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Discussion Starter #1
I just saw the W164 in person this weekend. I really liked the pictures, but in person, it looks much more like the RX 330.

It seems like MB is taking a step sideways with the W164.

The W163 seemed to set a new standard for SUVs when it was first introduced. Now, the W164 barely competes with the Lexus RX 330 that has been out for several years. I checked pricing, and when similarly equiped, the Lexus was $7,000 cheaper and the MB offered nothing exceptional nor unique. Compare that to Lexus' introduction of the RX400h, and it seems that MB is way behind in both innovation and quality.

I was sincerely hoping that the W164 would renew my faith in MB and motivate me to upgrade. Unfortunately, all it did was confirm that Lexus is making a better SUV.

Sorry[:(]
 

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Well said Rick!!!!!!when l test drove it, this past week-end with a fellow co-worker at the Toyota plant, where we produce the Lexus RX 330, that was the first thing he commented on......the similiarity between the two...which is fine....Heck...we make a great vehicle....l'm not ashamed of it at all......l'm just not a fan of the styling, that's why l went with Mercedes and the W 163.....
 

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look at Curt's old newsletters

http://www.curtrich.com

There's one where he covers the MB sales training they got on it. The *ONLY* competitor they had there for the salesfolks to compare to was the RX330. They really want that market, but in the process, I'm afraid they're going to lose a chunk that used the U part of the old W163 SUV. Time will tell...


ken
 

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clearly, the MB engineers had a big poster of the RX330 on their boards when they developed the new ML, which makes sense given that the RX sold like there was no tomorrow, problem is the rx330 has been around for quite a while now, and lexus is already moving on now.

i would pick the new ML over the 330, but will check out the 400h before purchasing the ML.
 

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While it's true that M-B obviously wants to get some RX-type customers, the ML seems like a whole lot more vehicle when you look under the skin. For one, it's a purpose-built SUV, not modified from a car chassis with a car suspension. Its towing capacity is 1,500 lb higher, has more power (though ML350 P/W is about the same), 2 more transmission speeds, and almost an 8-inch longer wheelbase, while the exterior dimensions are within a couple inches.

For those who want a tall car rather than a vehicle with more truck capability, The RX is probably fine and a good value. I personally can't get past the exterior or interior design, which I personally can't stand.

The 400H drivetrain sounds very intriguing. M-B is definitely behind in the area of highly efficient propulsion systems, though the diesels will mitigate that if they ever get to the US.
 

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"purpose-built"

I think that's what's in question. The original W163 was "purpose-built" as an SUV (ladder frame, etc. so you can throw heavy stuff into it w/o sagging, tow stuff etc.)

The new one is less "U" in SUV (or you could argue the definition of SUV has changed to be more carlike over the years with the RX300 pushing that envelope). But it targets the RX300 demographic as we've all seen. It's more carlike, etc. Should be interesting to see the results of this in a few years...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
RE: "purpose-built"

kenyee - 5/3/2005 11:00 AM
"Purpose built" I think that's what's in question. The original W163 was "purpose-built" as an SUV (ladder frame, etc. so you can throw heavy stuff into it w/o sagging, tow stuff etc.)
Exactly. Under the skin of the W164 is a carlike platform that is supposed to be shared among three different vehicles, so I see no advantage there. Moreover, when I look under the skin of the RX I see a proven record of RELIABILITY and similar performance numbers with better gas mileage and better features (like their excellent Navigation system and available bluetooth). And, the RX is about 20% less expensive and maintains it's value better. I am sure the ML will sell and that it is a good vehicle, but I am disappointed that it does not raise the bar and struggles just to keep up with competition.
 

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RE: "purpose-built"

When people are comparing the new ML to a Lexus RX 330, please try to remember that key word "Well engineered" and start comparing the new ML up against Porsche Cayenne, BMW X5 and VW Tuareg, which is what Mercedes did.

The reason there are simularities between the W164 and RX 330 in looks is that the old RX300 was a copycat of the W163, and when Lexus evolved the design from the RX300 to the RX330 they used the same design elements as Mercedes did when they evolved the W164 from the W163.

The RX330 is a car trying to be a SUV, while the W164 is a SUV trying to handle like a car, which is a HUGE difference.

So for all of you who really like the RX330, just a few questions.
Is it possible to get a Off-Road version of the RX330?
Can you get 6 different engines (like you can in the W164 within a year)?
Can you get a "Hot Rod" version with close to 500 hp? (or will the Toyota Camry chassie then break in two).

