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



  • yickwoyickwo Posts: 54
    You are correct in that the ML320 may not be cheaper than a RX300 or a MDX (ML320 is definitely cheaper than a Sequoia Ltd. 4X4 or X5 by thousands) but I never claimed that the ML was the cheapest. I did, however, claimed that the ML is a terrific value, and your post proves that point. Great value does not necessarily equals to lowest price. If I wanted it to buy cheap stuff, I could have shopped for a Ford Explorer or something comparable in that price range. However, I value safety, quality and long term livability. I am not trying to knock on the Explorer as we were originally thinking about buying something in the cheap - $25-$30K - range and the 2002 Explorer would have been on the shopping list. For the record, I really like the Explorer Sports Track concept but my wife vetoed that thought….

    As explained in my prior posts, I paid $40,120 plus tax, title and license for a 2001 ML320, Brilliant Silver, M1, M2, M7 (third row seating), Sunroof and Boss/CD changer. Granted that I have not decided whether to get the GPS system (because I don't think, at $1,550, the GPS is worth that much), the ML320, at $40,120, is merely $620 more than the MDX with GPS. (As I am typing, I just remembered 2 more reasons why I did not like the MDX - the ride made me dizzy and there was way too much wind noise.) Again, at $40,120, the ML320 is, at most, $1000 to 1,500 more than a RX300 (depending on what you order with the RX300). A fully loaded Sequoia Ltd. 4X4 is at lease $43,000 or more. Now lets step back and look at this pricing structure and tell me which one would you buy? Still not convinced? Take a look at what the ML320 has to offer: great safety features with lots of MB traditions, great snow/rain vehicle, and according to my wife, it is just about the right size. When you factor in the free maintenance (which is more than a simple oil change) that could cost $400-$1000 (believe me, I know, I also have a 1998 E320 that is without the free maintenance) for 4 years/50K miles for any vehicle, the value of the ML320 is even more compelling.

    Lastly, you are correct about there being another reason besides the money factor that caused me to buy the ML: I grin from ear to ear whenever I drive my vehicles that have a chromed three-pointed star either on the hood or on the front grill.

  • lsl1207lsl1207 Posts: 6
    So far the most troublesome car I've ever had including my Range Rover. 26K miles and needed new brakes, transmission, and nav. system. Dealership I bought from is the worst. Autohaus MB is Pompano, Florida. Next time I'll buy Japanese...
  • scott902scott902 Posts: 46

    Did not know you get all that in a service thanks.
    Surprised to here you got mobil 1.Is that standard mobil 1? on all MLs?
    I had them change my oil at around 3k miles and the must have reset the FSS since I figure the As service is now push up to almost 14k miles? I will call as we get closer with mileage and discuss, would appreciate someone's advise on this.

    I think you also get the air filter cleaner for the A/C...double check your service write up
  • mlx52mlx52 Posts: 72
    What collage do you go to, and are those students who are driving the CL's. I was always under the impression that a student should have a "junker" car for their collage years. I guess that I am just old school!!

  • tariktarik Posts: 344
    Hi there,

    This hybrid has been built by Bertrandt, a pretty innovative German development and engineering firm in the automotive industry, and is called the Bertrand Competency Car. At their homepage, click on "Press", wait an eternity for it to load, then click "Picture Archive", where you will find more pix regarding this pick-up, oops, SportHauler.


  • mlx52mlx52 Posts: 72
    What is wheel and suspension articulation? As you might be able to tell I don't go off-road a lot, in fact the closest thing to off-road for me is a grass field or a gravel road, but I was just curious, as I have seen those phrases on the boards recently.

  • dt77dt77 Posts: 232
    Technically, one doesn't get all that I mentioned.

    But SA said, they give that one time for free and whenever the customer wants. He acutally said he would rotate tires every 5000 miles ?

    hmm.. so he said, since it's free, might as well get it done now. So the ML's still in the shop. Rear brakes need replacing. Almost down to sensor.

    Mobil 1 is standard on the oil changes now.

    Yeah, my dealer reset FSS by accident too when i did unscheduled 5k oil change. In anycase, changing oil at that point should only increase FSS some 500 miles. When I did that oilchange, I took note how much FSS was on there read it was about another 5000 miles. That's why I consulted SA at 10000 miles. and he said now is about right to do Service A. so that's what i'm doing now.

