I needed a car in the AWD category which was suited for rough off-roading trips in the country and daily suburban mom, and which wouldn't embarass my husband when he had to park it next to his super-status-concious coworkers. For the money, this car fit the bill. Remembering there wasn't much out there in the smaller 6+passenger SUV category at the time and that this car was originally priced considerably less than the other entries in this category, like Lexus and Toyotas, I can forgive many annoying flaws. I'm still a loyal owner, but I haven't had any of the reliablity issues the other reviewers had, and I wouldn't tolerate them if I did.
The short wheel base gives it great advantage in going in and out of small ravines and over boulders off roading, while making it easy to park in the suburbs and city. It sure beats a Ford pickup for comfort, even if our Lexus sedan outclasses it in every comfort, reliablity, and luxury area.
Fix the cheap stuff, like broken coffee holders, bad trim, tailgate latching problems. Make the seats less stiff. And above all, I HATE to be towed and when I'm offroading, it's a day's walk to a phone, so fix the reliablity problems.
I bought this 1999 model in late 1998. I know the 1998 models and numberous problems. I have done 69K miles and have had the following warranty repairs. Transmission Control Module (Warranty) Driver Side Power Window Switch (Warranty) Alarm System (Warranty) Power Steering Hose (Recall) Auxulliary Cooling Fan Harness ( Out of Warranty: $400). Besides this I have done the regular maintenance, brakes, belts, etc. Overall it has been very reliable. I have never been stranded. I hear a lot of horror stories and sometimes think about trading it in. But since I have had no major problems, I don't want to start making new car payments and will probably keep it untill the first major problem.
I like the towing capacity, low-range gearing, AWD, Back seats are awsome. Third row seating. Gas mileage (Avg 18 mpg in mixed driving) Handles well in snow and rain. Good cargo space.
I wish they would not source any electronics from US Suppliers and build this thing in Germany rather than Alabama.
We have owned a 1999 Mercedes-Benz ML430 vehicle for four years. It has been extremely reliable. This is our second Mercedes and won't be our last. I recommend keeping up on service. We have had no problems. I do wish the front leg room was just a little bit bigger. I am 6'1" and it could be just a little longer.
It handles well and is fun to drive.
The cup holders need improvement. Also, the CD deck is inconveniently located in the back hatch area.
My 1999 Mercedes-Benz ML320 is a joy to drive. My
friends and I always use my car around
town because it is just amazing. I
hope to purchase this vehicle in a
newer model very soon so I can
continue to enjoy my driving
Bought a used ML 320 in good
condition. First thing I noticed was
the rough ride for a "Luxury SUV."
Averaged 12 miles a day since I owned
it. The next day after bringing it
home had to have the gas gauge fixed.
It never read accurately afterwards.
Then with less than 29000 miles had to
have smog components replaced. Final
straw was a "computer module" failure
that left me stranded. Wrote to MB,
U.S.A and they failed to take
accountability for the product they
market and sell. Traded it in for a
Japanese luxury SUV and will never have
anything to do with German engineering
built in the U.S.A. MB reputation at
an all-time low with this one.