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I'm putting my trusty '99 ML 430 out to pasture at 201K miles. It has been our daily driver for almost ten years and has served us well, but I'm getting a little nervous about using a vehicle with over 200K miles on it as a daily driver through another Alaska winter. We're keeping it as a second car/hauler and for heavy snow. It's losing its place in the garage unless and until we can move enough "stuff" to make it a two car garage again, but I am putting an engine heater on it so it won't have to be started from dead cold in really cold weather.

We found a good deal on a very clean, low-mileage CLS-550 4Matic and put a deposit on it yesterday. Have to move some money around and will take possession Wednesday or Thursday. It is a much more complex vehicle than the W-163 ML, so there'll be a learning curve. I haven't driven a sedan regularly since my wife sent my '99 Chrysler 300M to an untimely end in August of '10; she actually believed that guy was going to slow and turn just because he had his turn signal on. That's when we bought the ML. I'm retired and my wife only goes into the office, six miles away, a couple of days a week, so we put less than 10K miles per year on a vehicle, mostly around Anchorage but with occasional road trips.

The first challenge is to get a set of good winter tires for the CLS. It has the AMG 18" wheels and TireRack doesn't have a recommended matched set of winter tires, so I'm going to have to shop around and come up with a work-around for the staggered sizes that keeps the same diameter front and rear. It has a set of B.F. Goodrich Comp2 M&S rated tires with good tread on it, but my experience with M&S rated tires on Anchorage's icy roads has not been good; not getting a set of Michelin Lattitude M&S rated tires off the ML at the first sign of snow and ice cost me a lot in insurance premiums the last couple of years. M&S go OK on an AWD or FWD vehicle but they don't stop well enough to be safe on ice, so I need some studs or studless snow tires for it. TireRack has a set of Pirelli studless winter tires for the 19" wheels, so a set of wheels might be the solution. Anyway, I'll look and see what I can find here since freight for tires from the Lower 48 is breathtaking. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 
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