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



  • neicey59neicey59 Posts: 47
    I was once the dis-satisfied owner of a 2001 ML320, I won't go into details, but let me say this, my grandson's hotwheels collection ran better, and were more dependable. Every forum (mbworld, mbnz, and edmunds) lists the problems with this vehicle which has contributed to it's low resale.

    Also, the fact that the ML line is the only line built in the USA, and in a state not known for it's high level of technological intellect (Alabama)it's no wonder the resale is horrible.

    I got more than a fair price, as the dealer who sold it to me purchased it back from me (factory assisted deal which I will refrain from discussing) Anyway, good luck selling the is NOT a true Mercedes in quality nor dependability.

    I now drive a E320, and my faith is restored in Mercedes Benz!

    ps: yes, Steve...I will be moving over to the sedan boards,

  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    First, you're too young to be a grandmother.

    Second, I guess you've never heard of or been to Huntsville (look for the Saturn 5's lying on the ground - they're hard to miss).

    Now, I grew up in Mississippi, so I'm loathe to defend Alabama, but jeeze :-). I won't even start on the foundry stuff in B'ham that cranked up a 100 years ago that was ahead of its time.

    Enjoy your new ride, and tell Pat I said "hello."

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  • mark156mark156 Posts: 2,006
    2010 Land Rover LR4, 2013 Honda CR-V, 2009 Bentley GTC, 1990 MB 500SL, 2001 MB S500, 2007 Lincoln TC, 1964 RR Silver Cloud III, 1995 MB E320 Cab., 2015 Prevost Liberty Coach
  • 1wiseguy1wiseguy Posts: 120
    Thank you to all who offered suggestions. I managed to program the system and it now works on my 2 garage doors, giving me a third button to program the garage door at my in-laws' house.
  • jodi12jodi12 Posts: 1
    I have 3,000 miles on my MB 320 and I am getting little tiny chips down to the undercoat (which is white). The suv is dark blue.
  • maneesh1maneesh1 Posts: 39
    I'm looking once again to buy a 2002 ML320. ANyone know of any incentives going on. Carsdirect has it for 1k over invoice. I also would like to know 2 things...

    1. Can you get xenon lights without the sports package?
    2. How is the key to the 320 like? Is it a metal key, or does it use infra-red?

    I'm still debating between this and the MDX. I'm hoping the Honda pilot will drive down the price of the MDX.
  • orlandorland Posts: 9
    The xenon headlights are a stand alone option which costs $875 and includes head lamp washers. Please be aware that fewer than 5% of MLs have this option, so your vehicle choice may be limited.

    The metal key rotates out of the plastic FOB--very similar to VW keys.
  • mercimemercime Posts: 2
    I'm ready to begin searching for a replacement to a trusty Toyota van that has been in the family for 14 years. It has been a fairly reliable vehicle, but given its age and lack of any safety features other than seat belts, I'd say that its time has come to be replaced.

    I don't trade cars frequently, as you can see from the age of the Toyota, so I hope to have my next vehicle for many years to come.

    I have always wanted a Mercedes. Not so much for the prestige, but for its reputation for fine engineering and saftey. So I am now at a time in life where owning a MB is a possibility rather than just fantasy.

    I've visited the local MB dealership on a few occaisions and did a short test drive with 2 vehicles. I am considering one of 3 vehicles:

    1. ML320 : Since I have a van now, I am accustomed to driving a "high" vehicle. I like the ability to look out over traffic. It is also easier to get in and out as compared to a sedan. I am also accustomed to plenty of storage and I like the room that an SUV provides. The Toyota gets about 25mpg (4 cylinder)so 15-19mpg will take a little getting used to...
    I have test driven a 2001. I thought the ride was OK.

    2. C-320 Wagon : It looks sharp! It offers easy storage. I would wait for the 4-Matic that I believe is due later this year. It is not a high profile and it is not a truck so I would expect a smoother ride. I have not test driven a C-Class. I have seen a few negative comments about the C over on the sedan board. I guess the bugs are still be worked out.

    3. E-320 4Matic Sedan: I test drove this car. It was about the best driving car I've experienced.
    Obviously this car is not meant for carrying a lot of cargo like an SUV. I'm afraid if I go with this choice, that I will regret not having the cargo room later on. The E-320 Wagon is out of my comfort range price wise to consider. The E320 sedan is about as high as I'd go.

    I welcome any and all of your opinions and information that you can provide to help me in the decision process.
  • procterprocter Posts: 19
    I bought a '99 ML 320 new in late 1999. I drive it in the snow and really believe it has one of the best and safest traction systems for street/road driving (for the ordinary person.) I don't know if the same traction system is used on the 4-matic but I think it is.

