I have had more problems with this vehicle than all seven other vehicles i have owned combined. Granted i did buy it with 100k miles on it, none of these things should be going wrong with a Mercedes Benz. I have had U-joints fail, bolts on both sides of my front suspension break twice, electronicsgo out on the center dashboard, three ignition coils fail, and the A/C compressor has gone out. Aside from that it has a rough ride like riding in a sports car without the fun. Much of the car uses cheap materials that can not hold up to everyday use. It does have decent performance for the size vehicle it is, though.
I don't know what you people giving this car a good review are smoking, but what I do know is that drugs are bad.
I've had about 21 vehicles so far, and the 99 ML320 is the most awful, poorly built, unreliable, thing (not a car!) that has ever been sold on this galaxy.
The car was well kept and still it has 177k miles ONLY running because I have basically rebuild the darn thing.
EVERYTHING on the car has gone bad! a few things such as clutch fan, a/c compressor, cold/hot air selector motor have actually been changed a few times!
Other than that, name it (radiator, electrical components, all cabin controls for everything, drive shaft bearing, catalytic converter, suspension, etc) went bad
Stereo (which is aftermarket!)
It is somewhat comfortable (although the ride quality is bad)
Improve humanity as a whole by scrapping every single one of these things (not a car).
This car is awful! Bought it at 82k and now has 115. At 85 had to change oxygen sensors. 100$ each. So $400. Engine coolant started leaking at 88k, had to change the radiator. 120. This car is just awful. Good comfort.
I have just traded in my 1999 ML320. We had a rocky relationship but it did last 12 years so it was not all bad. Frankly I loved the basic design, drive and utility of the vehicle. Maintenance was very very expensive and reliability reminded me more of GM than Mercedes. However, it never failed to start except when the battery died every four or five years so it did serve as reliable transport. So many little and bigger things required maintenance however that it was simply not economical to own and would have been cheaper to walk away from four or five years ago than to keep on the road. I finally threw in the town when the transfer case started acting up and repair was over 5 grand
Flexible cargo space. Comfortable highway ride and competent off road ability. Comfortable driving position and seat.
The 1998 and 1999 MLs were simply maintenance nightmares. Mercedes should have had a multi thousand owner loyalty program for ML owners. They didn't and I now own a fine Japanese replacement (CX9 Mazda) that is more reliable and way less to maintain. All for 20K less than the new ML.
Our ML320 is a tank. It's been serviced well & have had no reliability issues. But, the electrical problems. These repairs cost **$$$$** so we have lived with them. Odometer light went out, radio has to be manually turned off/on, gas mileage tracker quit working. Once, when it was parked out in the rain, it freaked out & the interior lights and whistles went off and flashed until we turned the car off. We park it in the garage now. A life saver in the snow - the four wheel drive was awesome (live in FL now - it's awesome on soft beach sand). We need a third row, though. The children are going to kill or maim each other soon in that back seat. We are trading it in soon.
Four wheel drive, sun roof (although a part just broke off recently), automatic adjusting seats, leather & heated seats. I like the stereo sound, although our CD changer quit working. Again, a lesser degree of importance in the grand scheme of things.
Electrical panel. Doesn't get great mileage, but it is an SUV and we don't expect it to. Cup holders are from the devil. I'm certain they have improved these in newer models.