Mercedes Ml350 compared to BMW X5 - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 08:44 AM
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Mercedes Ml350 compared to BMW X5

Were any of you deciding between an Ml and a BMWX5. We bought an ML350 and didn't even test drive an X5 although that was one of the first SUVs on our list. I had a few friends at the time driving X5's and I didn't get really positive feedback from them about them about their vehicles so I didn't really go too much further. But I would like to know if anyone here really compared the two.

Thanks,
Dwayne
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#2 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 09:03 AM
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Wow...this subject has been beaten to death! Since I have owned 4 X5's and 3 ML's...there are benefits and negatives to both vehicles.

The X5 generally handles better, but the ML (all engine variants, including AMG) is more comfortable. I personally feel that BMW brakes are the best, although the ML brakes are not bad at all.

Up until 2007, I would without a doubt, say the BMW X5 was more reliable than the ML. Since the debut of the new model (E70) X5 in 2007, the X5 has had it's fair share of electrical and transmission issues (far greater than the ML).

Air conditioning, radio equipment, transmission, most electronics and software based features in the ML is MUCH, MUCH better than in the X5. Not saying the ML is glitch free, but after 4 X5's and 3 ML's....the BMW can be full of glitches and super annoying sanfus!

While both the X5 and ML received basically identical safety ratings, the X5 does feel heavier, and more solid. Not saying the ML is not solid, but the X5 does feel more tank like & the seating position is higher in the X5, than in the ML (I love sitting up high, it's great to see ahead and in traffic).

Would I trade my W164 for a new X5? Probably not, but I would have no problem one day, in the near future returning to BMW. I think prices for both vehicles are competitive, but it is awesome knowing that EVERY service and ALL maintenance for the BMW is free for 4 years / 50k miles...including brakes, rotors, wipers, bulbs, hoses, belts! Total piece of financial mind!!

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#3 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 09:34 AM
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I tried both vehicles (the current ML versus the previous X5 since the new one was not out yet). In my opinion, even though I am a BMW fan, the ML won me over. The X5 is a great vehicle with a great steering feel and excellent brakes, and from a features point of view was similar to the ML.

The ML is far more comfortable than the X5 which is a bit harsh to drive, so wins out on long trips. The brakes dont "feel" as good and I doubt they are. The steering also does not "feel" as solid as the X5, but overall driveability is fine. I am however, very impressed with the ML's tiny turning radius and the overall driving experience of the ML. The ML feels very well planted to the road and the safety rating is top notch.

While I am a big fan of BMWs, for an SUV I think I am happier with the ML as it serves a different purpose that a sporty car. Would I buy an ML again? Absolutely.

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#4 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 01:12 PM
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Question Always a difficult question....

l'm on my 5th M-Class and have to say, this is the best so far.....l've never been a big BMW fan, but the covered maintenance for 4 years is incredible...Would that be enough to consider a new X5..maybe...My biggest issue with the M-Class is this.."decontenting"...For this price point, which my 10 model was around $73,000 Canadian, l did not enjoy some of the features that were removed...The double tier center console, with the current large one...essentials like a pen, or piece of paper or something handy falls to the bottom.."Why remove it"....The extra storage in the rear center console..was removed....My son really enjoyed keeping his PSP games back there......"Why remove it"......The easy entry system.....having the seat and steering wheel move to allow ease of exit and entry......it was wonderful...."Why remove it"...and we won't even mention the "woeful navigation system"...it seems only the S-Class owners receive a wonderful system...l am enjoying this 10 model, but my loyalty to the brand is slipping...l'm just being honest....

1999 : Black Opal ML 430 : 125,000 KM (traded-in)
2002 : Bordeaux AMG ML 55 : 130,000 KM (traded-in)
2006 : Silver lridium ML 350 : 53,000 KM (stolen)
2006 : Cubanite Silver ML 350 : 60,000 KM (traded-in)
2010 : Tenorite Grey ML 350 : 20,000 KM (traded-in)
2011 : Chromite Black Grand Edition ML 550 (traded-in)
2014 : Palladium Silver ML 350 BlueTec
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#5 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 05:48 PM
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I completely agree with you. They have removed too much.

2004 Lexus RX330 Fully Loaded, 2010 ML350 Fully Loaded
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#6 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by BigKutta View Post
I tried both vehicles (the current ML versus the previous X5 since the new one was not out yet). In my opinion, even though I am a BMW fan, the ML won me over. The X5 is a great vehicle with a great steering feel and excellent brakes, and from a features point of view was similar to the ML.

The ML is far more comfortable than the X5 which is a bit harsh to drive, so wins out on long trips. The brakes dont "feel" as good and I doubt they are. The steering also does not "feel" as solid as the X5, but overall driveability is fine. I am however, very impressed with the ML's tiny turning radius and the overall driving experience of the ML. The ML feels very well planted to the road and the safety rating is top notch.

