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Old 07-26-2011, 12:09 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Glad to hear that your experience has been good. I've had at least a dozen friends with E46 3-series and none of them has been anywhere near as trouble-free as yours!
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:18 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Just to clarify something, when I talk about the 3-series BMW's being fairly reliable and having very reasonable repair and maintenance costs, I am not talking about the M class ones, which have always been significantly more trouble prone and are much more expensive to repair and maintain. Likewise, when I talk about Mercedes' ML's, I am not talking about AMG's.

In all fairness AMG's and M class tend to get driven very hard, so you expect their failure rate to be higher. In quite a few respects they are a totally different vehicle from their non-performance oriented counterparts (regular non-turbo 3-series and regular ML's) and their maintenance and repair costs reflect that.

This is actually my point, as it relates to this thread. Instead of just looking at the overall reliability of a particular brand and especially in cases where a brand makes such different cars as the regular ML and the AMG ML, it really pays to focus on the reliability of the specific models and the years that you are interested in. Quite often, there's a big difference.
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Old 07-26-2011, 03:32 PM   #33 (permalink)
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I had a 2006 ML350 on a two year lease - never had trouble with it.
But that was 30K miles - and the few service appointments I had made my jaw drop when I got the bill.
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Old 07-26-2011, 04:22 PM   #34 (permalink)
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I had a 2006 ML350 on a two year lease - never had trouble with it.
But that was 30K miles - and the few service appointments I had made my jaw drop when I got the bill.
For those who may be wondering, let me detail some of ML350's service costs and service intervals.

All MB's alternate between Service A and Service B, which are done approximately every 13K miles (the computer gives you service reminders based on the earlier of the time or the mileage). Remember that all ML's use full synthetic oil, which allows for extended time between service intervals but obviously increases the cost when you do need it.

Both Service A and Service B consist of a bunch of inspections, which an independent station can do for you for free, thus greatly reducing the cost.

Overall, my local MB dealers constantly run a Service A special for $99 (the regular price is about $130-$150), which I've taken advantage of -- it's basically a full synthetic oil change, new wipers and a multi-point check.

Service B performed at a dealer typically runs about $250 or so (with a coupon). It is the same as Service A plus air filter, dust filter and more extensive inspections. Basically, you can save a boatload of money on this by taking your ML to an independent.

Your transmission service only has to be done once at 39K miles (not every 39K miles but just once). This costs about $300.

Your brake fluid flush gets done every 2 years and costs about $100 (about $50 at an independent).

You NEVER have to service your differential and transfer case.

I just had front and rear brake pads replaced at an MB dealer for $270 total (this is cheap, however, as the regular price is about $200 more... if you can't find this special, an independent MB specialist will be way cheaper).

Fuel filter and coolant get replaced at 143K miles or 15 years.

Spark plugs get replaced every 91K miles or 5 years.

ML's do not have timing belts, so you never have to worry about their replacement.

In other words, while the services themselves are more expensive on the ML, you don't do them as often. If people are curious about reading more, MB's website contains PDF's of owner's and maintenance manuals going back all the way to 2000. You do not have to be an owner to access them and don't even have to register.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:26 PM   #35 (permalink)
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... To conclude, “Nobody can deny the fact that Mercedes is a great car to buy and drive on the roads."
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Surely, if it drives!!! For my 1 year ownership of an M-Class, it's either sitting on the driveway waiting to be picked up by the dealer, or at the dealer getting fixed. Never got to drive that thing very much, and when I did, there is a 50-50 chance of being stranded on the freeway.

Frankly, I am not too impressed with the MDX either but it's far more reliable and less expensive than the ML series, which costs upward of 50K and doesn't even come with a CD player. Might as well since the CD player probably would only last 6 months (if that) anyway.
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Old 02-03-2013, 05:10 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Surely, if it drives!!! For my 1 year ownership of an M-Class, it's either sitting on the driveway waiting to be picked up by the dealer, or at the dealer getting fixed. Never got to drive that thing very much, and when I did, there is a 50-50 chance of being stranded on the freeway.

Frankly, I am not too impressed with the MDX either but it's far more reliable and less expensive than the ML series, which costs upward of 50K and doesn't even come with a CD player. Might as well since the CD player probably would only last 6 months (if that) anyway.
What year was your ML?

For what it's worth, my wife's ML that I described above still hasn't had a single thing that has gone wrong with it and is now at about 55K miles.
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Old 02-03-2013, 05:49 PM   #37 (permalink)
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What year was your ML?

For what it's worth, my wife's ML that I described above still hasn't had a single thing that has gone wrong with it and is now at about 55K miles.
2005 ML 350 with 58K miles. Absolutely the worst I ever owned, worse than my trusty 2009 Hyundai Sonata, which by far is the most reliable of all the cars I owned.

Lucky for me I can do most of the maintenance myself, so the cost has been palatable. This ML is the only reason I have upgraded my AAA membership to AAA+ which gives me a free tow within 100 miles. I really cringe every time I get in the car.

Once in a while, while fixing the car I would see a label "Made in Germany" and I would laugh/cry inside wondering if there is a city in China called "Germany."
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:07 PM   #38 (permalink)
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2005 ML 350 with 58K miles. Absolutely the worst I ever owned, worse than my trusty 2009 Hyundai Sonata, which by far is the most reliable of all the cars I owned.

Lucky for me I can do most of the maintenance myself, so the cost has been palatable. This ML is the only reason I have upgraded my AAA membership to AAA+ which gives me a free tow within 100 miles. I really cringe every time I get in the car.

Once in a while, while fixing the car I would see a label "Made in Germany" and I would laugh/cry inside wondering if there is a city in China called "Germany."
Keep in mind that '05 ML's are a COMPLETELY different vehicle. It's a totally different bodystyle, totally different (and, according to all accounts, terrible) reliability, etc...
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:00 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Keep in mind that '05 ML's are a COMPLETELY different vehicle. It's a totally different bodystyle, totally different (and, according to all accounts, terrible) reliability, etc...
No wonder it's so cheap, which is the reason I bought it. 58K miles, all dealer maintained with record form previous owner, and I paid only $12k for it. Is it built by Chrysler, I wonder!
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:51 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Very nice write up on comparing the two vehicles. Welcome to the forum sir.
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:08 PM   #41 (permalink)
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Welcome to the forum sir.
LOL. This is a 2 year old thread and AC_MDX is now a veteran..
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:12 PM   #42 (permalink)
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LOL. This is a 2 year old thread and AC_MDX is now a veteran..
LOL Oh *** haha Guess I should scrtunized the date.
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