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



  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    A minivan remains the most practical solution if you have to carry many people. Otherwise, you'll have to settle for a minivan or a full-size SUV. Here's what others have done... remove one 3rd row seat (usually the driver's side) and use the rest. From what I have read, there should be enough room for the child seats + the adults + the cargo; there are MB metal dividers that you can purchase to seperate the cargo from the 3rd row passenger. There is also some space, enough for a couple of duffle bags, behind the 3rd row..It won't be the most comfortable for the rear seated adults, but I'm assuming that you don't have to do this on a daily basis (4 adults). You can purchase a rooftop rocket box or a lockable hitch mounted cargo box for any additional "stuff".

    Good luck!

    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • Thanks for the info.
  • kenyeekenyee Posts: 738
    If you regularly need that many, you have to get a Sequioa/LC or minivan.

    A friend made a similiar decision recently. This time, it was his WIFE who didn't want the minivan (she had major yuck problems w/ the image and wanted a rugged LC; picture a woman who is 5' tall saying this ;-) They regularly drive the kids and parents around. Ended up w/ an Odyssey w/ add-on leather (the concession the friend made to keep his wife happy). They like being able to walk between the seats and reconfigure the chairs.

    Maybe your wife will let you get an S2000 to compensate for driving the minivan most of the time ;-)
  • Does anyone have the invoice prices for the 2002 ML320s, and common options? I've seen the MSRP discussion and links here, but the reference section doesn't list the '02s yet. The discussions of $xxx above invoice makes me think someone has it. Thanks!
  • #4562 Proteus- check out the Sequoia. I've had mine for 10 months now and absolutely love it. I drive it everyday and I've ordered my wife an '02 ML320.

    She had a minivan and hated it. She made me drive it and I hated it too. Very nerdy. I traded it for a Sequoia and couldn't be happier.

    The ML is great but the room is an issue that I can understand. I have 2 little one's myself (34 mths and 8 mths). We will use the ML for our family outings and Sequoia for friends and family.

    #4567 Dave01- I haven't received the official invoice prices only the MSRP. I took the usual MB markup and figured them out myself. These are a pretty good "guess-timate" if you will.

    I looked at last years prices and the 02's that have been released for the other models. I feel pretty confident in these numbers. It's about a 7.52% markup I believe.

    2002 ML PRICES
    Base $33,761 $36,300
    Brilliant Silver (744) $460 $495
    Ash Leather (268) $- $-
    Bose (168) $1,116 $1,200
    Parktronic (220) $944 $1,015
    Xenon (172) $814 $875
    Heated Seats (873) $590 $635
    M1 Luxury (107) $1,520 $1,635
    M2 Convenience (102) $1,200 $1,275
    M3 (ML 500 Conv) (103) $744 $800
    M5 Sunroof (105) $1,186 $1,295
    M6 Sport (772) $3,116 $3,350
    M7 3rd row seats (152) $1,097 $1,180
    Destination $645 $645
  • Just go to - select 'build a car', enter your zip code, and select Mercedes-M-class-2002...

    You'll get to an interactive page, which will create a printable list of your selected options, and their respective MSRP and invoice prices.

    I managed about $1k over invoice armed with this sheet, after visits/phone calls to four NYC area dealers.

    Good luck,


  • tariktarik Posts: 344
    In yesterday's top ten list (top ten signs you've had a bad summer,, the #2 pick reads "You finally visit the Hamptons and you wind up under a Mercedes SUV".

    Does this refer to the Lizzy Whatever incident in NYC, or am I missing something?

    Always curious Tarik

  • kenyeekenyee Posts: 738
    Yes, it does.
    Hope she gets a good caning for it :-)
  • Thanks John. I didn't realize that KBB had updated their web site yet. Edmund's still doesn't have theirs updated neither does

    I was pretty close on some of those invoice prices.
  • the spreadsheet you sent me was pretty much where I got (I did a bit better, but you had a metallic paint, which made it a wash).

    My question - what's up with M-class owners? Are they not the mailing list/discussion group types?

    I've been looking for a high-traffic site - appears there isn't one. I've posted questions on the M-class mailing list, the forums here and at and - and just keep seeing the same 4 names.

    Is it a cultural thing or am I missing a good site?
  • Good question. Sometimes this site is in the Top 10 for TownHall but lately it hasn't been.

    When I posted the link to my pictures here last week. Within 2 hours I had 500 hits. As of this morning I have had 13,706 hits. Folks are reading but just don't write much.
  • kenyeekenyee Posts: 738
    You have to remember that a good number of these folks are old timers who have been on since the 1998 model. On the m-class mailing list, there are 900+ members. <5% are consistent contributors. There was a lot more traffic in the 1998/1999 days when the ML had problems galore; people tend to like griping and screaming for help rather than contributing (it's human nature...the same is true at companies where people tend to hoard information instead of sharing). More are just enjoying their MLs now.

