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



  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    I apologize if this topic has been covered already, if so, please direct me.

    I'm in the market for a luxury SUV, have looked at the Lexus RX300. I know I can get it for around $36k (AWD, Premium Plus package). Folks around Town Hall said I should also consider the MB.

    I guess my question is, can one get an MB similary equipped for about the same money? Or am I just barking up the wrong tree...

    All insights appreciated,
  • ometofuometofu Posts: 53
    John/Kenyee/Anyone, what are some of the symptoms before the fuel pump died? I heard many of you had the unit replaced because it fails ... I too have a 99ML (beside, the windshield fluid container cracked on me) I'm virtually free of any problems with it. Since my Schedule B is coming up in 2 months.. if the fuel pump is unpredictable or without any symptoms before it fails, Can I just ask the service department to replace it anyway?
  • thor3thor3 Posts: 120
    Was browsing ebay and saw a spare CLK-GTR for sale... check it out=>

    Wonder what it will sell for or if it will sell. There are only a few more hours before aution ends! No bids yet!!!


    Cut and paste:
  • gncgnc Posts: 27
    I am interested in receiving more information regarding the discounted extended warranty that several people have mentioned. Thanks!
  • bob259bob259 Posts: 280
    tonychrys: Tony, Before I bought my ML320 I was on the wait list for a RX300 myself. Thank god I listened to others and did more shopping. I didn't consider the ML at first because of the bad CR reviews it had gotten. After reading this forum and discussing with several of the folks I found out that most of the problems were in the 98/99 MY vehicles and many improvements were made in the 2000 MY. I also did a compare on one of the inter net car places ( I think) and compared the two vehicles. For 2000 the ML had Traction control, anti skid control, low range transfer case and a number of other standard features that were not even available on the RX for any price. Wanting a safe vehicle I next went to the Gov't and independent sites that do crash test, the ML Mercedes was/is rated number 1.

    After taking all this into consideration and knowing the Lexus dealer wanted to add $1,500 to the MSRP., because of tight supply, I opted to deal for a ML and it ended up almost the same price (+1-2K). Not sure if you drove both yet but I felt the RX was a little unstable at highway speeds when you did a quick lane change and in cross winds, the ML felt a lot more stable, even my wife could feel the difference.

    Now what you can deal for in your area may differ, but take the price quotes in from the on-line dealers and that is usually a good starting point.

    I now have 7K miles on my 2000 ML320 and wouldn't give it up for anything.

    Bottom line, it's your dollors and choice. Lexus has made some changes to the 2001 RX, but it's traction control still will not compare to the ML and if your tow anything the ML has body on frame construction and will tow 5,000 lbs Vs only 3,000 lbs for the RX, which is unibody construction. It's more of a passenger car construction then the ML is.

    Whatever you decide enjoy.
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    Really appreciate the input, thanks.

    Just to answer a few points, towing is not important for us, so the capacity of most SUVs will suffice. Since you bought, the tables have turn and now it's the Lexus dealers having to knock $$$ of MSRP because of the MDX onslaught. Couple that with the Highlander coming out in a couple of weeks (what the hell was Toyota thinking? Talk about butchering your own market).

    So really my big question is whether I can get an ML320 in the $36k range? I'm trying to do as much homework on my own, just wanted to hear some real world experiences.

    We haven't drove an ML320 yet, but I don't want to waste the dealer's time if it's not in our price range we're looking for.

    Thanks again for the input!

  • thor3thor3 Posts: 120
    It all depends on the local dealers and if you are willing to do some internet shopping to find dealers who will deal. There is always a better time to buy and unfortunately this is not it at the very moment. The 2000 models just had some major discounts to clear them out... getting a fully equipped ML320 was very doable in the $36K range. Now that the stock of 2000 has been depleted it is now the 2001's the dealers are selling. MB offers no incentives at this time to clear out the 2001's because they are in the early sales year. If you can wait until July/August you would be able to pick up a much better value... End of years production and there will be some changes to the ML in 2002 that will also make sweet deals possible at the end of the year.

    Anyway, the real way to answer your question is to configure the ML320 using the MBUSA build your own Mercedes feature and see what the retail price is. If you add all the available features to an ML320 the dealers cost (invoice) will be over $36K - somewhere between $38-$40K depending on if you get Skyview roof and all the option packages (less the Sport package that would certainly bring Invoice into the $40K's. So, if this is invoice you will have to pay more so dealer can make some profit. However, if you choose a base ML (once again, configure it yourself and determine what you can live with/out) you could get close to your target.

    Try to give the dealer $1000 profit (over invoice) and see where it brings you... you need to be a good dealer yourself or shop the internet to see if dealers will compete for your business and lower their profit. If you find yourself way over.. meaning you could not live with a base ML320 then your out of luck for the moment and won't get the vehicle for $36Kish. If you wait for the end of year you will be able to buy at invoice or even below depending on MB end or year dealer insentive...MB has given $2-3K back to dealers at the end of year to clear for the new models in the past. So you might even get an ML UNDER invoice if you can wait and take the chance...

