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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone moved into a W164 from a W163 and noticed a "marked" loss of ability on trails. I bought my W163 primarily because the wife and I do alot of mountain biking and I've been in a spot or two where getting in and out aren't always easy.

I know the W164's have adjustable suspension and all the computer assists from the W163, but my concern is loss of the mechanical low range. I'd hate to have buy a GL but it appears that none of the U.S. W164's actually got the EOrp package that the GL's have.

You don't miss the mechanical low range until you need it...
 

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While I, in all honestly, have never taken my ML63 on a trail, and in all honesty never will...I do not think the W164 was designed to really do "off roading". When I purchased my W164, my salesman kind of joked and told me: "Just don't take her off the pavement". While the 1998-2005 ML might have been more capable to handle trails, that too was still not as good as many other vehicles made for this. If you and your wife do some off roading, but obviously still want luxury...I would seriously look at Land Rover. The LR3, and Range Rover are beyond capable off road. They won't have Mercedes reliability (not that that is so beyond amazing), but Land Rover kicks butt on trails. Also, if you can afford it....the Mercedes G500, G550 and G55 is as good, or better than the Range Rover. It is literally a tank in off road situations. It can do amazing things...safely and perfectly!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Deutsch,

I hear you, the RR sport is what comes to mind if I were to go for a Rover. Good buddy of mine has been pretty lucky with his Range Rover ( though he did switch out the air springs for conventional ). But in reading the RR sport forums, I'm a little concerned, those things have a ton of bugs.

The GL450 is what I may end up doing since that has the Eorp option, but I'd like to know if anyone has had a "moment" where they found themselves wishing they'd had the mechanical low range in their W164.
 

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You can allways try to import an ML from Europe with the off road package, I think they don´t go to the US but it exists there.
As you can see in this picture, the lower switch makes part of the off road package, it´s where the locks are.
 

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The salesman will often not tell you about all the things you can 'special order' on the ML. If the Euro-spec ML can be ordered with an off-road package, as philport says, maybe you can special order the same package in the US (where, after all, the vehicles are assembled).

I special ordered leather dash on mine. Nobody at the dealership even told me that was possible. I only found out when I emailed Mercedes.
 

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You can allways try to import an ML from Europe with the off road package, I think they don´t go to the US but it exists there.
As you can see in this picture, the lower switch makes part of the off road package, it´s where the locks are.
You do not option off road package in US?I honestly did not now that.I wonder why??Without the low range mechanical assist the W164 is not capable,apart from the very basic,off road.
I agree with Deutch the G-series is the Merc. to have off road.I drove a RR 3.6TD off road and i was amazed to what this car is capable of.
 

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The offroad package is not available in the USA because it constitutes a different drivetrain--meaning separate EPA compliance testing, which is very expensive. MBUSA anticipates not enough sales to justify the expense.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Not sure why MB didn't plan to import a few of the W164's with the locking center diff, it make a huge difference. Guess that means keeping my W163 for the trails and the W164 for everything else..
 

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To import a few, they would've had to certify them. As Chris said above, this would've cost millions of dollars. Not worth it for the few people who would take them offroad.
 

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Well the question is how many times did you really have to use your low range function in your truck? I do light off roading occasionally and honestly I never had to use my low range function in my trucks( I had couple of explorers and now my 04 ML)
Here is a short video of W164 offroading with a W163, enjoy. :D

YouTube - Mercedes ML-club offroad juin 2008
 

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Well the question is how many times did you really have to use your low range function in your truck? I do light off roading occasionally and honestly I never had to use my low range function in my trucks( I had couple of explorers and now my 04 ML)
Here is a short video of W164 offroading with a W163, enjoy. :D

YouTube - Mercedes ML-club offroad juin 2008
Looks like vehicle abuse to me.:D:p:)
 

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It looks like those MLs have special suspension. I don't think mine would make it over those obstacles.
I am sure it would because there was nothing to get hung up on it was just bunch of uneven obstacles.
Anywho point I was trying to make was these trucks are more then capable of handling the offroading duties that us city guys throw at them.:thumbsup:
 

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The w163 is more capable than most would give it credit for. That said the LR3/Range Rover Sport and Range Rover are much more capable.

My wife drives the ML320 and I run a 91 Range Rover Classic and most everything I've seen ML's take on I could have done with my stock 17 year old range rover anytime now with a little work she has be come very capable.

Oh and you don't need to wash them off thats what the rain is for :D







 

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Cool picts and video's all.

Well this x-mas I decided to go check on my "summer" place in Flagstaff Arizonia. At this time there was a good 3-4 feet of snow. I was a bit disapointed with the performance of my ML63, I knocked a 5 foot burm down to about 2' with a shovel, then just drove the ML back and forth, and unfortunately, with the 22"s and Toyo's I ended up high centering a bit. In Just AWD, my fronts wouldn't even spin, both rears were just off gound and kept spinning. I switched to off-road mode, and the fronts finally started to spin a little. I had to knock the snow down from under the center and once I had 3 tires on ground it pulled out fine. I spent 10 years in the local mt's with a 74 landcruiser, and my ML falls short of that, both full locking, warners and granny low... (both missing on my ML) For pure fun, I did spins some donuts and tear up a plowed parking lot on slushy safe terrain, but doubt I would go for any heavy duty off-roading in it. I did have an opportunity to spend 4 hours on a instructor lead off-road in a 09 RR, and I have to agree, pure off-road performance the range rover is awesome.

here's a few of my Black 63 with the white contrast of snow...


 

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Well, SilverMerc never really specified to what degree of 'off-roading' he was doing, but at this point we're talking about some pretty serious stuff.

I don't have any experience with the LR's but I'm sure their performance is far superior with hard-core off-roading. I just got back from Big Bend National Park (west Texas) where I drove some moderate off road trails without any issues. I've got an '08 ML550 with the standard coil suspension putting it at a modest 8.3 inches of ground clearance. These trails certainly require FWD and the ML performed like a champ. I almost never go off-roading but unless SilverMerc is going into the sticks of the Carolinas, I don't see why the W164 wouldn't meet his needs.

Honestly, it would've been a huge benefit if I had the adjustable suspension (because I scraped my running boards twice), but it wasn't anything the AWD system couldn't compensate for.

If SilverMerc goes off-roading less than two or three times a year, then stick with the W164. I think the luxury, on-road performance, and sheer driving pleasure will outweigh the minimal offroad benefit provided by LR. If SilverMerc goes off-roading several times a year, then look into the G500. Unfortunately, the flaws of Ford have made their way through to Land Rover and I'd be hard pressed to buy one.
 
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