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



  • ferraro1ferraro1 Posts: 44
    Hello All ~
    I havew been looking into buying a 1998 or maybe a 1999 ML I have heard some problems on the 1998 it being the 1st Year , but I was thinking alot of the bad problems would Be taken care of because the cars I am looking at have from 38,000 all the way up to 60,000, Could someone advise me what to look out for or what I am in store for if i do go ahead and buy a 1998 or 1999 ? My frined has a 2000 and loves it, but any info would be GREAT !!
    Thank you,
  • sydney6sydney6 Posts: 64
    to upgrade a 2000 ML320 to the "Sport" version? I don't think the Sport version was available in 2000.

    How much would it cost?
  • chris168chris168 Posts: 14
    Yes it is possible to convert a ML into a "Sport" version. I am currently in the process of changing my ML rear bumper cover to the ML55 AMG bumper and adding the AMG flares.

    The price of the parts are very high. The AMG rear bumper alone costs $575 dollars, then add the AMG/Sport tailgate piece which costs $130. The AMG flares cost $250 each for the front and $244 each for the rear. There is also a cutout in the rear AMG bumper cover so you have to add in the price of an AMG exhaust tip or two (depending on whether you want the AMG or sport rear). I am not sure about the AMG front bumper pricing yet, but another person that swapped that part out posted he spent over $2000 on that.

    Then of course comes the labor of installing all the parts. There has been some talk that the parts aren't direct bolt-on to a regular ML but its still possible to install as long as you are handy enough. I personally am not, so I got my mechanic friend involved to help me out. I will be installing my AMG rear bumper tomorrow so maybe I'll drop in a little on how it goes.

    Hope this helps,

  • cdiccdic Posts: 36
    neicey59: e-mail me and I'll tell you about the Garmin GPSs I have used. I have had several (currently have 3). I can fill you in on the MAPsource CDs for them as well.
  • noelbongnoelbong Posts: 41
    I noticed that the radiator mounting on my '00 ml is kind of loose. I can actually move the radiator back and forth, there is about 1/4 to 1/2 inch play in the 2 holes on the metal frame under the hood which the radiator mounting piece go through. Does anyone notice this in his/her ml? If you haven't, please check yours. I don't know if it warrants a trip to the dealer, though.
  • ddavis001ddavis001 Posts: 14
    Maybe someone can show me a picture of the new ML500? Hmmm... almost 60 more hp than my ML430. Tempting.

    Does anyone know the cost of the new ML line-up?
  • dbonodbono Posts: 8
    What comes with the Bose sound system upgrade? Is it just a different head unit, or does it also provide extra speakers of higher quality? I am soliciting advice as to whether I should go for this option, as I'm getting down to the short strokes of a deal. Thanks -- this board has been a great help!
  • sydney6sydney6 Posts: 64
    So that all adds up to almost $4000! Wow, I don't think it costs that much for the option if it's a new vehicle!
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,657
    Check out the current issue of Automobile magazine for pixs of the upcoming Ml/MLV models.

    Remember—we're talking MY'05, which is a ways off, so don't get too excited just yet.

  • mtsangmtsang Posts: 70
    Is the ML500 almost 60HP more than ML430? Or, just around 30HP as I thought it is?
  • noelbongnoelbong Posts: 41
    Drew, is there a way to do a keyword search on the huge info base we have on the ML? I noticed the same questions pop up every now and then, and nobody seems interested to answer the same questions over and over. But with new comers, same questions are inevitable. So, if there is a keyword search feature, it will be useful.
  • ggoudeli1ggoudeli1 Posts: 14
    My 1999 ML320 (28,000 miles) is coming off lease in four months. The lease had a high residual (70%), which made for low pymts but now the buyout is high.

    My two questions are: for those of you who have recently gone through this exercise and wanted to keep your truck, was the residual negotiable or not?

    Second, does it make sense to pony up ~$8,000 to have a new vehicle, with 4-yr maintenance, new features, tires, quieter ride, etc.

    Thanks, George
  • dietmikedietmike Posts: 7
    I too have a "sticky peddle" I ts is annoying and am looking for a solution. Any luck out there???
  • thor3thor3 Posts: 120

    I think you have a fair chance that MBCC (Mercedes Benz Credit Corp.) will negotiate on your 1999 ML 320. It has been done in the past on other models and this would make sense with the changes coming on the 2002 models depreciating the current.

    We Leased a 1992 S-class and at the lease termination they offered us $9000 off the residual to keep it. So we thought this was very fair and purchased it but they gave us the option to continue leasing it at a lower payment if we choose to. I am not suggesting they will do the same to you certainly but it is not unheard of.

    I would definitely think twice about purchasing it unless they give you a significant discount on the current residual figure. The new 2002 models are quite a bit different in that they have moved to a new climate control, new interior features, exterior update... MB considers this a fairly substantial enhancement that will carry them to the next generation of ML/MLV's (2004/2005).

    So, if you leased a 2002 for example and then did the same at the end of the 3 year lease you would have a more up-to-date vehicle with more features and warranty as you suggested in your post. The trade in or market value for a 2002 vs. 1999 would be at least $6000-$10,000 difference. Chances are that MB would negotiate the residual at the end of the 2002 lease although they are much wiser now that the "scarcity" of the ML is now long over. However, there will be the really totally new next generation ML/MLV's at that time and the rest of the older line will depreciate. Also, you might want to keep the 2002 if you want the "body on frame" design which will be replaced by unit construction in the next generation.

    Also, since you will not have maintenance covered at no cost over the next years you will likely spend $500-$1000 per year from this point forward which would be free on the new 2002 model. So the difference of $8,000 is really not there. In-other-words you would be able to sell the 2002 and make the $8000 up and then still have the warranty, maintenance, and new features and body styling.

