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Thanks for the link. You know, over the past thirty years, I've come to expect so much from Mercedes. Quite frankly, I think this new ML is trash. I love my 1999 ML320 and to be honest, I wouldn't spend a dime on this vehicle.

Save your money and go buy whatever W163's are still out there!

I apologize for rubbing my opinion in everyone's face. It's really supposed to be for Mercedes-Benz only. [:D]
 

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BrentG500 - 3/14/2005 8:05 PM

Thanks for the link. You know, over the past thirty years, I've come to expect so much from Mercedes. Quite frankly, I think this new ML is trash. I love my 1999 ML320 and to be honest, I wouldn't spend a dime on this vehicle.

Save your money and go buy whatever W163's are still out there!

I apologize for rubbing my opinion in everyone's face. It's really supposed to be for Mercedes-Benz only. [:D]
I guess I can understand not being enthusiastic about it, but your statements aren't explicit enough to carry any credence. Trash? What don't you like? --
The higher quality constuction? Higher performance? Better economy? Better interior? Better off-road performance? More passenger space with less weight? Sleeker looks?

I love my '98, also, but it's long overdue for upgrade. Get with the 21st century.
 

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altho the new ml isnt bad, i still dont see an evolution from the last model. every other mercedes model still retains some of character from its predecesor. how would you know it has better off road capabilities, just from the lockers they are gonna throw on as option? im glad mb stepped up their game in terms of build quality and materials used, but the design is really bland. they put in all these attractive options and features, but how will the car be as a whole? i love the new v6 and 7speed tranny but still cant get myself to like this 'car'
 

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GregW / Oregon - 3/14/2005 10:34 PM

I guess I can understand not being enthusiastic about it, but your statements aren't explicit enough to carry any credence. Trash? What don't you like? --
The higher quality constuction? Higher performance? Better economy? Better interior? Better off-road performance? More passenger space with less weight? Sleeker looks?

I love my '98, also, but it's long overdue for upgrade. Get with the 21st century.
GregW, I can see that you are very dedicated and passionate about this new M-class Mercedes-Benz. There's nothing wrong with being thrilled at a new Mercedes-Benz. I'd like to begin by saying I love and have loved MB vehicles because of their economy, interior, and design/engineering (especially the newer sedans, coupes, roadsters and convertibles!).

With that said, I'm most certainly not impressed by the W164's looks. Mercedes always carried a quality in its appearance that set it aside from the crowd. Today's W164, in my opinion, looks no different than a Chevy Equinox (there are a few differences but the Mercedes looks too much like it). Now I can understand if both vehicles are coming from the same parent, but they are clearly not. One is DC, while the other is GM.







Now the interior of the W164 looks like a jazzed up interior of (parent company) DC's Jeep Liberty.




As far as higher quality construction, the front end and rear body panels look rather cheap. Amazing when you consider the hefty $40,000.00+ sticker price this car carries. However, I am quite aware that MB is cutting cost wherever possible and if this is where they want to cut corners, then so be it. As far as higher performance, an engine is an engine. It's how you modify it that really counts. But what really matters is if you care enough about the vehicle to make that adjustment. Honestly, I'm so disappointed in the way this ML looks, I don't really care if it ever runs! [:D]

This newer ML doesn't have third row seating. I can't fit the whole troop in here. Now although I like the technological gizmos that MB has in this newer vehicle, it doesn't change the fact that if I don't like the vehicle, these gizmos mean NOTHING to me. [:)]

Lastly, I really wish MB had stuck to a body on frame construction instead of the unitbody design. I also wish MB had designed this vehicle to be more truck like and less minivan like in appearance. BUT Mercedes didn't build this car to my wishes - they built it according to what they felt would succeed.

I'm glad that you and I agree the W163 was in need for an upgrade. I'm sorry we disagree on the issue that Mercedes should have entered the 21st century upholding its tradition of making distinctive vehicles with quality - not cheap, "me too" vehicles that allow them unearthly profits by huge margins.
 

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It has been fun reading about the 164 all of this nasty winter, but spring is coming and it is time to re-enter reality. My opinion...

-I actually think the 164 IS evolutionary. Should MB have wanted to stay ladder/frame, it could have incorporated all these changes during the 163 run.
-The 2002 changes "appear" to be incorporated in the new vehicle. That's evolution.
-MB could have changed what is uses on plastic surfaces at any time. In fact, most of this same plastic crap was on my '94 E320.
-I like the 164 styling cues; just believe they could have been added to 163.
-No diesel 163 in the US? They could have resolved that at any time, and chose not to. The sulfer fuel story is/was a red herring. US fuel was cheap and diesel/hybrid wasn't worth the effort, until it was too late to respond.
-164 is 2 years too late to be a hit.
-And there are a bunch of extremely bright people who decided all this stuff, INTENTIONALLY, so I believe all this hoo-ha about 164 is playing out exactly how they wanted it to play out.

