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Ml 500SE
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269 Posts
I've never owned a 320, but I did have a 00 430 and now have an 05 500. I don't know where you live or how much you want to spend, but I can give you some facts. It's all about torque output of the engine. The 320's had 233 ft. lbs. of torque, the 430 had 288 ft. lbs. of torque, and the 500's have 325 ft. lbs. of torque. The 55 ft.lbs. of torque difference between the 320 and the 430 is huge. I can tell you starting out on a hill with the 430 was never a problem. I never needed to floor that truck under any conditions, whether passing or getting on the freeway. The 500 is even better! Of course if you want to use the horses you have to feed them. I think a good test would be to test drive each model up a hill of your choice and make up your own mind! The mileage on my 430 wasn't that bad. On a trip from Cal. to Montana I averaged 20 mpg. Yes, I think the V-8 is worth the extra expense. If you live in Cal. I can tell you where my 430 is that I traded in. It had all the upgrades and was an excellant truck and is starmarked by the dealer in Fresno! Good luck!! [8D]
 

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2011 GLK,2007 S550,2003 S55,2008 CLK,2009 C300,1996 E300,2005 E320,2002 E3
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1,355 Posts
Always get the largest engine. Especially when you are buying used. You can probably negotiate it for the same price anyway.[8)] The gas mileage is close to the same, but the extra power helps out.
 

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2014 ML350 BlueTec
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2,626 Posts
mbeclass - 3/24/2005 4:52 PM

does the v8 offer a big enough difference in performance esp. high mileage to justify the price difference ?
l have to agree...the V8, is bullet-proof...
 

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1999 ML320 (Sold)
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404 Posts
A V8 is a beautiful thing but for all us 320 owners here is my 2 cents. If you need a new muffler for your 320 is costs 362.00 if you need a muffler for a 430 is will cost you 1480.00. A transmission for a 320 will be 5110.00 a 430 5520.00 (data from pennmark auto group) also oil changes and plugs etc will be more.
http://www.parts.com/partlocator/index.cfm?action=catalogcenter&siteid=213884&catalogid=0


mbeclass - 3/24/2005 4:52 PM

does the v8 offer a big enough difference in performance esp. high mileage to justify the price difference ?
 

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Mercedes "M32"
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961 Posts
I have the 320 .. I think it has plenty of usable power. But I do with I had more torque for off-roading, it would make it easier for me to climb some of the hills & other obstacles I tackle. The ONLY downside I see to having the V8 is higher maint costs as stated above (i.e gas, plugs, coils, wires etc .... So if I were in your shoes, spend the extra cash for the 430 or 500. If you cant afford it then the 320 is be just fine for just about anything but drag racing. LOL
 

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2010 ML350 Bluetec
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519 Posts
Yes.

I carpool one week in a ml320 the next week in my ml430. There is a significant difference in performance.

There is also a significant difference in gas mileage. She averages 19.7, in DC rush hour traffic, and I average 16.3.

mbeclass - 3/24/2005 4:52 PM

does the v8 offer a big enough difference in performance esp. high mileage to justify the price difference ?
 

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2000 ML430, 2000 C280
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920 Posts
Nobody has to pay that much for an ML430 muffler. You can always go OEM through an independent. I recently changed both the front and rear mufflers on an S-class with actual OEM parts for half that price.

Likewise, the extra cost of spark plugs and such are trivial as we are just talking about 2 extra cylinders every 100,000 miles. Not a budget buster. Oil changes are about the same, maybe a little extra oil for the V8. No big deal.

There are huge pluses with the V8 models. One plus is that the GPS navigation and premium stereo system is standard on the ML430! Also, the 430 has 17 inch wheels compared to 16 inchers on the 320. Various other items that were optional on the 320 were standard on the 430. There is quite a bit of difference between the two models besides the engine.

DelJ




pize98 - 3/24/2005 9:56 PM
If you need a new muffler for your 320 is costs 362.00 if you need a muffler for a 430 is will cost you 1480.00. A transmission for a 320 will be 5110.00 a 430 5520.00 (data from pennmark auto group) also oil changes and plugs etc will be more.
mbeclass - 3/24/2005 4:52 PM
 

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1999 ML320 (Sold)
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404 Posts
by kelly blue book the retail value of a 2000 ML320 is 18850 and a 2000 ML430 is 21335. 2400 bucks is not a huge difference. Now an ML55 2000 is retail 34000 now that is a huge difference.

DelJ - 3/25/2005 8:52 PM

Nobody has to pay that much for an ML430 muffler. You can always go OEM through an independent. I recently changed both the front and rear mufflers on an S-class with actual OEM parts for half that price.

Likewise, the extra cost of spark plugs and such are trivial as we are just talking about 2 extra cylinders every 100,000 miles. Not a budget buster. Oil changes are about the same, maybe a little extra oil for the V8. No big deal.

There are huge pluses with the V8 models. One plus is that the GPS navigation and premium stereo system is standard on the ML430! Also, the 430 has 17 inch wheels compared to 16 inchers on the 320. Various other items that were optional on the 320 were standard on the 430. There is quite a bit of difference between the two models besides the engine.

DelJ




pize98 - 3/24/2005 9:56 PM
If you need a new muffler for your 320 is costs 362.00 if you need a muffler for a 430 is will cost you 1480.00. A transmission for a 320 will be 5110.00 a 430 5520.00 (data from pennmark auto group) also oil changes and plugs etc will be more.
mbeclass - 3/24/2005 4:52 PM
 
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