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  #1  
Old September 15th, 2014, 12:43 PM
ezzzzzzz
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Mark Garrenton
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Looking at a ML320

I've got an 'opportunity' to purchase a 2000 ML320 3.2 V6 automatic w/tow package from a workmate. It has 90k on the OD and is somewhere between VG and Excellent condition, inside and out. There are no issues at this time. Crankshaft position sensor was changed recently as were the plugs and wires. It will need at least 2 tires (rear wouldn't pass inspection at this time). I can get it for $4k.
Does anyone have experience or opinion? I know, I know, opinions are plentiful on this forum.
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  #2  
Old September 15th, 2014, 12:50 PM
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They either work of they are problematic. My sister had one that was so problematic that the dealer quit charging her for parts and just charged her for labor. A guy at work has one with a gazillion miles on it and all he has done is gas, oil and brakes FWIW.
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Old September 15th, 2014, 01:00 PM
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Mark Garrenton
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My workmate purchased it two years from a local Mercedes dealer. They had to fix a lock solenoid on the rear hatch prior to delivery. The only other issue has been the crankshaft sensor. Both are known issues. I'm really leaning to replace my Suburban although I know these are not really comparable. I have a car trailer I pull once in a while. I'm thinking the ML would do the trick but I wouldn't be inclined to do a loaded tow it from here to Tennessee.
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Old September 15th, 2014, 01:01 PM
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Mark Garrenton
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Oh, he is getting a 2008 ML320 to replace it as the dealership made him a good deal. They were going to give him $4500 in trade value.
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  #5  
Old September 15th, 2014, 01:01 PM
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Hit or miss like Javelin Dave said but more miss for the early years.
I had an ML55 that was great but the forums (benzworld.org) is full of horror stories.

Just like a P38 or L322, if you're entry price is low enough it's not bad.
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  #6  
Old September 15th, 2014, 01:06 PM
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Mark what would you pull your beast of a car trailer with ?
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Old September 15th, 2014, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackie Treehorn View Post
Hit or miss like Javelin Dave said but more miss for the early years.
I had an ML55 that was great but the forums (benzworld.org) is full of horror stories.

Just like a P38 or L322, if you're entry price is low enough it's not bad.
So true. Especially the early years. Europe really disliked the first gen ML.
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I don't know about the brakes, only their unreliability.
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  #8  
Old September 15th, 2014, 01:29 PM
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I had one of the first ones off the line when they were introduced in 98. It left me on the road within the first five days.

I took it off road and it didn't quite perform like I expected based on the hype.

It was a really nice 4wd (car). But it wasn't what I expected from MB.

Then LR opened a dealer here and I had always wanted one since watching Marlin Perkins and Jim Fowler when I was a child.

Ironically, the Rover I bought was less problematic than the MB.
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  #9  
Old September 15th, 2014, 01:30 PM
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Be cautious.

We had a '99 ML320...by far the worst vehicle we have owned. Nice looking and drove well but it had the interior fit and finish of a domestic (essentially what it was). Mirror and other switches falling apart, possessed radio volume switch, center bearing noisy from new..finally replaced at <20k, cooling fans failed.... Final kicker was when it had a stroke at 37K miles; the transmission harness shorted killing the car on 495 and taking out the instrument panel. $4k+ repair and the dealer blessed us w/ a $300 goodwill credit. With less than 40K miles she went towards a Grand Cherokee.

The MB and Jeep were what finally got me to a RR, figured if I was going to have these type of problems, let them be from a car I truly wanted.

That said, you will be in cheap. Like an old RR, " You pays your money and you takes your chances". Good luck.
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  #10  
Old September 15th, 2014, 01:42 PM
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buy a newer honda pilot, ridgeline, highlander, 4runner, etc. for the same money

engine and and tranny are ok but this is a mercedes from the worst years mercedes were built. interior and electronics will fail constantly. not only that but any and all electronics faults are serviceable only through outdated STAR diagnostics systems which nobody will have. the first time you throw an airbag fault code or some random body control module fails, you will be totally screwed.

any perceived luxury from owning a mercedes of this vintage is a total illusion. Avoid at all costs!!
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  #11  
Old September 15th, 2014, 02:28 PM
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4k is 4 runner money... but that 4 runner will have 200K on the odometer.

That said these are notorious for failed bits and electrickery. I think I'd buy a 2000 Grand Cherokee with 90K first, pocket the $2000 price difference and fix the few cheap problems that develop in the next 100K
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  #12  
Old September 15th, 2014, 02:53 PM
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$4k may not seem like a lot, but there are lot of issues that pop up at 100k. I doubt the ML320 has the torque of the V8s and definitely didn't have the HP of the AMGML55, but loot at the center driveshaft "guibo" to let go, along with motor mounts, and the brake sensor switch (multiple times). Otherwise, my biggest issue with my was the fact that they used a shitty platform for such a brilliant rocketship engine. I mean it was really THE first SUV with 365hp right out of the box. Well before the Cayenne, however, they never addressed the fact that the ML platform had front torsion suspension setup. I mean how much performance can you expect out of that? You can stick big Brembos on there, big meaty Dunlops and I guess that was enough to get people all wet back then.


Anyway, sounds like it's in nice shape, but I'd factor in about $1,000 in annual repairs (not including consumables) and if the $4k makes sense then, sounds like you should buy it.
That's how I justified my 2004 RR purchase. It had to be uber cheap and assume $1,500 in annual repairs/parts.


Stay connected to Benzworld.org also.
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  #13  
Old September 15th, 2014, 03:13 PM
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Mark Miller
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I had a 2000 about 10 years ago, and the steering went, I had the good old carmax warranty and it was fixed, but the interior was "crysler Like" and it definitely wasn't like the ones in Jarissic Park!
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