Will I buy one? No way. I can drive a new (disposable) diesel Liberty and keep a perfect older SL in the garage for the same money.

Please don't flame me [:)][}:)]
 

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Can't believe I spelled sulfur wrong

[B)]
 

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After looking at the pictures that "BrentG500" has attached, I have to say he is right. The W164 looks just like another SUV in the crowd. I really don't expect that when you drive it, people would turn around with popped eyes looking at you. I just wonder if they would even notice it.
I mean look at the pictures above. The man is right and I think 8 years were long enough for Mercedes to come up with something totally new and not a "I am here too." But well, everything is a matter of taste.
 

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BrentG500 - 3/14/2005 12:23 AM

GregW, I can see that you are very dedicated and passionate about this new M-class Mercedes-Benz. There's nothing wrong with being thrilled at a new Mercedes-Benz. I'd like to begin by saying I love and have loved MB vehicles because of their economy, interior, and design/engineering (especially the newer sedans, coupes, roadsters and convertibles!).
Now that's what you should have said in your first post--just calling something trash with nothing to support the statement makes you seem like a troll.

I am NOT in love with the design direction M-B took. I, too, would prefer a more "trucky" look for this SUV, like the Range Rover Sport, for example. It looks too much like a crossover (like the Equinox you cite). But, I do think it is instantly recognizable as a Mercedes when you see it in the flesh.

The 3rd-row seating issue will be addressed by the G-Class and R-Class. I would hesitate to buy a vehicle with 3rd row because I have absolutely no need for it and do not want the cargo utility compomised.

As far as unibody, it allows big weight savings (i.e. also fuel savings), better handling and safety, with few compromises if you're not towing over 5,000 lb. The upcoming diesel(s) should be and ideal version for many.

I don't understand how you can think the W164 is "cheap" and the W163 not. I guess that's totally based on design (which I understand is personal), since the engineering and construction quality seems far better.

I believe the new ML carries the current M-B family face quite successfully, but agree with you that a more rugged look would be preferable. That being said, I'm getting one because it fits our needs and our '98 has 77k and I'm ready for something new. Looking at the competition, there is nothing else that seems as good or better. The LR3 is ponderous and gets horrible mileage, the X5 has little utility, the XC90 is even more a soccer mom design, etc.

The GST (R-Class) seems to be a better design solution for its purpose as a family hauler-if I was in the market for such a vehicle I would be truly excited about it.

 

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I've seen and touched the W164 in the flesh. I've owned a W163 (2002).

THERE IS NO COMPARISON IN QUALITY BETWEEN THE TWO.

The W164 is, in my opinion, a true evolution from the W163. The quality is superior from what I've seen.

Good debut and very good points made from both sides. Thanks for keeping professional and not personal.

However, I stand be Greg's point-of-view. [:p]
 

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GregW / Oregon - 3/15/2005 9:32 AM

The LR3 is ponderous and gets horrible mileage, the X5 has little utility, the XC90 is even more a soccer mom design, etc.

The GST (R-Class) seems to be a better design solution for its purpose as a family hauler-if I was in the market for such a vehicle I would be truly excited about it.
I applaud Land Rover for the exterior styling choices on the LR3 (although some chocies are a bit bizarre); I criticize them for their interior design (it's very cold and uninviting). The X5 is too much of a lifted and stretched 5-series wagon (late 90's model) and the XC90 is just not my type.

I'm still waiting to see the new GL. The spy photos show it to be a bit more rugged and (possibly) more to my liking (or disappointment).

GregW, looking at all your posts, I think you've done an excellent job gathering all this information on the W164. My dislike of the vehicle is only a dislike of the vehicle; it does not mean that I dislike you.

Cheers!
 

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5thMB1stNew - 3/15/2005 3:15 AM
-No diesel 163 in the US? They could have resolved that at any time, and chose not to. The sulfer fuel story is/was a red herring. US fuel was cheap and diesel/hybrid wasn't worth the effort, until it was too late to respond.
MB is developing new compact and very clean diesel engines, the OM 642 family, with the US market in mind. This engine will be released this year in Germany, starting with the C and E-class, and is expected by 2006 in a US M-Class.

Meeting emission regulations is more difficult than some folks think, and they will become much stricter in 2007.

VW was just forced to stop selling the Touareg V10 diesel in the US, due to emission/EPA issues!!!

The inline six diesel engine currently sold in the E320 CDI, the OM 642, is too long and high, and thus doesn't fit into the M-Class or a 4matic vehicle.
 

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Certainly not disputing your facts, Wolfgang, but my premise is that MB could have stayed in diesel in US had they wanted, or pushed development of the new ones. All technical arguments aside, marketing tends to hinge on emotions rationlized by facts.

