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

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Comments

  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,109
    mark156 did not say the lack of brake assist was causing the braking problem. He simply stated that the dealer found it to be missing. Let's not be so hasty to jump on others.

    tidester, host
  • mark156mark156 Posts: 1,992
    I promise, I'm not trolling. If I hear any more info on the new ML story, I'll pass it on.

    Mark
  • tyresmokertyresmoker Posts: 266
    Yep, drove it and liked it...The packaging of options blows though. The sport package includes an interior made up of alcantara and MB tex.... aka vinyl... seats. You cannot get a full leather interior unless you spend $50k. The "comfort" package includes leather inserts for the front seats only, vinyl for coach class.
    I cannot believe the poor gas mileage with the 7-speed transmission. The epa is 16/20.
    For what it is worth, the brakes worked just fine...
  • mark156mark156 Posts: 1,992
    Stopped by my local Mercedes dealer today and they had 5 new ML's. Having a 2002 ML500, I still would like to have the 3rd seat. As all of you know, the third seat will not be offered on the 2006 ML, it will be in the new "R-class". But, the "R-class" will be a six passenger... with three rows of bucket seats (two in each row). So, I'll wait to see what it looks like when it comes out.

    I most likely will trade at the end of this year for a 2006 SUV or wagon. The Range Rover LR3 is a strong contender as is the R-class, Lincoln Navigator and maybe the large Lexus SUV if they update the style.

    Mark
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    I think MB is making a big mistake by not offering a third row option for the new M-class. Going to the R-class is not a practical option for many buyers. The R-class has three rows but only accommodates one more passenger, with its 2+2+2 seating. It has no off-road pretensions and is big -- longer than an S-class. It's likely to be significantly more expensive than the M-class too.
  • mark156mark156 Posts: 1,992
    wmquan, what bothers me about the R-class is that it might look too close to the Chrysler Pacifica. If it looks even the slightest bit like the Chrysler, it's a goner in my book.

    I agree, I wish the ML would offer the third seat. Even though it takes up a good bit of space with the side hanging seats, it sure comes in handy when you need them. I keep my ML at my California home and it is mandatory that everyone be in a seat belt by law.

    I was stopped once when I had a Jeep Grand Cherokee; a friend jumped in the back area because there were six of us and only seating for five. The policeman said he wouldn't give us a ticket this time (saw out of state plates) but just to be careful because everyone must be in a seatbelt.

    That's why a third seat is a top priority for me.

    Mark
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    Mark,

    Looks are of course subjective. But I think the R-class looks like some strange hybrid of a Pacifica, a long wagon, and a minivan, IMHO. While it's based on a stretched 2006 M-class platform, it drops the SUV pretense.

    http://www.mbusa.com/microsite/gst/index.jsp

    As for why the new M-class doesn't have a third row, I guess there are a few theories.

    1) MB will offer it eventually, just not upon introduction.

    2) With the new unibody construction, MB couldn't figure out a way to place the third row in a mid-sized SUV, and still achieve the safety level they require in their designs. The current M-class's frame is designed to withstand a very large amount of impact without letting the third row collapse. Perhaps they couldn't do this with the new M-class. OTOH, Volvo seems to have pulled it off with the XC90. So this reasoning is purely conjecture and I don't necessarily believe it.

    3) MB doesn't want to hurt sales of the R-class.

    4) MB doesn't want to hurt sales of the next-gen G-class, which is also based on a stretched 2006 M-class platform.

    5) Various combinations of the above.

    Looking at the pricing, it seems that a fairly well-equipped 2006 will cost about $4k more than the previous one. Scheduled maintenance is not included so that hurts too. ML350's with options will cost $50k to $57k depending on how well you load it up. That's pretty high pricing territory.
  • mercaramercara Posts: 291
    The third row option was one of the key reasons why I bought my ML320. From what I have read they are going to offer an extended wheelbase ML with the 3rd row seating. This may be better as you can get a really usable 3rd row vs squeezing a 3rd row only for marketing.
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Posts: 351
    My take on the 3rd-row issue is that MB will position the next G-Class to be the larger 3-row vehicle. The ML, RX, etc. are now considered to be sedan-replacements for many families, so the 3rd row seems to only make sense in a vehicle that can fit ordinary-sized humans back there.

