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
#7465 of 8199 Depreciation
Aug 16, 2004 (7:33 am)
Pepe, I'm not in the car business but ALL cars depreciate heavily expect maybe for a small handful. Every car that I have owned (13 or so) seem to drop at least half in 3 to 4 years. It's all market driven, supply/demand, etc. With all of the rebates offered now a days, it hurts our resale value.
My local Mercedes dealer has done something I've never seen before. In the newspaper the other day, they had an ad for all remaining 2004 units are $100 over invoice except for the SL500. I've never seen them do a blanket ad like that before in the last 15 years that I've been interested in Mercedes. So, if the dealers are making wonderful deals, our ML's are going to drop in price (used).
Aug 16, 2004 (10:15 am)
I ran some back-of-the-envelope deprec computations on a few 2000 models.
Using trade-in values, the ML is among the lowest (about 48% of MSRP) and the RX300 is among the highest (about 56% of MSRP). Significant, but this is the sort of variation you see as different models age in the marketplace. Certainly we're in a period where SUVs are having to be discounted heavily to move off lots, so as a category, they're not enjoying the traditionally high resale. Small SUVs and small Japanese sedans are the ones holding value at the moment.
It may have something to do with demographics. The last of the baby boomers are putting their kids through school, and they want their kids to drive small sedans or SUVs and they don't need a Suburban in the driveway any more.
As always, the best way to avoid resale roulette is to keep a car a while - the difference in retail in a ten year old car between the best and the worst is relatively unimportant.
Aug 16, 2004 (6:14 pm)
Given the fact that these SUV's depreciate so dramatically, does anyone in this discussion plan to keep their ML-320 until it has no value? And further, does anyone in this discussion maintain their own vehicle? I am considering purchasing a used ML-320, but I don't want to step into a maintenance nightmare. From what I am reading, these Mercedes have too many electronic gizmos that can break, transmissions that think too much, and engines that can only be fixed by German trained technicians. Am I missing something?
Aug 16, 2004 (8:06 pm)
Jubi... I think you have hit the nail on the head, ML's are not maintenace free. The comfort will begin on the price of the used that you buy if it's cheap enough. If you can do the maintenace work yourself, the value is much higher. Personally, I don't want a car much out of warranty. I have another year of warranty on my ML (2002 ML500) and I might trade this December with a year left or next when the warranty expires. I still want another SUV and thinking of a larger one (Escalade ESV).
It's like Terry says in "Real World Trade Values", buy what you like.
Aug 16, 2004 (8:51 pm)
I'm taking a wait/see attitude about continuing to drive my ML320 out of warranty.
The 50K warranty has been long gone for 15K miles and I've had one unexpected expense - an O2 sensor repaired at my local garage for $235. But I've also been doing most of my own maintenance like brakes, oil, and filters. I don't think the ML is any harder to work on that similar SUVs (they all have lots of computers and electornics), but if you have some odd problem that requires the computer and diagnostic capabilities of the dealer, then you are in the very-high-priced MB service system where $400 is nothing.
If you're handy and can cultivate a good relationship with a local independent service shop, driving the ML long-term might be a reasonble proposition. But if you just are throwing the keys at the dealer whenever any problem occurs, it could get prohibitively expensive.
#7471 of 8199 OBD II Compliance M-Class
Aug 17, 2004 (12:09 pm)
Along the lines of my last post, will an ML-320 accept a generic OBD-II scanner/code reader? I don't mind electronic complexity if the computer can generate valid fault codes.
#7472 of 8199 ML 350 vs. ML 500
Aug 17, 2004 (1:17 pm)
Undecided between these two models. I have read in the MB brochure that the ML 500 has a wider front and rear track widths ( 1 inch). Does this make a difference in handling and rollover protection? I also like the fact that the ML 500 not only has more power and torque, but also bigger brakes. I always thought that this was because it was significantly heavier than the ML350, but it is only about 60lbs. heavier according to the MB specs. Your insight will be appreciated.
#7473 of 8199 My 2002 ML500
Aug 17, 2004 (4:28 pm)
Babalulu, I've had my ML500 for 32 months and 29,600 miles. I have the third seat, nav, parktronic, 6cd, bi-xenons with headlamp washers, etc... I've been relatively happy but I've had to deal with a few small issues. I've never been stranded or towed.
I had the rear brakes replaces at 18,000 because the dealer thought they were getting close. Since I was going on a 2,000 mile trip, I didn't want to worry about a brake job so I gave them the approval to go ahead and replace them. I'm going to wait until the "brake shoe" light comes on before I change the front of which I think I have about 20% left. This vehicle is heavy and goes through brakes quicker than I thought it would... 18,000 on the rear brakes?? seems a little early.
But, basically, I've been happy with the ML as a whole. The third seat has come in handy so many times. Also, the parktronic makes it a cinch when parking in tight spaces.
Aug 17, 2004 (5:04 pm)
Resale values are dependent on many factors:
1. Dealer/Manufacturer incentives on the new vehicles.
3. Buyer demand.
Issue 3. is the biggest factor. The SL500 has high resale because there arent that many made and the demand is relatively great. The designo editions are even better because of even lower production numbers.
I have a 2001 LS430 and a 2003 ML350. LS is perfect in every way. The ML had its steering column replaced already!
I plan on putting 200,000 miles on LS, only 90-100,000 on ML.
IMO its still way cheaper to keep the vehicle beyond warranty than have a MONTHLY car payment!!