2000 Mercedes-Benz M-Class ml 430 8 cylinder from North America


A solid buy with excellent dealer support!


We had to replace the tires as the original equipment Dunlop tires an out. We replaced the tires with the same Dunlops as we felt the looked the best and we were able to get a good deal from the dealer. Otherwise, all has gone well. There is a slight rattle in the rear, mostly coming from the rear cargo cover.

General Comments:

This vehicle has excellent acceleration. The traction is always good, this should be so considering it is all-wheel drive all the time. The rear seat is capable of carrying three adults easily with good comfort. There is no rear air, but the ac does provide good supply throughout the vehicle.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd February, 2003

9th Mar 2003, 11:05

Congratulations on your ML430 purchase - I hope it continues to live up to your expectations. But be aware ALL ML430's eat brake pads and rotors. Look to replace the pads every 15 to 20,000 miles and the rotors every 40,000 or so. Often the rear pads wear out first!

ML's generally are also plagued with electrical problems, you've only done a relatively small mileage - so early days yet.

There are numerous upgrades required on various systems, but MB USA will only cover them when (not if) they fail & while the ML is under warranty. They do not generally believe in preventative modifications - even for the while documented power steering failure. Check your service history to what's already been done.

You'll also find that the AC is ineffective (even in the front) once it gets hotter outside.

The thumping from the rear could be the tailgate, flaps or most likely a poor fitting / loose rear seat.

Dealer support is very patchy and MB USA isn't much better, but seems as though you're lucky - perhaps you work for MB?

Good luck!

19th Mar 2003, 09:08

My friend had the ML 320 and had to change their tires after 20000 miles. I also owned an ML320 and had to change the brake pads around 24000 miles and the service advisor told me that I must drive good. Normally the pads wear out between 15K and 20K miles.

Good luck - I'm seriously considering trading it in. I did get an extended warranty on it. It's needed - it's a piece of expensive metal or plastic.

12th May 2003, 21:54

I bought a new Mercedes Benz ML 430 SUV. After 20880 miles the brake and brake pad warning lights went off. The dealer said I need to replace front and back pads and rotors and it is not covered under warranty. This is ridiculous. (I also have had to have the electronic console in front replaced once since I got the car.) I feel ripped off, as the dealer tells me that this is "normal." My BMW has 50K miles and I haven't even had to replace the pads. This is not normal and this is unacceptable. If they had told me that every 20K miles I would have to replace the pads and rotors, I would not have bought the car.

Jeff Shea, ATS Products, Inc.

2000 Mercedes-Benz M-Class ML430 4.3L V8 from North America


An expensive piece of junk which is pseudo MB 'wanna be' - don't buy one !


Total of 26 warranty claims for broken equipment, major ones as follows.

Fuel pump failed

Alternator failed

Battery failed

O2 sensor failed

Front power seat motor failed

Drivers window switches failed

MCS unit failed

Rear gas struts failed

Remote entry system failed (twice)

Entry keys failed

Rear seat came loose

Front passenger seat came loose

Auxiliary cooling fans failed

Leaky water reservoir

Rear brakes wore out at 16,000 miles, but no warning light

Plus all manner of rattles and squeaks too numerous to mention.

General Comments:

The ML is a good design, but poorly put together and let down by the poor quality of the components used.

The inadequacies of the assembled vehicle are compounded by patchy service coverage at some dealers and the 'couldn't care less' attitude of MB USA.

For a $50,000 SUV this is not good.

The ML is seriously damaging the MB brand name and doubtless losing MB many customers - myself included.

On the plus side the ML is doubtless a very safe truck - when it's running OK.

But ours has left us at the roadside or inconvenienced too many times to be considered 'truly safe'.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 11th February, 2003

12th Feb 2003, 10:17

Sorry to hear about your problems - sounds like you got a lemon. I have a 2001 ML320 and it's not much better than yours, but I only have 23,000 miles on it so far. I would have thought that MB would have ironed out these wrinkles by now. I can't see myself buying another ML or for that matter another MB product - they're making them too cheap and it's showing in the quality & reliability. Probably Lexus for me next time...

22nd Oct 2003, 10:40

It didn't get better : I've got a 2002 ML-500 and its had all the 'usual suspects' : Batteries, tire wear, nav system failures, heated seat failures that burned through the leather seat and roasted my butt, rattles, CD player errors, power steering fluid squirting everywhere : you name it : over 30 individual warranty repairs and over 6 weeks (totaled) in the repair shop in less than 2 years.