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Pulled my 05 ML500SE out of the garage this morning and there it was, a spot of transmission fluid on the floor. Sure enough a leak at the power cable entry to the case on the RH side. Only 3000 miles on the odometer----what the hell is this. Called my SA at Auto Group in Santa Barbara where I bought it. Took it down (75 miles south). Curt Reed my SA had a tech work through lunch and make the repair. Took about an hour. My salesman let me have a test drive in an 06 ML 350. Even if I had never owned 2 163's prior I wouldn't have bought this truck. Too much like a car for me. The ride is better and quieter. The interior is no better than my 05 500. In fact mine is all leather---the football leather which I happen to like! The luggage space is smaller than the 163. I don't like the column shift at all. The window switches are on the door like my GMC pickup! A lot of options that I have standard weren't there, and they want $10,000 more MSRP than my 05 500SE was. Now in all fairness there will be people who have never owned an ML that will like and buy this vehicle. There are people that have owned ML's that will buy this vehicle, as we all have a different taste and what we like and don't like. As for me I was glad to jump back in my 05 500SE "truck" and cruise 75 miles back up US 101 home. Mad and glad all in the same day. Love the 163!
 

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CURRENT: 2011 SL550, 2011 C300 FORMER: ML350, CLK550 Cabriolet, C240, ML320, 300TD
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My salesman let me have a test drive in an 06 ML 350. Even if I had never owned 2 163's prior I wouldn't have bought this truck. Too much like a car for me. The ride is better and quieter.
It seems that is what the market wants – a car that “looks� like a truck.

The interior is no better than my 05 500. In fact mine is all leather---the football leather which I happen to like!
Me, too!

The luggage space is smaller than the 163.
Supposedly, it’s large, but shaped differently. Personally, I like the “tallness� of the cargo area in the W163.

I don't like the column shift at all.
I’m not crazy about it, but it seems to be the future of automotive design. It does put more space in the center console. Although everyone likes bash the decision to put huge cupholders there, the Euro-style storage compartment is much better. With that design, I think I could like with the column shifter.

The window switches are on the door like my GMC pickup!
I do not care for that. In fact, all new MBZ models have them there now. I favor the “classic� MBZ design with the center-console mounted switches. Not only do I think it looks better, I believe it’s a better design since it puts less electronics in the door and give the passenger access to control all the windows.

A lot of options that I have standard weren't there, and they want $10,000 more MSRP than my 05 500SE was.
Yes, to comparably equip a W164, it is much more expensive than the W163. Also, we have not seen the pricing for the “real� off-road package with two-speed transfer cases yet, so that’s really going to push the price up. I believe the pricing will backfire and there will be a lot of W164’s sold at “invoice�.

Now in all fairness there will be people who have never owned an ML that will like and buy this vehicle. There are people that have owned ML's that will buy this vehicle, as we all have a different taste and what we like and don't like. As for me I was glad to jump back in my 05 500SE "truck" and cruise 75 miles back up US 101 home. Mad and glad all in the same day. Love the 163!
I’m with you. This might be a good vehicle for my wife, but not for me.

- RODNEY
 
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