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Discussion Starter #1
I came across these at the Portland airport Embassy Suites last night and came back at sunrise this morning to take pics--three 2006 ML350s, three 2006 ML500s, one 2005 ML350 and two Lexus RX330s. These are apparently in town for the dealers' First Drive session on Monday & Tuesday. Some had CA distributor's plates and some had none.

Here are some pics (since this was at sunrise, the cars are covered with dew)--

The lineup:






Two of the MLs had bumper guards and side step rails, and most had trailer hitches--I had not seen these items before:






Alcantara/Leather Twin interior with contrasting stitching is pretty handsome:


Nice detail on the 500:


ML500 (left) and 350 (right):


ML500 w/ 19s (Michelin Diamaris 255/50):


Miscellaneous observations--
Tires were various Michelins, except one 350 had Sumitomos!
One 500 had "black-out" taillight lenses.
No Sport Package was present.
Windshields had the Daimler signature sticker.
350s had oval tailpipes; 500s rectangular.
 

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Nice line up. Looking at the MLs next to the Lexus it would be easy to believe that they were from the same design studio. Don't you think the new ML looks a Japanese in design and has lost that rugged individual look of the 163.
 

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GregW/Oregon, thanks for the pictures! Nice work!! [:)] Is the Mercedes with the smoked out back lights the one in the far right of the first picture? The side tailights seem to be missing. Or perhaps it is just another W163?

I agree with the other poster here: the new ML seems to have lost the ruggedness the W163 had. However, the interior of the newer vehicle looks quite elegant.
 

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looking better and better everytime I see them, greg I might not be able to make that dealer training session in portland!

is it just me or did the tires on the bigger engine (this case 500) get thinner? seems like my ML430 has very wide tires, wider than most SUV's which personally I think makes a car look much better
 

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Discussion Starter #5
RE: Taillight differences

BrentG500 - 3/12/2005 4:25 PM

GregW/Oregon, thanks for the pictures! Nice work!! [:)] Is the Mercedes with the smoked out back lights the one in the far right of the first picture? The side tailights seem to be missing. Or perhaps it is just another W163?
No, that one is the 500 that is seen from the other side in the last photo. Here is the comparison of the "smoked" lens and regular lens taillights. It's a subtle difference.


 

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Discussion Starter #6
RE: Tire size

BlackHawk - 3/12/2005 4:32 PM

looking better and better everytime I see them, greg I might not be able to make that dealer training session in portland!

is it just me or did the tires on the bigger engine (this case 500) get thinner? seems like my ML430 has very wide tires, wider than most SUV's which personally I think makes a car look much better
You're right--the W163 comes with 275s, and the W164 with 255s, same width as my '98 320 came with. I agree the proportions do not look as good, though I'm sure they work fine technically. I'll be looking to go with something like 9.5 or 10" rims (similar to my current Lorinsers) with 275s or 285s if they will fit
 

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Discussion Starter #7
RE: W164 Design

Lucan - 3/12/2005 3:32 PM

Nice line up. Looking at the MLs next to the Lexus it would be easy to believe that they were from the same design studio. Don't you think the new ML looks a Japanese in design and has lost that rugged individual look of the 163.
Actually, I don't think it has lost anything compared to the W163, and it looks twice as good as the Lexus (not saying much), but I wish they had take a bolder design direction that was a little more "trucky." The Range Rover Sport is a design I admire, though it has its faults. It does continue the current corporate look, which I guess is what they thought was important.

That being said, it fits our needs perfectly and I'll be getting one in June.
 

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Greg...

Thanks for the detailed shots. I've made your thread a sticky for the time being, a testiment to your monumental efforts [:D]

I do have one question. In the shot below, I can just make out the front mudflaps. Do you have other pics of the accessories?

 

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RE: Taillight differences

Something interesting I noticed...the new rear Parktronic setup has 6 sensors vs the 4 in all of the current MB cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
RE: Greg...

Drew - 3/12/2005 7:36 PM

Thanks for the detailed shots. I've made your thread a sticky for the time being, a testiment to your monumental efforts [:D]

I do have one question. In the shot below, I can just make out the front mudflaps. Do you have other pics of the accessories?
Sharp eyes, Drew--actually, I did not notice the mud flaps. I'm out of storage space on my roadfly account, and ImageStation will not let you link...do we have web space storage on this board?
 

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Yes...

GregW / Oregon - 3/12/2005 8:00 PM

do we have web space storage on this board?
Absolutely! You have a couple of options. You can upload them to your gallery (click on My BenzWorld) or simply use the Attach image option, which will allow you to attach multiple images as well. These will automatically be uploaded to your personalised BenzWorld gallery.

BTW, make mine a diesel ML with the sidesteps, mudflaps, power tailgate, active Bi-Xenons, Parktronic, hk sound system, Airmatic, Presafe, and with the split Alcantara/leather interior [:D]

I don't particularly like the look of the brushguard. Looks rather odd? Perhaps it's better in person but in the pics it looks too uncurvy, if you know what I mean.
 

