Have just taken delivery of a new ML320cdiSE..........What a car.
It is smooth, sounds great even for a diesel and looks fantastic.
On top of that the dealer - Mercedes Benz of Salisbury couldn't have been more helpful (Thanks Toby Parker).
I have to say that if you want a luxury off roader you couldn't do any better - looked at Range Rover, BMW and Audi and they didn't offer the same quality, value or service.
It's not cheap to run but I have to say if you're going to spend £40+k on a car, don't expect cheap parts or simple systems to service!
Having said that it is early days but I am still smiling. I will post an update in 6-12 months.
Finally - have to say thanks to What Car? for helping with my search and selection.
There is a very annoying and possibly dangerous problem with the 7 speed gearbox when mated with the 420 engine. When you are travelling slowly, say 30 mph and need to accelerate quickly the car seems not to be able to decide which gear to select. It hesitates for what seem to be seconds and then applies the power in an unpleasant surge. This can catch you out when crossing dual carriageways or overtaking slow vehicles. Annoying and dangerous. MB are aware of the problem, but have no fix yet!
Almost two years and 30,000 miles behind the wheel of the ML 420 has been comfortable and practical. Hot hatch performance when you want it - but the consumption dips to close to 20mpg. Otherwise around 25 to 30 which for a big 4x4 is good. 20,000 miles on the first set of tyres. Well screwed together, except for the sat nav. Riddled with errors to the point where I still have road maps in the car and bought a tom tom. Harrogate MB dealer shocking sales service but trying hard - and probably even harder now. Purchased ex stock with lots of extras inc easy pack hatch - seemed a novelty but really useful. Running boards - essential for kids but get scratched. Heated seats - nice, CD, I pod. Only missing items are xenon headlanps - not an option, and blue tooth. Feels like it just missed the boat on the recent technology. Big, road consuming and safe car - won't go back
Edition S with side bars, privacy glass, parktronic, phone prep, htd seats & comfort pack. The S is identical to a Sport externally: 19in alloys, silver grille, rectangular exhausts & tinted rear lights.
Drives well too, plenty of torque & the 7 speed auto gives good performance on all roads. Seating position & stability makes it a very good cruiser but it also tackles bends with great ability considering it’s size. Only drawback of this type of car is the tendency for body movement, an ML320 I drove with air suspension did move about much less than mine. When selecting the ML I also drove: Range Rover Sport (appalling performance, ride & seats, could not wait to give it back), Touareg (well equipped but an inferior ride, lacks the Merc's refinement & presence), Audi Allroad (not as spacious as an SUV & not much better to drive despite being ‘a car’), Lexus RX (350 ok, 400h horrible, both tacky), Audi Q7 (huge but not much space for the driver!). The Merc beats all of these despite my having to compromise on spec compared to most of the competitors. The S does feel rather basic inside, despite being nearly £40k once you’ve added a few extras. It has cloth centre panel seats, basic audio & lacks the centre storage of the SE & Sport. Real leather is not available, only the artificial Artico stuff which I’m told does not wear very well. Factory orders for ML’s can be months, if you want a new one a compromise on spec is inevitable. Buy one now before they become extinct.
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