"This is my 2nd ML320. I leased a 2002MY and liked it enough to buy a 1999. I have driven it 60k miles (just under 100k on the odo now) as the 2nd owner and had very few minor repairs. The balance between performance and economy is ideal. I average just under 20mpg regularly. That is much better then the 14-15mpg average I was getting in my 2004 Grand Cherokee 4.0L. The ride is a bit bouncy on rough roads compared to passenger cars, but it is quiet and composed. I have to remind myself that it is not a car and has proper off-road capability with the low-range transfer case. I have even taken it on a couple 4x4 runs with a local club. It tows my pop-up camper well and does great on slick or icy roads. Resale is not the best, but that has made my initial cost an amazing value! Other vehicles in the same price range I have found pale in ability, reliability and quality. Mercedes owners have cirticized the ML for it's materials, but it is a truck. The materials are more rigid and durable. I don't expect it to be as luxurious as my Mercedes coupe. I will buy another ML320 if this one ever wears out. It seems to be happy everywhere; camping, highway, grocery or at a Valet when headed to a classy dinner. I can't speak more highly of this car. I think Mercedes hit a home-run with this one."
"You might be wondering why I gave my car lots of stars and then said I would not recommend it. I have been happy with my ML since I bought it new in 2002. It drives beautifully, feels solid on the road, and makes me feel like my family is protected. Although it's on a truck chassis, and drives like a larger vehicle than it actually is, it's still a really, really nice truck. However, as with all Mercedes, maintenance is quite expensive. The car eats tires, brakes and gas. Each visit for service brings up some new issue that needs to be addressed so that it's always a big expense. So while I'm very happy with the car, it takes a certain car mentality to maintain this big baby, and that's why I wouldn't recommend it to a friend unless I know that they are prepared for the commitment."
"I have read some of the reviews and a few have been unlucky with their MB purchase, sorry. I have experienced problems with many different brands as well (on my 8th car). My MB has been very reliable and I have only changed minor part during normal sevice. The car is build to last and the engine can easily run 250,000+ miles. I really think you will get a lot of value if you buy a used MB +6 years and avoid the high price deduction as for new model."
Pros: "Great price; great intro to Mercedes engineering"
Cons: "Gas filter causes car to start slowly"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I love this car. I have driven Fords & Lincoln's for 30 years, always leasing new vehicles. Obviously I liked them but I never loved them, and tired of the cost of leasing and the bureaucracy of Ford Credit. So, after much deliberation I bought the 2004 ML 350 in December 2010. I also bought a $100 deductible warranty. I compared the combined cost, after factoring in the not so great mileage and the added cost of premium gas and concluded that the buy was worth the risk associated with a used car. In the 3 years since I bought it, I have driven it over 60,000 miles without any major repairs. My initial warranty was two years / 24,000 miles. When I approached the mileage limit, I bought a new warranty that is assumable and covers it for another 100,000 miles, up to 205,000 miles. In more than three years of relatively high mileage driving, I have had warranty claims of less than 1/2 the cost of the warranties. That notwithstanding, peace of mind..."
"This car is awesome (1998 ML320)-bought it new.
We have 168,000 miles on it and it still purrs right along (1/2 qt oil/5000 mlies). We have had some fixes on it that are no more troublesome or expensive than with any other luxury car. It is comfortable, a pleasure to drive, and be seen in. We have been across the US 3x in it, hauled trailers with it, and have been in 6" deep snow numerous times; it just keeps on going and at 33 mpg on long trips. We will get another."
Cons: "Brake switches, window switches, CD changer"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"I'm sure you have heard of the phrase "nothing runs like a (John) Deere when it runs..." Well, that's how I feel about my 2000 ML320. Very comfortable vehicle; very utilitarian, and my dogs love the freedom of having the entire rear seat area to themselves! Still, I purchased the vehicle (now my third ML) with 99,900 miles and ever since I seem to sink about $500 to $1,500 in repair bills into this beast each year, now my 4th. Some of it, like brakes and batteries I can understand. However, the never-ending brake switch issues and window switch problems drive me nuts! They're both good for about a year before you're heading back to the mechanic for new ones. They're either poorly designed or simply cheap parts ... probably both. It's imperative that you find a mechanic who isn't employed by a Mercedes-Benz dealership if you're going to own the vehicle beyond its warranty period. The repair bills are real and they will give pause to why anyone would own such an SUV. But, as I noted in the outset of this review, when my ML320 runs, I truly enjoy driving it. My bank account, however, would beg to differ."
"Other than the high gas consumption of this 5 liter monster, it is still driving and as comfy as new. Very mechanically reliable, and very powerful. I also love the space inside and the 3rd raw seats option. I'll keep it for as long as it runs!"
"This car has an amazing safe feeling and has proved itself over and over to be safe and reliable.
Poor interior finish! Other than trim falling off, replacing door locks, seats that are in locked down position. Constant & Expensive non drive train services.
This car went across country 4 round trips last year with out missing a beat. When it stops running it will be missed."
"I just hate this car, what a lemon. Although my family has now owned 12 Mercedes over the past 34 years, generally with great satisfaction, this car has proved to be the opposite of any previous MB experience. The 1999 ML430 was a my first new Mercedes-Benz and pleasure to drive off the lot, however after spending almost $50,000 for this lemon it has been the biggest mistake of my life. It has had major mechanical malfunctions without any warning 6 times which left my family stranded, needed towing and/or worse. The list of minor repairs seams endless. Numerous recalls. When contacting MBUSA, they either fail to respond to my complaints, ignore our correspondance or just hide the facts. My advice, buy a MB made before 1995 when the Mercedes brand meant quality and dependability."