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Thanks so much Greg!

I'm going to get the 350 with the prem pkg but I really like the extra chrome both inside and out. I may have to do some mod'ing down the road and get some of the 500's trim pieces installed.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
BlackHawk - 3/12/2005 9:47 PM

I think the front bar sticks out way to much, thats like the look of the old style "offroad package" I have a feeling there will be some appearance updates later
Yeah, the front bar is almost identical to the W163 one, and doesn't seem to fit. Here's the one on my '98':

 

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Yes, the smoked out treatment is quite subtle. Thanks for the clarification. I think the front grille protector (if that is what you can call it) looks too much like the ones used on the Mercedes vehicles in Jurassic Park 2.

And I agree that Mercedes should have taken more of a truck look rather than a bug (read insect) look. Personally, I think the front chrome on the grille takes away from the W164's character. The blacked out one, as found on the ML350, suits me better. Also, I'm not really a fan of the black portion surrounding the fog lights.

Otherwise, it looks like a nice miniva....truck.
 

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Greg,

Thanks a lot - very, very nice photos of both W163, W164, and RX330.

Those of you who want the Alcantara interior: Beware that the sides of the seats are leather imitation and not "real" leather. Black (charcoal) plastic might become pretty hot [B)]

The 500 with the blacked-out taillight lenses must have had the sport appearance package. Those taillights (and the Alcantara seats) are part of the sport appearance package and can't be ordered individually - over here at least.

500's have the chrome package as standard, which includes square chromed exhaust tips - it's an extra on all others.

Those of you who wish to see wider tires on the W164 than 255 may be disappointed. Remember that standard fitting in Europe on the W163 was a 225 [;)] I've had to pay quite a premium to get 275's on my two W163's - and the W163 AMG wheels carried 285 tires.

Now, however, the W164 AMG wheels are also fitted with 255 section tires - the wheels are an inch bigger in diameter and consequently the tires are lower profile. But I'm afraid that wider tires than 255 will not fit without bodywork modifications.

Cheers from Luxembourg,
Birger

FYI, the German W164 ML price list can be downloaded from here: http://www.mercedes-benz.de/content/media_library/germany/mpc_germany/de/mercedes-benz_deutschland/personenwagen/home/produkte/neufahrzeuge/m-klasse/preise/price_list.object-Single-MEDIA.tmp/Preisliste_M_Klasse.pdf
 

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Greg, your Bull Bar looks part of the car moreso than the one on the 164. Going back to the tyre widths, is this another way for MB to get more money from us. Fitting narrower wheels means we might be more inclined to specify optional wheels when buying a new car. It's like metallic paint and auto boxes, both things that should be standard but they charge you an arm and leg for.
 

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Lucan - 3/13/2005 3:08 AM
Going back to the tyre widths, is this another way for MB to get more money from us. Fitting narrower wheels means we might be more inclined to specify optional wheels when buying a new car.
Looks like MB selected the same tire sizes as used on the Porsche Cayenne, 235/65 R17, and for the Cayenne S and Turbo 255/65 R18.

Since the ET on the new wheels is 60 mm, one could fit wider tires by using a smaller offset like on the W163.

 

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Discussion Starter #19
RE: Greg...

Drew - 3/12/2005 7:36 PM

Thanks for the detailed shots. I've made your thread a sticky for the time being, a testiment to your monumental efforts [:D]

I do have one question. In the shot below, I can just make out the front mudflaps. Do you have other pics of the accessories?
Here are a few more shots:
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Birger - 3/13/2005 3:07 AM

Greg,

Thanks a lot - very, very nice photos of both W163, W164, and RX330.

Those of you who want the Alcantara interior: Beware that the sides of the seats are leather imitation and not "real" leather. Black (charcoal) plastic might become pretty hot [B)]
It's too bad you can't get real leather/Alcantara like with BMW.

The 500 with the blacked-out taillight lenses must have had the sport appearance package. Those taillights (and the Alcantara seats) are part of the sport appearance package and can't be ordered individually - over here at least.
The only sport appearance package in the US is the "AMG Sport Package." There must be more differences for $4,200. The photos previously posted of the supposed AMG package had quite different front and rear valance treatments.

Those of you who wish to see wider tires on the W164 than 255 may be disappointed. Remember that standard fitting in Europe on the W163 was a 225 [;)] I've had to pay quite a premium to get 275's on my two W163's - and the W163 AMG wheels carried 285 tires.

Now, however, the W164 AMG wheels are also fitted with 255 section tires - the wheels are an inch bigger in diameter and consequently the tires are lower profile. But I'm afraid that wider tires than 255 will not fit without bodywork modifications.

Cheers from Luxembourg,
Birger
I agree with Wolfgang that wheels with different offset should allow an increase in width. Lorinser, Brabus and others are sure to have offerings soon.
 
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