    You're the new blood now. Contribute. Show us what you've done to personalize your ML or something we didn't know about the 2002 model. Convince some of the old timers to upgrade :-)
  • Hi,

    it's correct, there has been less traffic on the ML-related sites lately. Hopefully this is a sign that the truck is less problem-ridden!

    Ken - of course I'd like to "upgrade" my '01 270 CDI to a '02/'03 400 CDI, but when I see what it comes to in way of $$$ (or rather €€€ = euros), I tend to put the idea on the back burner ;-) And believe me, the 163 ponies in the 270 CDI seem to come from a good stable - work hard, eat little!

    A Bi-Xenon upgrade does tempt me, however. Could I ask people that have the new Bi-Xenons and may even have known the precedent models to check whether such an upgrade might be feasible? (mechanical fitting as well as electrical connections).

    If I've understood the Bi-Xenon principle correctly, the outboard projector lenses provide both hi and low beams. Are the inboard reflectors then only used as a supplementary hi beam/flash-to-pass light? This puzzles me, and the '02 models are not due here for some weeks or months yet, so if anyone could clear me up on that, I'd be greatful.

    Cheers from cool Luxyland,

  • Birger: I'll be glad to post that info once I get my ML. The dealers around here don't have the xenons put on unless they are requested which isn't that often for some reason. Maybe the cost.

    Anyway when I see one I'll pass along the info.
  • I don't get my car until NOVEMBER!

    That's why I'm struggling with the information - like what kind of navigation system this puppy has (I didn't order it; the wife has said it would make a good first father's day gift, but I don't know how much I'd like it, since I haven't seen it yet).

    The best I've been able to do thus far is get copies of catalogs from just about everywhere on the net. Until then, all I can do is dream about my new car.

    I'm almost positive it's a software thing - I don't know why, but none of the discussion groups I've visited for the M-class thus far has had a very friendly interface. Web-X - pardon me mods, but BLECH!

    I've been trying to prompt some discussion - like where to buy parts, what accessories are the most useful, which all-weather mats are the best... etc. Mostly innocuous.

    Here's another conversation starter - anyone here Zaino'd their ML? I've been thinking about what to do when I first get that bad boy (thinking Lexol the interior and Zaino the exterior), but someone else told me that you have to wait a few months for the paint to completely dry out before detailing it (which sounded like bunk to me, but I thought I'd read it somewhere else as well).

    Probably just the frustration of having to wait for my car :(
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Regarding the Bi-Xenons, you've got it! That's exactly how they work. As you know, HID Xenon headlamps need about 1/2 a minute to warmup up to proper operating colour temperature. The inboard halogen bulbs are used as flash-to-pass since if your low beams are not already turned on, it will take too long for them to warm up when you need them for just those flash-to-pass instances. Halogen bulbs don't require the warmup time that the HID bulbs do, which is why all Bi-Xenon headlamp assemblies (thus far, only European makes have them) also have supplementary high beam halogen bulbs.

    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    It's not really a software was mentioned before, most people lurk but don't post. This is true across Town Hall. What I encourage you to do is to participate in the weekly MB Tuesday chats. We had one last night, for example.

    How are you reading this discussion topic? Are you "subscribed" to it so that you can easily access your subscribed topics via your message centre? If you have any questions, please let me know.
  • I am just about to try to upgrade from my '99 ML320. At 37,000 miles on my '99, I got a trade-in quote of $26,000. That seems to be about on target if you check here and at KBB. I was going to try to get about $1,000 off MSRP for the '02. The MSRP for the one I want is $42,205 and according to KBB the invoice is $38,836. Maybe I will see if they can go $500 higher on the trade-in and cut the $1,000 off the new car. That seems pretty fair. Any thoughts?
  • Last week I got the ML 02 model with the same options you are talking about. I got 1500 off MSRP. That was the best I could get after trying around 5 dealerships.

    Last week the invoice prices were not available!

  • kenyeekenyee Posts: 738
    Those questions have been asked before :-)
    I clayed and put 6 coats of Zaino on my ML the week I got it. Don't do it in 40F weather in November like I did. The clay turns rather brittle :-P
    The 2002 Nav isn't available yet AFAIK. Someone tried a 2001 Nav and it didn't work.
    I have a review of the CatchAll mats on my site. which is also searchable. It contains my web clippings from the past few years.
    Hang out long enough on the forums and you'll get your answers.

