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
#6686 of 8199 ML Quality
Nov 16, 2002 (11:14 am)
When Mercedes came out with the ML in late 1997, they were competing with all of the other SUV's on the market and had to keep the price competitive. The running gear of the vehicle is all Mercedes but the the components, etc. were all provided by suppliers. Had Mercedes put in the same components as in their sedans the vehicle would have been at least 50% more expensive. One cannot compare the quality of the ML with the general quality of Mercedes sedans, even though the ML quality has improved dramatically over the last couple of years.
I'm a 22 year owner of MB products and am speaking from experience and still own a 1998 ML along with a 2000 E430.
#6687 of 8199 Electric Brake Controler
Nov 16, 2002 (1:08 pm)
My question is has anyone installed or have installed an electric brake controler on their ML. I do a lot of towing and the new trailer has electric brakes. The dealer refuses to install the controler, they state the electrical system is to fragile and Mercedes will not back this install.
If anyone has any information I would appreciate the feedback. Thanks a bunch
#6688 of 8199 ML Quality
Nov 16, 2002 (3:34 pm)
I got educated. As a two time Jeep SUV owner, the ML compared too well to pass up. And, I still like Jeeps. However, I am pretty sure I probably wouldn't have been on the lots test driving MB's if the ML hadn't been "made" in the US.
That was a smart move on MB's part, because our MB experience was again too good to pass up when it came time to replace the sedan, so instead of another Honda, we now drive a C-Class and know it is the best car we've ever had; and it still seems to us to be the best choice among all of the other worthy competitors to choose from.
The ML is a great SUV, a real SUV from the drawing board to final assembly, i.e., a "real" SUV generally never does any single thing perfectly, but does nearly everything well. The ML, of course, does nearly everything very well. It's a freeway cruiser with plenty of room for adults in the back seat and it can tow, all in comfort, safety, and with the kind of unquestioned longevity and desirability that will be rewarded years down the road with a good resale value.
Nov 16, 2002 (9:52 pm)
It's probably not a wise idea to post your email address publicly as any site will be visited by the unscrupulous who harvest email addresses. To avoid spammers you might make your email address public in your personal profile which is a bit off the beaten trail. Alternatively, some merely put spaces before and after the symbol of their email address when posting.
#6690 of 8199 ML Ownership Experience
Nov 17, 2002 (5:56 am)
Although my question regarding how many other customers have become disillusioned with Mercedes Benz was a rhetorical one, I would like to recount my first-hand experience with two other disappointed former ML owners. One was a life-long MB fan who had a negative experience with a ML 430. He commented on the build quality as well and ended up trading "up" for the X5. The second was also a life-long MB fan who had multiple sedans and coupes. He was disappointed in the rough ride, poor mileage, and quality which was not in keeping with his previous MB's. He ended up trading for a domestic SUV. He coincidentally had purchased a S500 (MY 2001) which he was very unhappy with-he traded that one in for a Lexus SC 430 which he is delighted with.
I have driven several MB sedans and coupes but frankly didn't find anything special about the experience. They take a second seat to BMW when it comes to performance and handling. They take a second seat to Lexus with respect to appointments, fit, and finish. I would refer you to the J.D. Powers surveys to determine the trend for the MB line.
I believe both the engine and transmission are manufactured in German plants. Those preformed well in my personal experience. The remaining components however can assume a large role in determining the overall driving experience. I don't know if it would have increased the price by 50% but by "saving" on these items, MB may have reaped a short-term return but a long-term deficit from unhappy owners.
My personal experience regarding resale of the ML has been dissapointing. I purchased a MY 2000 for about $41,000 and in about three years was offered (and accepted) $26,000 by a car dealer. I turned down an offer of $27,000 by a private party. I don't think that was "good resale value". I would hazard to guess that the resale value on the ML's is significantly below that of MB's sedans as well as several other lines of SUV's (BMW, Land Cruiser, and Lexus come to mind).
As I have said in one my earlier posts, I was a enthusiastic ML fan initially but rapidly became disenchanted with the product. IMHO caveat emptor-definitely "question" a product you are making a modest investment in and don't succumb to the marketing of a brand on a subjective basis.
Nov 17, 2002 (8:04 am)
Your ML retained 63% of it's value after 3 years?
I think you did very well.
#6692 of 8199 Reviewing Owners of Brands
Nov 17, 2002 (9:22 pm)
My guess is, MB owners probably have a larger percentage of persons that send the steak back because it's slightly overcooked or get irked then when the salad has cherry tomatoes on it when they specifically asked for no tomatoes.
I've found owners of the C230s, for instance, to be far more generous with their appreciation and I think it might be because these owners are probably younger and generally more enthusiastic about everything, and also because it's probably not their 8th or 10th new car.
MB's burden, I think, is not only because it is seen as at the top of the game, which makes it a target, but also because the relative older age of MB buyers compared to other brands. MB's biggest design defect to date will be that it didn't try harder to appeal to younger buyers sooner.
Mr. JD Powers asks Mr. new MB owner how he likes his car and the reviewer is tough but fair of course and gives his new MB an 8 or less out of 10. Mr. JD Powers asks the young Subaru owner and 10s across the board and given with enthusiasm. What is Mr. JD Powers really rating: the new car or the new owner?
Nov 17, 2002 (10:33 pm)
He's a phony...the real Mr. JD Power does not have an S in his name.
#6694 of 8199 Third row seat options...
Nov 18, 2002 (5:45 pm)
My mother, my two sisters and my little niece are visiting us over the Holifays. We never drive around with more than 3-4 people in the ML320 ('99, and it's been a darling), but now there'll be 6 of us... squeezing 4 in the back is not an option, driving around in two cars most of the time seems silly. That means getting the third roaw seat from MB, I assume... then again, shelling out $1k for a two week one-off thing also seems kida silly... anyone knows of any products that might provide a cheap-o one off alternative? Don't think I am a monster set out to endanger my little nieve's life - I'm nimble, and *I* can sit in the back if I must (most likely it'll become the mother in law's regular seat, though
Nov 18, 2002 (6:56 pm)
For those 2 friends of yours there are probably thousands who feel differently.
I use the ML as a utility vehicle. I can fit 7 in it. I've fit loading pallets in the back, 2X4's, cabinets, trash, yard waste, tables, ladders, luggage and after I clean it up I can still take it to the opera. The X5 just doesn't compare. Your life-long MB fan friend who had multiple sedans and coupes and who was disappointed in the rough ride and poor mileage doesn't understand that the ML is a truck - it's not a sports coupe or a sedan.
By all accounts the reliability of BMWs are worse, and the ride of Lexus is too soft. I'm not arguing with you since everyone has the right to his/her opinion. In the words of that famous sybarite Goldilocks, to me "it's just right."