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Discussion Starter #1
I test-drove the new ML350 this past weekend. All in all quite impressive over my current 02 ML320. The drive is much more car like and a whole lot quieter in the interior also reduced engine noise. I will say that the sports package is a must, looks 100% better, my dealer also says that the sport seats are real suede and leather. I’m not so sure; maybe someone out there has the answer. Am I going to take one??? Still not sure, maybe I just need to get used to the new configuration. I found it harder getting out of the ML because of the side bolsters, back seat looked smaller and the back storage definitely appears smaller. The new interior reminds me of Lexus, more cocoon like but that’s just my opinion. I have on order an ML350 with the full launch package, it prices out just over $78,000 Canadian dollars and should arrive by the weekend. I’m not sure I am going to take it…I am also looking at the new Range Rover Sport before I really decide.
 

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SweetTobyBoy - 4/12/2005 6:43 AM

I test-drove the new ML350 this past weekend. All in all quite impressive over my current 02 ML320. The drive is much more car like and a whole lot quieter in the interior also reduced engine noise. I will say that the sports package is a must, looks 100% better, my dealer also says that the sport seats are real suede and leather. I’m not so sure; maybe someone out there has the answer.
The salesman is FOS. I like the sport interior (Apperance Package in US), and have it on order, but it's not lether suede. It's M-B Tex with Alcantara inserts. Translated that means synthetic materials, but high quality ones. I like the white stitching. I don't care for the ML leather, which is like basketball texture and not soft at all.
 

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SweetTobyBoy - 4/12/2005 9:43 AM

I test-drove the new ML350 this past weekend. All in all quite impressive over my current 02 ML320. The drive is much more car like and a whole lot quieter in the interior also reduced engine noise. I will say that the sports package is a must, looks 100% better, my dealer also says that the sport seats are real suede and leather. I’m not so sure; maybe someone out there has the answer. Am I going to take one??? Still not sure, maybe I just need to get used to the new configuration. I found it harder getting out of the ML because of the side bolsters, back seat looked smaller and the back storage definitely appears smaller. The new interior reminds me of Lexus, more cocoon like but that’s just my opinion. I have on order an ML350 with the full launch package, it prices out just over $78,000 Canadian dollars and should arrive by the weekend. I’m not sure I am going to take it…I am also looking at the new Range Rover Sport before I really decide.
$78,000......Are you kidding me!!!!!!for a ML 350....what's a ML500 go for $100,000, for unproven reliability and dependability...l apologize for being so negative....but that is absurd!!!!....l just paid $48,000 Canadian for a 2002 ML 55, with 66,000 KM's, in incredible shape, and received $25,000 for my 1999 ML 430...so for $23,000 plus taxes..l made the deal.....l would wait a year, and let someone else take the hit of depreciation.....you will be able to pick that same, ML 350, for probably $50,000.....just my opinion.....
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I think the ML500 with the full launch package is $98,000...and you're right, it's crazy, who knows what the AMG model will cost. Any thoughts on the Range Rover Sport[?]
 

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SweetTobyBoy - 4/12/2005 9:43 AM

I test-drove the new ML350 this past weekend. All in all quite impressive over my current 02 ML320. The drive is much more car like and a whole lot quieter in the interior also reduced engine noise. I will say that the sports package is a must, looks 100% better, my dealer also says that the sport seats are real suede and leather. I’m not so sure; maybe someone out there has the answer. Am I going to take one??? Still not sure, maybe I just need to get used to the new configuration. I found it harder getting out of the ML because of the side bolsters, back seat looked smaller and the back storage definitely appears smaller. The new interior reminds me of Lexus, more cocoon like but that’s just my opinion. I have on order an ML350 with the full launch package, it prices out just over $78,000 Canadian dollars and should arrive by the weekend. I’m not sure I am going to take it…I am also looking at the new Range Rover Sport before I really decide.
$78,000 cdn is really expensive with that price you can get a fullyloaded FX35 or even a FX45~ yicks still cant trust MBenz yet maybe wait till the diesel engines comes out.~ but i have to admit the new W164 looks darn nice and the interior is very comfortable. They had one in teh autoshow ML500 realli nice very secure and stable~
 

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for $78,000 cdn for new ML350
I think I will wait....
I have the ML500 in mind, if the ML500 with the fully loaded option cost over $90,000 I will change my mind to buy CLK500 instead.
then wait a year later and buy a used ML350.
 

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RE: Weekend test drive/MBTex+Alcantara seats

Greg,

I don't care for the ML leather, which is like basketball texture and not soft at all.
I couldn't agree more. Our salesperson showed us the "official" upholstery samples, and the leather (which incidentally matches the MBTex almost perfectly) is very thick and quite rough. "Baseball-like" is a very good description. No doubt that it will be heavy-duty, but nice-looking and glove-like soft? NO!

What also bothered us was that the tan color seemed very much different from what has been seen in various photos. The color is "off", lacks life - there's a slight greyish slur to it. In the photos they play around with lights and filters to get the desired effect.

The Alcantara, OTOH, seemed very supple to the touch, and what surprised my wife positively, not as prone to retain marks from clothing. It's smoother than for instance the Alcantara seats used by Lancia, where you can all too easily see the contours of the last person having sat in the seat.

