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



  • noelbongnoelbong Posts: 41
    Drew, is there a way to do a keyword search on the huge info base we have on the ML? I noticed the same questions pop up every now and then, and nobody seems interested to answer the same questions over and over. But with new comers, same questions are inevitable. So, if there is a keyword search feature, it will be useful.
  • ggoudeli1ggoudeli1 Posts: 14
    My 1999 ML320 (28,000 miles) is coming off lease in four months. The lease had a high residual (70%), which made for low pymts but now the buyout is high.

    My two questions are: for those of you who have recently gone through this exercise and wanted to keep your truck, was the residual negotiable or not?

    Second, does it make sense to pony up ~$8,000 to have a new vehicle, with 4-yr maintenance, new features, tires, quieter ride, etc.

    Thanks, George
  • dietmikedietmike Posts: 7
    I too have a "sticky peddle" I ts is annoying and am looking for a solution. Any luck out there???
  • thor3thor3 Posts: 120

    I think you have a fair chance that MBCC (Mercedes Benz Credit Corp.) will negotiate on your 1999 ML 320. It has been done in the past on other models and this would make sense with the changes coming on the 2002 models depreciating the current.

    We Leased a 1992 S-class and at the lease termination they offered us $9000 off the residual to keep it. So we thought this was very fair and purchased it but they gave us the option to continue leasing it at a lower payment if we choose to. I am not suggesting they will do the same to you certainly but it is not unheard of.

    I would definitely think twice about purchasing it unless they give you a significant discount on the current residual figure. The new 2002 models are quite a bit different in that they have moved to a new climate control, new interior features, exterior update... MB considers this a fairly substantial enhancement that will carry them to the next generation of ML/MLV's (2004/2005).

    So, if you leased a 2002 for example and then did the same at the end of the 3 year lease you would have a more up-to-date vehicle with more features and warranty as you suggested in your post. The trade in or market value for a 2002 vs. 1999 would be at least $6000-$10,000 difference. Chances are that MB would negotiate the residual at the end of the 2002 lease although they are much wiser now that the "scarcity" of the ML is now long over. However, there will be the really totally new next generation ML/MLV's at that time and the rest of the older line will depreciate. Also, you might want to keep the 2002 if you want the "body on frame" design which will be replaced by unit construction in the next generation.

    Also, since you will not have maintenance covered at no cost over the next years you will likely spend $500-$1000 per year from this point forward which would be free on the new 2002 model. So the difference of $8,000 is really not there. In-other-words you would be able to sell the 2002 and make the $8000 up and then still have the warranty, maintenance, and new features and body styling.

    Go for the 2002 you won't be disappointed : )

    If you send me your e-mail address I'll send you some 2002 info. (
  • dbonodbono Posts: 8
    If your post was for my benefit, noelbong, thanks! I attempted to execute a keyword search before asking about the Bose 'cuz I suspected it was not new ground for this board. (For similar reasons, I have refrained from asking about the Skyview.) No luck, though. How about it, Drew?
  • sharonsharon Posts: 76
    I hope this doesn't post twice--it didn't show up the first time:

    Hi folks,

    I've been mainly lurking since I purchased my 2000 ML320 back in the winter of 1999. I thought I'd chime in with my thoughts on the vehicle now that it's logged 20,000 miles (and change).

    First, let me say that I love this vehicle. I was scaling down from a Suburban when I purchased it. It handles beautifully and I had not one moment of panic during this past, very snowy east-coast winter. My only problems in the snow were delays from other people who couldn't make it up the hills, thus blocking traffic. The ML handled much better in the snow than either of my two previous cars (Suburban and Volvo 850).

    Reliability has not be an issue for me (hopefully I didn't just jinx myself!). It's been very dependable and has only been to the dealer for scheduled service. My brake-pad-wear warning light came on, so that will be my first unscheduled visit.

    I have 3 boys, so I purchased the 3rd row seats. Here's my honest take on the seats: The seats are very useful and very easy to access & take out BUT when the 3rd row is in use, seating is cramped. With the 2nd row pulled forward there is room for people, but not much room left for their things. I recently drove 5 first-grader's on a field trip that was 2 hours away. There were some grumbles because they didn't have much room to store their back-packs (that were filled with things to keep them busy on a 2-hour trip). My fourth-grader's class really grumbles about the lack of space. Now, keep in mind that these are children that are, for the most part, used to mini-vans. Also, with the 3rd row in use, you have very little trunk room. I ran into a problem when I was carpooling to school. One of the boys had a project to bring and I had a very tough time finding a spot for it.

