I have been thinking about replacing my 2002 ML 500. With 84,000 miles, although in great condition, it may be time to get a new SUV. Options are; keep a perfectly good ML 500, trade for ML Diesel, trade for BMW x5 diesel, or wait for the ML redesign in a year or two. Has anyone gone through this process? Opinions please of the four options. What is known about the redesigned ML? Any other vehicles I should consider. Thanks.
If it is diesel vs gasoline, I personally would stick with gas. I know a lot of folks on this forum will get uptight about my comment but just put everything in dollars and cents and you will see that there are reasons that diesels are not as popular in the USA as they are in Europe:
a) Diesel fuel costs equal to or more than premium,
b) Diesel cars are always priced higher than gas models
c) With diesels you have to add adblue (Bluetechs) so extra operating cost
d) No matter how much torque they produce, they ain't performing like gas engines! If they did, then Formula 1 cars would run on diesel fuel. You will certainly miss your ML500 if you switch! It's quite simply the difference in flammability of the two fuels. Yes the diesels are compressed etc... but that wastes even more energy.
e) They don't provide major mpg gains (7-8 mpg better than gas on average but if you factor in the added expenses the gains are quickly diminished)
f)No matter what folks are saying about "the new generation of diesel motors" they are noisy and produce black smoke at times although much less than older generation diesels.
g) Most diesels have starting issues in cold temperatures.
h) Diesel fuel is NOT available at all service stations. You can find it on the highway but not as much in the city (at least in PA)
i) Last but not least, I never understood consumers that are willing to spend $50, 60, 70, 80 thousand dollars for a premium vehicle but are concerned about mpg! And don't anybody tell me they are being conscious of their carbon footprint because if they were they would take public transportation or drive a Prius...
Do the math and you will see that you don't gain as much as they let you believe. Don't get me wrong, I think the diesels have a purpose, but not here yet. IMHO, the only reason we see MB marketing them is because they had to respond to the fuel efficiency trend of this past decade and since they are newcomers in the hybrids they are pushing hard on the diesels which are possibly the best diesels around.
In Europe, the gallon of premium costs about 3-4 times as much as in the US (depending the country) but diesel is generally cheaper enough to justify it. (25-30% cheaper than their gasoline prices) So in that situation it is a totally a different ball game! Also, in some EU countries, diesel fuel does not include all taxes (just like heating oil in US) because the fuel is used by taxis, trucks and whoever wants to have a diesel, so the price is even lower.
In short, my advise is to keep your ML500 and go with the next generation of MLs in a year or more (based on the three choices you presented). Other option would be to trade for a ML550.