"Bought a 2013 ML350 4Matic in Sep 2012 as an addition to a '97 4Runner SR5 (manual transmission!) and '02 Pathfinder SE. It has the P01 package, Harman Kardon Logic7 sound, MB-tex, and AWD. Readers be aware that for 2013, there are both 2WD and AWD versions.
Comfortable, controlled ride, which is impressive as it weighs about 1200 lbs (!) more than my 4Runner. Acceleration is strong, but requires premium fuel. Quiet at highway speeds. Interior pleather feels like real leather. Steering is very light but accurate, not floaty. Easy to drive long distances in this thing. Upgraded sound system is excellent from an audio standpoint, clunky ergonomics aside. Better than my Infinity/Alpine aftermarket setup in my 4Runner.
There are multiple ergonomic and electronic quirks that are very annoying if these things are important to you.
1) Backup camera only functions when radio is on. Why?!?
2) Shifter is on the steering column where the wiper stalk usually is. Takes a lot of getting used to.
3) There are 4 different button clusters for audio controls (2 on steering wheel, one on upper console, one on lower console) but only ONE location (and the hardest to reach) will allow you to do adjust both volume and track +/- at the same time. Some buttons (e.g. the "disc" button) do not do what they say they do.
4) Navigation is inferior to both Garmin and TomTom. It will guide you the wrong way on one-way streets and otherwise get you lost.
5) Balky transmission, especially from a stoplight. Transmission does not drop down to 1st promptly, so when you start again, the transmission is caught off-balance in 2nd or 3rd. The subsequent hesitation followed by "clunk" and "screech!" scares both the driver and passengers.
Overall, this is a very comfortable, mechanically sound car. But the ergonomic quirks and balky transmission are not acceptable in a car of this price. Toyota and Honda gets this right in their plebian models -- what's wrong with MB?"
"The handling, braking and gas mileage have been greatly improved in comparison to the earlier (2009 and 2012) models that I owned.
Infotainment is a little better, but still the worst part of the car. The blower fan could also use improvement.
Interior and exterior construction is also more durable than my former models and has done a good job standing up to my preteen children.
I did have some software issues during the first year that resulted in intermittent "Check Engine" warning indicator which went away after a software update.
Ergonomically, this SUV is fantastic. Seats are comfortable and it is fairly responsive, considering its size and weight.
I average about 18 MPG in town (with a lot of coasting) and about 22 MPG on the Freeway.
I was torn between this and an Acura MDX (for the third row seating), but the dealership experience swayed me to stay with Mercedes. I was a long-time BMW owner that grew tired of the stress of purchasing negotiations and reliability issues."
"Shortly after taking delivery of my 2012 ML 350, Mercedes I started having trouble. The windshield was so distorted at certain angles it looked like fun house mirror. Mercedes cheerfully replaced it, with another optically distorted one. I took it back again and the service manager said, "wow that is a distorted windshield". He then ordered another and after the vehicle was at the dealer for a few days he called; He said "you're not going to like this, but the fourth windshield is worse than the third". "I'm going to call our area rep for Mercedes to see if he can help you".
So here is his help, I get the vehicle back with another windshield that is also optically distorted and they are going to look around to find one that is clear. I'm not asking for much, just a windshield I can look through without getting a headache. The vehicle has been at the dealers for 8 days. I contacted MB support and it is a joke, no response of any kind for 6 days then a low level clerk calls and says someone will look into it.
If you're considering an ML350 be aware that you may have problems. I have some other issues with it as well. Unfortunately something has happened to MS service and quality control. I have been a long term Mercedes customer and presently own 3 different models. The recurring problems with this one is mirrored by the problems with the others.
"I purchased this vehicle new 2 months ago. The revamped appearance is very appealing, making the vehicle "edgier" and more current than past models. The ML has a very soft and 'floaty' ride, similar to a Lexus. If you are looking for a more luxurious feel (vs. tighter drive) this is your car. For some reason I feel like I'm driving a sedan, and prefer a more powerful ride. Acceleration lags initially but catches up. I have had repeated difficulty with the Bluetooth technology, a lot of crackling, static and cutting out in the speakers...very annoying. Also, I am disappointed with the "fake" leather...a vehicle that touts luxury and a hefty price tag to boot should have this as a standard feature. The nav system is well done and user friendly...but there are many components that are also difficult to click through to find what you're looking for.
I am currently considering taking the loss and switching to the BMW X5. It comes down to this: if you are looking for a cushy softer feel, this will make you very happy. I feel, somehow, that it is an "older person's" car. If you want driving performance and not quite ready for the Buick ride...keep looking."
Pros: "Damping System, Power lift gate, DISTRONIC Plus"
Cons: "Bit pricey, laggy acceleration, not as sporty"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Ive been a recurring MB owner for years and my entire family drives the benz brand. I bought this car about four months ago and just simply love it. The quality of the materials is unmatched by BMW's x5. The look of the vehicle has been given a necessary revamp which makes the ml look even more aggressive and sharp. While it is a bit pricey for its class, it's sure money well spent if your looking into the SUV market. Driving is exceptional when on or off roading, though i agree with those below that acceleration can be a bit laggy at first but it eventually evens out."