    That being said, the set-up works for our family. The Suburban was too big and we really don't like minivans. Our kids don't need to be separated--they have their squabbles, but separating them doesn't teach them anything about getting along with other people. So we only use the 3rd row occasionally. If we had 4 children, we would have to buy a different vehicle. My wish is for an ML that is slightly longer.

    I find that the interior is very noisy when on the highway--so much so that I'm always checking to see if a window is open somewhere. I've assumed this is something I have to live with--or are there work-arounds for this?

    I would love to see radio controls on the steering wheel (I'm medium height and I find the radio controls on the right hand side to be an ackward reach.

    So, all in all, we are very pleased with our ML 320. Yes, I don't have as much child room as my friends with mini-vans, but space wasn't my first priority. My first priority was "driveability"--how the car handles... and I've been very pleased.

    I have noticed one thing that doesn't happen with my ML that does happen when I take our Audi S4 out. No young men ever give my ML a second look but they ALWAYS have a comment for the S4. Sadly that proves they are no longer looking at me but I've come to accept that ;-)

  • pooliopoolio Posts: 18
    I too am having trouble with a sticky peddle.Took it to the dealer and was told it is normal.I don't think so.Let me know how you make out with your ml gas peddle sticking.
  • rexconde1rexconde1 Posts: 278
    I just got done playing with my fathers E55... for tonight. My mother and father were with me on the way to the Outlet center.

    It is the first time that I have actually got to play with the voice control. All I can say is that the people that are waiting for the 2002 are in for a treat. The Voice command works...I have a deep voice, and it worked surprisingly well. It worked a lot better than the integrated phone that was in our old 95 S500, which kept screwing up the numbers. The stalk is also a much better Idea than the button function on the S phone. People with the old integrated phone know what I'm talking about.

    While I was on Route 15 I was programing the voice controls. It was really simple. If you have problems you can even ask the lady and whe will help you out, she is rather polite. Unfortunatly I have to erase it all since the car isnt mine. I guess by the time the 2002 model comes out they could make it even better, who knows. I'm not sure if they will change how it works with the MCS.

    It was extremely handy to have. It did screw up a couple times but it wasnt a big deal. I just annunciated a bit more.

    On the way to the Outlet center I even got to play with a CL500 (previous generation) on the road. The roads were clear and no one was really in the way, so we took it up to 115-120 until my father said I was going a little fast so I dropped it back to 85. The CL took off, he had to be doing at least 130. We were still accellerating, but he just kept on accellerating... lost him in a few seconds.

    My dad and I were smiling, fortunatly my mother was asleep.

  • chaddschadds Posts: 11
    I have a '99 ML 430. At about 15k it developed the sticky pedal (gas). The dealer said that lubrication was not effective and he replaced the cable and the module visible in the eng. compartment where it attaches. Back to wonderful. At about 27k it came back. Dealer fixed it and the next day it was back. I don't think they replaced anything as it was not on the ticket as is normally done. I have an appt. to have these parts replaced. Important fact it only begins to occur when ambient temp. is above 50 degrees. It will stick coming back, when you let off, if temp. gets in the 90's. This made for some irritating driving on the Long Island Expressway! The binding seems to be down where the pedal mounts as opposed to the cable or that module. Perhaps this has been upgraded for the newer years and the parts are swappable. Any of you who have this difficulty have '00s or '01s? Good luck to us all.
  • djdjdjdj Posts: 111
    re: your noise comment.

    I think ML's are very quiet. My skyview roof has a little more wind noise than the sunroof version but I still thinks its quiet. Even one of my co-workers who has an Avalon commented on how quiet the sunroofed loaner I had was.

    Maybe have your dealer check the door/window seals to make sure they are all correct.
  • fredtwdfredtwd Posts: 25
    Due to one of those pesky life events I now need to be able to transport my three medium sized dogs (Bearded Collies). I have a 3 month old C320 which I will be selling and I am looking at a 2001 ML-320 as a replacement. I've done some reading across many of the boards and it seems like there is still some quality issues with the M Class. For those of you that own a 2001 M class, what's you opinion? Do you still feel you made the right choice?

    I'm also considering:

    2001 Lexus RX 300
    2001 Acura MDX

    My major requirements are:

    1) Ability to transport three medium sized dogs.
    2) All-wheel (4-wheel) drive.
    3) Navigation. I'd prefer it directly from the manufacturer
    (usually better integration, but given the right car,
    I can go after-market).

