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1995E320, 2000SL500, 2010ML550
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67 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I have had older MBs (190E, E320) and have been very satisfied with them.
I am now looking at buying a used ML and would be intersted in any suggestions
as to getting a better model year, as well as engine size.

This would be a daily driver, goal is for a decent ride and reliability.
Any suggestions much appreciated!

Tony.
 

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1,328 Posts
If you'll base your buying decision in these forums, you would not want to buy a used W163; buy a used W164, say at least an 07.:)
 

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2001 Ml-320 sport
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45 Posts
to use it as a daily driver.. hmmh you must be prepared with gas efficiency. but so far my w136 has had no issues what so ever and drive it everyday. it's such a fun car for me to drive.

reliability though is in question with other owners so if u do choose to get one, hope you're lucky

get a w164! :)
 

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2002 ML 500, 1994 Ford Explorer donated to Doctors without Borders
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2,126 Posts
Are you sure you want as ML as a daily driver? You carry a lot of extra weight around with you (gas prices).
 

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2000 ML430 SOLD, 2007 BMW 328i Coupe, 2014 BMW i3, 2019 Honda Odyssey
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2,982 Posts
As I see it, the more technically complicated cars get, the higher the likelihood that something will malfunction. That being said, if you find a well-maintained ML and continue maintaining it, you should not have any major problems, just maybe the occasional annoyance, maybe. Of course, it's your choice.
 

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2004 ML500 w/ Sport Package
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601 Posts
yeah, here's some advice:

buy mine!! :)
 

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99 ML430 - 13 328i
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1,112 Posts
if you are gonna use it as a daily driver get a v6, preferably a 320 or 350 around 2002+. make sure that it was well taken care of mechanically and that the service papers are in order.
 

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SL600 ML55 AMG
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447 Posts
I don't know how much I can add as I just got mine a little over a month ago. I've taken it on two road trips this past week and it's a great truck! Had to go through some bad weather on the way back to DC this evening and it drove like a champ! So far, so good!
 

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Black 2005 ML 500
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1,662 Posts
ML's are fun to drive, but the reliability is not there. If you are truely looking for reliability, do your honest research and review the various available industry reports over the last 9 years on ML's.

I had two ML's, a 2001 and currently a 2005, both with terrible repair records that have cost me several thousands of dollars in repairs.. $10,000+. I am the last among my friends to still own one of this ML's and I am sure paying the price on the lack of reliability. Browse all the Mercedes forums and review the various available industry reliabilty reports/surveys from various companies..

Mercedes repairs can easily cost you a couple of thousand dollars for each repair, and there is no guarantee that the problem is really fixed or that can be fixed because of the poor design and bad quality of the parts. i.e. Power steering pumps, power steering racks, CPS, transmission solenoids, gear and transmission controller problems, AAMS, ECU, trip computers (control towing sensors, etc), sensors, iginition coils, bad failing keys ($3000.00 after your keys fail 8 times so before buying an Ml check how many keys are left before you have to pay $3000.00+), etc. Not to add bad Mercedes repair dealers, expensive parts, etc...

Never buy an ML without a warranty or extended warranty that will cover the number of years and mileage you plan to own it.. Old Mercedes vehicles, early 1990's and before, were good solid vehicles.. Post 1995's, or so, Mercedes are really a sad story on overall reliability...


http://www.benzworld.org/forums/att...liability-chart-position-33-out-36-mb2008.jpg

AC
 

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2002 ML55 AMG, 2005 Chrysler Crossfire Coupe Limited, 1999 C280
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4,714 Posts
Most of what you have read above is good, sound advice based on real-life experiences.

Heed it well.

Personally, I'd be surprised if you read all that and other information and experiences contained in this Forum and STILL want to buy an ML!!! LOL

Having said that, I too consulted this Forum for advice and STILL bought one........and so far, I am HAPPY!

Good luck with your purchase!
 

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500SE AMG, E350 4matic, GL 450
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5,947 Posts
Like the others have said, ML's are not light on gas. If you have kids to run to school, practice, etc-the M class is a great vehicle. Also if you get a decent amount of snow, they are great in the winter. My view on buying a used vehicle is do your research and buy the one that has the most records or indicators that it has been properly serviced and maintained. I think most will tell you to buy the newest one and while this is generally true, but keep in mind that the new/improved features on the newer vehicle means nothing if the ML has not been taken care of.
I have owned 2 w163's now. Both have been great. My previous one is now somewhere in Jordan. I sold it to an exporter. My next SUV will like be another M class. No matter what you decide to do, have a pre-purchase inspection done. With the w163, most places will charge you extra to have a compression test done. I think it is worth the extra money. Good luck in your search.
 

