2001 Mercedes-Benz M-Class ML-320 6 cylinder from North America


Money pit on wheels


I was excited to own my first Mercedes Benz, but I was in for a real treat of ownership cost.

As with all ML's, the window switch went, $500.

The plastic sides of the seat cracked, $350.

The wiper motor went, another $400.

The seat belt locked the rear seat in the down position, another $400.

Front and rear ball joints, $1500.

Front and rear shocks, $2500.

Tie rods $400.

Fuel filters and fuel lines, $800.

The transmission went at 90K, $4500 to rebuild.

General Comments:

The ML looked beautiful and was voted Motor Trend truck of the year in its 1st year of production.

This SUV, from the years of 98-02, were nightmares to own. This is when I feel Mercedes went commercial, and began mass producing, sacrificing quality.

The ML-320 had great pickup, and the transmission shifted flawlessly before dying at 90K.

The ride was bouncy to say the least; you felt like you were in a truck.

The cabin and space was small. I expected much more head room and cargo space for a SUV made by Mercedes Benz.

Mercedes has went down hill in my opinion; this car couldn't hold a candle to my '89 300SE. I felt the ML was a cheaply made vehicle, mass produced and mass marketed to upper middle class suburban soccer moms, who wanted to be cooler than the average mom in the mini van. Trust me, if I had it over, I would have bought the mini-van. I could have bought two cars for the amount of maintenance this vehicle required!

It used to be that owning a Mercedes was a unique thing, and not many people had them; now I see more Mercedes Benz's on the road than Camrys and Hondas. Mercedes has sold out; buy a Jaguar or a Porsche.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th March, 2012

13th Mar 2012, 06:33

Yet you state you would still buy another Mercedes Benz?

2nd Jan 2013, 15:35

I would buy anything before 1996. The older Benzes were bullet proof.

2001 Mercedes-Benz M-Class ML 270 CDi 2.7 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


Unreliable machine, poorly put together. Not a real Merc


I had the Merc about two weeks when two injectors went in her. Had to get two of them reconditioned, and seals in the rest costing €800 altogether!

Two weeks later... gearbox went on me driving home. Fault was, water had got into gearbox as a result of faulty heat exchanger. Cost €3000 to put right. This is a common problem with this type of gearbox, more common in the E-Classes of this era which shared the same gearbox and cooling arrangement.

General Comments:

The ML is very nice to drive on a GOOD road, if you drive on back roads a lot.. look elsewhere, very stiff suspension. I have been able to remedy this slightly with a different tyre size.

Rattles come and go! I have a vibration in the exhaust on start up that I cannot find the source of. Also the spare wheel carrier rattles over bumps.

It has nice extras, and is fantastic on a long journey, a real cruiser.

Very good driving position, and despite being a large jeep, it is very manoeuvrable. I drove a span new Kia Sorento the other day, and there was no comparison between the comfort in the Merc, engine is nice.

I have lost confidence in the machine due to the expensive failures I have had.

I would not recommend this 4x4 to anyone.. buy a Land Cruiser.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd February, 2010

2001 Mercedes-Benz M-Class ML-320 6 from North America


Do not buy german cars!!!


The ML-320 series Mercedes-Benz is the worst vehicle I have ever owned.

The car is a nightmare!

The vehicle has needed a fix every 2-3 months I have owned it.

General Comments:

Engine mounts - $2300.

Warning lights short circuit - 270.

Plastic molding under driver seat harnessing the seat comfort controls broke (I am about 170 pounds and it broke under my weight one day.) The cost of replacement was 280 dollars.

Car door panel compartment broke, putting owners manual inside, and it was 280 dollars to fix.

Oil change done improperly by Mercedes dealer, and oil leaked all over the place. They offered me free a oil filter to compensate.

Rear spare tire holder broke; no replacement and was told that the part was built in Alabama, and the part number I was given seemed bogus. The dealer left a spare tire behind the rear seat area.

Fuel gauge reads empty even after fill-ups. Fuel pump needs replacement for 500 dollars etc. etc.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 17th December, 2009

18th Dec 2009, 10:43

$2300... FOR MOTOR MOUNTS??? I hate to say it, but if what you claim is true, then you were seriously ripped off.

Complain to MB USA headquarters about this.

18th Dec 2009, 21:00

That is assuming they had a MB dealership do the work.

19th Dec 2009, 18:53

I've been shopping for a used "beater" to drive to work. In checking out different used cars I ran across a very nice looking 2000 ML-320 with 136,000 miles. The inside and outside were like new. They were asking $5000 for it. I did a bit of research and decided that due to the poor reliability and very high price of repairs and parts I'd stick with a domestic vehicle. The ML series seems to have had a lot of problems.

19th Dec 2009, 18:55

This is typical of Mercedes repairs. They are outrageous. A kid hit a baseball into the grill of my sister-in-law's CLK and it made just a tiny dent. Mercedes charged her $3000 for a new grill.

27th Aug 2012, 13:40

Unfortunately MB quality has declined, and about 10-15 years ago it was a joke. Quality is way up now, but still I don't fully trust MB anymore. Seem that quality dropped like a stone for many models in the late nineties, and one of the models that suffered was the M-Class. But it's not all bad. Some of the mechanics are very reliable, but general build quality is not very good, especially considering the price tag of these cars.

20th Jan 2013, 14:56

I've had my 01 ML320 for almost a year now... You can't expect repairs to be cheap like an American car! I have not had any problems with my ML, or my S Class. We recently got rear ended in our ML. Our ML only got a tiny scrape. The other person's front end was all smashed up. I hate it when people say they have bad build/quality/reliability. It's a German vehicle, it's not going to be cheap!

21st Jan 2013, 17:18

Mercedes reliability has never been very good, and today all three domestic manufacturers make far more reliable cars. A new Cadillac or Lincoln is a far better choice. My family has owned C and E class Mercedes, 5-series BMW's, Cadillacs and Lincolns. The most comfortable and reliable have been by far the Lincolns.