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



  • Price is a consideration, and since I have found the 320's power ok for my needs, I've never seriously looked at spending the extra $ for a 430 or 500.
    Thanks for the comment.
  • spfoteyspfotey Posts: 130
    you might want to pick up a copy of the Car & Driver SUV comparison they recently did. i don't recall all of the vehicles but as i recall it was pretty comprehensive...
  • birgerbirger Posts: 80
    Hi, Robert

    Sorry about taking more than three weeks to react to your post - but I've been off on holiday in a computer-free environment ;-)

    Whatever other options you choose for your future ML, DO get the Bi-Xenons! Since I retrofitted them to my 2001 ML 270 CDI, driving in the dark is a non-issue. The low beams are very efficient, without dazzling oncoming traffic, and the hi-beams are just awesome. Even more so, if you do a small modification to also have the traditional H7 hi beams come on like on the European models - but even without this additional candlepower, driving by night is a pleasure.

    I know, they don't come for free, but IMHO it's one of the most important safety (and comfort) features. And in some years from now, it might be a little harder to sell a ML without this option.

    Cheers from wintry Luxembourg,
  • I have just turned 70,000 miles on my 2000ML and wanted to share my results.

    Pluses +: Nothing broke. I got 52,000 miles on the original Dunlops and 59,000 before the dealer recommended replacing the front brake pads. I bought the same Dunlops from Sears for $89.00 on sale. The dealer wanted $140. The heated seats are wonderful. There is adequate power for every thing I do including trailer pulling. The MB hitch works perfectly. The nav system is adequate but really not necessary. I have no squeaks, no wind noise from poor door seals, no complaints. The audio system is great for a truck, but,(see negatives). You can see out of it far better than out of my E320 sedan. My wife likes it. The cup holders work. It gets respectable gas mileage. I want another one.

    Neutrals +/- : It is and always was a truck. The ride is stiff and solid. If you like a Buick ride, you won't like the ML. It uses premium fuel which with today's economics costs a mere 5% more than regular (because even cheap fuel is now expensive). The cargo space is adequate for cargo, but, (see negatives). It is great in bad road conditions without second guessing the traction system. I live above 9000 feet 80 miles west of Denver and the ML has been tested - often! Many other SUV's are OK driving through stuff, but fail in the downhill mode.

    Negatives - : There is not enough room for a jury rigged third row of seats. the Honda Pilot has enough room and it burns regular gas, and it's way cheaper. The CD changer is foolishly located way in the back. The gas tank should be larger so cheap guys like me could make it from Sam's club or Costco to sam's Club or Costco for cheap gas. The spare isn't full size.The "fuel remaining miles to go to empty" readout calculates all the way to dry if you have selected km's but gives up the ghost early if miles is selected giving only a low fuel flashing warning. Probably doesn't matter if you live in a big city and never leave.

    That's about it. I read guys complaining about door seal squeaks and must presume that they don't sell cans of spray silicon in their part of the world. I see many petty gripes and can only guess that some folks who thought they were buying a touring car didn't know they bought a truck, and MB makes zillions of trucks, this being one of their itsy bitsy ones. For the person considering an SUV, I say go for an ML and you too will be (ML) Most Lucky!

    A caveat. In Denver, the 320's but not the 350's are offered for invoice, but the dealer has a $2000.00 incentive below that plus the usual holdback, so some good buys are there for the wise buyer. Don't run out your warranty miles before you run out your warranty months like I did. I want another one!
  • I have a 2000 ML430. Dealer previously replaced pads worn out for some unknown reason under warranty. The sensor light never came on to warn me. I have the same issue again. This week I realized there is a squaeking noise when I brake. Then it started getting louder and now it is noisy throught out the driving not just when braking. My brake pad sensor light is still not on. I am afraid the rotors are getting damaged with every mile I drive. Last time they replaced the pads & rotors under warranty because the sensor light never came on. How many miles are we supposed to get on brake pads before we need to have them replaced?
  • cticctic Posts: 291
    It depends. Stmarie1 above got 59K (wow!) out of his before needing replacements, he must be driving a lot of freeway miles.

    I live on a hill and got about 15K out of mine. The ML is a heavy truck and the brake pads are very soft. Many of us are getting between 15 to 19K only.

    I don't know how the sensor works, but the noise doesn't sound right. Better call your dealer right away.
  • mac320mac320 Posts: 147
    Also ran out of warranty miles before years and am happy to hang onto the truck ... it tows great as you said so don't see any need for a 500 and it seems like the 430 gets about the same or better mileage as the new 350. The truck handles very well in the wet and snow last month in Yosemite with Cross Terrains-- the ESP light never blinked. I didn't know that the miles to empty calculator worked to empty when kilometers were selected.
  • I too didn't notice the KMs to empty function worked. My wife has a 2002 ML320 and we have no serious complaints at all. It seems happy in the swamps of Louisiana. If only the radio controls were on the steering wheel.......
  • hi all. have question on the parktronic for the ML350. do you guys know if we can turn it off, or is it active all the time (thus may get annoying since it'll beep everytime something gets near the car)? thanks much!
  • I called the dealer (Ray Catena in NJ) and explained to them that I was hearing loud squeaking noise from the car while driving and while braking. Furthermore, the braking detriorated badly and I was having trouble stopping the car safely. They told me to call the 800-FOR-MERC number and have it towed to their dealership. I did. Now I am told that the brake pads wore off and need to be replaced and I MUST pay for the towing. I argued that they were the ones who told me to tow the car and I was never told about having to pay for the towing. I further asked why didn't the brake sensor light come on. The service rep gives me stupid story that it would have come on any second!! (I suppose this guy could predict the outcome of this year's Super Bowl) Last time they replaced the brakes & rotors because of the brake warning light not working. I understand brake pads are not warrantable. But shouldn't the brake warning light be working so as to warn me before I hear loud noise and vehicle becomes unsafe to drive?

