I just replaced my 2003 ML500 with a used 2005 ML500 for one reason only...it fully prtected me, my and dog during a high speed T-bone accident which resulted in a rollover one and half times with a 180 degree spin on it's roof. We all walked away with seat belt bruises which demonstrated the cockpit safety and protection worked well. The 45 MPH crash resulted ion less than 6 inches of body depression at impact. I was almost blind sided but had the instant acceleration to prevent her from hitting my door directly. We had many fine road trips on our 112,000 mile journey with it, reliable and well serviced. I"m happy we found a replacement to keep us safe and on the road.
When I first purchased the car it was used, 2 years old, and already had a whopping 75K miles on it (but It only cost me $20,000 so it was a good deal).
A few years later during a routine checkup I had to put $5,000 since the previous owner didnt take care of the car. Ever since that one time $5,000 work (replacing tires, breaks, etc) the car works like a dream.
At 125K miles it still runs like a dream. I have been to over 25 states in it. This car handled the mountain roads of Vermont without breaking a sweat, never bogged down in New Mexican deserts, and traversed the shallow streams and rivers in Texas without any problems. No matter the terrain this car can outperform anything else.
I bought my ML with 35K miles on it and it's been the absolute best car I've ever owned. I love the solid feel (other's descriptions of a tank are accurate) and I feel completely safe in this vehicle. It handles beautifully in the wet, snowy weather in my area. I too have had trouble with the flaking on the back windows but that's about it cosmetically. The car handles like a dream and has enough horsepower to get me out of a tough place if I ever find myself in one. Can't seem to find a phone that works thru the speaker feature tho...