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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Newbie here. My wife has had two RX's that she was really loved and from a reliability standpoint have been excellent. Her current 2005 RX330 has 170k and has never had anything other than scheduled maint. However, after test drives the ML definitely seems quieter, smoother, and better handling than the current RX. She also likes the rotary nav control better and screen layouts than the RX's nav and trackstick.

I assume that some on here have compared them as we are now doing (I searched but found no posts). Thoughts? Is Mercedes reliability and service up to Lexus standards now (or at least very close)? Anything about either vehicle you prefer over the other?

Also any input on how the ML handles in the snow without the not-yet-avail off-road pkg would be greatly appreciated (we are taking them for a snow test this afternoon).

Thanks,
 

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I think we are in the same boat. I have driven a Lexus RX300 for 13 years now with few issues to report. After road testing the ML350, I was impressed by the overall handling quality compared to the Lexus Rx350. ML350 is a much more dynamic vehicle and combined with the powerful diesel engine and the silky smooth 7-speed transmission, you get a fantastic driving experience. I also prefer the ML interior. I also think the ML off-road capabilities beat Lexus hands down. In fact check this video
. Ambarrassing for Lexus to the say the least.:eek:
 

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Great video. Wonder how the ML would do. 20% (and 30%) is pretty steep, not something we see very often, though still telling about it's traction control.

Lack of features on the ML may be an issue for my wife. No remote start, headlamp washers, or fog lights - all pretty standard 'necessities' for MN. The RX's we're looking at all have cooled seats, none of the ML's do (and would be a long order cycle to get). The wide/side view camera on the RX is also pretty nice.

The weather yesterday was very cooperative with my shopping - snowing all day on warm roads makes for the exact snot slick needed for new car eval fun. So, took an ML and RX out for some shifting and sliding. ML straight line stopping was excellent, much better than 2012 RX (though RX wasn't bad).

ML & RX handle lateral skids differently. If you hit the brakes and then turn the wheel the RX attempts to keep going straight. The ML attempts to turn but will generally not spin out. The RX requires much more effort to get in to a spin than the ML, but the ML still requires considerable effort. If you know to turn in to a spin then you are in good shape in the ML and likely have a bit more control over things than a driver in the RX. I think for a good driver the ML approach is better while a less experienced or less confident driver might prefer (and be safer in?) the RX.

Much the same if you turn the wheel sharply without braking. The ML will execute a controlled turn more so than the RX which will go straighter.

This was in a 2012 ML350 Bluetec. I assume the standard ML350 AWD will handle the same.
 

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Great video. Wonder how the ML would do. 20% (and 30%) is pretty steep, not something we see very often, though still telling about it's traction control.
The 4-ETS aspect of the 4MATIC system ensures routes power to the wheel(s) with grip. You can move even if only one wheel has grip.

Lack of features on the ML may be an issue for my wife. No remote start, headlamp washers, or fog lights - all pretty standard 'necessities' for MN. The RX's we're looking at all have cooled seats, none of the ML's do (and would be a long order cycle to get). The wide/side view camera on the RX is also pretty nice.
Many of these features (ventilated seats, headlamp washers) are available on special order, but since the vehicle is new you will have to wait a bit. Dealers only preordered what they thought would be most popular. The ML has optional features I don't think are possible on the RX (adaptive cruise control, panoramic sunroof, turbodiesel engine, etc.).

This was in a 2012 ML350 Bluetec. I assume the standard ML350 AWD will handle the same.
Yes, handling should be virtually identical. The BluTEC weighs a couple hundred pounds more.
 

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This was pretty funny to me actually... handles bettter, smoother, more refined interior = netter driving expereince.

So what fault do you need to find to say ""no" to buy a ML... seems to me you are pretty determined to find some "other reason" to justify to your wife you want to buy another Lexus.

Do you really think the RX sedan chassis can outperform the dedicated 4x chassis of the W166 ?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Greg, thanks for all the great info.

Many of these features (ventilated seats, headlamp washers) are available on special order, but since the vehicle is new you will have to wait a bit. Dealers only preordered what they thought would be most popular. The ML has optional features I don't think are possible on the RX (adaptive cruise control, panoramic sunroof, turbodiesel engine, etc.)
The RX does have adaptive cruise, but not the panoramic or diesel. RX also doesn't have the lane tracking or active blind spot / lane keeping which I think are both likely good safety systems. None of the ML's scheduled have them though. RX also doesn't have parktronic, but I'm not sure either of us would find any value in that.

Dealer said the soonest we'd likely see an ML with the lighting pkg and headlight washers is March and that Apr/May might be more realistic.

Thanks again for all the help.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
This was pretty funny to me actually... handles bettter, smoother, more refined interior = netter driving experience.

So what fault do you need to find to say ""no" to buy a ML...
As I've said, the ML outperforms the RX from a driving experience. However, some of the features that are not available are sort of major, particularly remote start in the winter. She parks in a garage at home and at work, but four or so times per week during the winter she uses remote start when her car is outside (after a lunch or dinner for instance). When temps are below 0f, or -20f, or even just below +20f, it's a major feature to consider being without. Headlight washers are similar with all of the salt and grim that cakes over headlights during the winter.
 
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