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



  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Ten Phillips head screws for the grill, IIRC :-)
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    The brochures haven't always been the most accurate source of information as far as minor details go. There have been a few small mistakes in the past. FWIW, I have not seen any pictures which have the wood trim around the '02's rear window switches.

    As for the wooden sliding cover for the new centre cupholder, it would've been a nice touch, but I was hardly surprised considering the price of the vehicle and the minor price increment for '02. MBzs that did have these covers were almost double the price, if not more (i.e. S-class).

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  • kenyeekenyee Posts: 738
    The 2000 model did have some changes because the front catchall mats did not fit very well since they were done for the 1998/1999 models, but the IIHS never retested, so I doubt they'll both retesting the 2002.
    William, you should see the X5 pic Drew has where it rolled. Roof caved in on one side ;-)
  • Drew since you mentioned the CD changer..I'm curious to know b/c we ordered the Bose system on our 02 ML320 which comes with a 6 disc changer. Can you still add the in-dash single CD and use both changer and single or can you add the in-dash and only use one or the other. My wife really prefers the in-dash but we both wanted the upgraded sound system.

    So I'm thinking that if I can add the in-dash that might make her happy. She likes the convenience of changing a disk when she wants to.

    Believe it or not my salesman tried to tell me that the in-dash disk only came with the navi system but I showed him the brochure where is clearly states the option for the base system. He finally backed off

  • pchiupchiu Posts: 72
    To Drew:
    Can you confirm that in the crash photos, the seats that hanging out is not the actual 3rd row seat, but the 2nd row seat ? My real concern is, what if, if my 2 kids were in the 3rd seats during the accident.
  • pchiu-
    In the picture it looks like it is the 2nd row seats to me. Look at the bottom split in it. Also look at the backs of them. They are not the same as the picture in post #4493.

    Looks like it was a pretty bad hit to me.
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    Drew and Ken: Thanks. Interesting about the 2000 structural changes. I know MB hasn't asked IIHS for retest; could that be interpreted that MB doesn't think it would help with the test, otherwise they'd go through the trouble (expense?) of requesting another test? Doesn't seem to me that MB would easily give up safety bragging rights.

    X5 roof cave-in? Ugh!
  • gustavmgustavm Posts: 43
    Re message #4507

    <<Can you still add the in-dash single CD and use both changer and single or can you add the in-dash and only use one or the other.>>


    My dealer also insisted that you could not have both. After analyzing the brochure and looking at the list of options on the website, it became clear that it is feasible. Another salesman at the dealership confirmed this.

    One can have the 6-CD changer AND the in-dash CD player added as an option. However, once you have opted for the single in-dash, you cannot add the navigation system. Conversely, if you have the 6-CD changer and the NAV system, you CANNOT have the single in-dash CD player. You can however use the NAV system to listen to one CD at a time, assuming you are not using the NAV system, of course.

    -- Gustav
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Remember that the ''98 and '99 models had different looking 3rd row seats than the '00s. However, you are corrected, the salvage yard unbolted the right most rear seats and put them in the cargo area for some reason.

    Yes, you can use both the in-dash CD player + the CD changer, at least for the '00s and '01s. It appears as a 7th disc, I believe. The GPS system has an in-dash CD reader for the map CDs, which is why you can't have both the in-dash CD player + the GPS module installed together.
  • I have yet to see any pricing with the Nav system for the ML320. Is it a standard option now? If not, I'm hoping to use it to negotiate the price I'll pay you MSRP Mr. Dealer, provided you throw in nav system + roof rack....
  • kenyeekenyee Posts: 738
    I have no idea how they decide. I suspect if the IIHS finds a really crappy result, they would submit a new one; that seems like the pattern from all the crash reports this year. I suspect that MB thinks it is good enough. They're still in the top. What doesn't show up in their test is that MB put in some reinforcements in the 1999.5 model they tested based on a Euro test of a 1999 model, but that's just trivia ;-)
    The caved in X5 roof illustrates how real-life isn't always the same as IIHS testing. That's why it was interesting to watch the ML real-life crash results for a few years (thanks to Drew's nearby junkyard ;-). I wish we had more MDX crashes...I'm still curious how well it does (though that guy on acuramdx hitting an 18 wheeler and totalling it seems to indicate it is fine).

