"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?"
"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.
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."
Pros: "mpg, quiet, comfortable, great travel vehicle"
Cons: "maybe voice recognition"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Dead on reliable SUV. I have had it for a year and other than an initial concern, the ML has not had any quality or mechanical issues. It is quiet, drives well and it has recorded up to 34 MPG, though averages around 26. It is setup to tow 7200 lbs and has pulled a covered trailer with two motorcycles while getting 21 MPG. All aspects are great, with the exception of the current voice recognition/phone dialer. Sometimes it really wants to call someone other than the one asked to contact.
It is very quiet once underway with no diesel sound. The only way someone knows it is diesel is when it first starts out."
"Tested BMW, Lexus, Infinity, Audi, and Cadillac, gas engine all. Only the BMW could comparefavorably. Both more pricy than the others with same features, Leather not standard in either, but I actually prefer the leatherete, since it is more durable . ML performance equal to BMW, but ML won the day because I preferred the interior far better, especially having the shift contols on the steering column, allow more space for storage and beverages."