    To say I am annoyed with this is an understatement. But I am going to fork over the cash (almost $400). In 6 months when my turn comes around to buy the next vehicle, I will go with a Lexus GX470 and not the ML500 as I was planning to. I have had too many issues with this vehicle and the dealer, pardon me, sucks. I enjoyed the car when it was working properly but don't care for the aggravation and frequent trips to the hideous dealer anymore.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,012
    It's not too late to complain to the service manager. Then find a different dealer!

    Steve, Host

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • mark156mark156 Posts: 1,992
    Chigirl2, I have the Parktronic on my 2002 ML500. I would suggest to anyone to get this option. And yes, there is a button on the console to turn off the Parktronic.

    The Parktronic only activates when the car is in first gear or reverse (maybe there is a speed sensor too). Anyway, if there is snow, mud, or any other debris on the bumper, the Parktronic will not work properly. You have to keep the bumpers clean.

    A funny thing happened, when I was backing in my garage the other day, I noticed that the rear indicators lit up suddenly without warning me about what was behind the vehicle. I hit a wooden box in my garage and was shocked that the Parktronic didn't work (no damage to vehicle). Well, I found out why. A friend of mine who has an S500 with Parktronic parked in my garage and the same thing happened on that car... it didn't work.

    When I was at Costco I bought those electric bug things that gives off a signal that only bugs and rodents can hear.... well, it apparently effects Parktronic. Once I unpluged the "debugger", the Parktronic resumed normal operation.

  • mac320mac320 Posts: 147
    That's ok. There's probably still more ML430s than S430s, but I wouldn't be surprised if there are fewer than 4,000 of them in the US.

    Currently, ML430 drivers are leading in their Class again in the 2003 Paris to Dakar race. And, things are looking good: they have won that race for the last couple of years and I read that about half of the entries in this year's race had already fallen out as of the stage 12 but all 14 or so ML430s were still in the race.
  • thanks much mark, for the info. now i'm going to call my dealer and ask for the parktronic option for my future car. tahnks again...
  • mac320mac320 Posts: 147
    The recent split of the board now has 95 people in a problems group, leaving over 6,800 in this group who apparently must have been much happier with their ML purchases when they posted here. That would be a pretty good percentage in MBs favor it it holds up.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,012
    Here's the link if you have a problem :-)

    MB M-Class Owners: Problems & Solutions

    Steve, Host

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    I've got a 3-yr-old 2000 ML320 with 40K miles. I'm having routine service done by the dealer, bringing it in when the FSS says so. (Until 4-yrs or 50K miles, my understanding is that routine services are covered.)

    I just got it back from a B service and noticed that they didn't change either the brake fluid or coolant. I went back through the service records and it appears they haven't done either of these fluid changes in the two A and two B services since the truck was new.

    These are supposed to be done on calendar time rather than miles - I think one is every two years and the other is every three.

    Is anyone else having the dealer do these services under the free maintenance program?

    FWIIW, I got 25K out of the front brake pads and 40K out of the rear.

    - Mark
  • Just purchased my first ever MB for my wife, and yes, she absolutely loves it. A certified 01 ML320 with 30K miles (a little high). Put two years extra starmark warranty on it after reading many of the complaints on this site.

    Did have two minor problems that the dealer corrected when I got it. The radio head was not sending a good "wake up" signal to the CD changer in back. You'd press CD and it would say "No CD player installed," which was wrong. So the dealer promptly put in a new MCD/radio. Works great now.

    The other problem was a little more interesting. Prior to my purchasing it, they had 'cannibilized' the antennae lead for the Teleaid ant to fix another car quickly. When they tried to get a new lead from MB, MB said no, they had to get the whole harness. Despite the dealers arguement with MB, MB insisted. So, they replaced the entire interior wiring harness this week. Seemed like the long way around, but everything seems to be working - for how long, we'll see.
  • mercaramercara Posts: 291
    Some of you might be aware that I moved from NY london and shipped my ML with me. I now need to get a local UK lisence plate and the form asked me for the Chasis and Engine Number. In the states we go by the VIN Number. Does anyone know where I can find the Engine and Chasis number?
  • mercaramercara Posts: 291
    I have done 53K miles on my 99 ML320. Still on the original Tires/Brake pads. Most of my driving is Motorway/Highway.
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