    Scott, I'm thinking you should get Service A done before 12000miles of one year. that is what SA said. Those are common numbers they go by.

    Rear brake pads cost $210. is that normal ? I actually dropped by 30 mins ago to check on it. not that I don't trust my SA .hehe..but I wanted to see hehe..

    Front brakes are good so far cuz they were replaced under warranty some time ago for squealing.

    well, that's that. oh Jamie, a clue: I'm a Trojan.
    A year or two ago , i've actually seen some of my other fellow Trojans come to school in Lab Diablos. YES, college students should get junkier cars..hehe..yeah i know..i'm spoile..NO..'fortunate' is a better word...

    drive safely!
  • rexconde1rexconde1 Posts: 278
    Yeah some of the people out here in Chicago that I know went to school in F. Testarossa!

    Interesting thing, the most expensive car I saw a student driving around was a 740iL, and SL500s.

    I attended a Irish Caholic School (guess) , in a small town called South Bend. But when these people had to go to the store in the winter, guess who had the jeep and who they asked for ride:)

  • ememelememel Posts: 5
    Hey Gang,
    So now that I'm convinced that the ML's operator's manual has a typo, and that I should indeed have snow chains on all 4 wheels I'm unable to locate any for sale now that it's so late in the season. (I've called or been to 8 Pep Boys today :( )

    So I need your advice. I'm heading up to Mammoth Lakes for some skiing in a few weeks, my ML has the OEM General Grabber STs.

    Will the ML likely perform fine without chains?

    Now I do have 1 pair of chains. If it gets dicey, or if the highway patrol forces me, would you put the chains on the front or the rear?
    Would you then turn ESP off?

    I was thinking front, and ESP off, but would appreciate your thoughts.

  • dt77dt77 Posts: 232
    I'm thinking you should have them on all four wheels since it's a 4wd drive. Cuz a 2wd would put chains the the wheels that are driven by engine. Chains are meant to increase traction correct ? so on the other hand .i don't think there would be any harm putting chains on all 4 wheels in a 2WD.=)

    I've only driven in heavy snow once and there are prob more poeple on here that will tell you how the ML fairs in snow. I thought it did very well. Just keep speeds slow hehe...

    hmm to keep ESP on or off ? that's a toughy ...

  • wnielwniel Posts: 97
    The week before last I spent the week in Mammoth skiing. It snowed five of the seven days that I was there and I never put on chains and didn't need them. My ML is a 1998 and I have been driving it to Mammoth for the last three years in the winter to ski, and found that it performs beautifully in the snow. Have also found that for slowing down in the snow use the brakes sparingly and to the extent that you can use the engine to slow you down. That has always worked best for me as sometimes the ABS can start activating and make it difficult to stop in certain conditions. This is not to say that you should down shift to the extent that the car will jerk which could then cause problems of its own.
  • norge003norge003 Posts: 11
    I have finally decided to purchase a ML 320 after many test drives and long hours of research. I truly believe that the ML offers the 'best bang for buck' and am excited to get the process started. However, I have some questions that I am curious about that I hope someone can help me with. I apologize in advance if this post is long.......

    1.) I live in a northern suburb of Detroit and was wondering if anyone out there has dealt with any dealers in this area that they can recommend.
    2.) I have been in the showroom many times and dealt mainly with one salesguy there who has facilitated my test drives. Is it better for me to go in and sit down with this guy in order to start the process or should I call and ask for the 'fleet sales manager' or 'internet manager' in order to email or fax them an offer? I want the 320 with Bose (worth it?), heated seats, M1, M2, sunroof and xenon...msrp $42,835 and invoice $39,883...what would be a fair offer?
    3.) I have a '94 Ford Explorer that according to edmunds would be worth $4,946 for a trade in $5,825 (private) and $7,426 (Dealer retail)....what should I expect to fetch from dealer or should I try my luck elsewhere.
    4.) Is it worth it to wait for the MY 2002 and the minor face and interior adjustments that will accompany? Plus, when will the information for the 2002's be available? And once they are available, how much room will there be to negotiate on the 2001's?

