Last post on Aug 14, 2013 at 8:07 PM
You are in the Mercedes Benz M-Class
What is this discussion about?
Mercedes-Benz M-Class, Mercedes-Benz ML55 AMG, SUV
#6257 of 8199 Same here.
Mar 28, 2002 (12:43 pm)
I am sure you can not help but compare the newcomer, the ride of the ML is going to be stiffer but you have here a true truck while the RX300 is basically a car in SUV uniform, the ML offers things that are not readily visible but if you care to crawl underneath note the size of the transmission you will be surprized, also note the heavy frame and beefy suspension.
Other things that come with the vehicle is a true low gear transfer case, a plus when towing heavy loads up steep terrain or when going off-road, more control because lots of torque at low speed, as a matter of fact the ML is a superb off-roader, better than the public image, it has won the Paris Dakar (longest in the world) race twice in its short life in the un-modified class, meaning as is from the show room, nobody can boast that record even makers that have been making SUV's for decades, besides those the ML has won numerous other awards in in the world in off roading.
As far as the engine grunt you hear you have to consider that the V8 in the ML is close to 300hp and the torque it produces is 325ft/lbs against the 220 of the RX300 and is almost 9000lbs heavier, besides the ML has a sophisticated double wall stamp and form ehxaust header that will leak some grunt (resonance) but allows the emission control to heat up rapidly and makes the vehicle a LEV engine.
Unfortunately the ML did not have the clean record wished for, a new design, a new plant, new workers, other than the engine and transmissions that comes from Germany, the rest has been sourced here in the US and precicely those components have given some complaints, just recently the chairman of Mercedes said that this was not acceptable and that there would be a crackdown on the suppliers that fail on quality controls (long overdue by most opinions and mine too), this does not mean that problems will come for sure, I had my 430ML since 1999 and no problems to report.
Anyway happy motoring.
#6258 of 8199 2002 ML500 owner
Mar 28, 2002 (3:55 pm)
Hi Folks, I have about 3200 miles on my ML500 (Desert Silver/Java) M1,M3,M5,M7, Bi-xenons, parktronic. I've had two Jeep Grand Cherokee's ('96 and '99) and I really like the ML in comparison.
I've never had an problem at all with the Nav system. Takes me directly to my destination and is fast and prompt.
In reference to the RX300, a friend of mine has one which are very nice vehicles but the passenger front seat only moves forward or backward, it will not raise or lower which can be uncomfortable on long trips.
One item I wish the ML had is the auto open and close of the windows and sunroof with the key fob. My 2000 E430 sport has it and I like that option. Sometimes, I will open the third seat pop out windows and realize that I haven't closed them, if the ML had that option, it would be nice.
I really like the parktronic, I don't have to worry about removing the headrests because the sensors let me know exactly how close I am to anything in the way.
Mar 29, 2002 (5:07 am)
Nice post from a newbie.
You will "grow" into your ML500 and appreciate its many attributes over time.
On the Nav system cd based units never work as well or as quickly as dvd based.
The best I've experienced were in a Lexus LS430 and an Acura TL. However they still are cumbersome and may find you pulling off the road just to change the radio dial.
#6260 of 8199 Snow Traction from ML320-It's not the tires
Mar 30, 2002 (4:36 pm)
I put 17 in.,wheels on my ML 320 because I knew I would be driving on lots of snow. The car will go into a slide even with the better traction.
I don't know if it is better than a Jeep -- never driven one on snow. But remember the Jeep Quadra drive is probably a better traction solution. It really does drive every wheel rather than brake the slipping wheel. I've read, however, that Jeep's take time to react and you can feel like you are in a two wheel, rear drive for a couple of seconds before it kicks in.
I've never lost control in the ML-320. Try this to see if you gain some confidence in it. On an open snowy parking lot try to do a dounut. No matter what the throttle, the car will stop the skid, and pull out slowly in the direction it was in when the skid stopped. Braking is even better. I've had people doing 360 degree spins right in front of me in 4wd's (Toyota, Chevy, ... ) and I can apply full brakes and stop straight every time. I've driven on snow for 30 years, and while I personally would rather have a little more control of things, this car's traction system is by far the best for the average person I've ever driven. I'd be a lot less afraid of the other nuts in the snow if everyone had one of these!
By the way, I want more ground clearance for snow. Does anyone know how much bigger I can go on tires when my OEM's wear out?