We were torn between getting the Sports Appearance Package (which is very good value for money here) or getting the multicontour seats, because we both suffer from back problems. In the end, I think we'll go for the sport seats. One of the advantages (for us) of the W164 over the W163 is the seat memory option. If you get the multicontour seats, you'll have to spend some time getting comfortable in the seat - and you might end up just driving away "as is", ending up with back pain. Also the fact that getting the multicontour seats add up to a lot more than just the seats, because (here, at least) you have to add leather, chrome pack, 18/19" wheels etc. of course has had a certain influence on our decision [;)][;)]

Birger
 

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RE: Weekend test drive/MBTex+Alcantara seats

Birger - 4/13/2005 5:40 AM
very thick and quite rough. "Baseball-like" is a very good description. No doubt that it will be heavy-duty, but nice-looking and glove-like soft? NO!
So it's even rougher/thicker than the W163's leather?
Puzzling. I thought they'd copy the RX330's soft thin leather that wears quickly, so they could compete better ;-)

FWIW, when I got the W163, the grey leather looked "plasticky". That's why I ended up w/ charcoal (but it's a broiler in the summer)-:


ken
 

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RE: Weekend test drive/MBTex+Alcantara seats

Ken,

I have not seen (or felt) the W163 samples (and I haven't taken my current seats apart, yet), so I really can't tell if they have put in thicker leather. What I noticed was a rougher, matte surface, and that the material seemed very thick for its purpose.

Enjoy your day - I'm about to close down for the evening here [:)][:)]

Birger
 

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RE: Weekend test drive/MBTex+Alcantara seats

kenyee - 4/13/2005 10:42 AM

So it's even rougher/thicker than the W163's leather?
Puzzling. I thought they'd copy the RX330's soft thin leather that wears quickly, so they could compete better ;-)

FWIW, when I got the W163, the grey leather looked "plasticky". That's why I ended up w/ charcoal (but it's a broiler in the summer)-:

ken
My '98 ML320 has pretty nice leather, with the perforated leather inerts. It has worn quite well. It is not as soft as the Nappa leather in my M3, though, which has also held up well for 4 years.

The new W164 leather is very unappealing, and I like neither the Ash (which is lighter than my current gray) or Macadamia. I have not owned Alcantara before, but have heard good things from people who have.
 

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OT: SweetTobyBoy

What exactly does your handle mean--is it a country music thing? You might want to consider a change? No disrespect, but it may sound a little strange to many.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Greg...my name is Wayne, sweettobyboy is my first dog toby a boy who was and is still very sweet...I've used it for many years and is still my aol email address, it may be strang but it means something to me...so there you are.

Anyway I have been checking out the competition, as I mentioned my new ML350 well loaded will be ready sometime next week. Pretty well decided that I will not take it right now, my 02ML is still in great shape, and my 04 CLK is also a nice change from driving the ML. The new Lexus RX400H, a hybrid engine looks very attractive, 50% better gas economy and almost as quick 0-60 as the new ML500 and way way less $$$...any comments would be appreciated[:)][8D]
 

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SweetTobyBoy - 4/14/2005 8:07 AM

Anyway I have been checking out the competition, as I mentioned my new ML350 well loaded will be ready sometime next week. Pretty well decided that I will not take it right now, my 02ML is still in great shape, and my 04 CLK is also a nice change from driving the ML. The new Lexus RX400H, a hybrid engine looks very attractive, 50% better gas economy and almost as quick 0-60 as the new ML500 and way way less $$$...any comments would be appreciated[:)][8D]
It's all comes down to personal wants/needs, but if you go with the ML, I'd hold off until the 2007 models and get either the new 4.6 V8 or 3.2 CDI. The diesel is the most logical choice for an SUV, expecially if you have a sport coupe to get your jollies now and then. The RX does nothing for me, though the hybrid powertrain seems very well engineered and the intent is good--just needs a better vehicle around it.
 

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OT: Toby

Wayne,

SweetTobyBoy - 4/14/2005 11:07 AM

... my first dog toby a boy who was and is still very sweet...
to avoid any "misinterpretations", put a photo of him as you avatar......

Birger

On-topic: I have test driven the Lexus, and have also been (and partly still am) in doubt. However, range on a full tank will be much more in the ML320CDI than the Lexus. Avoiding to have to fill up where unleaded is painfully expensive can be a motivation to choose your car [:0]
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I took the ML instead of the RX330 a few years ago...I think I will still check it out when the dealers get them in another few weeks[;)]
 

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SweetTobyBoy - 4/14/2005 11:07 AM

Greg...my name is Wayne, sweettobyboy is my first dog toby a boy who was and is still very sweet...I've used it for many years and is still my aol email address, it may be strang but it means something to me...so there you are.

Anyway I have been checking out the competition, as I mentioned my new ML350 well loaded will be ready sometime next week. Pretty well decided that I will not take it right now, my 02ML is still in great shape, and my 04 CLK is also a nice change from driving the ML. The new Lexus RX400H, a hybrid engine looks very attractive, 50% better gas economy and almost as quick 0-60 as the new ML500 and way way less $$$...any comments would be appreciated[:)][8D]
Hey Wayne.....l work at the plant in Canada, where the Lexus RX 330 is produced.....We will be producing the 400H in about two years..First it will be built in Japan, so any bugs can be worked out....before it comes to us....That's how Toyota makes all their products, they are built in Japan first, under some other Japanese name, for the first year, then it goes to whichever plant it is to be built, in North America...We were read a memo from our President Ray Tanguay that the 400H has 14,000 orders already..lt will revolutize the way, people look at the SUV...More power, better gas mileage, and emissions friendly....My 2002 ML 55, may be the last naturally aspirated vehicle l own....Something to consider...l hope Mercedes gets on board quickly...they are already behind!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
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