Bought it from MB London (ON) Nov-12, with good discount: I didn't plan on 550, but it turned out it was hard to find a bargain 350 with the upscale interior - genuine leather, cooling seats, leather dash (plastic seats as basic can be practical - but shame to have it on a luxury SUV !) I test drove 2011 ML 63 AMG prior to that - got somewhat puzzled/disappointed with it, but 2012 upgrade seems to make a good performance difference: it's so smooth & powerful, quiet engine, good steering.. It's just flying on highway speeds, great to do maneuvers.. Just 3K km on odometer - cannot comment on reliability yet
it looks very nice, in - & out- side; I paid extra
7$K for the set of genuine AMG rims w. summer tires
It has the largest room among medium-sized SUVs - important for tall driver like myself
Active driving assistance, blind-spot warning, back-up camera
No maintenance for the 1st year/20K km
There's no front windshield heater: with a snow fall I have to blow at max which makes it very hot inside (and not very effective anyway)
17 lit/100 km - but can we expect less from a performance SUV? power comes with price..
Back seats leg room - could be bigger: the reclining back seat doesn't change anything, when I max my driver's leg's room, it's too tight in the back even for my kids
Color: really wanted white (practical & esthetics), but MB's whites (both regular & premium) have some yellowish/greyish shade - looks just untidy to me, comparing to other brands gorgeous sparking whites spectrum
Power-assist doors closure: comes in 2013 as an option - I wish I had: shame to slum
Bought the ML after testdriving X5, Lexus 470, LR4, and QX56..were actually on way to buy QX when we decided to just look at the ML. Test drove the 350 and took it home to see how it would accommodate our family roadtrip needs..perfect. When we ordered, only the 350 was available but was able to upgrade to the 550 a day later. It's awesome..a real sleeper. Steering not nearly as precise as the X5 but better than the QX. The safety features by far exceed any of the other SUVs we tested. Exterior not very sexy..would prefer a Cayenne or X5 or even the QX but for a family tourer with performance the ML550 is hard to beat! And we get 19.5 mpg average.
Performance and interior capacity. Also like the Bluetooth audio streaming. Most importantly we like the safety features, i.e. distronic and lane assist.
If all the MLs looked like the ML63 I'd be happy but not all owners would agree..for sure not the ones who pay $96K.