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I’m thinking of purchasing a 1999 ML320 but I am hesitant because of all the problems associated with them. Are the problems that bad? Or is it because owners spent a lot of money and had high expectations and are/were disappointed in their expenditure; causing them to get irritated even at minor problems? I would be pretty upset if I spent 45k on an ML and it didn’t perform flawlessly. But if I spent 9k (wholesale) for an ML with 100,000 miles would the problems still seem as bad. Does the ML then become a good value, considering what you get for the money?

Also, the main reasons I want an ML is because of it’s safety rating in crash tests; but, if it leaves my family stranded at night then other safety issues (crime) become an issue. I am use to getting 180,000 miles of fairly reliable service from my (GM & Toyota) vehicles. I’m not sure the ML is the right choice.

Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

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DAJKO305 - 3/9/2005 11:09 PM

I’m thinking of purchasing a 1999 ML320 but I am hesitant because of all the problems associated with them. Are the problems that bad? Or is it because owners spent a lot of money and had high expectations and are/were disappointed in their expenditure; causing them to get irritated even at minor problems? I would be pretty upset if I spent 45k on an ML and it didn’t perform flawlessly. But if I spent 9k (wholesale) for an ML with 100,000 miles would the problems still seem as bad. Does the ML then become a good value, considering what you get for the money?

Also, the main reasons I want an ML is because of it’s safety rating in crash tests; but, if it leaves my family stranded at night then other safety issues (crime) become an issue. I am use to getting 180,000 miles of fairly reliable service from my (GM & Toyota) vehicles. I’m not sure the ML is the right choice.

Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated.
Wow, man are you loaded this fine evening. First off, all year MLs, except for maybe the 05 models, have will exhibit some problem of some kind that you'll not consider normal!!! Now, unless it's strictictly and affordability issue, I'd say skip the 1999 and move at least to the 2002. The reason is becasue MB made a whole lot of changes beginning in '02. That doesn't mean you'll not experience some issues you don't like, it just means that you'll be getting a much better vehicle in every way you can imagine.

Now, if you have to get a 1999, make sure it's Starmaked and ask to see the vehicle's history. If you can afford it get Xtended warranty. You want to get one with a good history - the least warranty work done on it the better.

Even if you spent your entire life's savings, you'll not get a problem free vehicle, thus you'll be pretty upset all your life. The ML is a very safe vehicle and probably still the best value for the buck. However, if you're looking for a 180K problem free ride, stick with the GM & Toyota, or whatever, the ML may not deliver that for you.

Now, just go out and buy your dream STARMARK ML.
 

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I'm not sure I can agree with all that's been said.

My car had tons of warranty work in the beginning and hasn't had anything except normal maintenace in nearly 3 years. It's certainly holding up as well or better than many cars I've owned including Accura, Volvo, Lexus and Mercedes.

I think people who bought this truck did expect legendary Mercedes quality and this obviously was not it. That does not mean it's not a good truck cause I think it is. I think it's just indicative of a problem that has crept across the entire Mercedes line along with most of the other european name plates. The Benz quality has been going into the toilet for awhile now and recent statements from the company confirm that quality has been killing their financials.

As for buying or not, I think it's up to the vehicle you get. Mine has had tons of tiny non-mechanical problems which are annoying but never left me stranded. I've had someone crash into my drivers door and this car is really darn solid.

I'd say definitely get something with a warranty. Look at the history and see if it's had the crazy acceleration or odd driving complaints that have come back time and again and remained unfixed. At least it'll give you an idea if you have a mechanically inferior car. If it's been in and out for minor trim fixes then it's probably a solid drivetrain and you should be OK.

If it makes you feel better, we have 3 original owner 98's in our family and none of us feel the need to swap these trucks yet. In fact we're happy with the trucks.

One more thing, in my opinion, it's so much better than the Toyota, Jeep or GM trucks of the same vintage that to me it's still a no brainer.

In any case, good luck with your purchase.
 

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You can spend millions of dollars and still won't get "flawless" performance...

<img src="http://www.templemountfaithful.org/img/columbia.gif">

For $9K, a toyota or honda will probably meet your reliability expectations better than a 100K old ML. Maintenance may cost you more on the ML. If you have your heart set on the ML however, make sure you spend extra for extended warranty service.
 

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I've got a 99 ML430, and I've had it for 2 years now, I bought it at 43,000 and now it's got about 66,000, with no major problems to speak of. I've performed most of the regular maintenance myself, thus avoiding costly dealership charges and I'm truly happy with my 99 ML430. My wife loves the vehicle and we both like the idea of the safety it offers.

I've also got a toyota tacoma (98) with about 170,000 on it, and I've spent no more than I expect to spend on the ML for maintenance.

So, it's probably more along the lines what you plan on doing yourself to cut the cost of owning any vehicle that should play a large part in your decision. An ML for 9K is not a bad deal.

Hope this helps and Good Luck.
 

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Here's how I did it!!

Everyone has a different view of course! When the 430's first came out I knew I wanted one. So I saved my money until 03 and bought a 00 430 starmark with warranty just to see if I really would like this truck. I had no major problems save a MAF which was replaced on warranty. So, in december 04 I bought an 05 500SE for cash with the MB 3 year 100,000 extended warranty. It is far superior in build and performance to the 430 which was actually a good truck. This gives me 7 years to save up for what ever is available then. My whole point is pay cash if you can and get the MB extended warranty. This will give you the gas money you'll need and you'll enjoy your truck more. Just my 2 cents!! [8D]
 
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