    Who in their right mind wants to stuff themselves into the 3rd row of a standard-sized SUV? If you need the extra seating, then there are the GM Suburban twins, Ford trucks (Expedition, Excursion - not much longer for this beast) and the like. My guess is that MB will position the G-Class for the upwardly mobile types that want the top-of-the-range regardless of family size, or need the G to handle the kiddies.

    Ingress/egress is tough enough in the larger SUV's... can't image negotiating the hurdles to crawl into the back of an ML-sized vehicle :P
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    Who in their right mind wants to stuff themselves into the 3rd row of a standard-sized SUV?
    ...
    Ingress/egress is tough enough in the larger SUV's... can't image negotiating the hurdles to crawl into the back of an ML-sized vehicle


    Yet people brave the confined third-row seats of GX470's, XC90's, MDX's, Pilots, Highlanders, and the current-model M-class. For many of these buyers, the third row is used for kids (who don't mind the cramped quarters) and for short trips when everyone crowds into a vehicle. For many, the third row is unused the majority of the time, but is needed on occasions. They don't care if the third row doesn't have the legroom of a R-class. These buyers don't want something as ponderous as a full-sized SUV, and don't need the size of a minivan. They certainly don't want to pay the extra premium of an R-class or a G-class.
  • mark156mark156 Posts: 1,992
    Love..... The third seat in the current ML is not that tight. The second row seat moves forward about 5 inches to allow for extra legroom for adults. The second row (small section) seat-back folds down then the whole seat flips forward to allow for more room to enter the third row area. Normally, all I carry are adults and that happens 10/12 times a year. For short trips to a restaurant or movie, there have been no complaints about it being too tight.

    I've seen the G-class in my Automobile magazine and I will take a look at it when it comes out to the showroom. It might be more SUV than I want, we'll see.

    Mark :)
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Posts: 351
    I should have prefaced my thoughts with a disclaimer... I'm a former Rugby player that played over 20 years and have the knees to prove it ;)

    Aside from being a large fellow (6'4" and 260lbs), our 2002 ML has been fantastic and I'd take a prisoner if I were made to sit in a 3rd row! Don't get me wrong, I see the allure if you have kids, but still believe MB will point you to the next G/R-Class if you need the 3rd row.

    One thought... knowing that the 2nd row does slide forward to accomodate the 3rd row passengers, that all but kills knee room in coach class, doesn't it?
  • mark156mark156 Posts: 1,992
    I guess the discomfort depends on the size of the person. I'm a regular size guy at 5'8" 175lbs so my seat is not pushed that far back. No one has every complained about the leg room in coach class when the seat is moved forward.

    Most of my friends are of a much smaller size than you, so the issue has not come up about being cramped in the ML.

    Mark
  • Yes! I drove it and bought one that will arrive in two days. Love it! One question though -- does anyone know if there's a way to disable the seatbelt warning chime? (it's constant in this model) Please let me know if you do... and if anyone has any specific questions for me, I'd be happy to try to answer!

    R

    P.S. Please no questions as to why I don't want to wear the seatbelt (at all times) or advice to cut a belt off another car and click it in (I can think of that myself!). I want to know if there's a way to turn it off. I did read about European vs. USA settings and that might be the answer, but until I pick it up, I don't know what the menu options will be... all I know is that in my husband's BMW it drives me crazy!!!
  • tyresmokertyresmoker Posts: 266
    As someone who has been a regular on "the boards" since the Town Hall was conceived, this is about the dumbest question I have ever seen someone ask. I would hope that we all know better then to answer such a request. They call it an "idiot buzzer" for a reason. The easiest way to turn it off is to wear your seatbelt at all times, not just when it suits you.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,013
    You must have had another name at one point, 'cause Rlmcgarry's user name is several years older than yours.

    The seat belt chime may be federally mandated so info about turning it off may be hard to come by. The dealer may not disclose how to disable it if they know, since there could be a liability issue for turning it off.

    Steve, Host

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

  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,109
    I believe the manufacturer is mandated by the Federal government to install chimes and sellers to have active chime systems in the vehicle but I don't recall that there is any provision governing end user deactivation of the system.

    In the early 70's, the Congress attempted to require an interlock system such that when the seatbelt chime was deactivated it also caused the deactivation of nonessential systems in the vehicle (radio, tape players etc.) Public reaction was unambiguous and Congress (at the insistence of NHTSA) abandoned that approach though some manufacturers "voluntarily" installed the interlock.

