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First impression with my test drive

2342 Views 12 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  sheepdog
I had the pleasure of driving a ML500 today. It had just completed it's PDI and hadn't even been cleaned yet.

My test vehicle was a pewter/black with entertainment, sunroof and appearance packages.

The black alcatara (?) seats are very sporty looking to me and are very comfortable. As mentioned earlier by Rodney the rear seats are very different. They are fixed and recline very far back. To some this will be a problem; For me it was nice as I like to feel somewhat reclined (but not a low rider) when riding/driver. I felt rear seat leg room was vastly improved over the W163. Front seats can be easily adjusted to just about any position imaginable.

Quality of materials was superior in every way compared to the W163 and top notch compared to other MB vehicles. The HK stereo was great as usual.

The overall driving was markedly improved over the W163. There is a great balance between firmness and luxury when going over bumpy roads. I was very pleased with the drive.

The new transmission will take some getting used to at first. Shifts are quick and almost unnoticeable. I liked the shift pads behind the steering wheel too.

After we left the dealership for the test drive, we proceeded to my wifes office which is about 8 miles away. Being the first time the salesman or I had driven the new W164 we weren't aware of how quite it was nor were we paying attention to speed because we were playing with the all the gadgets. We got pulled over for speeding. We were going 54 in a 35 zone. Thankfully the cop let us go with a warning!
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Thanks for the impressions, Jack.
Good to know you like the Alcantara-that's what I want to get. Are the manual shifters paddles or just buttons on the back of the wheel (do they rotate with the wheel or are they fixed)? I assume the one you drove had steel springs, not air suspension?
RE: Rear headrests

AutoSaurus - 3/24/2005 2:24 PM

I forgot to mention something...

The rear seat headrest are very annoying. If the headrest is all the way down it sits just behind my shoulders. I'm 5'11" too. I couldn't sit this way for too long. If moved up to a comfortable position then the headrest block the view when backing and look out of place and not pleasing to the eye.
I thought it was clever how compact they are when down. Ideally, you keep them down unless someone in the back seat. I hardly ever have passengers in the back seat, so it's no problem. If you do, however, I can see it would be pain putting them up and down all the time.
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