    4) Immediate delivery (within the next few weeks).

    I'd also like (but don't require) an integrated phone. My budget is
    the sales proceeds from the C320 (I don't owe anything on it) +
    approx. another 5K (3K if the Nav is not included).

    Thanks for your input.

  • mlx52mlx52 Posts: 72
    I love my M-Class! Other than a few minor rattles in the beginning due to an arm on the glove compartment missing a part the car has been great. As for cargo space this is one of the reasons why I chose it over the X5 and find the space to be more than adequate. As for the four wheel drive system I have never had a car as good as the M-Class in the snow and other traction needs. In the case of the Navigation system there have been mixed reviews of it, however, I find it to be very help full as I hate paper maps and the coverage of the Chicago area is excellent and have not had a problem with it yet.

    Hope this helps,

    2001 ML 320
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    That's funny, because my ML also had a part missing with the (left) glovebox compartment arm and it caused an annoying rattling. Another early build Canadian '00 ML320 that I know of also had the same missing part (it's just a silly little rubber grommet, I think). The dealership took care of that for me, and they added a couple of washers behind the rubber stops so that the glovebox lid now fits very snugly.
  • sharonsharon Posts: 76
    Thanks for the feedback. The car goes to the dealer at the end of the month for brake pad replacement, I'll make sure to have them check the seals.


    I have to say, other than the road noise, I have had absolutely no quality issues with my 2000 ML320 (in over a year and a half I've been to the dealer once, and that was for scheduled maintenance). No squeaks, no radio problems--nada. When we take out our third row we have more than enough space for anything we need to do. I don't have the Navigation option, so I can't comment there (I've been thinking about getting the new portable Garmin unit that "speaks").

    I've been very pleased; it's been a great vehicle!

    Sharon S.
  • shorelineshoreline Posts: 10
    Been researching SUV's for 8 mos or so and just bought '01 ML 320. After reading all these boards, I neurotically drive the vehicle with the radio/cd off, just to listen for rattles, anticipating that all the reliability complaints will come true. Nothing so far. It seems '98 and '99 had the most trouble and MB seems to have addressed all the problems by now. After 400 mi =) I'm still happy. Just wondering - have you test drove the RX300? I was able to eliminate RX300 the minute I sat inside. Too toyota-like and small feeling, front seat too small, only came to middle of my thigh, not nearly as luxurious as ML - cheaper interior. It also looks like an ESW (elevated station wagon): Stand back and cover view of wheels and you'll be shocked! Never got a chance to test drive an MDX but sat in one. It definitely has some attractive qualities - but I'll only share why I eliminated it. Wind noise is apparently unbearable at speeds 55 plus - so be sure to test drive on freeway. Also, MDX is boring looking, has no door ding bumpers, and has left side mirror defect - it fills with water. Also, MDX is (or was) full MSRP. Hope that helps.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    My wife's had her '99 ML320 for exactly 2 years, and loves it. No rattles, no problems, no nothing. There was an early issue with wind noise, and that was fixed and never re-surfaced. I must say I like that car a lot myself. Even with the new additions to the segment, it's still the car she'd go for. Especially now: the new interior is quite appealing.
  • djdjdjdj Posts: 111
    I chose the M class over the RX because of the way it drove, the seat comfort, the way it drove, the more convenient dash and the way it drove.

    Sit in an ML, put down your right hand and it lands right on the gear selector. Do that in an RX and your hand is on its way to two very nice storage compartments. They have thoughtfully moved that nasty shift lever way over under the dash.

    The difference between the cars is the attitude towards driving it. I'm sure the RX is a very good vehicle to own but I found it boring. I think the new C's are great cars but too small for my family and I wanted AWD. If you really like the way the C drives, I think you'll prefer the ML in the long run because the ML drives like a Mercedes. As mentioned above, the RX drives like a Toyota.

    (That said, I don't let our Golden Retreiver in mine. He rides in my wife's van.)
  • tomhocktomhock Posts: 6
    I recently checked the water level in my 1998 ML-320, and was surprised to find the level at, or slightly below, the battery plates. I adds 22oz of distilled water. Apparently my dealer does not include this check in the A or B service. They may be more interested in selling me a new battery when mine fails due to improper maintenance. I don't understand why M-B didn't use a maintenance free battery, especially since checking the water level requires the removal of the "Hold-Down" strap.
  • michml320michml320 Posts: 42
    Has the US pricing been announced yet for 2002?
  • bargamonbargamon Posts: 302
    25k on 00' ml320. Wife and I love it. Hondas are fine for wind noise, but road noise rises into the cabin. Ml is not in same class as RX and MDX. Its much better. It is also priced as so. I would get another without a thought.

