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
#6442 of 8199 Need a new vehicle
May 31, 2002 (8:32 pm)
I'm ready to begin searching for a replacement to a trusty Toyota van that has been in the family for 14 years. It has been a fairly reliable vehicle, but given its age and lack of any safety features other than seat belts, I'd say that its time has come to be replaced.
I don't trade cars frequently, as you can see from the age of the Toyota, so I hope to have my next vehicle for many years to come.
I have always wanted a Mercedes. Not so much for the prestige, but for its reputation for fine engineering and saftey. So I am now at a time in life where owning a MB is a possibility rather than just fantasy.
I've visited the local MB dealership on a few occaisions and did a short test drive with 2 vehicles. I am considering one of 3 vehicles:
1. ML320 : Since I have a van now, I am accustomed to driving a "high" vehicle. I like the ability to look out over traffic. It is also easier to get in and out as compared to a sedan. I am also accustomed to plenty of storage and I like the room that an SUV provides. The Toyota gets about 25mpg (4 cylinder)so 15-19mpg will take a little getting used to...
I have test driven a 2001. I thought the ride was OK.
2. C-320 Wagon : It looks sharp! It offers easy storage. I would wait for the 4-Matic that I believe is due later this year. It is not a high profile and it is not a truck so I would expect a smoother ride. I have not test driven a C-Class. I have seen a few negative comments about the C over on the sedan board. I guess the bugs are still be worked out.
3. E-320 4Matic Sedan: I test drove this car. It was about the best driving car I've experienced.
Obviously this car is not meant for carrying a lot of cargo like an SUV. I'm afraid if I go with this choice, that I will regret not having the cargo room later on. The E-320 Wagon is out of my comfort range price wise to consider. The E320 sedan is about as high as I'd go.
I welcome any and all of your opinions and information that you can provide to help me in the decision process.
#6443 of 8199 need a new vehicle
Jun 01, 2002 (12:52 pm)
I bought a '99 ML 320 new in late 1999. I drive it in the snow and really believe it has one of the best and safest traction systems for street/road driving (for the ordinary person.) I don't know if the same traction system is used on the 4-matic but I think it is.
If you want to get out of a bind in deep snow the ML is not the best. Get a Toyota 4 Runner type with locking differentials and transfer case or the Jeep Quadra Track. The Jeep has a rather bad maintenance history base on my shopping in 1999.
For maintenance the ML has not been great. I compare it to my '94 Mercury Sable and it is about the same. My son's '87 Toyota 4 Runner was the best I ever owned in this department.
The '94 Mercury Sable has much better creature features and cost 1/2 the Mercedes. There are postings above about my wishlist in this departement.
My conclusion: I'm not unhappy w/ the ML but then again I probably will try another Toyota in 10 years when I get my next car.
Jun 02, 2002 (10:23 am)
Just bought my ML last month and tried to attach my bike rack this weekend but had some trouble. There seem to be very few 'seams' for a bike rack clip - especially on top. The only place I could determine for my top clips was on the seam with the glass panel and that just doesnt seem safe. Anyone have a suggestion on this one??
#6445 of 8199 need a new vehicle
Jun 02, 2002 (11:37 am)
I have been driving Mercedes vehicles for the last fifteen years and have had very good service from them. I currently own a 1998 ML320 and a 2000 E430. My ML has had all of the typical problems that have been documented on this list and the dealership has not balked at fixing any of them. I like my ML very much after having gone through the vehicle with a fine tooth comb fixing the problems as I'm very picky, the truck now doesn't have any rattles or squeeks but it definitely did when it was new. The great thing one has going for an ML is the Mercedes drive train that is second to none and one should easily get 200K plus miles from it given decent maintenance. My bother has a four year old Toyota 4 Runner that he bought new and although it is a good vehicle, it is a very rough riding truck and I wouldn't want one if I was going to do much distance driving in it as on a trip it will wear you out. I have never had any difficulty with the engine, transmission, differential with any of my Mercedes and have seen them all go over 200K miles.
Just my opinion.
#6448 of 8199 Long Term Test Priorities?
Jun 04, 2002 (10:48 pm)
Is it not how a car drives far more important than whether some "creature comforts" are standard or available at an extra cost? Why would you not want fresh air most of the time-- even in LA, which I visit several times a year? My worst mileage on a 2002 ML320 driving in the Bay Area has been about 15 mpg and the best has been 20.4.
The ML, as every other vehicle, is far from perfect, but why dwell on such trivial matters?
#6449 of 8199 NJ bodyshops
Jun 05, 2002 (8:51 pm)
Any positive experiences in Essex county?
#6450 of 8199 Long-Term Road Test Comments
Jun 06, 2002 (12:00 pm)
I agree with orland that the reviewer seems to have spent an inordinate amount of time on recirculation. I have used recirculation only a handful of times, primarily to speed up cooling or when passing through an area with a foul odor. I appreciate the 30 minute timer as it eliminates having to remember to manually turn it off.
The reviewer is wrong about not having automatic door locks. My 2002 ML320 has that feature and works flawlessly. While not inabled by default, turning it on is described in the owners manual and, if I recall, was quite easy.
While the CD changer in the back is inconvenient, there is an in-dash single CD dealer-installed accessory that fits behind the MCS panel just below the cassette (not the Navigation System unit.) If I recall correctly, it was pretty cheap by MB standards ($395 list, but deeply discountable depending on your negotiating prowess.)
Finally, I do not know how the reviewer drove, but I have averaged 19.8 mpg over the entire 14,000 miles that I have put on my ML, mostly in-town (albeit, not stop-and-stop as in LA.)