My wife's car. Wonderful for her - sits high with great visability & comfort. The AWD is supurb here in Denver - great in snow and it doesn't eat up tires as I feared it would (we get 40K miles per set). Gets only 20 MPG on highway at 75. (I don't even try to determine our mileage in the city!) Reliability has been better than some other owners reported: Replaced air mass sensor (expensive!) at 55K miles (it caused transmission to shift late or not at all). Replaced front brakes at 40K and 73K; rear brakes at 73K. Brakes/rotors are expensive, but very, very easy for a do-it-yourself project. (Brake parts for four wheels cost me about $350.) Transmission can't be serviced by non-MB shop.
Great low-range gearing for negotiating steep, rocky trailheads in the mountains! Excellent ground clearance and short wheelbase make back-country driving easy.
Better warranty. There are too many expensive repair situations where owners are greatly exposed to unexpected budget busters!
Got the "Light Truck" 9 months ago. It came with dealer-installed running boards,full grille gaurds with PIAA foglights. Driving is always a pleasure in wintertime. Although quality is literally plastic moldings for the dash, they suit well enough for the price. Not the quality instituted in German-built facilities. Many speak of cars falling apart on them. If you don't follow the maintainence that Mercedes asks for the vehicle of course it'll fall apart. Service the vehicle every six months and it will go the distance in mileage. The cargo space with folded down seats and extra two 6th and 7th seats is roomy enough to say the ML's are willing to get a little dirty but still its a luxury SUV.
Highly manueverable vehicle. Surdy engine. Ride height. Depreciation value makes it easy to obtain one at a low price for a reasonable quality vehicle. Handles amazingly well in the snow and ice.
For the love of god, those cup holders. They get hit easily from both myself and my dad with our knees. Cheaply made dash but still "ok". Stiff suspension, but its why Benz calls it a "Light Truck". Fix the computer for the transmission, really hesitant in changing gears, makes engine work harder.
I purchased this vehicle 1 year ago used with 70,000 miles. Since then I had to replace driver side window switch ($482.00), cad converter($2000) oxygen sensors($1000),rear brakes & roters($1000), the interior squeaks, front squeaks, etc.. many more repairs to come and it did not hold its value I might as well just burn it!
It drives fast & smooth and is great in snow & ice.
More comfortable seats & room up front. The front end looks stylish while from the rear like a mini-van.
We have owned this car for about 60,000 miles, and had an extended warranty through last year. This car has been driven through city and country, with many miles off-road locating petroglyph and Indian ruin sites throughout the Southwestern United States. This is our third Mercedes and we have driven them an aggregate of over 250K miles, so I am somewhat biased toward the three pointed star. All of the suggested service was performed and the additional repairs required have totaled less than $1,000 which included the new platinum plugs at 100K miles. I would buy another one without a second thought.
The turning radius is nice and tight. The compartment under the passeneger seat is also a nice feature. The power and growl of the engine in passing Lexus SUVs is also a very favorite feature. It is also a good sight to watch other offroaders look at you while trekking offroad.
Change the placement of the cup holders and reconfigure the rear deck. If possible, boost the miles per gallon; but please keep the power!