The car has always had problems with the engine and front end. The front end was easily fixed. It kept losing the nuts that hold the upper wishbone(?) in place; just put a hose clamp on the thread (after putting on a new nut).
The car is difficult to start, intermittently won't accelerate, and now runs extremely rough. The engine has overheated twice with the temperature gauge showing normal operating temperature (about half way). The head was replaced ($2000), the water pump has been replaced 3 times ($700 per pump) and is now making noises again and is only 6 months old.
The fuel economy is poor; I get about 350 km to 60 litres as compared to my old carburettor, 4 litre Landcruiser that gets around 500km to about 70 litres.
The overheating may be due to all the pipes and galleries that have clogged up with corrosion, even though the cooling system has the proper coolant in it. A mechanic says it is probably electrolysis, which is known to happen in these cars (apparently caused by a bad earth on the motor, so you may want to install an extra earth lead from the motor to the chassis or battery).
The check 4WD light keeps coming on and no one can tell me why.
The six stacker CD player is great when the car is stopped :( Go over a few bumps and it can't track the CD.
The tailgate struts have failed and are too short for the tailgate, resulting in many bruises on my head from the poor opening height (and bruises on my back from the tailgate shutting by itself).
The plastic clips and bits perish quite quickly under the hood.
The car is very comfortable to drive (except for the lack of feel for the road through the steering).
Its features are/were advanced for the time of manufacture.
I'm not a fan of the plastic wood-grain trim, but it's not a big deal (some Landcruisers now use a similar trim ).
Off road it's quite impressive, but being so comfortable you tend to miss out on the "off road experience".
The reclining rear seats are great for those long trips, but don't tell the kids as they will be playing with them all the time!
Back seat arm rests, nice, but we never used them.
The sun roof is nice, but it would be nice to have a movable liner between the glass and my head on those hot Australian summer days.
Climate control rather than just A/C is great.
The Mercedes bits are of poor quality and extremely expensive; the 3.2 litre is too small for the weight and therefore uses more fuel than you expect.
The nuts keep falling off the front end.
I can't adjust the headlights so that they provide good high beam coverage without compromising the low beam (blinds other drivers).
Does not hold a good resale value; depreciates about $2000 per year and that is not including the cost of parts and maintenance.
I'd love to keep the car, but the upkeep on the Mercedes bits is just too expensive and too often. I would love to get the motor fixed (again), but the cost is greater than the value of the car.