    If you want to get out of a bind in deep snow the ML is not the best. Get a Toyota 4 Runner type with locking differentials and transfer case or the Jeep Quadra Track. The Jeep has a rather bad maintenance history base on my shopping in 1999.

    For maintenance the ML has not been great. I compare it to my '94 Mercury Sable and it is about the same. My son's '87 Toyota 4 Runner was the best I ever owned in this department.

    The '94 Mercury Sable has much better creature features and cost 1/2 the Mercedes. There are postings above about my wishlist in this departement.

    My conclusion: I'm not unhappy w/ the ML but then again I probably will try another Toyota in 10 years when I get my next car.
  • Just bought my ML last month and tried to attach my bike rack this weekend but had some trouble. There seem to be very few 'seams' for a bike rack clip - especially on top. The only place I could determine for my top clips was on the seam with the glass panel and that just doesnt seem safe. Anyone have a suggestion on this one??
  • wnielwniel Posts: 97
    I have been driving Mercedes vehicles for the last fifteen years and have had very good service from them. I currently own a 1998 ML320 and a 2000 E430. My ML has had all of the typical problems that have been documented on this list and the dealership has not balked at fixing any of them. I like my ML very much after having gone through the vehicle with a fine tooth comb fixing the problems as I'm very picky, the truck now doesn't have any rattles or squeeks but it definitely did when it was new. The great thing one has going for an ML is the Mercedes drive train that is second to none and one should easily get 200K plus miles from it given decent maintenance. My bother has a four year old Toyota 4 Runner that he bought new and although it is a good vehicle, it is a very rough riding truck and I wouldn't want one if I was going to do much distance driving in it as on a trip it will wear you out. I have never had any difficulty with the engine, transmission, differential with any of my Mercedes and have seen them all go over 200K miles.
    Just my opinion.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    2002 Mercedes-Benz ML320

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  • orlandorland Posts: 9
    Is it not how a car drives far more important than whether some "creature comforts" are standard or available at an extra cost? Why would you not want fresh air most of the time-- even in LA, which I visit several times a year? My worst mileage on a 2002 ML320 driving in the Bay Area has been about 15 mpg and the best has been 20.4.

    The ML, as every other vehicle, is far from perfect, but why dwell on such trivial matters?
  • alg70alg70 Posts: 2
    Any positive experiences in Essex county?
  • billyttbillytt Posts: 14
    I agree with orland that the reviewer seems to have spent an inordinate amount of time on recirculation. I have used recirculation only a handful of times, primarily to speed up cooling or when passing through an area with a foul odor. I appreciate the 30 minute timer as it eliminates having to remember to manually turn it off.

    The reviewer is wrong about not having automatic door locks. My 2002 ML320 has that feature and works flawlessly. While not inabled by default, turning it on is described in the owners manual and, if I recall, was quite easy.

    While the CD changer in the back is inconvenient, there is an in-dash single CD dealer-installed accessory that fits behind the MCS panel just below the cassette (not the Navigation System unit.) If I recall correctly, it was pretty cheap by MB standards ($395 list, but deeply discountable depending on your negotiating prowess.)

    Finally, I do not know how the reviewer drove, but I have averaged 19.8 mpg over the entire 14,000 miles that I have put on my ML, mostly in-town (albeit, not stop-and-stop as in LA.)
  • kullenbergkullenberg Posts: 283
    I've been following some posts on an Acura MDX board (not Edmunds; Steve; can I put in the address of that board, or is that against the rules?) This guy had a camshaft bearing seize, at 5000 miles. Acura told him that the best they would do was repair the engine, take it or leave it; no question of a new car or even new eng, which by the way was cheaper than the repair in the end. They gave him a Durango after he told them he was writting them up on the forum. I complained of a squealing noise in my ML430, and before they had finished they had replaced both front wheel bearings, and the transfer case, and given me a new E class to drive. That's how a luxury brand should treat the customer I think it's against the rules to say who my dealer was, but it was in Hickory, NC
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    We don't mind you naming your dealer - we do frown on naming competing car forums, even though we realize that there are lots of car specific enthusiast sites out there (google, anyone?). Maybe they'll start buying ad space like Tire Rack or Carfax :-)

    Thanks for asking!

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  • sam_mlsam_ml Posts: 1
    Hi everybody. I am new member about to buy my first Mercedes a ML 500 2002.

    I have priced following
    Brilliant Silver Metallic/ Charcoal Int.
    168 Bose sound Sys. with changer
    172 Xenon Head lamps.
    M3 Convenience package
    M5 Sunroof package
    Navigation CD collection.

    The lease offered was $839 a month.

    They will pay me my $536 current lease payment which I have to pay for early termination of the lease.(Which will be built into the new ones price I guess)

    I am about to sign for it. Can anybody advise on the price. Dealership is in NJ. I live in NY.