    Any and all help with the above questions would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks in advance....
  • sshowittsshowitt Posts: 137
    Go to autobytel and see what they come up with a price and dealer. As to 2002 v 2001, no one seems to know what minor updates that they will have in 2002. If you wait a little longer the 2001 will be discounted as the 2002 arrive. I got 5K off list on a new leftover 00ML430. Since the only thing I was going to lose was teleaid and the low gear reduction, I figured it was a good deal.
  • bertram60bertram60 Posts: 113
    My wife and i just did a quick 800 mile trip last weekend and ran through some heavy rain and wind and... all of the sudden, there's water on the passanger floor mat. Leaking came from under dash, but by the time i was able to stop (baby sleeping...must make time) the rain had stopped and i didn't have time to look (baby grumpy...must make time). I remember seeing some posts about water leaks, can anyone summarize?

    About the trip.. a little disapointed in the ride of our 00 ML430. Wheelbase could use a little more length as ride was a bit choppy. No problems though... ran straight through for 6 hours each way at 80 plus MPH. Only other complaint is gas tank size and milage - burned a lot of premium fuel - couldn't squeeze more than 290 miles out of a tank. My A8 will give me 650 at those same speeds (4.2 quattro) as well as a better ride, but my wife loves her ML.

    Thanks for the help. Randy
  • drmhfdrmhf Posts: 29
    I'm also in the process of negotiating for a ML320. (See my post #2003) I got an offer from the salesman for $39,500-$371 over invoice, in your case that would be $40,254. I'm going to counter with $39,000 and see what they say. That would be $129 below invoice. There's a $1200 dealer holdback but I don't know if the salesman gets any of that.
    I would like to know how much above invoice others have paid. It would be helpful.
    By the way, Mercedes offered me less than 1/2 what Edmonds said was book value for my 1993 SAAB. Mark
  • yickwoyickwo Posts: 54
    As stated in my prior post, we bought the '01 ML320, Brilliant Sivler with M1, M2, M7, Bose/CD Changer and Sunroof for $40,120 plus tax, title & license. MSRP - $43,200, Edmund's invoice price - $40,222, dealer invoice - $40,622 ($400 ad. fee). I managed to get $502 below the dealer's invoice price (or $102 below the Edmund's invoice price). I also heard from two dealers that MB is cutting back on the '01 ML production to retool for the '02's. Therefore, they represented that by this summer, there may not be as many '01 ML's sitting on the lot for them to provide the deep discounts. I don't know how accurate that representation may be. Good luck with your purchase. BTW, we had no trade-in and did not lease the ML. Therefore, the pricing is pretty straight forward.
  • scott902scott902 Posts: 46
    dt77 thanks;
    Spoke to my dealer today, and they agreed to allow me to bring car in before the FSS since it was reset at around 3500 miles.

    Yes, they agreed they all use Moil 1, most likely due to the AMGs getting it and numerous calls and time wasted explaining why MB waits so long. The perception in my opinion is stronger than the technical data/truth. I think it's true in this case, and less grief for the SA etc.

    Dust filter should be changed as well, since on my 99 ML they changed it on the service A, but then the dealer gave a service credit as incentive to get maintenance done. However manual indicates it's in service B.

    As far as tires, on my ML 99 I was having it done before every 5000 by tire place, However I will wait for around 9100+. In my experience more damage can be done to one's car a tire place, and am fanatical about that kind of stuff. I'd rather buy new tires earlier and upgrade then go thru the wait and torture of some of these places.
  • ometofuometofu Posts: 53
    Avoid at all cost. Drew, what brand is yours on your ML. EGR version uses double adhesive sided tapes to glue it to the outside of the door frame.... i'm not sure it will stay on my ML... Grrrr....
  • ememelememel Posts: 5
    Thanks for the advice DT77 & Wally,
    I'll take it slow and easy.
  • dt77dt77 Posts: 232
    Yer right. They use 3M tape to attach. I didn't know that before I ordered them. I had reservations how durable they'd be..but had them on ML since last may. so far so good no problems of falling off. Even with all those automated car washeds turning brushes !

    Also, I think they actually got more expensive. I paid like 43 bucks for them. now they are almost 60.I don't think I would buy them if I had a ML that wasn't black...The Weathertechs look pretty good as advertised in many car mags...

