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Black 2005 ML 500
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well after 10 years of ML experience, a 2001 Ml 320 and a 2005 ML 500, brand new both, and some other past Mercedes vehicles, I have decided to leave the Mercedes trend.

I have a bad taste in my mouth and in my wallet right now that have been going for more than 10 years..

The 1998+ Mercedes vehicle generations have put a bitter taste on my mouth and my wallet. Poor vehicle reliablity, overpriced repairs, overpriced labor, overpriced parts, repair stringing at the dealers, and bad Mercedes customer service are the main reasons.

After spending a couple of thousands installing new Michelin tires, alignment, and other parts, I went into this smooth driving trip to Atlanta. The ML V8 did beatifully and just purred on the highway.

On the way back to Houston, my ML began to have a chirping under the car. I thought it may be the wheel bearings, but after taking it to the dealer, they pinpointed the problem to be the axle U joints.

They mentioned that the axle U joints are not serviceable and the axle will have to be replaced. $1200.00.

In addition, they mentioned that I needed a new battery.. WTF..!! I just replaced it with a brand new battery and it just start right way on and way strong..!! so I know my battery is in perfect state. I tested myself with a load test and with a fancy battery tester and it was perfectly ok..!!

Then I was told that I needed a couple other repairs that added to another couple of $1000.00's.

I then realized that I was being stringed big time. Since the dealer did not have the axle in stock, I told them that I will be back later, and they told me that I should not drive my truck.

I had it then..!! :surrender: :D :eek: :crybaby2: , I drove to the Acura dealer that is half a mile down the road, and I bought a brand new spanking Acura MDX with the Technology and Advanced package, with 6 years/100K mile warranty (for $2200.00 dollars ) and 1.9% interest..!! :eek: :) :thumbsup: :bowdown:

The 2011 MDX has a suspension setting for sport or comfort. It is loaded with everything that you may need: 7 seats, rear camera, bluetooth, satellite, hard disk storage, IPhone/MP3 connectsion, greate sounding music system compared to the ML, great navigation system, gear changing paddles on the steering wheel, 19 inch smoke wheels, HID, seat heating and seat ventilation, etc. . The cruise control has settings so that it will maintain a short, medium, or long distance from other cars.

The sport mode gear setting just makes the MDX fly around, and if you want a smooth optimized ride, you just put it in the normal D setting.

The ride is very smooth and comfortable and if you want a stiffer sport ride, you can just change to the sport supension mode and instantly.


I used to admire Mercedes but until they don't change the cash cow treatment of Mercedes vehicle owners and until they don't change their decision to profit from unrealiable parts and vehicles, I am not touching any Mercedes vehicle again.

Before Mercedes was one of the only brands that produced powerful and fun vehicles, but now there are many brands out there that are powerful, fun, and most of all reliable. I rode a couple of the new Mercedes vehicles, at the dealer, and I did not get excited with any of them as I did when I rode the Acura's.

When I asked what the Acura maintainance costs were, they told me that they varied between $35.00 and $100.00 with parts included. I confirmed this with some people that were waiting for their vehicle in the service area.

I wish all of you good luck. Some of you have a lot of luck with your ML, but many others that have passed through the forum over the years and left, have had the same poor experience as me.

I loved my ML and was very excited with it during my trip last week, but it is no fun repairing it all the time, getting stranded, and being ripped off for years and years by Mercedes...

I will visit the forum from time to time, but I guess I will have to find an Acura forum. Though, those visits will just be for fun not for repair reasons.. :)

Regards and best of luck to all of you..!!

AC
 

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2007 ML 500, 2008 ML 550, 2011 ML 63 AMG
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The sport mode gear setting just makes the ML fly around, and if you want a smooth optimized ride, you just put it in the normal D setting.
Dr. Freud meet AC, AC meet Dr. Frued. :D


Enjoy the new ride dude, just yanking your (soon to depart) chain. :thumbsup:
 

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Black 2005 ML 500
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Discussion Starter #3
I guess I was still feeling/thinking last weekend great trip with the ML V8 engine. I had my father in law drive for part of the trip and he was just amazed at the low torque of the ML V8 engine. He loved accelerating and feeling acceleration pushing him against the seat as he passed some vehicles..

AC

Dr. Freud meet AC, AC meet Dr. Frued. :D


Enjoy the new ride dude, just yanking your (soon to depart) chain. :thumbsup:
 

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2007 BMW X3
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472 Posts
It's understandable, considering the issues you have had, unlucky as it seems, some vehicle no matter the brand have issues. Acura's are sweet. Hopefully the MDX was not built on a Friday or Monday.