  • c_j_gordonc_j_gordon Posts: 19
    Where online can I buy a trailer wiring harness and relay for my 99 ML 320? The original one has rotted away and dealer refuses to swap even though I though it would be under warranty. Thanks in advance!
  • maneesh1maneesh1 Posts: 39
    Hi all:

    I've posted before asking for your assistance in making the decision but have more questions.

    For one thing, someone mentioned the dealer installed single CD.. does anyone have it - how good is it? Also, and most importantly, over in the MDX townhall, owners have made mods by adding DVD, TV tuner, rear view mirror and having it displayed on the MCS screen... Has anyone done this? Is it possible? Please share your thoughts and experiences.

  • mercaramercara Posts: 291
    I finally had my ML shipped to London. I don't find it a problem driving a US spec vehicle here in UK. I drove to Oxford last weekend. It is great to be able to do 90+ MPH on the Motorway. Ofcourse one must watch out for the Speed Cameras. It is far more fun than doing 65 MPH on the NJ Tpke.

    My first shocker was when I put in a full tank of gas. Cost me 50 Pounds. We really have it good on the US.

  • kullenbergkullenberg Posts: 283
    Before you make your decision, you would do well to look at some of the Acura MDX forums (other than Edmunds, although Edmunds is a very good one. Use Google and ask for Acura MDX forums. ) On one board a guy describes how he had a cam shaft bearing freeze up and blew the engine, at 5000 miles. If that weren't bad enough, when he tried to get Acura to replace the car, they told him the best they would do was rebuild the damaged engine; take it or leave it. Great treatment from a "luxury" brand, wouldn't you say? As I've described on this board, my dealer replaced a transfer case, in my ML430, unasked, while in the process of diagnosing a noise, and gave me a new E class while they had the car!
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    Acura corporate is significantly less responsive than MB corporate. Usually (but not always), if you make enough calls to MB corporate, you can get some action. It takes a lot more work to get something out of Acura corporate. Since the 5th-year ML still struggles to achieve even average quality (JD Power) and there are plenty of owners who have to visit their dealers repeatedly to fix issues, having that MB corporate support as a backup is important. With the MDX, you have a significantly lower statistical risk of issues, but if you have to go beyond your dealer, you might get less support unless you really push them.
  • kiiwiikiiwii Posts: 318
    It's interesting to know that. Keep us updated. I heard European MLs have thinner tires to reduce rolling resistance. Since gas price is so much higher there, thinner tires are used to reduce fuel consumption. I'm not sure if that's true. You may want to look into that when it's time to get new tires.
  • djdjdjdj Posts: 111
    I have just the single CD player in my 2000 ML320.
    It sounds fine. Not as nice as a multi-disc player but much more convenient than dealing with a player in rear corner.

    Had it replaced once already. It started to miss the beginning of the song. On some CD's more than others. It would start anywhere from 10 seconds to 1:30 into the song. It knew where it was in the song but didn't understand it missed the beginning.

    I mentioned it once and the dealer replaced the unit without a hassle.
  • joseph40joseph40 Posts: 17
    I have a 1999 ML 320. Over the weekend my sunroof stuck in the open position. Today my dealer said that my sunroof frame had "worn out" and needed to be replaced, and that the cost ($1600) is not covered by the extended warranty.

    The dealer went on to claim that this occurs from "normal wear and tear" on the sunroof. My problem with this explanation is that the vehicle is less than 3 years old, and we can count the number of times we have actually opened the sunroof.

    Has anyone else had this problem? Please help.
  • ohloneohlone Posts: 55
    Our Y2K ML320 went in for it's 21k mile check up recently and one item they replaced was the motor for the sunroof. I thought it might be a little slow, but I had no idea it needed replacing. It was done at no cost to me. We also got new shocks, which came as a surprise as well.

    I think the response you got back from MBZ is pretty lame. And it also goes on to support my feeling that extended warranties are a huge rip off.

    best of luck
  • c_j_gordonc_j_gordon Posts: 19
    Yes, my '99 sunroof is falling to pieces and I rarely use it. The more the dealer works on it, the worse it gets. The motor barely turns.
  • birgerbirger Posts: 80

    It's partly true. Until MY 2002, the base tire dimension for non-North American ML 230, 270 and 320 was a rather skinny 225/75-16, with upgrades possible towards "your" 265/65-16 or 275/55-17 - or even an ML55 AMG-like 285/50-18 option. However, few ML's were seen around withe the basic tires, as they look downright silly ;-)

    Since MY 2002, the basic tire size is 255/60-17, with upgrades to 275/55-17 and 285/50-18.

    IMHO, the difference in fuel consumption is not significant - the tall, wide and heavy body plays a much bigger role (as does the driver's right foot).

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