  • rikarika Posts: 8
    Hi, I purchased ML320 (2001) in January. I'm wondering how I should answer the Survey.....
    I gave them $1000 check as deposit, and pay the rest with cash when the car is ready. Sales man brought a form and asked my name social security # etc,and started to fill in, from my view I can clearly see it said Credit application form. So, I questioned him why he is doing that (since I'm paying cash)He said they run out of DMV paper and just using this form for basic info. But, then he wanted me to sign it.
    I said "NO" but he insisted it was just for DMV.
    well, you know how they make you feel .... at that point..... I'm anxious to get the car and he making me feel pressured..... So ,I did sign it but told him to make sure he give me the copy of it. After all the paper work and hand shake ,I come home double check the papers.... that the only copy I didn't get.
    Went back to dealer and asked to see my folder andsince I did see that paper in the file ,I insisted for explanation to the finance manager. He was rude and ridiculed me and said he have no idea what the sales guy told me or why.
    I personally think it was for the credit check.And since I have excellent credit , I have nothing to hide. But I'm so insulted by it. Why didn't they just tell me ? beside ,Isn't this ileagal?Well, any way I want to say this on the survey but one of the salesman actually told me that future service for my car is depends on how good of survey I give then. Which I take it as a threat...( this is the only MB dealer in this area.......I'm sorry about long post, but does anyone have suggestion ? Do I need to give good survey? in order to recieve good futur service for my car?
  • maabmaab Posts: 41

    If you are really steamed, talk to MBUSA (or is it 1800FORMERCEDES), and explained to them what happened. Including the side comment about furture service. I call them on a regular basis (i.e. road maps, Collection stuff), and these people are very responsive. You know what your rights and DEMAND them. For Pete sake you didn't buy a Yugo!
  • sshowittsshowitt Posts: 137
    Rika, I agree with Maab. How you fill out your survey is up to you. Part of the salesman's commision is based on that survey as well as the dealers total commission. I am always treated with respect at my dealership. I get very upset when I deal with salespeople who treat the paying customer with disrespect. We pay their salary.
  • biker5biker5 Posts: 199
    Can anyone tell me how durable this bug deflector is? I know have one installed on his ML are they using double sided tape also. I need a quick response please because I placed an order from performance but it is back order , if this one is no good I will cancel my order.
  • bob259bob259 Posts: 280
    biker5: I have the EGR bug deflector, side window guards and rear dust deflector and like all of them. I got them from Nord-Leth at

    The service and delivery was great, not to mention they were the lowest price as well.

  • biker5biker5 Posts: 199
    bob259: Thanks for the quick response, and i will check the nordleth site. again thanks,
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Posts: 351
    From one of the M-Class enthusiast sites...

    As soon as the first snow hits the roads my e-mail box fills up with questions like: "I plan on buying a pair of chains for an upcoming ski trip - is it better to mount them front or rear?"
    Short answer: "Don't be foolish - get two pairs!"

    Traction is needed for acceleration and negative acceleration (braking). If the ground does not provide enough traction, chains are recommended to increase traction - however, if you use chains only on one axle you are essentially re-converting your 4WD into a 2WD vehicle.

    Also: For maximum braking and shortest stopping distances chains are mandatory on all four wheels. With chains on only one axle the stopping distance would be twice as long. Imagine the Range Rover (top image) with chains on only one axle.

    Why spend a premium to own a Mercedes-Benz ML320 or ML430 to have the safety of a sophisticated 4WD system and then save $200 for a second pair of chains and throw the advantage of 4WD out of the window?

    Mercedes-Benz strongly recommends the use of two pair of chains - and it would be unwise not to follow their advice.

    If only one axle would be fitted with chains the other pair of tires would frequently try to slip - 4ETS would step in and prevent the chainless tires from slipping and speeding up - so far so good - after many 4ETS interventions in a short period of time the computer would shut down 4ETS (a built in safety to keep the brakes from overheating) - without 4ETS the torque would only go to the tires without traction (the ones without chains) - they will be spinning & since spinning tires will not move your ML - you'll be stuck!

    So, make your life easy - get 4 chains.
  • thor8thor8 Posts: 303
    I went to pick up my ML for service, and I found my salesman at the service desk, we made some chit chat and he told me this fall Mercedes is going to offer the ML with a twin turbo diesel, I wonder if some of the knowledgeable people in this topic have some information on the subject.
  • kenyeekenyee Posts: 738
    I'd be truly surprised if this were true. We've had long debates about this on the m-class mailing list and the conclusion was the diesel fuel here would trash the engine in a few years...
    I'm sure our Euro friends will love the 400CDI though. I'd want one, too...though maybe on an MLG for my next decade car ;-)
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    is on now! (5-6pm Pacific/8-9pm Eastern). Hope to see you there!

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