    The 2001 Nav was $1500. The one before that was $2K because 2001 added the GPS antenna as standard equipment. I suspect no change in pricing. Something is different w/ the MY2002 Nav though since the MY2001 Nav doesn't work in a MY2002...
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    If I was to speculate based on what I've seen, the 3rd row occupants might be injured in that accident, but they most likely wouldn't have been fatal injuries due to the way the frame buckled upward and redirected energy downwards as well. In cases of severe collisions, MB has said that the structure is designed not only to route crash energy through the vehicle, but also around the sides and the roof.

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  • rjlimrjlim Posts: 30
    Has anyone replaced their stock steering wheel, whether from ML320 or ML430 with the wood steering wheel by themself? Is it that hard? or the dealer has to install it?
  • fredtwdfredtwd Posts: 25
    I got 2002 Accessory prices off the mbusa web site. It looks like the Navigation is $1,690.

    To get to these prices you have to go to:

    And select 'Build Your Own'. After selecting colors and options, it brings

    you to an accessory page.


  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    On third row safety: I think the M-class in the photo did well. I think a really heavy hit is going to transfer some amount of force to third-row seat occupants, but realistically, the M-class is a mid-sized vehicle, not a bus. There isn't room to put a lot more structure behind the third-row.

    Ken: Yep, IIHS doesn't predict roof cave-ins, just like the offset-front test won't predict side impact safety. All we have are the photos, good ones too.

    But Ken, think about how you wrote "I wish we had more MDX crashes"! Just as we're about to go on a weekend trip over the mountain passes again ...
  • kenyeekenyee Posts: 738
    Have a safe trip. :-)
  • The picture of the crashed is defintely not the 3rd row seat. I have the 3rd row seat on my 99ML and it is just like the 00 version dudes.
  • Taken out the Fire/Rescue Convention in New Orleans last weekend. Look at those 0-50 times on the screen above the unit.


  • I am sure others here will disagree with me on this, but my advice is don't waste your money on the nav system if it hasn't been improved since the '00 model. I have it in my 430 and am very disappointed in it's performance. If you are in a large metropolitan area, it's data base is good, but the routing sucks. You can't trust it for routing unless you already know how to get there, it will rarely take you on the best route. And if you are not in a large city, it's data base on points of interest, retaurants, etc is not good. I can go on and on about it's limitations, but will stop here. Go buy a Street Pilot or something like it if you want a good nav system.

    I've said it here before, Mercedes should be ashamed of putting out a nav product as lame as what is in my '00 430. I'm not putting down my M class by saying this, because I love it, but the nav system leaves a lot to be desired.
  • Is it true that they are no longer making the sky view tops and option? I went the the MBUSA web site and under options for the 320 and 500, its not listed. Anybody heard anything?
  • Adam86: Skyview was elminated in '02 model year because it conflicted with the new roof mounted side curtain air bags. So the 2001 model year will be last for it unless they can come up with a different design.
  • Does anyone have any opinions on the Mercedes Benz Club of America?

    Are there any real benefits? What can I expect?

    As a soon-to-be first-time MB owner I was just curious to know if I should join.

  • Has everybody experienced rear brake pads being worn out at 25,000 miles? The dealer says this is typical for 98-00 M class'. The fronts on my '00 430 look like they will go another 30k or so, but the rear were gone. I have heard there was a change made on the 01 model that helped this. I wonder if this is a problem in the traction system or the ABS or if the rear are just undersized in comparison to the front? (I'll post this in the issues thread also.)

    Also, I have had a bad auxiliary cooling fan, a bad brake light switch, a bad driver-side window switch, and two bad console covers (in addition to a bad fuel pump which I mentioned in a post a month or so ago). Anybody else have these problems?

