Quality of workmanship seems on par with expected from MBZ, though I did have some initial reservations from 2004 and 2005 owner reviews. This SUV is very comfortable, handles and has the power of a sports car, and averages over 25MPG so far! I opted for the AMG pkg, P02, HID's, NAV, wood steering wheel and hitch (for bike rack). My wife has an E320CDI, and we love them both! I have owned many Mercedes,Porsches and Jags, but this ML is my favorite. It's really a pleasure to drive. Hey, maybe it doesn't park itself, but a man likes to do some things himself anyway! If Mercedes has a nemises, it would be electronics. The Command System is complicated, and takes some time and study to master.
Before Mercedes ever built their first first M-Class I have been sending an annual E-Mail to Damiler-Benz's New Jersery headquarters about having a diesel M-Class. It took several years to finally get my ML 320 CDI. The new M-Class is wonderful. A extremely smooth ride as compared to my old 2003 ML500 that I have had since September 2002. The interior is well thought out with some of the easiest folding rear seats which make a flat cargo area with out any gaps. My wife loves the power tailgate, especiallly in a heavy rain. Currently I'm getting about 18MPG in city driving and around 27MPG on the freeway into town from the suburbs. Haven't had it on the open road yet.
Recently purchased a new CDI ML. Interior is great, as qulaity workmanship stands out. Diesel is quiet, capable, and seems initially reliable. The outside could look a little more modern, but I enjoy it looks (we were comparing the new Acura MDX and ML). Ride is supple and sure-footed, with the all-wheel-drive. My only bark about the vehicle is the navigation. I was spoiled with the Acura's, as you say "Find the nearest..." and it's spot-on. With the Merc, not so. I couldn't find many local places like Wal-Mart, which was seriously disappointing in a $50K vehicle. This is seriously something Mercedes needs to improve. Also, if you opt for NAV, include voice-activation. Overall, a great car.
Great car, not much to whine about. Exterior still looks great with regular care & good wax. However, at 3.5 yrs (no abusive driving) 78,000 miles transmission had to be replaced (no repair options) @ over $7,500. Changing headlight bulb $150 vs. $50 for local mechanic. Basic oil changes @ dealer $150+ on A maint, usually $500+ on B maint. Like a inkjet printer, it appears most of the profits come after the sale. Saved $$$$ with local tire store vs. dealer, oil changes also at the Jiffy Lube (just more than usual for Mobil 1).
Runs quietly, with power to spare. Off road capability impressive. Need to apply more aggressive tread pattern. Continentals good for street. Aluminum running boards for we short legged people as not to wear the seat edge down cost $750 installed. The chrome running rails cost more but look tacky. The higher package 3 aluminim rails were ordered.