Are those made in the US? I would prefer a Japanese made myself.

My ML has been great. If things go south I will probably go back to an older Mercedes S-class, G-wagen, or if totally reject my German heritage buy another Subaru (the Japanese equiv. of a German car). I love the 1st gen. Tribecca's.

Good Luck.....thanks for all your insight. :))
 

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2001 ML430
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468 Posts
So, you saved spending $1200 for a repair by spending $22,000. Sounds like good fiscal planning there.

:p

A buddy took his into a dedicated driveline shop for his u-joints. They cut off the non serviceable joints and put new yokes on it for standard sized joints. Welded and balanced them. Total cost was around $600 out the door.

Your problems is why I learn to work on my own cars. I admit, other than a couple of very minor issues that were considered wear items, my 01 430 has had 150,000 very reliable miles. But I know others on here have had nothing but problems.

Acura (Honda) is not without problems though.... They have a rash of transmission troubles in their vans and a few other models. Enough so that the local dealer here has about 5 transmissions in stock. I do not know if this applies to the MDX.
 

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2001 ML55
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64 Posts
A benz is certainly not for everyone, especially everyone`s wallet. Good luck with your Acura, they are very nice looking ! Just remember that no car is invincible...Do they still have v-tech ? :p
 

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AMG Forums Moderator
SLK55 (2006) C36 (1995)
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wow, 'borrowing' $45,000+ on a new car to compare it with a 5+ year old car? I guess that just speaks towards how great the ML is.

Dealer repairs will treat all customers as cash cows. you could have gotten an extended warranty on the ML for much less than the new car.
 

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2002 ML55 AMG, 2005 Chrysler Crossfire Coupe Limited, 1999 C280
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A benz is certainly not for everyone, especially everyone`s wallet. Good luck with your Acura, they are very nice looking ! Just remember that no car is invincible...Do they still have v-tech ? :p
Whereas I am happy for AC_ML, and agree with the premise of your post, I donot think that the exterior design and features of the Acura MDX are nicer than that of the W163 ML.

I mean just look at that front end and grille!:eek:

FAR888 :1poke: AC_ML & Yeah_

ps.

I do like the interior though.:D
 

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Black 2005 ML 500
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Discussion Starter #11
No the extended 100K warranty is $2,200.00. The 2011 Acura MDX Tech/Adv is $50,000+ fully equipped.. :)

I used to work on my cars when I was younger. Today, I don't have the time anymore to work on them. Every hour I lose fixing my car is money lost for me (much cheaper to have somebody else fix it) or less time I can spend with my kids/family. Somehow, I don't have free time anymore. I am always having to to something.

I need a reliable vehicle that I can get to work, go on business trips, or go on family trips without breaking down or leaving me and/or my passengers stranded.

Financially any vehicle is a financial asset, too, and Mercedes are no good assets to have since they depreciate faster than most vehicles, which is why you can buy them dirt cheap. I had to trade my 2005 ML 500 for $9,000.00 because nobody wanted to give more for it. I never had a 5 year vehicle sold for so low. Well, except my first 2001 ML 320, which traded too for $9500.00, on 2005.

Like many of our smart Mercedes owners in this forum, I learned too late that you never buy a brand new Mercedes vehicle, you buy them used with 2+ years, never buy it from a dealer, and you get a great deal for them..

You are right that all cars with fancy electronics are more prone to have problems, which is why I got the 6 year/100,000 mile warranty in it. Peace of mind for 6 years..!! Many coworkers, friends, and my wife have Acura's and they have been practically problem free.

Before buying my Acura, and for many years, I have been tracking the reliability of many cars/SUV's and their rate of failure compared to other vehicles. One of the several reports I checked was the following, which matches what I have seen and makes me feel very comfortable about my Acura.


Regards,

AC


So, you saved spending $1200 for a repair by spending $22,000. Sounds like good fiscal planning there.

:p

A buddy took his into a dedicated driveline shop for his u-joints. They cut off the non serviceable joints and put new yokes on it for standard sized joints. Welded and balanced them. Total cost was around $600 out the door.

Your problems is why I learn to work on my own cars. I admit, other than a couple of very minor issues that were considered wear items, my 01 430 has had 150,000 very reliable miles. But I know others on here have had nothing but problems.

