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'00 w163 55 amg (sold) '02 w208 55 amg '03 w163 350 inspiration
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here is a stupid Saturday evening style post but hope that some of our experts can satisfy my innate curiosity. Why?:confused: that's why i'm asking. when you are online or search for parts etc. how did it become that M & ML refer to the same machine? we(i should say I) refer to others in the 'proper' form of S or SLK or SL for example. how did our truck(s) get 2 names or did I sleep for 12 years:surrender:? BTW, what does L mean? I understand the the M connotation as it's further down the alpha chain in MB fashion. just curious:rolleyes:
 

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2000 ML430 SOLD, 2007 BMW 328i Coupe, 2014 BMW i3, 2019 Honda Odyssey
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Mercedes letter designations have had a long and storied history. At time, letters meant something. Numbers were displacement, L=long wheelbase, K=kompressor, E=fuel injected, D=diesel, C=coupe.

However, not everything always made sense then. Was an SL a long S? No. Was an E-Class always an E-Class? Not if it was a diesel (300D).

Things aren't much better today. Is there a short wheelbase ML? NO. Is an GL450 of our era 4.5L? NO. Is the CLK supercharged? NO.


At this point numbers and letters are meaningless. BMW's have also it seems dumped their logical system as both a 328 and a 335 are actually 3.0L.
 

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1990 190E 2.6,.... 1998 ML320, 2005 ML500SE
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As an example my 190E is neither an E Class nor has a 190 Displacement.
Mike
 

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C9H9N Offensive Odor Exuder
2002 ML320, 2005 S430 4MATIC RIP, 2010 F150 Crew Cab
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11,442 Posts
There were many identifying marks, some besides numbers, that many purists feel have lent to Mercedes losing their luster. For starts, moving the ornament off the grill onto the hood. That was a MAJOR MB identifying point and a serious design no-no. It used to be that you KNEW it was a Mercedes coming down the road. Now, I catch myself squinting my eyes to see if it's a Mercedes, Lexus, Kia Sedona, Hyundai Genesis, Kia Amante, etc. A good example would be to compare, at a distance, most E-Class and C-Class grilles with these cheap competitors. Furthermore, the removal of the console gear shifter to a dainty, gay looking finger paddle on the steering column was a biggie, as well. That makes me redder than anything. Anyone else like to ride down the road with their hand on the gear shift?
IMHO, the 1991 S series was the last of the great body styled sedans. Mercedes has slid downhill from there. I know every automaker makes their turd, but does anyone else share the opinion that MB has made too many pieces of sh^t in the last 10 or so years?
 

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2000 ML430 SOLD, 2007 BMW 328i Coupe, 2014 BMW i3, 2019 Honda Odyssey
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That era of S-Class was by far the best MB made.

Another purist thing is the moving of the window switches to the doors. tsk tsk tsk.
 

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2000 ML430, 2000 C280
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What you said is true only for the old designations were the letter was after the number, such as 300E. The newer designations with letter first has different meaning altogether as this letter now indicates the vehicle model rather than an engine feature. It is this nomencalture changeover that caused all the confusion, even though each case is consistent within themselves.

In our case, ML stands for the 'Mehrzweck Leicht' or 'general-purpose light' description of the overall vehicle. The number folllowing ML refers to the engine displacement in liters/100, though there has been recent cases of underreporting the engine sizes. "350" to indicate a 3.7 liter engine, for example.

To answer the original question, 'M' refers to the class and the specific model is something like 'ML500'. There really is no 'ML' per se, even though there is a 'GL' to differentiate from the hard-core 'G'.

DelJ





Mercedes letter designations have had a long and storied history. At time, letters meant something. Numbers were displacement, L=long wheelbase, K=kompressor, E=fuel injected, D=diesel, C=coupe.

However, not everything always made sense then. Was an SL a long S? No. Was an E-Class always an E-Class? Not if it was a diesel (300D).

Things aren't much better today. Is there a short wheelbase ML? NO. Is an GL450 of our era 4.5L? NO. Is the CLK supercharged? NO.


At this point numbers and letters are meaningless. BMW's have also it seems dumped their logical system as both a 328 and a 335 are actually 3.0L.
 

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2002 ML55 AMG, 2005 Chrysler Crossfire Coupe Limited, 1999 C280
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There were many identifying marks, some besides numbers, that many purists feel have lent to Mercedes losing their luster. .........Furthermore, the removal of the console gear shifter to a dainty, gay looking finger paddle on the steering column was a biggie, as well. That makes me redder than anything. Anyone else like to ride down the road with their hand on the gear shift??...
I couldn't agree more cmitch:thumbsup: - I too love to drive with my hand on the truck's gear lever and it's a major reason why I may never buy a W164.

If anything, moving the gear shifter to the steering column gives more credence to the oft-quoted 'minivan' label.
 

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It gets worse if you think why the macho W163 gear shift became the wimpy W164 paddle switch: to make room for a woman's purse!

DelJ



I couldn't agree more cmitch:thumbsup: - I too love to drive with my hand on the truck's gear lever and it's a major reason why I may never buy a W164.

If anything, moving the gear shifter to the steering column gives more credence to the oft-quoted 'minivan' label.
 
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