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
#6731 of 8199 Read the last sentence...pretty funny!
Nov 25, 2002 (3:01 pm)
Automotive News / September 16, 2002
Kunihiro Hoshi, chief engineer for the GX 470, spoke with Staff Reporter Mark Rechtin at the press launch of the GX 470.
The GX 470 shares a platform with the new Toyota 4Runner. How is the GX 470 different?
Basically, the engine and transmission and brakes are the same, but there also are many differences. The actual body shell, the body-in-white, is different. For example, the ... side glass and front sill are much thicker on the GX, which means you need a different body structure. Also, the suspension settings are much different, because we are dealing with a luxury mid-sized vehicle. We focused on vibration isolation, sound isolation and ride comfort, whereas the 4Runner focuses more on the direct feeling of handling.
Since this was a new segment for Lexus, which vehicles did you benchmark during development?
For interior quality, we benchmarked the BMW X5 from a design and product-quality perspective. From the driving dynamics point of view, the X5 is very nice but is not so nice in the second passenger seat because it is harsh and noisy. For the second seat we wanted the comfort of the Lexus LS 430 or the LX 470. Since I was on the LS 400 development team, I wanted to create a sport-utility with noise, vibration and harshness specs more on that level. We could not find any points on the Mercedes-Benz ML that we wanted to include in the GX. It's not so special.
#6734 of 8199 ML snow tires
Nov 25, 2002 (5:18 pm)
I am looking for snow tires for my ML430. Costco does not carry them. I am cringing at what looks like about 180 dollars per tire. Does anyone have any suggestions that would lower the cost of 4 tires ?
Nov 25, 2002 (5:49 pm)
Lots of good advice in the Tires, tires, tires discussion too. Not as active but maybe more on point is the Snow/Ice winter tires one. Check out the Tire Rack ad here too for some good info.
Nov 25, 2002 (7:23 pm)
Having a 430 really limits your choices. Nokian makes a winter rated M/S tire that is excellent, but the size is a little off ( 275/60/17). I considered them for my 430, but went with the Michelin Cross Terrains, instead. They are a M/S rated tire, and they have done very well in the 2 or 3" of snow we have had so far. They are well sipped, so I expect they will be fine. EXPENSIVE!
#6737 of 8199 ML 430 snow tires
Nov 25, 2002 (8:42 pm)
Thank you for your input. I had found the Tire Rack and was scrolling through the site. I will check on the Nokians. I bought the ML used and am thrilled to have it. It is still under warranty so I am watching my pennies. However, I live in Oregon and we want to go to the mountain for some skiing. Four tires really add up on cost !
#6738 of 8199 Last sentence . . .
Nov 25, 2002 (9:26 pm)
"It's not so special." That is pretty funny. Mr. Hoshi say "GX not so special?" He's got guts!
Nov 26, 2002 (1:05 am)
OK, so you base your opinion on an interview with the chief engineer for the GX470, think he's going to be unbiased? duh
And I still don't see much difference between the GX and the 4Runner, the inside is the same. All that's changed are the windows, suspension settings and the outside sheetmetal. That doesn't much make it a different product.
#6740 of 8199 Resposne to Potential New Owner
Nov 26, 2002 (1:01 pm)
I wrote for the first time two weeks ago(message #6345). I have owned my 2002 ML for over 5 months and have 7600 miles. I thoroughly enjoy the vehicle. We have had no problems and have been extremely pleased with the ride, the handling, the gas mileage (have a 320), and the very safe feeling you get knowing that you are surrounded by 10 air bags and are but a push button away from help with the tel-aid system. The vehicle has good braking ability and occasionally I like to play with the "auto-stick" transmission, which allows you to change gears. This is great when you need extra power for passing another vehicle. I should also note that my insurance was only $20 more per year over my 2000 Chrysler Town and Country Limited. The reason was the safety rating on the ML.
We looked at both of the other vehicles you mentioned. They are both fine, however, the Discovery is under powered, especially given that it is a V-8. The MDX, to me felt like driving a mini-van. It lacked the wow factor (important when your spending $40k) that I have enjoyed with my ML. We also looked at the BMW, nice vehicle, but alot of money for a small SUV. Hardly any cargo room, not to mention no 3rd row, which I wanted. While I like the hide away feature of the MDX 3rd row, I believe the ML provide more room for the 3rd row passenger. This is due to the fact that the rear seat slides 5 inches forward, providing more leg room. My knees touched the back of the rear seat in the MDX.
Like you, I followed this site for a good month before making my purchase. I concluded that the 2002 and 2003 model years have overcome the quality issues that plagued the 98-2000 models. Good luck on your decision. What ever you buy, don't spend too much time second guessing your decision.