    Good Luck!
  • drmhfdrmhf Posts: 29
    If anyone could tell me what they paid for a new ML320 it would be appreciated. Thanks
  • thor3thor3 Posts: 120
    I should have mentioned the Edmunds' price/option configuration page:

    Start here and check the appropriate options you must have then click the configure button... this will take you to a work sheet for the ML and you can print this out...

    If you could spend closer to $38K you could find a good deal on a nicely appointed ML...

    Share with us what region you live in and we'll try to help guide you to a dealer who "deals."

    Hopefully others who have recently purchased will share their pricing... but remember each deal is different and if you know how to deal and can take the shopping effort you will be rewarded... some people can do this others can't or won't... think you would be very happy with the ML so it is worth a try IMHO...

    Take care - Frank

    In addition to trying and help you guys I'm also trying to keep the ML forum in the "Top 10".... we are really slipping this week down to 10..almost fell off... where are you ALIGN (Drew!!) This is no time for VACATION!! GET TO WORK : )
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    Yea, I priced it out already... without any incentives, it looks hard to get it down to where the RX300 would be. I gotta deal with the wrath of the wife on this one.

    BTW, I live on Long Island, New York.

    Thanks again.

  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    I'm afraid you're not going to get a "loaded" 2001 ML320 for $36k.

    As you've seen, an ML320 with M1 luxury and M2 convenience packages, the Bose audio system with the CD changer, sunroof, and heated seats MSRP's for $41,985, invoices for $39,092.

    These prices don't include the M7 third-row seat option, or Xenon HID headlamps (you have to buy a very expensive sport package, adding over $4k to the MSRP). Metallic paint is another $485 MSRP.

    Frankly, in absence of any MB discounts, I'd be surprised if you can get anything much lower than $40k for the above, unless you delete some of the options like the Bose. But not $36k.

    It's the monthly/quarterly variations of the market. MB can price the ML320 at a premium and still sell well, and for many people, it's a much different vehicle than the RX. Right now Lexus is overproducing the RX300, cannibalizing itself with Sequoia's on the big, high end, Highlanders on the lower end, and facing increased competition like the MDX.

    A couple of months ago you couldn't buy an RX that was very loaded for below $40k. Now you can get it down much, much lower than that. Lexus dealers can afford to do it because the RX has a ridiculously large spread between invoice and MSRP. Lexus throwing in discounts helps even more. MB dealers only have a $3k spread without factory incentives, and it's not like their holdbacks give them more than Lexus.

    Always fascinating how the market turns. Right now the Lexus is the bargain priced vehicle. If you find that the RX meets your needs fine, you're in a good position. You'll buy a 2001 that has more key features (e.g. stability control, available HID's) than the 2000 model, yet you'll be paying less than end-of-year "discounts" on 2000's a few months ago!
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    Your assesments are dead on. You pretty much confirm what I've researched.

    Both vehicles are great. Both vehicles have done well on crash tests. Both vehicles have good resale.

    But riddle me this Batman: why don't these things have rear glass that opens separate from the hatch!!!!

  • nikorrnikorr Posts: 23
    I did get my with M1,M2,heated seats,Desert silver,Bose,sunroof for $40900 w/o tax.With tax and licen.plate,dest.charge $44060. I live in CHICAGO sub. Marcel
  • nikorrnikorr Posts: 23
    And I had to wait 6 days to get it. Marcel
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    As discussed on the MDX forum, neither the MDX, M-class, or RX300 have it. I still think part of it is structural (improving the solidity of the roof in rollover, though the RX rollover pics recently posted here don't seem to show much of it). The rest of the reasons include cost-cutting, plus the increased propensity for squeaks and rattles of that arrangement.

    The plus side of a lift-up gate is that there's no tailgate that gets in the way of the cargo area. The downside is when you need to carry long materials.
  • sshowittsshowitt Posts: 137
    Last month I traded my 98ML320 on a new leftover OOML430 that listed for $46540. The dealer also activated and installed the aux. inlens driving lights (worth $50/$60). Sold vehicle to me for $41500.00 and gave me NADA trade-in on my 98 w/ 40K needing tires and brakes. I also got an additional $700.00 contribution toward the trade-in from M/B. This was garnered by having my service writer call MB and complain about the various rattles and problems with my 98.
    Thus, I got approx. $5800.00 off. Although I gave up Tele-Aide, (I have it on my other car and have never used it)it cost less than a similiarly equiped 01 ML320 without the added features of the ML430, navagation, 17" tires and of course the V-8. I thought it was too good of a deal to pass up. I am very pleased with all the updates, especially the interior, now more mercedes-like, and of couse the scheduled maintenence. The only downside is the mileage.
    All I can say, if you can find a leftover 00ML320 somewhere, you should be able to get into your price range. Best of Luck.
  • In Maitland FL there are several 2000 ML 320's in the 38K M1, M2 Bose.

    They would work with you.

  • Stop by Silver Star Mercedes in Long Island City.... I got my 01 320 M1 Sunroof Bose with a $2000. off invoice. Roberto Garcia, was my sales rep.

    Danny d:)
  • rich96rich96 Posts: 37
    Here in the Boston area, Clair was willing to take off 2% of the MSRP on 2001 ML320s, and no discounts on ML430s. Foreign Motors West was willing to give a free lo-jack or $595 off any new MLs. This was one month ago.
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