    Today, NHTSA is pushing for a "seat belt reminder system" that would basically mandate the chime do its deed for an extended period (5 minutes or more).

    tidester, host
  • tyresmokertyresmoker Posts: 266
    Actually.... several different names wrappped around the "carguy" theme. One day I decided that tyresmoker was a far more suitable handle, so I made the change.
    I will stick to my point, those that take operating performance machines seriously simply turn off the chime by buckling up....
  • mercaramercara Posts: 291
    A couple of months ago, NJ passed a law against using cell phones while driving. It makes sense to me from a Safety stand point. But from a libertarian perspective it scares me. Where does the govt draw the line. Soon our wake up time, what we eat, what we drive, etc, etc, will be specified by law makers. The good thing is that we dont' have to tire our brain thinking about what to do. We'll be told what we can and cannot do.

    Call me paranoid, but we'll reopen this discussion 20 years later, if there isn't a law against Internet message boards.
  • Thank you steve :) Although I didn't want to get into it, of course I wear my seatbelt most of the time. However, there are several instances when I don't want a chime sounding every 5 seconds. As I mentioned, my husband's 2004 5 series has this and it never, ever stops. For example, if we are going to a restaurant/store etc... and he wants to drop me off at the door, I have to keep my belt on until the second I open the door... can't remove it to be prepared jump out so as not to cause the person behind us to wait (until you own a vehicle with the passenger side chime, you don't realize how often things like this happen).

    Another example occurs when I need to reach into the rear seat for something (don't worry, tyresmoker, it's generally while we are sitting at a stop light) if you've ever done this, you'd know, it's kind of hard to do if you're wearing a seatbelt! So, I remove it, rearrange whatever we were trying to transport that has spilled/ fallen, all the while to hear ding - ding - ding. I could go on, but my point is, there is absolutely NO reason the chime needs to be constant, 30 seconds of it when you initially start the car is plenty!

    There's quite a bit of info out there on how to disable the chime in Fords (click it three times, turn on headlights etc..) I was just wondering -- as was my salesperson [who told me the service people do know how, they just aren't allowed to do it] if anyone has any inside info.

    Anyway, thank you to everyone who agrees the new models are a bit overboard on the warning system and I'll let you know if I ever figure it out... I should pick it up on Thursday. Silver ML 350 - can't wait!

    R
  • mark156mark156 Posts: 1,992
    Rlmcgarry.... are getting a 2005 or 2006 ML?

    Mark
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Please let us know what you think of your new ML when you take delivery and put a few miles on it.

    M
  • zmanfrnkzmanfrnk Posts: 1
    Anyone know how to disable the FSS light on a 2001 ML 320? Thanks.
  • So far I really like the new M-Class. For me, it replaced a C-Class and the ride is much better than that was (of course the price was higher too!) I think my husband even likes it better than his 5 series ;) Too bad though, it's mine! Let me know if anyone has any specific questions.

    R
  • I have been looking into the ML430, and was just wondering if the AWD is full time all wheel drive, front and rear pull equal. Or do they run a 50/50 split on take off and then return back to rear wheel only. Also does this vehicle come with four low option...
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    The good news is that the ML you're looking at has true four-wheel drive, including low-range gearing. All wheels are getting a virtually equal amount of power all the time under normal conditions.

    I think ESP (stability control was introduced with the '99's, so make sure the one you're looking at has it. I also believe that sometime in the middle of the '99 model year there were some improvements made to the interior materials.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,013
    The '06 M-Class is the current showcase ad at Edmunds.com:

    The all-new 2006 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

    Steve, Host

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

  • Hello,

    I am thinking about purchasing a 2000 ML 430 with 56K on it. I have reviewed the service records and ran a carfax and all is well.

    However, I have read several posts that makes me think perhaps I should go with another vehicle.

    Please advise me on what I should be concerned about.
  • mark156mark156 Posts: 1,992
    Lyrickyla, how much are they asking for the unit?

    Things to consider......... how many miles do you drive a year? Can you get an extended warranty?

    I have a 2002 ML500. If you are looking for a used ML, 2002 was the model year that Mercedes updated the ML. The front and rear bumpers were redesigned, center console was redesigned where the power window switches were put in a more convenient location, the A/C controls were updated and rear air vents were added, better materials were used in the interior, etc.

    My local Mercedes dealership is offering new 2005 ML's for $100 over invoice since the new 2006 ML's are now available.

    Mark
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