of miles to put on a used car that already has decent mileage. If you decide to go for it, an extended warranty would probably be a good idea.

    Mark
  • Mark,

    I live in Atlanta. We drive everywhere here. I am more concerned about all the problems I hear about this vehicle. I had a 2000 Land Rover which was a great truck. People warned me not to buy the Land Rover and it ended up being a great vehicle.
  • mark156mark156 Posts: 1,992
    Personally, I like cars to be under warranty, especially, if drove as much as you. My 2000 E430 Sport has been out of warranty for about a year and a half; I only have 29,100 miles on it. Probably as it gets close to 50K, I'll trade it. At the rate that I'm going, the car will be 10 years old by that time.

    My 2002 ML500 has 41,000 miles on it and I'll trade it at the end of this year for a 2006 model (not sure what kind yet). I'm sure I'll be right at 50,000 miles by December so I'll be going out of warranty. I'll be right at the 4 year 50,000 mile warranty threshold.

    If I were you, I would buy an end of the model year vehicle and then when it comes time to trade, your vehicle won't appear to have as much mileage. Also, you will have the benefit of a full warranty.

    Just my .02... Mark
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    What do buyers/non-buyers think of the new 06 styling?

    It seems to me to be an amalgamation of several other existing, popular SUVs instead of a "pure" Mercedes look?
  • chumsaechumsae Posts: 61
    Lyrickyla:
    ML's are a mixed bag when it comes to owner happiness. We've had our 2000
    ML320 for 2 1/2 years and we are in the "happy camp" among owners with one
    financial hit of $1,200 for the A/C at 70,000 miles. We are now at 80,000 miles.

    Part of the negative experience comes from a pattern of real problems with the truck, and real problems with the dealer and manufacturer. Spend a couple of
    hours here and you'll see the picture.

    Part of the negative experience comes from missed expectations, I think. The ML is our 3rd Mercedes over a 30 year stretch and our expectations are safety, handling, driver enjoyment, reasonable economy, reasonable cost of ownership,
    and decent dealer service. We do not expect Lexus style reliability, but something decent. Our now 15 year old Lexus LS400 has been very good but not perfect... at 190,000 miles now, we have previously replaced the A/C twice, and steering rack. A few other things we live with such as broken switches, displays,
    and antennas. In our limited experience, Mercedes will see about 30% more faults
    than a Lexus. The ML320 fit and finish and A/C do not compare well with Lexus or
    MB sedans (at least for the 2000 ML320), but these are not bad at all.

    Part of the negative experience comes from dealerships who are under the gun to
    improve service revenues and reduce warranty expenses to M-B, which is in moderate financial trouble.

    On the positive side there is the enjoyment of the truck itself which offers safety, handling, comfort, good off-road capability, and reasonable MPG (20 average for the 6 cyl.) I also like the A&B service plan at $150 & $300 about every 12K miles
    rather than the Lexus $500 at 30K and $1,000 at 60K intervals. At 60K the Lexus
    cost us $1,500 versus the ML $1,050, plus wear items. Also, for 2000 model year
    M-B paid the first 4 visits, reducing my cost to $150 at 60K. I believe that this freebee has gone away.

    Also positive, at 80K the truck drives like new; very smooth engine and transmission, and a solid feel to original shocks and suspension. Few domestic
    trucks and SUV's are this tight and reliable at 80K. Some imports can beat it but often at a cost - smaller cargo space, no low range, no ESP, rougher ride, lower MPG, higher maintenance programs.

    So, weigh the +'s and -'s. To me it is worth the quirks.
  • mark156mark156 Posts: 1,992
    My 2002 ML500 is still under warranty until this December (4 years).

    Also, I have free maintenance until the warranty expires.

    The only out of pocket expense have been a set of new tires. (about $700)
    I added a wind deflector on the front hood and mud flaps ($400)
    Rear brake pads installed at 18,000 miles. ($220) I don't think it needed it so soon because now I have 23,000 miles on the rear and the light has not come on. When I take my ML in for tire rotations (non MB shop), they always tell me that my brakes are getting close to needing to be replaced... I'm going to wait for the "brake pad" light to come on before I change them.

    The adjustment I've had under warranty, other than regular maintenace....
    *** fix the loose molding at the bottom of the front bumper (twice)
    ***rear cup holder broke
    ***squeak in dash at the base of the windshield (90% fixed) rattles on occasion at freeway speeds. The hood was removed and something was done at a body shop at the firewall or just above it. There was a note from MB on how to fix it if a customer complained of that noise.
    ***one speedometer light went out.

    Every car I have ever owned had "adjustments" that needed to be done. I've owned 4 Nissan's, a Peugeot, a couple of Jeeps, and a disastrous Oldsmobile diesel.

    This past winter right before Christmas, we had an ice storm. WOW, what a difference if you have AWD with stability control. I felt like I could go anywhere with no problem. On many occasions, the two-wheel-drive cars and SUV's were having a real problem getting around. I drove around many stuck vehicles without any problem at all.

