1998 Mercedes-Benz M-Class Review

Used M-Class for sale
List Price Estimate:$507 - $891
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Edmunds' Expert Review

  • Capable sport ute with Mercedes-Benz levels of refinement.
  • Looks like the Mercury Villager minivan from the rear.

Vehicle overview

Despite increased sales during the last few years, the good people at Mercedes recognized a gaping hole that had existed in their lineup since 1993. That was the last year that Mercedes offered any sort of AWD vehicle, and the cancellation of their 4Matic sedans and wagons for the 1994 model year left them rather vulnerable to attacks from Audi, Subaru and Volvo. Recognizing this weakness, Mercedes introduced AWD availability to the E-Class of sedans and wagons, and has gone one step further than the competition by developing a true sport-utility vehicle.

Unlike other luxury off-roaders, the ML320 is neither derived from an existing SUV, like the re-designed Lincoln Navigator, nor built on a hybrid car platform, like the Lexus RX300. Instead, the ML320 was designed from the ground up as a unique Mercedes, capable of taking people off road or through poor weather without sacrificing the luxury, safety or performance that Mercedes' clientele have come to expect.

This means that the ML320 combines many technologies that have heretofore been exclusively car or exclusively truck. Mercedes, for example, has decided to use a separate frame for this vehicle. Boxed at both ends, this frame gives the ML320 the sort of torsional rigidity that is necessary for serious off-road maneuvers. To this truck-tough frame, Mercedes has attached a four-wheel independent double-wishbone suspension, the first ever application of double-wishbone suspension technology at all four wheels of a truck. The result is a fantastic on-road ride that enables this tall vehicle to hustle through the slalom at the same impressive speed as the E320 sedan.

The ML320 has all of the touches that we expect of a car that carries the three-pointed star on its hood. Interior materials, except for the plastic on the dashboard, are first rate, the chairs are comfortable for all-day driving, there are multiple cupholders for front and rear passengers, the stereo sounds great and the secondary controls are thankfully devoid of the confusing pictographs that have adorned many of M-B's previous efforts.

Mercedes has priced the ML320 aggressively, making it, in fact, the second cheapest vehicle in their entire lineup. Compared to trucks like the Ford Explorer Limited and Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited, the ML320 is easily the superior vehicle in all but the most demanding of off-road challenges. On-road, these American contenders can't touch this Teutonic trailblazer. If your vehicle purchase is leading you to the four-wheel drive neck of the woods, not looking at the Mercedes-Benz ML320 is the biggest mistake you could make.

1998 Highlights

Mercedes enters the sport-ute fray with the introduction of the ML320. Designed from a clean sheet of paper, the ML320 offers the best of the car and truck worlds.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 1998 Mercedes-Benz M-Class.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

4.63 out of 5 stars
Used 1998 ML320
ML320 4dr SUV AWD
I just bought a used 1998 ML 320. What a gem!!!! Plenty of power/torque, good acceleration, and an AWD system that handles itself great in the snow. Everything works, leather is in perfect condition, Bose stereo is fantastic, everything is what you would expect from a Mercedes Benz. Previous owner was a Mercedes Technician, so the vehicle was very well maintained. His wife hit a deer, and he didn't feel like making necessary repairs. So I got lucky, being a co-worker of his, he basically gave me the car for 2K and i had to repair the vehicle myself. A fender, hood, & bumper later, and I'm four wheelin' in the snow!!! You would never know this thing is 15 years old with 200k miles on it!!!!!!
4.13 out of 5 stars
Never Left Me Stranded
ML320 4dr SUV AWD
My suv has always been reliable I've had it now for 12 years, the biggest problem has been the window switches that have been replaced twice for $300. Every other repair has outlasted the manufactuers recomendations. I suggest finding a good German repair faculty,repairs are on the exspensive side at the dealer. I've gotten good gas mpg average 20.
2.75 out of 5 stars
Wasted money
ML320 4dr SUV AWD
My 1998 ML320 has 67K miles and it is the worst car I ever had. The car had multiple repairs on windshield/sunroof motors, various sensors and transmission parts. But worst of all is the security system. For the last 7 years, keys had to be changed 6 times ($105- 150 a piece)due to a faulty chip. They also had to be changed every time the battery would be gone. I was stuck several times, and had to interrupt a trip and be towed. Once you reach a total of 8 keys, you have to change locks and computer parts (approx $5500). When tried to complain to MB, they have a standard answer- keys are not covered by warranty and there is nothing we can do. Dealing with MB service is very frustrating experience
4.25 out of 5 stars
Lookinjg for Number 2
Hillbilly in Tenn,01/16/2004
ML320 4dr SUV AWD
Well, I just rolled my wife's down a hill a month ago and we're looking for the next one. I rolled one time on a 40- 50 ft railroad embankment and drove it out on its own power the next day. I was completely unharmed. I will continue driving the exact same 320 in "as-is" condition around town as a testiment to the safety of this vehicle


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1998 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

Used 1998 Mercedes-Benz M-Class Overview

The Used 1998 Mercedes-Benz M-Class is offered in the following submodels: M-Class SUV. Available styles include ML320 4dr SUV AWD. The Used 1998 Mercedes-Benz M-Class comes with all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed automatic.

What's a good price on a Used 1998 Mercedes-Benz M-Class?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 1998 Mercedes-Benz M-Classes are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1998 Mercedes-Benz M-Class for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1998 Mercedes-Benz M-Class.

Can't find a used 1998 Mercedes-Benz M-Classs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Mercedes-Benz M-Class for sale - 9 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $18,806.

Find a used Mercedes-Benz for sale - 8 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $14,546.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mercedes-Benz M-Class for sale - 2 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $8,108.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mercedes-Benz for sale - 5 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $17,214.

Should I lease or buy a 1998 Mercedes-Benz M-Class?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Mercedes-Benz lease specials
Check out Mercedes-Benz M-Class lease specials