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2006 E55: 1999 ML430; 2002 E430 4matic; 1988 190E 2.3; 1993 XL883
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301 Posts
Most of what you have read above is good, sound advice based on real-life experiences.

Heed it well.

Personally, I'd be surprised if you read all that and other information and experiences contained in this Forum and STILL want to buy an ML!!! LOL

Having said that, I too consulted this Forum for advice and STILL bought one........and so far, I am HAPPY!

Good luck with your purchase!
Google ML problems and be aware of all the known issues. You have other Mercedes, so I'm sure you have a trusted mechanic.

I love the ML, I have a 1999 ML430 and it is great. I would buy another one.

I drive it at least 30 miles everyday. The 8 cylinder has a lot of power and averages 16 MPG

If you're buying one over 5 years old, most of the recalls and major problems should be taken care of.

I would buy it off a private owner who has good records of maintenance.
 

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2001 ML430, 1983 300SD, 2008 GL450
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909 Posts
As long as you have the complete repair history and can see that the owner took care of the vehicle then I wouldn't have a problem purchasing one in good condition.

I bought used. I've run through several of the problems you'll read about in the forums but none of them were a material issue. Maintenance expense per year is about twice what my wife's '03 sport trac runs but not a bank breaker. About $500/10,000 miles. As long as you aren't stupid enough to take it to a dealer most of the issues are very minor expenses at an honest independent repair shop. Brakes are the worst I've seen <g>.

Gas mileage is supurb as long as you understand that you are buying a truck. It gets better mileage than any other full size truck I've owned (including 6cylinder models and diesels!). You'd have to drop down to the 4 cylinder mini-trucks to get better mileage.
 

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2013 C250
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ML430 - sold
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The biggest problems with the ML...

are those well known gremlins which can leave you stuck at the roadside with little if any warning.

eg the CPS, PAS hose, fuel pump.

Then there's the brake pad wear - more on the V8's, faulty windows switches etc.

As for fuel consumption - that's one of the reasons why I sold my ML430, the very best it ever achieved was 20mpg on the flat at a constant 55mph, other wise it was low teens round town and 16-17mpg on a run.

The maintenance on an ML can really build up over a time.

It was the happiest day of my life when I sold it and bought a hybrid Lexus in its place.

Totally different vehicle - but about as close to reliability perfection as you can get.

FYI reliability was #1 for us after the ML broke down at the kerbside for the 3rd & last time - despite it having been maintained 100% and then some.
 

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Black 2005 ML 500
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1,662 Posts
Good honest advise from an owner who went to the Dark Side..!!! :D

Or... is he in the Bright Side and we are really in the Dark Side..?? :surrender:

AC


are those well known gremlins which can leave you stuck at the roadside with little if any warning.

eg the CPS, PAS hose, fuel pump.

Then there's the brake pad wear - more on the V8's, faulty windows switches etc.

As for fuel consumption - that's one of the reasons why I sold my ML430, the very best it ever achieved was 20mpg on the flat at a constant 55mph, other wise it was low teens round town and 16-17mpg on a run.

The maintenance on an ML can really build up over a time.

It was the happiest day of my life when I sold it and bought a hybrid Lexus in its place.

Totally different vehicle - but about as close to reliability perfection as you can get.

FYI reliability was #1 for us after the ML broke down at the kerbside for the 3rd & last time - despite it having been maintained 100% and then some.
 

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1995E320, 2000SL500, 2010ML550
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67 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hello,
and thank you all for your thorough replies.
Great advice and thoughts!
I will stay away from the W163, instead will look into a W124 wagon.
Thanks again!
Tony
 

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2005 ML500
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40 Posts
I always wanted an ML. When I was able to buy one I jumped at the chance and got the ML500. They are not perfect, but I love them nonetheless.

If you want one you should get it and deal with the issues. If your heart is not in it get something else.
 

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ML 500 '02
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611 Posts
Here's a thought. Chasis stuff aside, shouldn't motor and drivetrain issues afflict other mercedes models of the same vintage as many components are shared across models? I think you'll find that the other chasis will have their share of similar problems. Other models built in the same generation were built in the darkest of times for Mercedes.
 
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