2000 Mercedes-Benz M-Class ML 430 from North America
A 98% well designed car, poorly built
Power Steering Hose blew at 9,000 mile
Power Steering Hose blew at 24,000 miles
Power Steering hose blew at 37,000 miles
Tape player & navigation systems replaced at 37,000miles
AC not working - replaced cooling assist fans at 9,000 miles
AC not working - replaced front cooling fans 24,000 miles
Navigation system gets lost - replaced Antenna (water intrusion) 2 times
Sun-Roof Jammed - entire assembly replaced at 34,000 miles
Excessive wear on front middle arm rest - replaced at 24,000 miles
Head light went out at 6,000 miles
Gas tank access door locking mechanism frequently jams - numerous complaints
Rear seat release cable broke at 35,000
Transmission leaks - continuous - no resolution yet
Glove Box is currently broken - can't close without pushing up on door
Rear hatch hydraulic support is leaking
Rear Pads worn down to the metal at 15,000 miles - No sensor light - replacement cost for just rear was $554
Rear Brakes again worn at 31,000 fronts still OK. Sensor still does not work even though replaced at 15,000 miles.
1st let me say I love driving this car, however:
I have owned a 78 450SL, a 96 320E, a 2002 320E, a 318 BMW, 528 BMW,535 BMW, and as a result have a general feel as to how long brake pads should wear. When I complained about only 15,000 miles of wear on the rear pads which also required rotor replacement, having had no warning, I was told by the service manager that I was lucky, that many customers were only getting 12,000 miles. When I pushed the issue with the manager of the dealership, I was told that all sophisticated drivers know that high performance cars like the Mercedes will only get 10,000 to 15,000 miles wear on their pads. I took this fight all the way up to a VP in New Jersey, and got nothing, but arrogance.
I can't imagine buying another Mercedes.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 20th February, 2004
Sadly to say MB has almost lost any credibility when it comes to building quality cars. It's still a luxury car with an excellent ride and tons of equipment, but don't expect it to last like they did before. The half-million mile era is definitely gone. Remember the E and S-classes 20-30 years back that would last forever? This is not the situation today.
After selling my 04 E-class, I had enough of poor MB build quality and lack of customer support in the dealer network. This was after I'd sold my 98 E-class some years earlier where the doors almost fell off due to rust, and the fuses blew every month.
I briefly considered a second hand ML (2years/low mileage) that the dealer offered as a "compensation vehicle", but what a total piece of junk. When will people wake up and realize that the MB star doesn't mean anything anymore?
I study my cars before I buy. If you Google "most unreliable cars in the world" you will find some related articles by Forbes and CNN and others. You will then realize the reason for your misery. I bought a Lexus and my brother bought a 2003 Mercedes ML430. When I rode on his car, the navigation was all over the place, recalculation rate was very slow, you'd miss a turn every time if the turns were not far apart. The door locks kept going up and down! Lol. He had to spend so much time and money at the Merc dealer. Initially he liked the fact that they would honor him by providing him with a complimentary Corvette. But then it became a drag taking the SUV back very frequently for this and that. Although the car was under warranty until 100,000 km, it really needed the warranty. He is selling it now and vowed not to own another Mercedes. This was his second Merc. Good luck to all of you who have a lot of time in your hands to keep going back to your dealers for repairs rather than spending it on something better. Please do your research before you buy any car.