ML350 BlueTEC 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 7A)
Exceptional fuel economy. Ride is exceptional, engine and transmission work very well together. Lighting is great. The Harman Kardon sound system may be the best in any auto. Pulls our 27' Travel Trailer with authority, and is in control even in emergency maneuvers. Off-road prowess was a surprise - it moves easily through the tough stuff that has Jeepers scratching their heads and breaking out their winches. Warranty is comprehensive. Service is essentially identical to the gas-engined variety - no surprises there. Recently drove a 2016 ML with the 2.1 twin turbo 4 cylinder and definitely prefer our 3.0 V6 TurboDiesel. This car is hard to fault. UPDATE Sept 2016: 71,000 miles. Still no service surprises. Still on original brakes - maybe another 15,000 miles left there. Have recently shopped for replacement. Still want Diesel. Shopped Porsche Cayenne, Range Rover Sport, Audi Q7, BMW X5, M-B GLE and GLS. Range Rover and BMW had lusher interiors but ho-hum handling. Surprised at how numb the BMW was. The (new 2017 model) Q7 was much improved over previous versions, but still felt like a boat. Cayenne is a handling star, but interior layout is poor. The new M-B GLS with air suspension handles better than their current steel-springed E and S-Class SUV's, but not really better than our 2010 steel-sprung version. It's nice that it still has the 3.0L diesel, but really too big for us. It's going to be hard to find a replacement for this gem.
Purchased 2010 Bluetec in May 2010, so far we have been very happy with the vehicle. We have just about all of the options on the vehicle, including the P1 and P2 as well as lighting. While it has taken a little bit of time to get used to location of some of the switches, we have not had any issues at all and the mileage has been phenomenal. We have ranged from 26 mpg to 30 mpg, with an average of about 27 mpg. The rear seat has plenty of room and the storage in the back is excellent. Really fits about exactly what we need for a short vacation or taking the golf clubs with us. The vehicle performs well, accelerates just fine into busy traffic and is relatively quiet.
We live in the hills and noticed right away the ride is more stiff this year, making it safer on curvy roads. This is a Diesel that gets up and goes, not sluggish like diesels of the past. My wife and I enjoy being in this SUV, to us the interior looks elegant. You want safety?--Get this SUV - you WILL feel safer. A/C and Heating works excellent - keeping steady temperatures. BE SURE TO GET BLACK FLOOR MATS - other colors will get dirty and look terrible very soon. We are averaging 24 Miles Per Gallon of Diesel (city and highway combined)- that is great for such a big SUV! It got more noisy after about 500 miles for some reason.
I looked at all the diesel SUV's available on the market and this is by far the best in my opinion. Its pricey but very well done in all respects. I love the BlueTec diesel engine. On a recent road trip I got 30 mpg and here in town I get 20 mpg. That's much better than the Lexus RX330 I traded. Very luxurious and comfortable interior with great seats. The Luxury 2 package has many features my wife and I love. I only have 4000 miles on it so can't speak to reliability; however so far I haven't found one thing wrong.
Love the car. Great MPG for the size, great price with all the incentives. The Nav interface has to be taken back to the drawing board. The search function is frustrating. The voice recognition is average to poor. Other than the electronics, I love the car. It's easy to drive, handles well and has enough power to merge onto a busy highway.