1999 Mercedes-Benz ML430 First Drive

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,237
edited May 2015 in Mercedes-Benz

image1999 Mercedes-Benz ML430 First Drive

When we pitted the 1998 Mercedes-Benz ML320 against the 1998 Land Rover Discovery on an off-road mission last spring, we found that on smooth stretches, the poor sloth driving the Discovery couldn't keep up with the big, bad V6 engine humming lazily under the hood of the sparkly-green Mercedes.

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  • prius2013prius2013 Member Posts: 1
    We bought our ML320 new in June 1999, and after 16 years and 125,000 miles it looks as good and runs almost as well as the day we bought it. The longevity of this vehicle proves its Mercedes DNA. Every part of the interior today looks good enough to pass for almost-new, even the cup-holders and other minor parts that by now are crumbling on lesser vehicles. The leather remains supple and intact, the headliner perfect, carpeting crisp, wood grain panels sharp--you name it. This car has endured all of its years outdoors—first for eight broiling years on the Gulf Coast, followed by four years of snow, salt and cold in New England, then back to the Southeast for another four years in the oven. This year we freshened the exterior, repainting failing paint on the roof rack and chipped paint on the hood, and straightening out a minor dent or two. Only buffing was necessary for most of the body to restore the original paint luster, still solid and glossy. We celebrated the ML’s sixteenth birthday by replacing the clouded and yellowed headlight assemblies--which still worked well enough—with brilliant new ones. The car now passes for—and runs—like new.

    The performance off road and on is excellent, and it sure-footed and stable on mud, snow or ice. It's a good car both in town and on the highway.

    Like most ML’s, we experienced an unacceptable number of minor irritating problems in the first few years—badly managed by the local dealer—but after that, the car became the low-maintenance, satisfying and apparently timeless automobile we enjoy today.
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