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MY00 remained basically same as the original, though I'm not sure whether or not they switched from the 2-tone color to the single tone paint mode. I believe in MY01 (or it may have been MY02), they changed the front facia, giving it the fangy, old man look, and the rear bumper from the 98 look to the current look. In 02, there were a whole lot of changes made - front/rear bumper redesign, auto climate control, new interior controls, 2nd row seat went to the current 60/40 split, rims from 16 to 17inches with bigger tires - a whole bunch of stuff inside cosmetics/utility stuff changed. There could also have been mechanical systems changes that were not apparent. I know that if you go to MBUSA.com, there's a history section there where you can chat the changes. If I find it, I'll post the URL.

OK, I found it: Go <a href="http://www.mbusa.com/brand/container.jsp?/overview/index.jsp?persist=false">here</a> for a 16 year overview. Keep in mind, the exterior of the Sport/AMG models didn't change much except for the rear bumper cut-outs.
 

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ML550, W212 E350 4 matic, 1966 Corvette C2 convt.
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00 and 01 were quite similar but in 02 MANY changes, improvements, additional features, equipment and a lot of quality improvement.
 

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Coupe/Convertible Forums Moderator
CURRENT: 2011 SL550, 2011 C300 FORMER: ML350, CLK550 Cabriolet, C240, ML320, 300TD
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Major changes for MY2000:

· Upgraded interior (leather door panels instead of plastic, soft-touch painted surfaces, genuine wood trim instead of plastic)
· Touchshift control for the transmission
· Body-colored bumpers
· MCS radio instead of singe-DIN radio
· Revised rear seat configuration (40/60 split)

Major changes from 2001:

· Teleaid
· 4ETS+ (added ETS control with brake pedal depressed for better downhill control)
· D2B Fiber optic interface

Major Changes for 2002:

· Revised side-view mirrors
· Revised center console and window switches
· Rear seat ventilation with separate climate control
· Fully automatic front climate control with increased A/C capacity
· Bumper skins attached to body instead of frame for better fit
· Aluminum rear tailgate

This is all I can think of off-hand, but there were also many minor changes that work “behind the scenes�, such as the change to a different Drive Authorization System in 2002 that did away with the valet key, but also closed a potential loophole in the security system. Overall, if given the choice, I’d look at a 2002+ model.

- RODNEY
 

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BenzWorld Post Whore
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<a href="http://babenj.tzo.com:6971/s4toml/fyi/2002_M_Class_Changes.pdf">HERE YOU GO</a> just right click save as
 

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Rudeney has a good overview. My recollection is that model year 2000 had over 500 parts that were changed from the previous model year (1999).

The differences between the 2000 and 2001 are minimal.

The 2002 model year had over 1,100 parts that were changed from the previous model year (2001).

Reliability ratings don't significantly improve until model year 2003. If you are choosing between those three years, 2002 is definitely the one to pick.
 
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