While I am a big fan of BMWs, for an SUV I think I am happier with the ML as it serves a different purpose that a sporty car. Would I buy an ML again? Absolutely.
Completely agree with this...I'm a big BMW fan as well, but I think that the ML is a more comfortable and refined SUV for everyday use. THE X5 is the more fun, better-handling SUV, but it rides harsher, noiser, etc. If we were comparing sports sedans, then yes, the BMW is better. However, for an SUV, I'd take the benz.
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#7 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 08:07 PM
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Thanks for all the feedback, its great to here your comments because I really did wonder. We owned a 3 series when we were first married (before pets and children). But then switched over to SUV's and with our current life, I can't imagine that we would ever switch back. However, I did love how the BMW drove it felt very planted and very precise, on the downside I wasn't crazy about the interior it wasn't finished particularly well and I kind felt the same about the X5 (at least the older model). Still after we bought I wondered if I should have at least taken the BMW out for a ride to compare it. Really what started us looking at the ML was that we talked to maybe 4 or 5 people that owned X5's and all of them when asked if they were going to replace there current BMW with another said that they would rather have an ML so after that not so convincing review we just concentrated on finding an ML.
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#8 (permalink) Old 01-06-2010, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by DRKBC View Post
Thanks for all the feedback, its great to here your comments because I really did wonder. We owned a 3 series when we were first married (before pets and children). But then switched over to SUV's and with our current life, I can't imagine that we would ever switch back. However, I did love how the BMW drove it felt very planted and very precise, on the downside I wasn't crazy about the interior it wasn't finished particularly well and I kind felt the same about the X5 (at least the older model). Still after we bought I wondered if I should have at least taken the BMW out for a ride to compare it. Really what started us looking at the ML was that we talked to maybe 4 or 5 people that owned X5's and all of them when asked if they were going to replace there current BMW with another said that they would rather have an ML so after that not so convincing review we just concentrated on finding an ML.
I think you made a good choice. I just bought my first MB (2010 ML350). I did test drive the X5 and while I liked it, I liked the comfortable, luxurious ride of the ML more than the sporty feel of the X5. This surprised me since I had always thought I would by an X5. So, even with a bias towards the X5 when I started looking, I wound up with ML. I've only got about 1,000 miles on it, but so far, I am thrilled. The 4 year maintenance thing was hard to pass up, but I negotiated with the MB dealer to include the first 2 scheduled services (A & B). While not the same as the BMW program, it was something.
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#9 (permalink) Old 01-06-2010, 11:34 PM
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I think you made a good choice. I just bought my first MB (2010 ML350). I did test drive the X5 and while I liked it, I liked the comfortable, luxurious ride of the ML more than the sporty feel of the X5. This surprised me since I had always thought I would by an X5. So, even with a bias towards the X5 when I started looking, I wound up with ML. I've only got about 1,000 miles on it, but so far, I am thrilled. The 4 year maintenance thing was hard to pass up, but I negotiated with the MB dealer to include the first 2 scheduled services (A & B). While not the same as the BMW program, it was something.
That's good to hear, you always wonder. I to was convinced that when we replaced our last SUV (an Infinity QX4) that we would buy a BMW X5. When a friend of mine bought an X3 I couldn't wait to see it and although he really liked it, I was totally unimpressed but still didn't rule out the X5, I couldn't get the drive of our 3 series out of my head. However, as soon as we test drove the ML I immediately thought this would be the one, I liked the styling, the utility, the interior and the drive. The Lexus didn't do it for me or my wife, the Infinity Q series was more like a car than and SUV and like I stated previously the X5 didn't really get rave reviews from the other owners we spoke with. Now having driven the ML for I while I am happy with it, the only thing I sometimes wonder if I missed out on is the handling of the BMW. But I think when you consider the whole package the ML was still the right choice.
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#10 (permalink) Old 01-07-2010, 06:43 AM
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That's good to hear, you always wonder. I to was convinced that when we replaced our last SUV (an Infinity QX4) that we would buy a BMW X5. When a friend of mine bought an X3 I couldn't wait to see it and although he really liked it, I was totally unimpressed but still didn't rule out the X5, I couldn't get the drive of our 3 series out of my head. However, as soon as we test drove the ML I immediately thought this would be the one, I liked the styling, the utility, the interior and the drive. The Lexus didn't do it for me or my wife, the Infinity Q series was more like a car than and SUV and like I stated previously the X5 didn't really get rave reviews from the other owners we spoke with. Now having driven the ML for I while I am happy with it, the only thing I sometimes wonder if I missed out on is the handling of the BMW. But I think when you consider the whole package the ML was still the right choice.
Ha Ha, reminds me of when we bought our ML. There was no way I was ever going to buy anything other than a BMW (was looking at the 5er of the X5), but one day while driving past a MB dealer with my wife, she pointed to a Pewter ML parked on the corner and said "we should at least try out something new, we dont have to buy it". What she said made sense, especially since I knew we would NEVER buy a Benz. So, I was the first for the test drive and almost immideately this sinking feeling came over me (that I really liked this SUV and that it may put a damper on my BMW plans). I however, did not show my excitement to my wife. Next up she got in and took a spin and almost immideately said that she loved the drive (more that the X5 and our 3 series).
From there she couldn't get the ML out of her head. Everything was perfect...the color, the drive, options, etc. etc. Me, however, was still in denial. It actually took me 3 days to admit that I liked it because i did not want to give up any leverage (I even test drove X5s in the meantime). Once I overcame the fact that there is a competitor to BMW I went in and negotiated for the ML and drove it home. I actually love the ML so much that I may end up with 2 MLs in the garage in another 2 years

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