    Go for the 2002 you won't be disappointed : )

    If you send me your e-mail address I'll send you some 2002 info. (
  • dbonodbono Posts: 8
    If your post was for my benefit, noelbong, thanks! I attempted to execute a keyword search before asking about the Bose 'cuz I suspected it was not new ground for this board. (For similar reasons, I have refrained from asking about the Skyview.) No luck, though. How about it, Drew?
  • sharonsharon Posts: 76
    I hope this doesn't post twice--it didn't show up the first time:

    Hi folks,

    I've been mainly lurking since I purchased my 2000 ML320 back in the winter of 1999. I thought I'd chime in with my thoughts on the vehicle now that it's logged 20,000 miles (and change).

    First, let me say that I love this vehicle. I was scaling down from a Suburban when I purchased it. It handles beautifully and I had not one moment of panic during this past, very snowy east-coast winter. My only problems in the snow were delays from other people who couldn't make it up the hills, thus blocking traffic. The ML handled much better in the snow than either of my two previous cars (Suburban and Volvo 850).

    Reliability has not be an issue for me (hopefully I didn't just jinx myself!). It's been very dependable and has only been to the dealer for scheduled service. My brake-pad-wear warning light came on, so that will be my first unscheduled visit.

    I have 3 boys, so I purchased the 3rd row seats. Here's my honest take on the seats: The seats are very useful and very easy to access & take out BUT when the 3rd row is in use, seating is cramped. With the 2nd row pulled forward there is room for people, but not much room left for their things. I recently drove 5 first-grader's on a field trip that was 2 hours away. There were some grumbles because they didn't have much room to store their back-packs (that were filled with things to keep them busy on a 2-hour trip). My fourth-grader's class really grumbles about the lack of space. Now, keep in mind that these are children that are, for the most part, used to mini-vans. Also, with the 3rd row in use, you have very little trunk room. I ran into a problem when I was carpooling to school. One of the boys had a project to bring and I had a very tough time finding a spot for it.

    That being said, the set-up works for our family. The Suburban was too big and we really don't like minivans. Our kids don't need to be separated--they have their squabbles, but separating them doesn't teach them anything about getting along with other people. So we only use the 3rd row occasionally. If we had 4 children, we would have to buy a different vehicle. My wish is for an ML that is slightly longer.

    I find that the interior is very noisy when on the highway--so much so that I'm always checking to see if a window is open somewhere. I've assumed this is something I have to live with--or are there work-arounds for this?

    I would love to see radio controls on the steering wheel (I'm medium height and I find the radio controls on the right hand side to be an ackward reach.

    So, all in all, we are very pleased with our ML 320. Yes, I don't have as much child room as my friends with mini-vans, but space wasn't my first priority. My first priority was "driveability"--how the car handles... and I've been very pleased.

    I have noticed one thing that doesn't happen with my ML that does happen when I take our Audi S4 out. No young men ever give my ML a second look but they ALWAYS have a comment for the S4. Sadly that proves they are no longer looking at me but I've come to accept that ;-)

  • pooliopoolio Posts: 18
    I too am having trouble with a sticky peddle.Took it to the dealer and was told it is normal.I don't think so.Let me know how you make out with your ml gas peddle sticking.
  • rexconde1rexconde1 Posts: 278
    I just got done playing with my fathers E55... for tonight. My mother and father were with me on the way to the Outlet center.

    It is the first time that I have actually got to play with the voice control. All I can say is that the people that are waiting for the 2002 are in for a treat. The Voice command works...I have a deep voice, and it worked surprisingly well. It worked a lot better than the integrated phone that was in our old 95 S500, which kept screwing up the numbers. The stalk is also a much better Idea than the button function on the S phone. People with the old integrated phone know what I'm talking about.

    While I was on Route 15 I was programing the voice controls. It was really simple. If you have problems you can even ask the lady and whe will help you out, she is rather polite. Unfortunatly I have to erase it all since the car isnt mine. I guess by the time the 2002 model comes out they could make it even better, who knows. I'm not sure if they will change how it works with the MCS.

    It was extremely handy to have. It did screw up a couple times but it wasnt a big deal. I just annunciated a bit more.

    On the way to the Outlet center I even got to play with a CL500 (previous generation) on the road. The roads were clear and no one was really in the way, so we took it up to 115-120 until my father said I was going a little fast so I dropped it back to 85. The CL took off, he had to be doing at least 130. We were still accellerating, but he just kept on accellerating... lost him in a few seconds.

    My dad and I were smiling, fortunatly my mother was asleep.

  • chaddschadds Posts: 11
    I have a '99 ML 430. At about 15k it developed the sticky pedal (gas). The dealer said that lubrication was not effective and he replaced the cable and the module visible in the eng. compartment where it attaches. Back to wonderful. At about 27k it came back. Dealer fixed it and the next day it was back. I don't think they replaced anything as it was not on the ticket as is normally done. I have an appt. to have these parts replaced. Important fact it only begins to occur when ambient temp. is above 50 degrees. It will stick coming back, when you let off, if temp. gets in the 90's. This made for some irritating driving on the Long Island Expressway! The binding seems to be down where the pedal mounts as opposed to the cable or that module. Perhaps this has been upgraded for the newer years and the parts are swappable. Any of you who have this difficulty have '00s or '01s? Good luck to us all.
  • djdjdjdj Posts: 111
    re: your noise comment.

    I think ML's are very quiet. My skyview roof has a little more wind noise than the sunroof version but I still thinks its quiet. Even one of my co-workers who has an Avalon commented on how quiet the sunroofed loaner I had was.

    Maybe have your dealer check the door/window seals to make sure they are all correct.
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