    I'd trade my '01 ML320 for an '02 ML400CDI in a heartbeat ;-) You're lucky you have the 270CDI.
    I agree about the cost to upgrade though. We'd lose at least $5K for the switch to the same next year model :-P
    For the Xenon upgrade, try emailing I'm sure Kevin or Mark can dig up the info for you. Hopefully, it's plug and play.
  • I hate to sound negative - i like all the boards - it's just that I think too many diminishes the effect one board (or two) would have.

    As far as your recs:

    Zaino - I'd have no choice - I'd have to apply in November since I won't see my car until then :(

    Navigation - actually, even a MY2001 would be nice to hear about. I have *never* seen a MB navi unit up close. The dealer didn't have one vehicle to demo the unit on, much to my dismay.

    The question I keep asking - when did MB go to an Alpine based system, and how different is it from other Alpine based systems (or is it the same)? I did test an Acura MDX before I bought the ML, and I loved it's navi system. It's Alpine based, using data from Navtech. Since I hear MB's is the same situation (Alpine based, data from Navtech, although CD-ROM not DVD) - I'm hoping the end result is a very similar system.
  • is Nifty still making CatchAll mats for the ML320? I visited their website - no mention of a Mercedes in any of their application sheets.
  • Ken you need to get to those pictures back up on your web site! Pay the fee to photopoint for the upgrade its worth the cost. I did. :)

    Thanks for link and all the great reviews.

  • kenyeekenyee Posts: 738
    I believe they are still making them. If not, I have another set of the 1st/2nd row set if you're interested. A dot-com auto accessory company sent me two by mistake and didn't give me an RMA number to send them back :-)
    They're the only ones I know of that cover the tranny hump. Be aware of the fit problems I mentioned in my review though.
    As for the Nav, it's something you should try. Go to another dealer. The ML430 and ML55 have it built-in. Your salesdroid should have known this. Coverage is always spotty no matter what, even w/ the DVD ones (you should have heard the MDX owners griping...the TL coverage is greater :-)
    As for the radio, the MCS (video display thingy) came w/ the MY2000 model. Dunno what brand they use. The CD changer used to be Panasonic so I'd be surprised if it is Alpine for the head unit. They went to a fiber optic CD changer in MY2001 and it's no longer Panasonic.

    Interesting. The single picture links are broken now. The album links still work.
    I'll relink to my webshots album.
  • Has anyone seen these molded husky floor mats? I've seen them on and I have used the McNeil rubber mats but they invariably don't cover everything and these molded things look like they might do the trick? Anyone try them or can anyone recommend really really good floor mats for both front and rear seat floors? How about good seat covers? Help me buy more things and good things for my '02!
  • I've just bought an ML270Cdi with the AMG kit as an option (I believe it's called a SportsPack in USA), however it only comes with a single AMG exhaust. Has anyone heard of anyone who has tried to add another exhaust to this pack? Do you have to buy a full ML55 system or can you buy a single AMG exhaust and have it attached (before anyone tells me to get the ML55 check out the UK fuel prices!).

    Any help greatly appreciated
  • Has anyone seen these molded husky floor mats? I've seen them on and I have used the McNeil rubber mats but they invariably don't cover everything and these molded things look like they might do the trick? Anyone try them or can anyone recommend really really good floor mats for both front and rear seat floors? How about good seat covers? Help me buy more things and good things for my '02!
  • We are very happy with the navigation unit on our 2001 ML430. We arrived in the US last November and bought the car the next day. For the first month we did not even own a paper map - the nav system was used for everything - from apartment hunting to job interviews, and it has never let us down yet.

    Some people complain about the complexity of operating the system - I have still not read the manual completely, and have no problems with operating the unit. Thankfully, it does not have a touch screen, so entering an address you have to spell the name using a cursor key. It helps out by only showing applicable letters, and updating the list to choose from. Generally you only need to select the first few letters of an address.

    The other cool feature is that we have just received our free map update from Navtech, which actually updated the software on the MCS. There is now a different female speaking the directions, and the "splash screen" shows the new model ML. If only it were so easy to upgrade the car!

    All in all we are very happy with the car, and I will definitely think twice before getting a car without nav. If you have any specific questions about the nav unit, please don't hesitate to ask.
  • kenyeekenyee Posts: 738
    It's the coverage that most people complain about. Some cities are covered well (doubt it'd work w/ Boston's Big Dig project that seems to rearrange roads every weekend)-:. Most off-highway roads aren't.
    The UI is ok.

    The ML55's exhaust routes through part of the spare tire area IIRC...
  • seeing as I'm in NYC.

    I've heard people complain about the usability. Which prompted me to ask - if it's an Alpine system, shouldn't it be the same as any other Alpine based unit?
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