My wife has always hankered after the elevated driving position afforded by the 4x4 type of car, and six weeks ago I traded our E280 CDI estate for a 2008 ML320 CDI Sport. I'm very familiar with the engine and gearbox and it works very well in the ML. It's lower geared than both the S and E class, but then it does have to push something akin to a drawing room through the air. With the addition of Airmatic that’s exactly how it feels! The ride quality is superb and the cabin hushed even in direct comparison to my S class. After a long journey in the ML I can begin to see the attraction of the elevated driving position. It has the effect of (quite literally) distancing you from the road and giving an experience not unlike a cruise ship...yes it is almost that big! Cabin fittings are not quite in the S class league but a huge improvement over the previous ML and getting very close to the Audi Q7. The light grey alcantara seats clean very easily and give a bright ambience, with plenty of room for people and dogs. I have had to have the COMAND system replaced under warranty when it refused to show maps after being on for more than an hour, but other than that, the car has been faultless. 36mpg is the best I have seen on a run and most fuel pumps shut off at £100 before the car is full. The 4x4 system is never likely to see the off road in my hands, but the traction out of wet roundabouts and T junctions is great and the car really feels secure in all conditions.
In 2006/2007 I RETURNED 3 ML 320CDI TO MECEDES BENZ OF CHELMSFORD UNDER THE SALE OF GOODS ACT,I REJECTED THE 3 OF THEM THEY ALL HAD THE SAME PROBLEM THE CARS WOULD GO INTO LIMP HOME MODE AND THE CARS WOULD LOOSE ALL ACCEELERATION EVERY ATTEMPT TO REAPAIR THE CARS FAILED THEY AWAYS BLAMED IT ON A SOFTWARE PROBLEM. IN THE END I SETTLED FOR A 320CDI ESTATE I STILL AM HAVING THE SAME PROBLEMS WITH IT.IN THE PAST 15 YEARS I HAVE OWNED 12 MERCS I SHALL NEVER PURCHASE ONE AGAIN
I have just changed to a new ML 320CDI Sport from an Audi Allroad. Nothing wrong with the Audi apart from me missing sitting up high ! having previously owned 3 Jeeps.
The ML is just a superb vehicle, the drive is superb, I would say faultless for this catagory of vehicle. The cost of the 320 over the 280 is well worth the difference considering the marked imporovement in performance although this is obviously a personal choice. The gearbox is a treat although the selector stalk is a bit unusual but great once you get used to it.
It has a very practical interior, perhaps a little more plastic than competitors but nevertheless good quality. Extremely comfortable and even with the standard electric seats you can adjust the position just about anyway you could ever wish. Anyone regularly swapping drivers I would recommend having the memory seats, I'm the only driver so didnt spec this. I added the Comand system and bluetooth phone integration, which personally is a must for me and I think will be a good selling point 2/3 years down the road.
The fuel costs will be fairly high but nothing worse than anything else in the same bracket..... dont go near one if the thought of filling a 95 litre tank scares you !
Not a lot more I can say other than a great vehicle that is a joy to drive and one I'm very much looking forward to driving over the next 3 years.
We have had our ML320 CDI for just over a year now. Without doubt it is the best vehicle we have ever owned. We dealt with Tony Kelly Cars in Letterkenny, County Donegal Ireland and it is the 4th Mercedes vehicle we have bought there. They are a good dealership.
The car is very comfortable, performance is excellent and gives an average fuel economy in the mid-20s on short journeys - we got 32mpg on a 300-mile round trip to Dublin.
There have been no problems at all with car. The previous car but one that we owned was an ML270 CDI and there is no comparison with the current vehicle.
Re a query the previous reviewer (James Miller) had re the digital speedo being set to KPH rather than MPH display on his 420CDI, on our car it was set as KPH but by operating the Steering Wheel Controls I was able to change the display to MPH. I am sure it is possible on his vehicle too.
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