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
#7518 of 8199 Driving Impressions my 2000 ML320 vs 2004 ML350
Sep 27, 2004 (8:00 am)
Our A/C died at 75,000 miles. Not what one would hope for but not as bad as it seems since we live in the sunbelt where A/C is used for 10 months of the year. Our misfortune led us to have a 2004 ML350 "Sport" as a loaner for a week. Here are my impressions:
Looks: Improved over the 2000 with nicer bumpers, fog lights, headlights, wheel well bump-outs, and tailgate formation. This one has nicer wheels but these are likely part of the Sport package. The interior strikes me as being much the same with the exception of the center console, which now has some reorganization of window and mirror
Features: Improved over the 2000 with a good A/C
vent to the rear through the center console, and
(finally), a decent cup holder/miscellaneous
compartment where the "old" window switches once were. The old cup holders are still there, they just added a 3rd choice in the front seat area. The storage area in the center console has changed to a 2-compartment/2-latch arrangement which provides 2 layers of storage, one on top for
shallow and one underneath for deep. The side mirrors have been updated to provide the side marker turn signal lights, which formerly were on the front side fenders between the wheel wells and the front doors - looks better to me. I did miss the slightly larger mirror area provided on
our 2000 ML.
What's next: The CD magazine is still in the boot,
rather than the dash. We all hopped into the ML loaner and our 11-year-old son handed me his Lord of the Rings soundtrack CD, (expecting some progress in this department).
Performance: Engine noise and general highway noise seemed a couple-to-a-few decibels quieter. The 350 makes a small but noticeable difference in spunk over the 320 in normal driving. The handling and ride seems stiffer and more jittery around town and on the highway compared to our ML320, and here, we prefer our ML... probable difference due to Sport package. The A/C is much better in the ML350... this one has automatic climate control (which our s does not and it is missed) with ice cold air and very, very, nicely lighted control dials. The A/C on our 2000 ML320
has always been "just adequate" in terms of temperature and airflow and back seat coverage. For comparison, we have a Lexus LS400 that has always put out cold air and lots of it... our ML320 doesn't come very close. Maybe we will get lucky and have super A/C when our ML is returned by the dealer, but I suspect it is a weaker system
than the LS400 and the ML350.
The ML350 has 10 airbags versus our ML350 which has six. So, a great safety oriented vehicle gets even greater with the ML350. All of us need to remember that Mercedes is the one car company that has never patented a safety innovation; they make all of their work in this area available to
all automakers. Given this, I have a bias that helps me forgive Mercedes-Benz for the occasional service blip or quality issue. I just have to respect them for that. Finally, at least ONE of the other manufactures - Ford Explorer - has adopted car-height bumpers to help reduce repair costs and injury to other vehicles and occupants. This is a feature the M-B designed into the ML in 1998.
In short, a great vehicle gets better.
Sep 27, 2004 (3:33 pm)
MB safety is 1st-rate, as good as and probably better than Volvo's (or, at least, somewhat different).
But does the ML350 really have 10 airbags? I thought it's 8 (front driver, front passenger, side driver, side passenger, side left 2nd row, side right 2nd row, left side curtain, right side curtain.
Unless the side curtains for the 1st and 2nd row are counted for each position.
#7521 of 8199 Re: Low Tension Rings on 98/99 ML320s [c_j_gordon]
Sep 27, 2004 (6:20 pm)
Whenever I tow my pop-up for a week-end camping trip I need to put a Quart of oil in. I took it in to the dealer and they told me that since the ML requires 10 quarts and is serviced every 10K that it is customary to add a quart from time to time. How often is too much?
#7522 of 8199 Re: [wmquan] 10 Airbags
Sep 27, 2004 (7:26 pm)
There are 10; the usual 6 as found in the 2000 ML320, plus 2 near the two front passenger
head areas, and another 2 near the rear passenger
#7523 of 8199 Re: [wmquan] 10 Airbags [chumsae]
Sep 27, 2004 (9:09 pm)
... plus 2 near the two front passenger
head areas, and another 2 near the rear passenger
Technically it's just two airbags, they happen to be multi-chambered. One side curtain deploys on the left, the other on the right. Each side curtain protects both the first and second row occupants' heads on that side. Using this as a measure, competitors like the XC90 have only six airbags compared to the ML's eight.
If one were to count it as 10 in the ML350, then Volvo and Acura could claim to have 10 airbags. This because their side curtains protect the heads of occupants in the first, second, and third rows (the MB protects the first and second). They do not have thoracic side airbags in their second row like MB's, however (else they'd have 12 using the ML350-has-10-math!).
Sep 28, 2004 (12:01 pm)
Whan is the new ML bodystyle expected in the US? Anyone have any links/photos of what it may look like?
#7525 of 8199 Safety Vs Quality
Sep 30, 2004 (4:52 am)
I wish they would get some quality control from other manufacturers in exchange for the safetly features they license or give away
#7526 of 8199 Put good faith deposit down on a ML350..need advice
Oct 03, 2004 (5:31 pm)
I was wondering if I could get some advice on whether or not to purchase a 2003 ML350. I am an outside sales rep and will be driving a good amount of miles on the car and want something reliable. Is the ML350 reliable? I will be driving about 400-500 a week.
Also, they are asking 33,900 for the car and it has 22,000 miles, is this a decent price?
#7527 of 8199 Re: Put good faith deposit down on a ML350..need advice [jmclaughlin]
Oct 04, 2004 (9:59 am)
You're in luck! You have already found edmunds.com
and on the first page of Edmunds you'll find a TMV
pricing model; just enter the target car, mileage,
color, options and your zip code and you'll see
a fairly reliable valuation.
Key elements include:
- knowing the vehicle history.. at least through carfacts, and have a local dealer run a servide history on the VIN.
- eyeballing the car for negatives.
- estimating the value of the existing warranty.
- knowing your options... Our 2000 ML320 had a $42,000 sticker, and our recent loaner 2004 ML350 Sport had a $48,000 sticker with a $37,000 base.
Hence, in 2003, the ML350 sticker could be anywhere between $37,000 and $50,000; a big window