Acura (Honda) is not without problems though.... They have a rash of transmission troubles in their vans and a few other models. Enough so that the local dealer here has about 5 transmissions in stock. I do not know if this applies to the MDX.
 

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W163 Crash Test Driver
2008 ML350 (Me!), 2010 GLK350 (Wife), 2003 ML-350 (Deceased)
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Yeah...but it's still not a Mercedes. :p

Seriously. Good Luck.
 

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Excellent choice and if I were going through the same problems as you were, and with the criteria that you have, the MDX is the perfect choice. The MDX is often very underrated in the luxury mid-size SUV segment. One of the best overall packages and values on the market today.
 

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2002 ML55 AMG, 2005 Chrysler Crossfire Coupe Limited, 1999 C280
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Excellent choice and if I were going through the same problems as you were, and with the criteria that you have, the MDX is the perfect choice. The MDX is often very underrated in the luxury mid-size SUV segment. One of the best overall packages and values on the market today.
Says the man who owns a Jaguar X-Type!:D
 

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1999 Ml430
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The dealer tells you that your perfectly good battery is bad tells you that your U joints are bad and you need a new axle? Sounds more like a dealer problem...
 

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2014 RX 350 F Sport, 2007 Scion tC, 2000 ML 430 Money Pit Finally Gone! Oh Happy Day!
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Smart Move!

You won't be sorry! :thumbsup:
 

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'08 Acura MDX
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AC, welcome to the dark side! You're going to love that MDX. Like you, I had MB for 10 years (W208 and W163). Also had that axle replaced - mine just because the boot was damaged.

My '08 MDX is now a little over 3 years old. I've adhered to manufacturer suggested maintenance, which is very reasonably priced, and I've had no problems at all. Not a single rattle after 83k miles, and the drivetrain is as strong as new. Your maintenace will be a bit higher, because you will eventually replace the active dampers, which are $1k each.

One of my favorite features is the throttle by wire. After you get used to it, its like the MDX is synced with your brain. Just think it, and it happens.

As to forums, try 2007 and newer MDX - Acura MDX Forum : Acura MDX SUV Forums Great resource for searches.

There was a question about VTEC? Yes, the MDX has the VTEC engine, which really is incredible. 300hp V-6, and once you hit 4k rpm or so, the VTEC kicks in, and it feels like a supercharger! Sound is pretty good, too. I like it a little too much - and only average 20mpg or so as a result.

Re: Lexus, I agree - the Acura is so much more for the money. Great technology, great NAV, all the features you want, and a great ride.

Oh, and the grill - I agree. Downright fugly, although I like the 2011 beak better than the '08 shield. Oh well.

Two additional comments: The MDX is made in Canada. Re: transmission, yours has the new six-speed. My 5 speed has been bulletproof. Most of the MDX transmission issues I've seen were 1st gen 5-speeds, which were sorted out by '02. The 6-speed has been out a few years - you should be fine.
 

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2001 ML430
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$50k, wow. I have never bought a new car in 40 years and I simply can not bring myself to do it. Maybe if I win the lottery. I bought my 01 in 05 well maintained for $17k. All the early bugs were dealt with and the rig was in really good order. 5 years later it has been a great rig. I stay on the services, and it has been perfectly reliable for me. Your mileage may vary, of course.

The MDX is a great rig, no doubt. Not going to argue that. I dont know what I would replace the ML with if I had to. There are some very important options that the ML had that my uses need. Not many rigs have them any more.

I need:
-True off road capabilities.
-Real 4x4 drive train, not an "all wheel drive"
-Real transfer case with low range.
-Able to pull an honest 5k lbs
-Body on frame construction is a plus, but unibody is not a deal breaker.
-Able to clean up and look good with style out on the town.

I think I would lean towards the Porsche Cayenne if I needed a new rig. Bought used, of course. They used the off road capabilities of the Range Rover as a bench mark when designing it. I already have two other Porsches so I am familiar with th marquis.
 

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2002 ML320
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Sorry! While I'm sure the Acura is more advanced as it is a newer build but...... its not even close to as good looking as the W163 inside and out!

In fact, it really isnt even close. I dont think there is a pair of rims in the world that could make that Acura sexy. So it gets whooped in sexy appeal from the old unreliable merc ;)

Everyone has a automobile story but some cars just provide joy when you wash them, and you will surely miss washing your ML...

Enjoy your new car
 
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