I love my ML 350.
By stn254 on Friday, February 05, 2016
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 142,600
overall rating 10 of 10rating details
- Overall Rating
Pros: "design, build quality, 4matic"
Cons: "gas mileage, cost to maintain and repair"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"On a whim I bought my 2003 ML 350 as a second car since I needed an SUV. My other car is a brand new 2015 Hyundai Sonata sport. Since owning this car, I actually drive the Mercedes more than the Hyundai. The ML is well designed and even though it is 13 years old, the build quality is so high I actually feel like I am driving a brand new car. The gas mileage is horrible due to it being an AWD vehicle. When it snows however, the AWD drive system is absolutely amazing. We recently received two feet of snow and I did not even have to shovel before I drove away. While others were snowed in or waiting for the snow plows to come, I was able to get out of the space I parked in and made it to work with no problems.
Repairs are very expensive at the dealer but I was lucky enough to find an amazing local mechanic who only uses OEM Mercedes-Benz parts and does the repairs for significantly less. After I first bought the ML, I did take it to a Mercedes-Benz dealer to have a full inspection and service "A" completed. They did find a host of things wrong, that the dealership I bought it from neglected to mention (I'm not surprised). The estimate from the Mercedes dealer to fix everything was $8,700.00, the actual price I paid my local mechanic to fix everything was about $5,000.00. The labor rates at my Mercedes dealer were $150.00 p/hr.
oil changes are expensive regardless where you go. The dealer charges $150.00, my mechanic $125.00. The plus side though, if you properly maintain a Mercedes, it will last you forever. The service manager at the Mercedes dealership told me an M-Class came in with 275,000 miles on it and he bought it without any reservation because it was properly maintained. He also told me that they have a customer who regularly comes in for routine maintenance and that ML320 has 475,000 miles on it and is still going strong.
There a few things that are wonky such as the cup holders being made of thin plastic, or the fabric skirts that go around the back legs of the rear seats which are pointless or the fact a replacement fob is $200.00. If you ever need a replacement fob you better have proof of ownership, identity and all of your paperwork in order or the dealership will not allow you to buy a new one. You also better keep your address updated with Mercedes-Benz Customer Care, because if there is a different address in their system from what is on your license, you will be denied. If you give the car to someone else or buying used, change the ownership information with Mercedes Customer Care. This goes for all Mercedes Benz not purchased at a Mercedes-Benz dealer.
I would highly recommend one of these to anyone who wants a high quality, superbly built SUV. If however you cannot afford the repair bills and you cannot afford to use premium unleaded gasoline, do not buy this vehicle or any German car for that matter. These cars will last but you need to take good care of them. if you are handy and or love to work on cars, this Mercedes actually is perfect for you since parts are cheap. If you are handy but have limited experience working on a car, there are many things you can do yourself with the help of You Tube. I changed my air filter and cabin filter as well as a few other little ticky tack things."
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