2011 Mercedes-Benz M-Class ML350 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 7A)
I was originally looking for a wagon but not many choices in the US. I really don’t like SUVs but this one was such a beautiful vehicle! I love the styling inside and out. It’s classy, masculine (especially with the black interior), and has good cargo space. I love the fact that the rear seats fold completely flat. It is cumbersome to do in comparison to having a lever in the back, but it doesn’t bother me because they fold flat this way. Unlike most German cars I’ve owned, it has decent cup holders too. Everything in the interior just feels solid and well put together. The ride is very smooth but it doesn’t take rough roads really well at low speed; kinda bumpy. The transmission shifts silky smooth. The car is not sporty handling but rather very relaxed and smooth. I love most things about it except for the crappy gas mileage, but it’s about average for a gas vehicle of its size and weight. The command system has too many menus and switching back and forth to use. I can imagine an older person being very frustrated with this system; especially the voice command system. It’s just exasperating! The windshield wipers do not have a regular slow interval setting; they use a rain sensor and it just doesn’t get it right. If you leave it on auto, it will eventually burn the motor out or wear out you blades. It will run full speed with a light drizzle. I end up activating them manually. You have to turn traction control off on ice and snow or you can’t drive the thing at all! No BT streaming for 2011 is a pain but you can buy a plug in module that will do it. On the other hand, I like the sound system, phone BT works well, passenger room and comfort is very good, utility is great. I cross shopped the RX350(too small and feminine), Outback(not refined enough), and the Q7(not reliable at all),and the Venza(just as good but already have one and I didn’t want two of them) and this was the winner. It’s not perfect but it’s a good deal of buying preowned and well taken care of.
Sturdy, responsive, reliable, comfortable. Smooth ride, and at times felt more like a car with the SUV convenience of size and durability. Only complaint is navigation. Cumbersome, unreliable, and frustrating after many years using different makes of navigation systems.
Purchased a used 2011 ML350 Bluetec with 65,000 miles for about $30,000 with taxes. Same day troubles began. Check engine came on and I opened a bar tab at the dealership. Local shop replaced the Nox sensor ($700) and said that there is a possibility of a bad valve body. Reset was performed with hope it doesn't come back but shortly after a 45 miles drive check engine came on. Only MB dealer can fix a valve body and they did for about $2,400. Took a 1000 miles road trip with no issues until 3 weeks later. Check engine again and new code P20BE1B, reductant heater performance, possible $1,200 fix. Mechanic reset the code and said to drive it and see if code comes back. To be continued...
Diesel fuel economy is superb. I wanted the E-class Bluetec but winter can be bad and SUV performance helps with bad NYC roads. $90 to fill up at $4.15 and lasts 450-550 miles mixed driving, roughly 20-23MPG. Now highway mileage excels! Recent road trip recorded 29.9MPG for 900 miles and best mileage was at 32.5 MPG at 62MPH for about 400 miles driving through rural Virginia/MD. Best highway tank 680 miles. The fit and finish of the SUV is great. I've owned couple Escalades and this thing just feels more plush and luxurious. Run Flat tire are ok. I was very anti RFT on my Audi TT but on this SUV it works. Navigation works nicely and diesel stations are displayed on the map.
This is a used Benz and I fully came in aware that things would cost more when they break and they have. I do believe that I bought this thing broken and it was covered up by clearing the check engine light by the wholesale auction. Hence why it was $7000 below actual price of similar SUVs selling at a MB dealership. I've owned this ML for 9 weeks and spent $3,100 already and possible next $1200 if check engine come on again, if thats the case I will have to reconsider my purchase. I do love the diesel and I did read many positive reviews about Diesel Mercedes but I can't average $400+ a week on repairs. It takes away from all the fuel economy benefits and the actual brand.