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
#6408 of 8199 Considering M-Class
May 14, 2002 (6:54 pm)
I am considering purchasing an ML-320 sometime this year. I am currently driving a Audi S4 which drives and handles great, however, its small size is a disadvantage. I've never owned a large vehicle, so the vehicle size was not an issue for me when I bought it. But something happened a few months ago that has given me pause to reconsider my choice in automobile. I was the victim of a low speed rear end collision in stop and go traffic. Did about $800 bumper damage which was repaired. But even the low speed impact was quite a jolt. My back was sore for about 2 weeks. I began to think about what a high speed collision would have been like and that mass and size do count in that case. Although I really like my Audi, I have the feeling that I would be safer in an SUV. There are a lot of SUVs on the road and I know that if I were to be involved in an accident with one, my car would lose. I am considering the M-Class because of Mercedes reputation for safety.
Does the M-Class handle well? (It is important to avoid accidents as well) Is it unibody yet?
Do you think that my accident concern is valid or am I just being overly paranoid right now ?
What is the gas consumption. I currently average about 21mpg.
Should I wait for a 2003 or get a deal on a 2002.
What's new with the 2003?
I appreciate your input.
May 14, 2002 (7:24 pm)
Since the M-class was "refreshed" for 2002, the 2003 changes probably won't be major. Probably just some small, incremental changes. Late in the model year, you'll probably find MB incentives, as well as dealers selling close to invoice.
The M-class does handle well for an SUV -- not as sharp as an X5, but still well. That said, it's not going to handle like your S4! But you should get a lot of safety with it. A lot of SUV-bashers miss the basic fact that vehicles like the M-class offer more safety than a station wagon and sedan. A side impact is going to be distributed much lower relative to the body, which is why most mid-sized or larger SUV's get 5 stars for side impacts without side airbags (though the M-class has airbags galore).
The next generation of the M-class (due in 2004, supposedly) is going to be unibody.
#6410 of 8199 Considering M-Class
May 14, 2002 (10:16 pm)
I agree with William's comments above.
The ML handles quite well for an SUV. At the Mercedes Power Drive last week in Las Vegas during INTEROP, I drove an ML-500 much harder than my 2002 ML-320 and I found the modest side bolsters on the driver's seat to be the limiting factor--I slid on the seat more than the ML leaned on the hard turns. The ride on the highway is very comfortable, but it is a bit bouncy at slow speeds.
Part of the reason I purchased the ML is its extensive active and safety features as well as its size. I have been hit twice while stopped in traffic in my Honda Accord (the damage was $8,000 the first time and $3,500 the second time). Mercedes used to be the only manufacturer whose seats did not collapse when hit in the rear at 35 m.p.h.--I do not know if this is true for the ML. Also, based on actual rollovers, the ML's roof does not collapse, as it unfortunately does for too many SUVs.
The past model years there have been incentives to the dealers, but not directly to the consumer, of about $1,500 a couple of months before the new model is introduced. I would definitely purchase the 2002 with a discount over the 2003, which should not have many changes. The one option that I would strongly recommend is the xenon headlights. These headlights are superb and include head lamp washers--a nice bonus in the winter. If you do decide to get the xenon headlights, be aware that fewer than 5% of the MLs come with this option.
Good luck in your vehicle selection.
May 15, 2002 (5:49 am)
I am trying to get mudguards from the dealer and have been waiting, well, since December of 2001. Why are these not available yet?
Anyone else trying to get mudguards and are waiting?
#6412 of 8199 2002 Mudguards
May 15, 2002 (10:35 pm)
The 2002 mudguards are available, however, there are no installation instructions and no parts list is available from Mercedes. It took the parts department salesman about 30 minutes to get all of the parts together. Below is a detailed list of what I received:
Front Mudflap, #163-890-07-78 (1 $22) $22.00
Front Mudflap, #163-890-08-78 (1 $22) $22.00
Rear Mudflap, #163-890-13-78 (1 $40) $40.00
Rear Mudflap, #163-890-14-78 (1 $40) $40.00
Lock Plate, #004-994-45-45 (4 $2.10) $ 8.40
Above Replaced part #129-994-08-45
Brace/Bracket?, #163-899-01-14 (2 $2.70) $ 5.40
Clip, #163-988-02-78 (10 $4.32) $43.20
Clip, #163-988-03-78 (4 $3.24) $12.96
Rivet, #201-990-02-92-9051 (2 $2.10) $ 4.20
Sheetmetal Screw, #914127-004229 (18$2.10) $37.80
Sales Tax (8.25%) $19.47
A person on another board said that 2 additional clips are necessary from what I received. I have not had time to install them yet.
Peter Schneider (another board) has compiled instructions on how to install them. My dealer (Autobahn Motors, Bay Area) wanted about $180 to install them.
May 16, 2002 (9:25 am)
Orland, thank you for the info.
May 16, 2002 (3:45 pm)
Hey guys, I just noticed that my windshield reservoir is leaking. When I called my service writer, he said that he has had several with this problem and that it would take less than and hour to fix. Just wondering if anyone else had this experience.
#6415 of 8199 Leaking Windshield Reservoir
May 17, 2002 (4:20 pm)
I had this problem in my 98 ML but blamed the problem on the the possibility that the fluid had frozen while in the high Sierra on a ski trip. Without some antifreeze in the reservoir, the contents will definitely freeze and will likely crack the tank. I hope that this helps.
#6416 of 8199 is it the ecomomy or the car?
May 18, 2002 (11:54 am)
I have advertised my ML320 for nearly a month now and the only calls I get are from
sleezy car dealers who make rediculously low offers. I'm talking news papers with large distribution in the Bay Area.
One guy offerred $25k. Edmunds says the TMV for private party on my car should be $31.7k. I'd be happy to just get $30k.
It's a Y2K, very clean car with only 22k miles and there has been 2 or 3 calls.
This has to be the worst car MBZ has ever sold as far as re-sale goes. I'm guessing the car has lost over 30% it's value in 2 years. Go to a MBZ dealer (trade in) and the loss is more like 35%. Yet when I step on to a MBZ dealer lot, I see them asking like 10% off MSRP for a comprible car.