Knew the car for all its life so bought it when it was being sold. I was mentally prepared to face issues but figured I'd treat myself to a Merc for a little while. Maybe because I was prepared, or maybe I was somewhat lucky, I didn't think the car gave me too much trouble - just enough to remind me that I bought it with 70K. For the 2 years and 20k miles I put on it, apart from the regular maintenance, I probably spent 1k, mass air flo sensors, brake pads and a couple of visits to check the 'check-engine-light'. For it's utility, saftey and the fact that it's a Mercedes, I have no regrets on owning it except maybe when I hit the gas stations lately.
I have had so many problems with My 1999 ML430 (98K miles), I want to cry. Its been a very, very, troublesome vehicle from the day I bought it. My current stable is made up a BMW 3 series and Volvo S80 (as well as the ML430). The Mercedes has easily had twice (if not thrice) the amount of issues of both my other vehicles combined. Not to mention one of the poorest after sales service dealers I have ever encountered with a cost of ownership that is stifling.
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!
Good power, sophisticated AWD/traction
control, resonable comfort, good
headroom/rear legroom. BUT poor
placement of controls, rear seat
lowering is a nightmare, questionable
quality (e.g. fuel pump died at less
than 15,000 miles, no rear A/C vents,
no climate control for A/C, poor CD
changer placement, awful gas mileage,
minivan appearance, cup holders are a
joke, difficult access to spare tire.
Power, AWD system, spacius rear seats.
Redesign placement of headlight switch,
cruise control, window switches and CD
changer. Simplify operation of rear
seat fold-down. Climate control and
rear heater-A/C ventshould be a given
in a car this price. Re-establish
Mercedes quality of old.
My car was bought in October last year
and has been in the shop for recalls,
oil consumption studies, mirror
replacements, and leaking problems over
6 times. The car is cheaply made and
there is very little luxury when you
must use a loaner car more than you can
drive your own.
when it is out of the shop
gas mileage, comfort, oil consumption,
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