    Quality has not been an issue for our vehicle. Pre-'00 had some interior fit and finish issues that have been addressed. Im sure toyota and honda owners are happy with thier choices, but we feel we have gotten our money's worth with our ML.
  • lockheedlockheed Posts: 2
    Does anyone still have the instructions for activating this
  • We are planning to buy a ML with
    Sport package (M6), Bose,
    Luxury Package (M1), Convenicen package (M2)
    heated from seats, 3rd leather row.(M7)
    and power sunroof.

    Invoice comes into: $43,417.
    Reading thousands previous post, and found out sb paid $600 over invoice price.
    Any better deal rather than $600 over invoice? I don't know if I offer $200 over invoice and
    dealer will take it.
    Comments are welcome!
  • alik61alik61 Posts: 2
    My 1999 ML320 looks like a big LEMON from guys of MB. This is the second time for the last six month that it just died in the middle of the highway, putting my family and myself in real danger. The first time fuel pump and third time fuel tank has been replaced. Now it's at Morristown. MB for a whole week and is still their. They try to find out what is wrong with it.
    The second thing is loaned cars, that MB is giving to drive while your car is in their shop for any reason. If you hope it's a MB, you are wrong. I've been given Dodge, Chrysler, Toyta automobiles not a MB. As far as I know they are the only luxury car manufacture that do not respect their own brand or just cheep, cheep, cheep. I am not a proud owner of two MB cars 1999 C230 and 1999 ML320. I've got my lesson. I'll never buy any MB product and try to convince everyone I know to do the same. MB not only make not reliable, but dangerous to be on the road cars.
  • raybearraybear Posts: 1,795
    Last month there was a $1500 dealer incentive, and your margin would have been a great deal-for the dealer. Maybe someone here knows if it's been carried into July, my current issue of "CarDeals" doesn't show it.
  • biker5biker5 Posts: 199
    I had the same problem on MY2000 ML320 for the fast two months my ML died in the Highway while I'm driving in the the legal speed. I agree with you 100% that this is a safety issue. My ML problem was the fuel hoses came off from the fuel short no fuel got in to the engine, so it died in the highway. It was scary when you saw all your warning light came on while you are cruising and the engine has no response. What the dealer did was they replaced my fuel pump and fuel sending unit. I just don't know how long this will last. Sometimes I am too scared to drive it in the highway especially when my family is with me.I am due for another long driving next month...I just crossing my finger that the problem will not come back anymore.
    Did you contact the Client assistance service and complaint about it? That's what I did, and their response was "Take it to the dealer and have it check...They are not so professional to adapt this particular question. E-mail me if you want to talk more.Just click my "Alias"
  • gpvsgpvs Posts: 214
    I think for the loaner cars, those are dealer dependent. I've taken mine to a dealer in MD and they provide ML loaners through Budget rentals. I have also taken it to another dealership in VA and they use Enterprise and provide non-MB vehicles.
  • gpvsgpvs Posts: 214
    I am mounting a Yakima bike rack and was wondering if there's a lot of wind noise from the bars or the rack without using the fairings? TIA
  • blackjavablackjava Posts: 9
    Good question! If you have the round crossbars there is absolutely a lot of wind noise and you will want to get the fairing. I bought the smaller one for about $40 and mounted it just behind the sunroof, and it make a huge difference. The one problem is that the fairing is about 1/2 inch too long on either side to fit in between the rails so I used s Dremel tool to trim it to size. It makes a big difference in the look, though ... makes it look rather sporty I think.
  • blackjavablackjava Posts: 9
    I've been disappointed with the fuel pump going out 3 times on mine. It IS a safety issue, I agree, because one time it happened on the interstate and the vehicle just instantly lost all power and power assist for the steering and brakes. However, I have been very happy with my local dealer's attempts to fix it. Each time they had it repaired the same day. Also, the first time it went out during a vacation and MB reimbursed me 100% for over $800 of expenses and flat-bedded it to my local dealer 250 miles away! I also love the way it looks and am very happy with the way it drives. The only other SUV I'd consider would be the Acura MDX.
  • gpvsgpvs Posts: 214
    Thanks, blackjava.

    I was curious why you installed the fairings behind the sunroof and not infront? Did the rack interfere with the sunroof tilting? Was there more noise with the fairings in front of the sunroof as oppose to behind it?
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