1999 Mercedes-Benz M-Class Reviews

1999 Mercedes-Benz M-Class 320 from North America

Model year1999
Year of manufacture1999
Engine and transmission Automatic
Previous carCitroen ZX

Summary:

A glorified Ford Explorer..

Faults:

Battery went flat, which may have caused the brake system to malfunction (and remained a problem even after the battery was replaced). It would suddenly lock one of the tires while driving at speed. Seemed to fix the problem by switching the ignition off while rolling down hill (in drive), and then cranking the ignition (this somehow may have reset the computer).

Front and back brake pads wear out very quickly, and rotors needed to be changed regularly.

All of a sudden, it started to rust in multiple areas, like pepper all over the bonnet, and large patches on the roof and near the hinges of the boot. The car will leak soon.

The interior plastic is brittle. One of the plastic seat levers broke off, and other plastic parts have cracked.

The driver's seat does not stay fixed in one position, and wobbles when driving.

Electronic windows malfunctioned, center console switches needed to be replaced.

Leak in the exhaust system made loads of noise.

The car burns oil.

The tie rod ends need to be replaced.

The air condition compressor is leaking.

The electronic keyless entry and alarm stopped working.

The fuel gauge does not work.

General Comments:

It looks the part, but don't be fooled, it has the quality of a typical American car. It's not worth the materials it's made from.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 9th June, 2011

1999 Mercedes-Benz M-Class ML320 V6 from North America

Model year1999
Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership2008
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission V6 Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
10.0 / 10
Distance when acquired82000 miles
Most recent distance115000 miles

Summary:

Excellent

Faults:

Oxygen sensor ($80).

Brake light switch ($15).

Regular maintenance.

General Comments:

Wonderful car to own... went offroading a lot of times, and it has done great.. Donuts on the snow, since it's an all wheel drive :). Fun car overall.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th August, 2010

1999 Mercedes-Benz M-Class ML 320 3.2L from North America

Model year1999
Year of manufacture1999
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 3.2L Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.0 / 10
Distance when acquired35000 miles
Most recent distance350000 miles

Summary:

Great vehicle, we will see you at 500k+

Faults:

Replace transmission at 300,000.

Factory recall for intake manifold cleaning at 125k.

Cats replaced at 275k.

Front drive shaft at 350k.

Window switches 2 times at 125k, 200k.

O2 sensors at 325k.

Front sub frame suspension components are shot, and I'm about to replace the entire unit from donor vehicle parts; cost $750 + my labor.

General Comments:

Great vehicle. We will be together for another least 150k more. Still pulling boat and trailers.

The body is very rigid and truck-like, which I like. It is a tank.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd January, 2010

11th Oct 2012, 22:38

For all of the misery initially reported on these cars, we are seeing quite a number in the import garage I help manage with LOTS of miles on them, and relatively few issues, none of which would scare me away from owning one.

In the last month, we have seen a 1999 ML320 with 156k, a 2000 ML320 with 260k, and a 2001 ML430 with 206k. Even at these ages and mileage, the build quality was respectable on all of them, with the 1999 being the best example; it had absolutely no squeaks or rattles on the long test drive it required, and the engine and transmission operated seamlessly.

1999 Mercedes-Benz M-Class ML 320 3.2 from North America

Model year1999
Year of manufacture1999
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 3.2 Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 1 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Dealer Service marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 2 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
3.6 / 10
Distance when acquired55000 miles
Most recent distance130000 miles

Summary:

Awful. Worst vehicle I've owned by far

Faults:

The harmonic balancer ground a hole in the upper oil pan and damaged the idler pulley and fan belt. Had it all replaced for a large sum of $, only to get a recall notice shortly after. We did end up getting reimbursement from Mercedes, but only after jumping through several hoops. With the amount of $ they charge for their vehicles, you would think their customer service would be much better to support THEIR mechanical failures (which are incredibly numerous).

2nd recall on catalytic converter. Amazingly the MB dealer found our was "OK" and didn't replace it.

3rd recall for defective lower power steering clamp. Had it fixed, only to have a SECOND recall for the same part as the original "fix" wasn't adequate. Yeah, no kidding as I ended up replacing my power steering pump less than 2 years after the MB dealer supposedly "fixed" the hose problem. Maybe I should ask for reimbursement on that repair as well?

I'm still trying to get a MB dealer to return my call for a 2nd recall "fix" appointment. TERRIBLE service and incredibly overpriced service from all Mercedes "authorized" dealer service centers.

Various poor quality parts, design or defective fittings such as: the interior door panels became dislodged from housing, broken seat latch (rear folding seat), broken driver's side headlamp cover (which of course cannot be replaced without replacing the entire headlamp housing) & broken rear stop light cover.

Cup holders both broke in the front, aside from them being absolutely useless at a depth of about 1.5" to begin with - horrible design.

Power window panel/switches replaced twice already.

Horn (both low & high) replaced twice.

All brakes and rotors had to be replaced, as were the ball joints and rear struts (despite never off-roading or towing or any other heavy stress to the vehicle)

Tensioner, pulley and serpentine belt replaced a SECOND time.

Major (and regular) electrical malfunctions: sensors, lamps, inoperable dashboard displays, et al.

General Comments:

About the only good thing I can say about the ML320 is that it is a very solid vehicle - no worries about the family getting injured in a minor accident - and it handles fairly well, but rides like a truck, not a luxury vehicle. Very hard ride.

I have noticed the ML supporters love to insult those of us who are MB critics by insinuating that we don't maintain or take care of our vehicles. Fact of the matter is, Mercedes is ALL about a name and nothing about quality. Most of the items in the reviews I read have little or nothing to do with regular maintenance, unless of course you're a lifelong Mercedes driver who considers engine and suspension repairs and recalls as "maintenance".

I've driven Toyota's for most of my life, and despite being 1/4 the price of a Mercedes, the quality is FAR superior. Thankfully I didn't buy my overpriced Benz new, so someone else absorbed the incredible decline in resale value for the first couple of years (which is another issue with them - they hold no value whatsoever over the years, despite their 'name').

This is by far the WORST vehicle I have ever owned, and I would never buy another Mercedes. I have told everyone I know the same. Unless you're willing to throw money out the window so that you can boost your ego and say you have a "Mercedes", look elsewhere for something that won't give you the headaches and drain your bank account.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 4th January, 2010

5th Jan 2010, 17:03

What is so unusual in having to change brake pads and rotors on a 10 year old vehicle with 130,000 miles on it?

There's also nothing extreme in 'switches' that need replacing after such an amount of time and use either.

Regardless of your opinion, Mercedes-Benz makes excellent vehicles and has been doing so for over 100 years. Your list of complaints is trivial, when it should be obvious that 'premium' does not imply perfection.

Seeing as you think it is unreasonable to change the brakes on a 10 yr old car, (which is being unrealistic) your opinion of the ML is not valid in my opinion.

7th Jul 2010, 00:45

From Australia: bought 1998 ML320. I had lots of problems and money to fix it, too numerous to list it. Will never buy Mercedes again.

18th Mar 2011, 06:05

Worst car I have ever owned. I will never buy another Mercedes again.

18th Mar 2011, 14:02

please read your Consumers Report annual guide every year to keep updated on cars and their reliability. The new one just came out. Pick it up at supermarkets or newsstand anywhere.

That M Class has had many issues with it... cooling, drive system, electrical, climate system, body hardware, and power equipment and radio... amongst other problems.

Also, in all fairness, it did good in other areas. Please use the Consumers Guide and this website... Carsurvey.org... before you buy any car, new or used.

Average review marks: 6.2 / 10, based on 28 reviews