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ML 350
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Hello All -

Drove the new ML yesterday at San Francisco's Road Rally, and I was disappointed.

Don't get me wrong; I love my 2000 ML and was looking forward to a marked upgrade - it's NOT there. Less cargo space [we can't even mount our bicycles upright through the rear]; my 2000 with full leather is more luxurious inside [for instance the door panels in the new model are actually cultured plastic]; the center consol looks terrible; the rear seats collapse like a Toyota Corolla; the rear side windows don't even open to allow for interior air flow; I don't like the loss of the floor mount gear shift; the gas mileage is worse [at $2.75/gallon I won't stand for a new vehicle which gets 16 mpg]; the price is considerably higher; and I never was that excited about the new body style [although I think over time it could grow on me].

MBZ COULD have made a real statement with a "concept car look" and traditional MBZ styling/luxury - but in my opinion that reason no longer exists.

Now the "rally" really didn't offer much driving at all, but I had enough to know the ride's not appreciably better than what I'm used to. In fact, I like my non unibody ride just fine. Really, this is the first new model vehicle I can ever recall that has ever made me feel I'd rather own the previous year's model.

Spoke to some other ML owners there and their reactions were similar to mine so no, I'm not out to lunch.

Maybe for someone who's never owned a MBZ or ML they might be interested in what is now "just another SUV," but I'll tell you; the reason I purchased my ML was because it was the only SUV that was a MBZ. That reason is now gone.

Sorry; I don't mean to be so down on the truck but I suggest anyone seriously considering this as an upgrade to an W163 take a long, long, hard look before he/she leapz. I'm keeping my W163 and banking the $50K or more and I don't think I am the only one.
 

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2004 G500 (gone)
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1,100 Posts
Well, the new ML isn't for everyone. That's just the honest truth. And what's important in a vehicle to you may not be important to someone else and vice versa.

If it suits your needs and desires, go get it. If not, there are plenty of other vehicles out there for you to choose from. [:)]
 

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2000 ML430, 2000 C280
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I had been looking forward to the new M-class for years, but also felt the same disappointment when it finally arrived. I agree with you on most of your points, especially about the interior design and the gas mileage.

DelJ



smarten - 4/23/2005 9:51 PM


Don't get me wrong; I love my 2000 ML and was looking forward to a marked upgrade - it's NOT there. Less cargo space [we can't even mount our bicycles upright through the rear]; my 2000 with full leather is more luxurious inside [for instance the door panels in the new model are actually cultured plastic]; the center console looks terrible; ....
 

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2020 MB GLE 450 4MATIC, 2015 BMW M4
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2,117 Posts
smarten - 4/23/2005 9:51 PM

Hello All -

Drove the new ML yesterday at San Francisco's Road Rally, and I was disappointed.

Don't get me wrong; I love my 2000 ML and was looking forward to a marked upgrade - it's NOT there. Less cargo space [we can't even mount our bicycles upright through the rear]; my 2000 with full leather is more luxurious inside [for instance the door panels in the new model are actually cultured plastic]; the center consol looks terrible; the rear seats collapse like a Toyota Corolla; the rear side windows don't even open to allow for interior air flow; I don't like the loss of the floor mount gear shift; the gas mileage is worse [at $2.75/gallon I won't stand for a new vehicle which gets 16 mpg]; the price is considerably higher; and I never was that excited about the new body style [although I think over time it could grow on me].

MBZ COULD have made a real statement with a "concept car look" and traditional MBZ styling/luxury - but in my opinion that reason no longer exists.

Now the "rally" really didn't offer much driving at all, but I had enough to know the ride's not appreciably better than what I'm used to. In fact, I like my non unibody ride just fine. Really, this is the first new model vehicle I can ever recall that has ever made me feel I'd rather own the previous year's model.

Spoke to some other ML owners there and their reactions were similar to mine so no, I'm not out to lunch.

Maybe for someone who's never owned a MBZ or ML they might be interested in what is now "just another SUV," but I'll tell you; the reason I purchased my ML was because it was the only SUV that was a MBZ. That reason is now gone.

Sorry; I don't mean to be so down on the truck but I suggest anyone seriously considering this as an upgrade to an W163 take a long, long, hard look before he/she leapz. I'm keeping my W163 and banking the $50K or more and I don't think I am the only one.
I've owned a '98 ML320 for over 7 years. Though I've kept mine up to date with bi-xenons, 18" wheels, Bilsteins, and many other things, the chassis and drivetrain were definitely showing their age, though still very functional.

I was looking forward to an upgrade, and overall, I am happy with the W164. The driving dynamics and structure are much improved, as is the interior, IMO. The column mounted shifter with steering wheel buttons I will reserve judgement on, but I found it easy to get used to on my test drive. It makes sense to have it closer to the wheel than having to reach down to the console. The cupholders are overdone, but the euro piece can be retrofitted.

The reduced cargo room is not a plus, but it is still sizeable enough for my uses. As to mileage, the 5.0 is a carryover engine, and if getting a V8, I would wait for the 4-valves next year. The 4.6 will have ~325 hp and better mileage than the 5 liter. The best will probably be the CDI(s) in 2007, but I can't wait that long. For now, the 350 offers good performance with decent mileage and is my choice.

There are a lot of fine choices out there and everyone has different needs and preferences.
 

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Without the 3rd row seat is something pain of the neck as the reason I bought my ML320 is only because of its 7 seaters. If not, I will jump for either X5 or volkswagon Toureg. Or else, get a E class can still suit the demand of 5 people including the passenger. Why buy the big truck, right ??
 

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SLK350,C230Komp
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I agreed with ML MATT,

I am a MB fan for years.... I like MB.

I am equally disappointed with the 2006 ML class due to the fact that 3rd row seat option is removed.
also, no running board option yet.....

I think I will look at the new R-class instead.

or consider RX400 /BMW if I want a 5 seated SUV.

anyone driven both RX330 and ML please give your opinions.
 

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2020 MB GLE 450 4MATIC, 2015 BMW M4
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3rd row seating

ML Matt - 4/28/2005 8:24 PM

Without the 3rd row seat is something pain of the neck as the reason I bought my ML320 is only because of its 7 seaters. If not, I will jump for either X5 or volkswagon Toureg. Or else, get a E class can still suit the demand of 5 people including the passenger. Why buy the big truck, right ??
It's people like you M-B hope will go for the R- or G-Class (6 or 7 seats). Personall, the lack of a 3rd row is a bonus for me-I have no need for that much seating, and the space is better put to use for the underfloor spare and 25-gallon fuel tank.
 

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ML320
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Alan,

Personally, I think you should wait for the new X5 release to make the decision and the current X5 is pretty heading to the end of its production cycle. Why pay for the money for something it is going to expire soon in terms of the look.
 
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