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Current 2017 GLE350, 2007 S550, 2002 S430, 1998 ML320 Deceased 74 240D, 92 400E, 97 E420, 13 GLK350
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1,915 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
:) Crazy about MB, four owned (240D, 400E, E420, S430). Looking to buy an ML class for under $10k with 6 cylinders.

Looks like a great forum for DIY enthusiasts. Any advice on model and year to look for / stay away from?

Thanks!
 

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2000 ML430 SOLD, 2007 BMW 328i Coupe, 2014 BMW i3, 2019 Honda Odyssey
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2,982 Posts
Newer the better, and since you've limited yourself to 6 cylinder... you know what you've got to do. ;)
 

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05 500
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6,516 Posts
Mine!!:thumbsup: I think the 05 500 W163 are really better than the others. Better built, almost as fast as a 55, handles like a 55 and a lot more stuff!
 

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05 ML500 SE
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1,482 Posts
6 cylinders and 4500lbs.. Might want to consider a v8.
 

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2000 ML320
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74 Posts
I love mine but I will kill for a 430/500/55. Seriously get the V8 unless you want the acceleration of a Panzer tank
 

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2002 ML55 AMG, 2005 Chrysler Crossfire Coupe Limited, 1999 C280
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4,714 Posts
Purchase the latest year V8 model you can find.

ML500 or ML55.

Comparatively better reliability
Nicer interior
More power
More fun
 

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2002 ML320 SOLD, 2008 Mustang GT, 2012 Ford Escape
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96 Posts
The problem here is that he/she? only wants to spend less than $10K. You are not going to get a 2005 ML500 for that money.

My advice too is also the newer the better. The big improvement in the W163 was in 2002. The best 6 cylinder MLs are the ML350 which are 2003 - 2005 (prior to 2003, they are ML320s with less power).
 

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2002 ML320
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323 Posts
Sounds like you need my car! 2002 320. Your still going to be pressed to find a really nice properly maintained one for 10k, with decent miles of course.

I love the truck and it has been all and all very reliable, keep in mind I have owned it since 04, and purchased with 16k miles. I'm now about to roll 100k. As a example, my car is rolling up on a very long list of maintence issues. So be careful with your choice in truck.

Make sure it has had proper service, or your 10k investment quickly will become 15k.
 

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2002 ML320 SOLD, 2008 Mustang GT, 2012 Ford Escape
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96 Posts
Sounds like you need my car! 2002 320. Your still going to be pressed to find a really nice properly maintained one for 10k, with decent miles of course.

I love the truck and it has been all and all very reliable, keep in mind I have owned it since 04, and purchased with 16k miles. I'm now about to roll 100k. As a example, my car is rolling up on a very long list of maintence issues. So be careful with your choice in truck.

Make sure it has had proper service, or your 10k investment quickly will become 15k.
You are absolutely correct about a long list of maintenance issues. It is very difficult to keep up with things that don't work properly. My ML320 has the following issues that remain unfixed:

right back door lock doesn't work with remote key, interior instrument lights don't always work (unless I tap on top of the dash), rear wiper doesn't work, SRS light intermittent when humid or cold. None of these things actually stop me from driving it.

A lot of us just drive these MLs with open issues because the costs will kill you. Fixing "simple issues" like ones that I mentioned above can run into hundreds and hundreds of dollars. Big issues (like a transmission failure, etc.) can run into thousands of dollars.

I have a Ford (3rd one now) that NEVER has any issues - although a Mercedes is a nice car to drive, they definitely have constant small crap breaking.
 

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2002 ML320
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323 Posts
"although a Mercedes is a nice car to drive"

If you ask me there is no better, more rewarding car to drive for 10+ years! For any benz you have to pay to play.

My car is worth 10k now, it will cost me 5k to fully repair to my liking. The reward hopefully 100k more rewarding mercedes miles ;)

The reason this post is worth it, the fella in question knows the benz expierence, so the ML could be a perfect long lasting fit. Good luck.
 

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2002 ML320 SOLD, 2008 Mustang GT, 2012 Ford Escape
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96 Posts
"the fella in question knows the benz experience".......

Yeah, that's one way of putting it LOL....

I agree that my ML320 could also be just about perfect again for about another $3000 or so dollars. I have put $2500 into it this year so far...

A beautiful car to drive, but the biggest pain in the ass ever.
 

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05 ML500 SE
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1,482 Posts
Some things to note. In 2002 the ml got a mild mid cycle refresh. You see the ml 320 make way for the ml350. You see the ml430 make way for the ml500. Ml55 continues but with some updates until 2003 then it disappears. In 2004-05 you see the inspiration edition which makes ml350 and ml500 have hood bumps and trim to look more ml55 ish. Some say this update was good for reliability as some parts got changed. But the ml took on weight by the measure of 150-300 lbs depending on model. I personally think the 2001 ml 430 and ml55 to be "the buy". Some think the refresh was well refreshing but I think it was mostly lipstick. Anecdotally the 2004 and 2005 ml's are more reliable but I think that's just because they haven't aged as much yet. 98 and 99 models are supposedly mote buggy so stay with 00 and above. From a power to weight ratio the ml350 is the porkiest. The ml500 is more powerful than a ml430 but weighs enough more to make the power gains null.

For you money a low miles 2001ml 430 will be the best bet. You may be able to find a 00-01 ml55 too but it carries a 1-2k premium over ml430's. Ml320s supposedly get 2-4mpg more but they are slow. I would never consider pulling around a vehicle that heavy with so little power myself. I think the sweetspot would be an ml430 2001 with 70-80k.
 

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Current 2017 GLE350, 2007 S550, 2002 S430, 1998 ML320 Deceased 74 240D, 92 400E, 97 E420, 13 GLK350
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1,915 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Gents - thanks for the feedback - sounds like most of you like the ML at lot!

Merzatt - best advice. You have some great DIY info posted as well. The little broke fix and preventive maintenance items have become my hobby on the S and the E, your posts would be of great help.
 

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2002 ML320 Sport
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23 Posts
:) Crazy about MB, four owned (240D, 400E, E420, S430). Looking to buy an ML class for under $10k with 6 cylinders.

Looks like a great forum for DIY enthusiasts. Any advice on model and year to look for / stay away from?

Thanks!
Do you want to drive to Texas? :) Mine's going up for sale soon in your price range.
 
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