If 164 HAD to be released by a certain date, don't you think they would have found a way, instead of doing 2 years of ML special editions? I believe they rode that horse until it would ride no longer.

I guess I have become more cynical than I used to be.
 

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I've seen and touched the W164 in the flesh. I've owned a W163 (2002).THERE IS NO COMPARISON IN QUALITY BETWEEN THE TWO.
The W164 is, in my opinion, a true evolution from the W163. The quality is superior from what I've seen.
I currently own a 2001 ML320 and I have spent some time driving the W164. I have to agree with your assessment, except that the true level of quality won’t be known until these new vehicles rack up some miles in the hands of owners. The ML500 I drove did feel tighter and had an overall more luxurious look and feel than the W163. However, there are some things I thought looked like a step down in “quality� or “design� over the W163:

The A/C vents on the dash look like they were borrowed from GM. I prefer the triple center vent on the W163, as it looks more �old-school� Mercedes (which is actually my personal preference, yours may vary of course)

The same goes for the window switches. They look like they came from the same factory as all the Japanese makes. I prefer the big chunky center console mounted switches. Again, that’s just my “old-school� preference.

I like the grain, pattern and stitching of the seat leather on the W163 much better. The W164 leather actually looked and felt very “cheap� to me. I can say the same thing for most all the leather in the modern MBZ vehicles.

I do not like the rear seat. I do not like the shape of it, the seating position, or the way it folds. I do not like the headrests. It reminds me of the back seat of a Chevrolet, not a Mercedes-Benz.

I noticed a very “hollow� sound when closing the doors. My W163 doors sound very solid, but not as good as, say, an E-class. That’s what I would have expected in this new model.

The cargo cover is a horrible design, even worse than the W163. I do not understand why they don’t put the mechanism in the tailgate and have it extend to the back of the seats. This way, there’s no issue with where to store it, and it could be made to unfurl as you open the tailgate making access easier. I remember seeing one vehicle somewhere designed this way and it was very smart.

Just keep in mind that the design of the W163 was based on the older, more “utilitarian� MBZ models, so that by the time it was produced, it was already a dated design. The W164 design is based on the absolute latest models, so it should have a “night and day� freshness to it when compared to the W163.

- RODNEY
 

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BrentG500 - 3/15/2005 11:11 AM

GregW, looking at all your posts, I think you've done an excellent job gathering all this information on the W164. My dislike of the vehicle is only a dislike of the vehicle; it does not mean that I dislike you.

Cheers!
I did not take your post personally, just your first statement that it was "trash" was a little brusque and obvious overstatement.

If only we could custom order the design and features we each wanted!
 

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rudeney - 3/15/2005 1:58 PM

I currently own a 2001 ML320 and I have spent some time driving the W164. I have to agree with your assessment, except that the true level of quality won’t be known until these new vehicles rack up some miles in the hands of owners. The ML500 I drove did feel tighter and had an overall more luxurious look and feel than the W163. However, there are some things I thought looked like a step down in “quality� or “design� over the W163:
One upgrade--the ML500 grille is real stainless steel, not plastic like on even the ML55!
 

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One upgrade--the ML500 grille is real stainless steel, not plastic like on even the ML55!
I'm not sure about that. The ML500 I drove definitely had a plastic grill. I examined it to see if there was a possibility in adapting it to a W163. Of course this was a “test mule�, so it’s possible that there could be differences in the production vehicels. Still, it would be a departure since every other current MBZ model uses a plastic grill.

- RODNEY
 

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RE: Grille material

rudeney - 3/16/2005 11:14 AM

One upgrade--the ML500 grille is real stainless steel, not plastic like on even the ML55!
I'm not sure about that. The ML500 I drove definitely had a plastic grill. I examined it to see if there was a possibility in adapting it to a W163. Of course this was a “test mule�, so it’s possible that there could be differences in the production vehicels. Still, it would be a departure since every other current MBZ model uses a plastic grill.

- RODNEY
You may well be right--surprised me, too. I was just going by the Accessories dealer training manual description:

B6 688 0354 Chrome Grille (V8 Standard)
-Manufactured from stainless steel with a high quality chroming
-Polished to a superb chrome finish
-Custom built for a true and exact custom fit
-No major modifications required for installation
-Embedded in grille design

Customer benefit:
-Provides your vehicle with an attractive customized look
-Gives your ML350 the strikingly aggressive silver and chrome grille of its V8 sibling
-Perfectly styled, manufactured and finished
-Helps you obtain increase in air flow

Very curious!
 

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I distinctly remember the one in Detroit being plastic also. All three on display for that fact.

I wonder what a S/S one will cost? [:0]
 
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