Yea, I hear that....I would prefer a 2010 - 2011 ML350, but cant find a low mileage one. My job is a little shaky right now, so I was thinking of doing this till I could get something else...
I also hear the concerns on something with real low miles...how do you put on 1,500 miles a year?
Are you concerned with odometer fraud or just curious ?
I try to ask probing questions but in a non-intrusive way. Most people want to tell their story.
Is this person selling it believable / transparent or guarded ?
Perhaps they have several cars and nobody warmed to the 'truck like' ride of an ML, that could be a reason for low miles.
Our ML500 was sold to us under what did look like suspicious circumstances but it all turned out OK, truck was 100% legit & so was seller, but it was hard to tell !
Took me 3 visits to discern that what seemed 'too good to be True', was really so & a legit deal too.
I try to follow the advice on used car buying: "Buy the person selling it, not just the car."
If I get bad vibes or have suspicions, I walk away.
I also pull an Autocheck doc on every car. Before seeing it.
Flaky sellers will balk at giving a VIN and that's another dead giveaway.
On your ML under consideration, if you feel it's all legit, tell them Straight-up what's discucssed here:
"Yes, miles are very low, but that's not always for the best.
Cars that sit around never driven CAN have more problems than those that are driven regularly"
(they probably don't know that).
That tactic turns their perceived positive into a Negative, which is in your favor, negotiation wise.
Point out that it's a decade & half old, and then if it's super clean, split the difference between 5k and their 8.5k - I'd describe that as a win-win for both of you.
The strategy is more do-able if they look like they don't need the money that bad. Sellers 'on the margin' need every last $$ and tend to bargain that way.
Sorry for the book length reply, hope some of this is helpful.
David in East Texas