What's the best of the "worst" Mercedes-Benz? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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What's the best of the "worst" Mercedes-Benz?

My co-worker and I were talking today about cars, and the topic of the early 2000's Mercedes came up. I know it's generally thought that the early 2000's cars were some of the most unreliable/most problematic cars built by Benz, so we talked about it for a bit.

We were discussing the pros and cons of owning different models from this time period, and which cars we thought were better built this others, and I thought this might be a fun discussion for the forum.

My question for y'all is, what do you think is the best built most reliable model from this period (We'll say MY2000- MY2006), and which car do you think is the worst? Runner ups? What is your reasoning behind this?

Thanks, and let's get the conversation started!

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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 08:03 PM
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Best most reliable? W210 diesels. worst cars? Early W163 ML's. Runner ups: early W220, early R230.
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--2007 Honda Rebel CMX250 8k. Crashed, now totalled. Gone...
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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 09:11 PM
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The best are the ones I have....the worst are the ones I don't.
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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 09:12 PM
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Well... our 1999 ML320 (W163 body) spend 13 years with my family.
During those 13 years it had couple of parts failing.
Total cost of new parts about $350 or less than $30 a year.
How you take that for one of the worst MB?
When MB did have few oops over the years, from top of my head I recall only 2 big ones.
1. the 4Matic system in W124
2. balance shaft in 350 engines.
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Last edited by Kajtek1; 10-04-2016 at 09:16 PM.
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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Deplore View Post
Best most reliable? W210 diesels. worst cars? Early W163 ML's. Runner ups: early W220, early R230.
The 210 diesels would fall outside of the MY2000-2006 though. I have heard nightmares about the first gen ML's though.

Are you saying the R230 and W220 are runner ups for best, worst, or both?

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Originally Posted by Kajtek1 View Post
Well... our 1999 ML320 (W163 body) spend 13 years with my family.
During those 13 years it had couple of parts failing.
Total cost of new parts about $350 or less than $30 a year.
How you take that for one of the worst MB?
When MB did have few oops over the years, from top of my head I recall only 2 big ones.
1. the 4Matic system in W124
2. balance shaft in 350 engines.
Please don't take this the wrong way, but you're the first person I've ever heard to spend THAT little of an amount on a first gen ML.

I don't think it would be a good idea for me to create a signature. It would probably just be some shameless plug about me being a Realtor.
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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by ath20wj View Post


Please don't take this the wrong way, but you're the first person I've ever heard to spend THAT little of an amount on a first gen ML.
I might also be the first person you meet that beside warranty and recalls never let professional mechanic to lay a finger on the car
W163 being break-thru technology got lot of bad wrap from people who did not know how to service it.
Same apply to W220 from what I see.
Howcome you can buy good condition car who over the years went from $120,000 down to $3,000 ?

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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 11:46 PM
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After owning 3 ML's, 2 of which were W163's and the other a W164, I can say the 2006 ML350 was the absolute worst Mercedes I ever owned. I had it less than 6 months and was glad it was gone when I traded it. My W220 was phenominal and would've been stellar had it not been for the previous owner's blunder of putting staggered wheels on it. A no no for a 4 matic.
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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 11:52 PM
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How isn't the W203 the winner here? God awful everything on those cars from the design, the engines, the build quality. Only W203 worth a damn is the C55.
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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-05-2016, 02:44 AM
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Loved the W203 design. Way better than the W202. I guess you can't please everyone.

As for the W204, what were they thinking?
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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-05-2016, 07:33 AM
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The 2001 ML320 now has 155,000 miles on it, I purchased it new, and have only put a new MAF, Sparks, and three Spark Wires and head cover gaskets....oh yea, had to put in a used $35 Lateral Acc. Sensor to fix the BAS/ESP light on the dash. Reliability has been great.

Not counting consumables.
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