Good long-term if you can handle the repairs.
By Georgio on Saturday, August 24, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 162,000
overall rating 7 of 10rating details
- Overall Rating
Pros: "Loads of features, built like a tank, capable."
Cons: "Less than stellar reliability, fuel economy."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"Bought this slightly used for less than 1/2 the sticker price the year it came out (the former owner actually kept the window sticker!). Knew about the reliability issues, so I purchased a 3/36 extended warranty. Boy, was that a great decision! I paid $1995 for the warranty and had well over $9000 in repairs in that 3 year period. Lots of other stupid issues (the biggest is the Crankshaft Position Sensor failures that are rampant throughout the Mercedes product line). My 1992 Ford Explorer (bought new) was bulletproof over that 20-year period. So I'm still scratching my head over the reliability issues. The Mercedes service adviser said that the ML class has gotten much more reliable in the years that have followed, but I definitely will check to confirm that before I buy another. In terms of value, once the big batch of repairs happened, the car has been fairly reliable. Strange, but true. If a repair item comes up, I just pay the $200 to $600 every year or so since the truck has a solid build and lots of features. Buying the current version of this truck would run over $65,000 (mine has loads of options). I drive it hard, and it has been rewarding. The V8 is thirsty (as you'd expect) and requires premium fuel. It needs at least another 50 horsepower, but it still blows off a lot of new vehicles, and the engine is bulletproof (Mercedes is known for that). The transmission is another item. Had it go around the 90,000 mile mark, and I put in a used one - which has held up since then. Lots of safety features and seating for 7 (I have the optional third row seats). I don't use the third [small] row much now since I am not hauling lots of little kids anymore, but the seats can pop right out of the truck (heavy!), or they can stay in place or pivot toward the left and right sides of the truck to give more room in the cargo area. One other thing. This truck EATS brakes! I buy the OEM rotors and pads myself (you can get even cheaper ones but I don't take chances with brakes) and have a local mechanic install them. A LOT cheaper than the $600-800 per end that the dealers charge. I pay more like $250 per end. If you are handy (or have a handy friend), you can buy the parts online and install them far more cheaply than the dealers. Spread across the 10 years I have had the truck, the repairs are not much given what you otherwise get. If the current models really ARE more reliable, I would advise you to consider them."
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