    Although these are minor problems, it takes time to get to the dealer and get them addressed. In each case, the dealer knew exactly what the problem was when I called to set up the appointment, so these must not be rare. I wonder what other nagging problems I might expect? I like the ML other than these problems and the nav system.
  • wnielwniel Posts: 97
    I still have the original rear brakes on my 98 ML with 47,000 miles on them. Replaced the front at around 30,000.
  • Finally ended my car search today, plopping down a deposit on a 2002 ML320, Alabaster white with Java and M1,M2,M5,M7, heated seats, xenon, and the Bose system.

    All the haggling I did at the three dealers I visited, I opted for the $43k quote I got from my local dealer (managed $500 less about 50 miles away from my house, but figured it wasn't worth the extra drive to service, and I like to service where I buy).

    Also - my local dealer was very good - no tough sale, no harsh negotiations. Just a couple of volleys back and forth. Ended up going for $1800 under MSRP.

    Only problem with the transaction - I have to wait until November to drive this puppy. It's being built in October (seen those MLB commercials yet, with the factory workers screwing up 'cuz they're watching baseball in October? Hope it's not that way in Alabama).

    Quick questions for the group:

    1) Best place to buy MB parts/add-ons online?

    I found - anyplace better? I'm thinking front and rear bumper bars, and the passenger and cargo tray all weather mats.

    2) Recommended leather treatment?

    I usually use Lexol - anything better? I got Java, with a newborn on the way (I know; -idiot-). Couldn't resist it.

    3) MB car seat.

    Anyone have one? Truth be told, the safety of the MB killed my initial MDX desires. Although I thought the ride was superior in the MDX, I couldn't keep thinking about the lack of ESP, and the thought of my family swerving into oncoming traffic wasn't fun. I feel safer with them in a MB, several times over.

    The car seat is my next target, *IF* it's worthwhile. Otherwise, maybe another LATCH/ISOFIX compliant seat.

    Thanks to all who assisted in helping me make what I think and hope to be the right vehicle decision,

  • Congrats on your ML!

    Where did you ordered your ML? I live in NJ. The best offer I have so far is $1000 below MSRP. Hope you don't mind releasing your dealer info.

    Thanks in advance.
  • which dealership gave u the $1000 below MSRP. I am interesting in getting a 2002 ML320 too.

  • Well I picked up my silver/black ML320 a few days ago. Got about 200 miles on it so far. I got the M1, M5, M7, heated seats, xenon headlamps, in dash CD, waiting for the DVD entertainment system which should be in next week. So far perfect, no problems and love the way it drives. My oldest son(6) sits in the third row and has been climbing in through the back which is the way he wants to do it. We put one seat down and leave one up. I have two baby seats in the middle row so it works better that way for now.
    I have a few suggestions that will make this car much much better:
    1)radio controls in the steering wheel. They are very cumbersome and small and not easy to use when driving.
    2)compartment for sunglasses. There isn't much area to put it so I suggest offer a smoking package and in the place of the front ashtray, put the sunglass compartment there or if someone orders the smoking package, they can put the ashtray as it is now.
    3)Put the controls for cruise control in the steering wheel. I'm trying to clean up the steering wheel area a bit as there are 3 control stalks that come out.
    Well those are my takes on it. I would highly recommend an '02 and if the deal you are getting on an '01 isn't absolutely phenomenal, go for the '02. I'm sure in years to come it will be seen as a major overhaul year so may hold it's value slightly better? Who knows. It's all good just get one!
  • Cool ride... I know the CFR motto...

    Best pick for safety, for sure (ML)

    Email me directly - I know Fire Rescue...
  • mchwemchwe Posts: 23
    can anyone tell me about the 3rd row seat?

    1. do they face forward or back?
    2. do you get in from the tailgate or the rear doors?

    3. how long does it take to deploy and stow them? is it easy to do?
    4. can you deploy one at a time, and leave one up for the sake of extra storage?

    thanks in advance!
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