    Also, when I went off roading near Joshua Tree National park, it's not a good idea to have mud flaps that are not flexible. I knocked my front mud flap loose and had to have it re attached at the dealer. If they were flexible, there would be no problem.

    Footie, I like the new 2006 ML style... it definitely looks like a Mercedes product to me and not much different than mine, especially the shape of the windows.

    Mark
  • unsure32unsure32 Posts: 1
    I am buying a new SUV and my husband and I are in disagreement about what to get. I want the Lexus GX470, and he wants me to get the new ML500. The main thing I don't like about the ML500 is that I feel cramped sitting in the drivers seat (and I'm a small person). I just don't feel like there's much room to move in. Can anyone give me any advice on which to get?
  • mark156mark156 Posts: 1,992
    Unsure32, I'm surprised that you feel cramped in the ML. I'm a normal sized guy and I have plenty of room.

    One obvious difference is that the Lexus has that "BIG" swing-out door instead of a lift gate. That type of design does not work for me. For one thing, it opens backwards. If you are parallell parked, you are in the street trying to unload groceries, etc. If you pull into a garage and close the garage door, it better be deep for that big door to open. The lift gate on the ML acts as an umbrella when raining if you are loading things.

    The 2006 ML's do not offer a third row seats like mine; the Lexus does.

    Mark
  • hanghang Posts: 4
    I am thinking about purchasing the 2006 ML350. How much would it cost me if I only want leather seats as my only option? I used the "build your own" on the MB website and it was confusing b/c it seemed that I had to get the sunroof in addition to the leather. Why is the leather option costing over $6000?
  • mgreenemgreene Posts: 32
    finally the voice of reason. it never ceases to amaze me the number of people that despite all of the evidence to the contrary, believe they can have it all! you cannot have 7 passenger space and cargo room simultaneously, unless you are going to increase the size of the vehicle sic tahoe surburban expedition. then these same people would [non-permissible content removed] about fuel economy and the bulk of the truck. the new ml is a midsize suv, it does not have floor pan space for a third row that could comfortably accomodate anyone other than 2-3 children. and putting children in the third row of a mid sized suv even the new longer wheelbase m class is lunacy. in the event of a moderate to severe rear end collision there is not adequate buffer between the third row seat and the intruding vehicle. guess who becomes part of the crumple zone! how does that grab you? still want to be trendy???????
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Posts: 351
    Exactly! Functional design dictates that to accomplish a particular mission, the design should be optimized to satisfy the objectives of that mission. If I'm hauling tanks, Hummers and troops, the C-5 is a better functional design than a 747, although the 747 may have better "performance" characteristics.

    Same thing with autos... if carrying 7 is your objective, plenty of folks would love to put you in a minivan. Unfortunately, functional design does not translate into the "cool" factor craved by today's buyers. Until the new R and G-Class vehicles hit the streets, MB may not be your best alternative for hauling the troup. Fantastic choice, however, for that family of four!
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    ... it does not have floor pan space for a third row that could comfortably accomodate anyone other than 2-3 children. and putting children in the third row of a mid sized suv even the new longer wheelbase m class is lunacy. in the event of a moderate to severe rear end collision there is not adequate buffer between the third row seat and the intruding vehicle. guess who becomes part of the crumple zone! how does that grab you? still want to be trendy???????

    You're missing a major point here. There is a vehicle that comfortably holds 2 kids in the thrid row, and provides an exmplary level of safety even in a rear-ender. There are photos of it being rear-ended at 50-60 mph with zero intrusion into the third row.

    It's the 1998-2005 M-class.

    The Volvo XC90 also has impressive rear-collision protection and yet still manages a third row that is more than roomy enough for kids.

    So yes, you can have your cake and eat it too.

    I don't expect cargo room with the third row in use, but I expect the flexibility of having a third row to use for short-term passenger carrying.
  • mgreenemgreene Posts: 32
    i don't know that i am missing anything.i believe i am asking is the prize worth the potential price? for me the answer is no. furthermore, the majority of posters bellyaching over the lack of a third row seat are not thinking in terms of merely hauling the wee folk, they want to put adults and cargo in something not designed for it. i guess as long as you are right you can have your cake and eat it too. but if you are wrong, that is one bitter bitter cake. your choice.
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    What you're missing is:

    ... putting children in the third row of a mid sized suv even the new longer wheelbase m class is lunacy. in the event of a moderate to severe rear end collision there is not adequate buffer between the third row seat and the intruding vehicle. guess who becomes part of the crumple zone! how does that grab you? still want to be trendy???????

