I bought my 1999 ML 320 with 186k from the second Owner and have been pretty happy with it. The heated leather front seats are great, there is plenty of room in back for my rat terrier and her bed, and the cargo area is huge even with the back seat in place. The engine is smooth and quiet with great torque. The SUV feels sure-footed and is easier to park that I thought. Now for the not so good. An oil change is over $100 because the ML 320 holds 8.5 quarts of oil. The ride is stiff and there is too much wind noise. Yes the cup holders are terrible. And why on earth did Mercedes outfit the earlier ML's with a manual climate control ? The A/C takes forever to cool the interior on a hot day - and my ML 320 has dark tinted windows and I live in Oregon ! I can't imagine the A/C making the cut in Arizona. There are also some blind spots that take some getting used to.
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.