#6261 of 8199 dead battery
Mar 31, 2002 (6:04 pm)
Our 2000 ML (20000 mi) battery went dead yesterday, and I guess the good thing was that it was parked in our drive way. Strange thing was that there is no indication of any juice (can't use remote, no phone, no warning lights, not crank). It didn't even give me a pathetic dead battery light.
I called 1800 and local dealer came by to replace the dead battery within 30 minutes. You got to love MB Roadside Assist. It was strange to see a huge battery (twice as big as "regular" ones) and lasts only 20K miles (a year and half usage). I wonder who actually make these batteries, just because Die Hard and Trak Auto ones will last three to four years.
Apr 01, 2002 (5:03 am)
Once when fairly new to the ML320 in 99 we had a 43 inch snowfall in 24 hours.
Roads were closed,counties were closed!
My office is 38 miles from home and I made it without much stress until I got to my street.
Still unplowed and with headlight high snow I managed to get stuck at the end of my driveway on the layer of ice and slush under the snow cover. What an embarrassment. Tried rocking,can't be done with the skid control system. Tried low range and found the power shutdown too early. My neighbor finally had to push me.
Later that winter I found that when you turn the skid control off you can rock as well as take advantage of the true 4 wheel drive capability with the 35/65 split.
Moral of story: never got stuck again here in the upstate NY area (Rochester)!
#6263 of 8199 Re: stuck in snow
Apr 01, 2002 (5:16 am)
I thought it's fatal (to auto transmission) to rock it; I've done it with manuals, however.
#6265 of 8199 M-B Quality problems
Apr 01, 2002 (8:18 am)
I was just reading some of the March posts regarding problems with the MB quality. As an orig. owner of a '99 ML320 with 57k miles, I will say I have had my share of all the problems posted(sunroof noise, fuel pump quit, windlow switch, door latch rattles, etc.). Some of these are inexcusable(can't MB get door latches right?. However, I certainly had worse problems with domestic vehicles where it seems reliability is like paying the slots in Vegas...GM had to be the worst(new Bose in new 1989 Corvette went out, GM's 'service' was to pull it and ship it and me do without radio for 4 weeks!), Ford Taurus transmissions/brakes won't last, domestic front wheel drive cars drive terrible, wife's 2001 Expedition which has terrible vibration problems-Ford knows it's a design problem but won't stand behind it, etc. SO, I guess since I can't afford to trade for a new ML right now, I will continue to drive it with the understanding that out of warranty service will be costly, but probably less headache than a new domestic that has problems from day 1. Atleast, it drives VERY smooth and runs and drives as good with 57k miles on it as it did when new, and that is something you certainly can't say about a domestic. I think what is so irritating about the ML's is that we know they aren't as well-built as the sedans. Granted $40-50k is not as much as many of them cost, but is there really any excuse for some of the problems? I drive my mothers CLK 430 Cab. and brother's S and it would take me a week solid to find ANY problem with those cars. Even the C280 I had was PERFECT and required no warranty work. Now, if only I could afford a new C or ML..........
Apr 01, 2002 (9:40 am)
You are rigth in your observations.
The problems have been disscused so many times, by now it is a general concensus that, 1st- The Ala assembly plant is not up to par, labor being the major problem when you consider they hired locals with no skill in puting together someting like a vehicle, hence the jokes, Dixie truck, the trim and fit of a Chevy with the engineering of a Mercedes, etc.
2nd-The suppliers, other than the engine and drive train coming from Germany the rest is all sourced out here in the States, correct 1 and 2 and we have a first class vehicle
I would say the time to buy a new ML would be in a year or so and here is why, the chairman of Mercedes said that those quality issues with Mercedes are not acceptable and he would personally take charge to bring quality up to first rate, like what people expects from MB, a crack down on suppliers is expected also since some have unilateraly switched designs. The pressure on Mercedes has been great, the German press in particular has been very loud about the quality issues, they could not ignore it no more.
Now we have to have realistic expectations, there will not be an overnigth fix, is a huge organization but they are sincerely commited according to insiders. I have a 99 430ML and really never experienced those problems, but in a year from now I would trade, my vehicle is meantless and I suspect a good trade in value and quality should be up.
On the other hand the long term longevity of the ML is good, in other sites people with over 100,000 miles say the Ml is as smooth as new and as solid, other than the usual trim and fit or ligth switch or rattle having to be corrected.