So please stop this RX330 nonsence, because it is not even close to beeing comparable to the new ML!!!
[xx(][xx(][xx(]
 

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I'd also compare it with the Touareg/Cayenne/X5

However, the fact remains that at MB's own sales training event, the *only* thing they compared it with was the RX330. Just pointing out that it's not us promoting this RX330 "nonsense" :)

Glad I'm keeping my W163 for a while so I don't have to make a purchasing decision now ;-)
 

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RE: "purpose-built"

ansan - 5/3/2005 7:36 PM

When people are comparing the new ML to a Lexus RX 330, please try to remember that key word "Well engineered" and start comparing the new ML up against Porsche Cayenne, BMW X5 and VW Tuareg, which is what Mercedes did.

The reason there are simularities between the W164 and RX 330 in looks is that the old RX300 was a copycat of the W163, and when Lexus evolved the design from the RX300 to the RX330 they used the same design elements as Mercedes did when they evolved the W164 from the W163.

The RX330 is a car trying to be a SUV, while the W164 is a SUV trying to handle like a car, which is a HUGE difference.

So for all of you who really like the RX330, just a few questions.
Is it possible to get a Off-Road version of the RX330?
Can you get 6 different engines (like you can in the W164 within a year)?
Can you get a "Hot Rod" version with close to 500 hp? (or will the Toyota Camry chassie then break in two).

So please stop this RX330 nonsence, because it is not even close to beeing comparable to the new ML!!!
[xx(][xx(][xx(]
i have to disagree with your comments, and i'm someone who is probably going to buy the new ML. I think it's obvious that Mercedes targeted the RX when they re-designed the new ML. in many ways, the RX was the first SUV with a 'car-like' ride, which is the direction that the new ML has clearly moved. reality is that you go after the guys who have the big market share, and the RX clearly has market share. i'm going to buy the new ml despite its similarities to the RX, which i happen to think is a great car.
 

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RE: "purpose-built"

I somehow agree that ofcourse the W164 is going after the RX330 marketshare, but while designing the new ML, they acomplished every feature the RX 330 did better than anyother SUV,on the first day.

But saying that, the Lexus RX330 is probably a good SUV (even if its the front wheel drive "SUV"), as the Toyota Camry is a good car, but not many would claim that the Camry is even close to a Mercedes E-class or BMW 5 series.

The BMW and Mercedes is engineered while the Toyota and Lexus are built (the Lexus using finer leather and more silent electro motors to make it a "Luxery car").

And yes, both BMW and Mercedes are from time to time taking a hit for trying to push the engineering of cars further, which they also do. If that was not the case why are every carmaker in the world (Lexus included) trying the make their version of Mercedes or BMW.

So wake up, the Lexus is just "make believe", while the Mercedes and BMW cars are the "real thing".

And of course "in many ways, the RX was the first SUV with a 'car-like' ride" since it in fact was a car! A jacked up Toyota Camry with nicer leather and different sheats of metal, and very silent eletro motors for telescope stearing wheels, which in many ways are Lexus only contribution the the car world, silent elecro motors and fooling Yanks. And they are quite successful in doing both.
 

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RE: "purpose-built"

kenyee - 5/3/2005 11:00 AM

I think that's what's in question. The original W163 was "purpose-built" as an SUV (ladder frame, etc. so you can throw heavy stuff into it w/o sagging, tow stuff etc.)

The new one is less "U" in SUV (or you could argue the definition of SUV has changed to be more carlike over the years with the RX300 pushing that envelope). But it targets the RX300 demographic as we've all seen. It's more carlike, etc. Should be interesting to see the results of this in a few years...
That is really the biggest reason I am disappointed in the new ML. If I wanted a new car or a RX330, I would buy one. I guess I will be holding onto my w163 a lot longer.
 

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RE: "purpose-built"

ansan - 5/5/2005 5:55 PM




But saying that, the Lexus RX330 is probably a good SUV (even if its the front wheel drive "SUV"),

... which in many ways are Lexus only contribution the the car world, silent elecro motors and fooling Yanks. And they are quite successful in doing both.
1. you do know that the RX is available in all wheel drive AND front wheel drive, don't you?

2. why all the hostility towards Lexus and us Yanks? I really like the new ML, but I can acknowledge when another company puts out a quality product, and Lexus certainly puts out a quality product, or so many of us Yanks wouldn't be buying them. we're not ALL stupid, ya know....[;)]
 
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