    You're saying that a third-row in a mid-sized SUV is not safe. The 1998-2005 M-class has proven that it IS safe, by using the proper design. So has the Volvo XC90. They have engineered the chassis so that they can safely take a hit that would probably collapse the third row of some of the lesser, full-sized SUV's or minivans.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I thought everyone knew that Mercedes left off the third row because they want you to buy the pricier G or R-Class vehicles. True the R and next G are built on a long version of the same chasis, but I have no doubts in my mind that Mercedes a leader in safety could have built the ML with a third row and still have the level of protection their cars are famous for. The E-Class wagon has had a third row seat either as standard or as an option for at least the last 20 years. Haven't heard anything adverse about this setup when it comes to rear collisions. This seat even faces rearward!

    They did this to give the G and R reason for being, not because they couldn't engineer the ML to be safe with a third seat. Mercedes has for sure slipped in reliability, but safety is still one of their strong points.

    M
  • It depends if you want leather inserts or full leather seats. My '06 ML 350 has the leather inserts and I think that's just fine, no one would ever know -- and IMO they hold their shape better after a few years (leather tends to stretch).

    Anyway, if you want the leather inserts, you must get the Trim Package costing an additional $2,200 which I believe also requires the Sunroof Package costing an additional $1,390.

    For full leather, you must order the Premium Package costing an additional $6,150 and also the sunroof package at $1,390.

    I could be wrong about the sunroof thing, but I think that's how it works.
  • jsegoviajsegovia Posts: 1
    I've just purchased a pre-owned '04 ML350. The dealer says Mercedes recommends premium unleaded gasoline but he says there should be no impact other than the occasional engine knock if I always use regular.

    Is this true? Should I plan on using regular gas? If this isn't as good for the car as premium gas, would it help if I mix it up a bit?

    Thanks very much in advance.

    Jesse
  • suliucpasuliucpa Posts: 2
    I am thinking to buy brand new 2006 ML 350? If you bought it, can you tell me how much did you pay for drive out price?


    Jimmy Liu
  • I just placed an order for mine with my specific options I wanted. I put down 1K deposit for a delivery date in three months. Believe it or not I got it for Invoice price! There were a couple of dealers willing to sell for a couple hundred over invoice. Be patient, the dealers want to sell you one, trust me :).

    WongFeiHong :)
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,009
    That's exciting - where are you located? We'll expect a full report in the Mercedes Benz M-Class: Prices Paid & Buying Experience discussion. :)

    Steve, Host

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • calbritcalbrit Posts: 24
    I am a big fan of the Land Rover brand so extremely biased, but why do Mercedes dealerships the minute they have a brand new exciting vehicle, start selling them for invoice and trash the value of the product. I was very excited about the 2006 ML, but it sounds like the dealers have to give them away to sell them. One dealership told me they are too expensive compared to the 05's.

    I know a lot about Land Rover's and take theLR3 for example. I am not saying it is a better car, but the vehicle is priced at $45-$55 and they by and large don't discount the car, especially the HSE model. It doesn't make me feel enthusiastic about a car if the dealers have to give it away and flood the market.
  • hanghang Posts: 4
    Calbrit,

    Maybe you have tons of money to throw around, but a lot of us don't mind getting a good deal on a vehicle. There is nothing wrong with a discount. If you like to look like an idiot and get ripped off, then enjoy paying full price.
  • gjacobgjacob Posts: 2
    I am looking to lease an ML 350 I was wondering if price is negotiable in the lease, and what should I look to put down , and what is a reasonable payment . I was thinking from 650 to 750
  • yes leases are always negotiable! You can choose to go with MB when you lease, or you can find outside lenders for leases. Check the web. make sure you do your math before you lease!
  • We're thinking about purchasing a 2006 ML500. But I have a few questions: is the power liftgate worth it to buy? Is it really that hard to close the trunk without it? Also, "premium interior lighting" is an option. What exactly is this, and is it necessary?
  • svinaiksvinaik Posts: 84
    What do you folks think is the fair price. I have owned ML 320 in past and am well aware of the strengths and shortcoming of the ML. But at a very attaractive price, ML may not be a bad deal.

    One of our local dealer (Non MB) has a trade in ML 500 and is willing to deal. It may have been sitting for some time and that's why he is willing.

    Please share your comments and advice..
    Thanks
  • newmbfannewmbfan Posts: 59
    I currently have a c320 wagon that has been a great vehicle. I need to add a second vehicle to my garage and just drove a 2003 ml350 with 19800 miles.

    The vehicle appeared to be perfect. Does anybody have advice for me as to what to look for. The vehicle is a 1 owner that was sold and traded back to the same dealer. They are going to get the service records for me on Monday.

    The asking price seemed about right at $29,800 and they indicated there was some room to haggle.
  • I have the same problem with my 99 ml320.
    I had the Check Engine light coming out. Check with a friend who has a ODB reader, the error is P0170 and P0173. Iread from the net it is most probably the Mass Air Flow sensor to change ar maybe just to clean ? Anyone knows how to do that ?

    Thanks
  • Have the same problem with my 99 ml320 47K miles.
    Is it difficult to access this sensor (the MAF one) ? I just would like to get a look at it before to go to my dealer. He may tell me I need to change the whole engine !!!!! :-)

    Thanks,
    David.
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