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Hi all,

I currently own a 98 ML that I want to replace, namely because of the quality and reliability issues. I am already on the 3 months waitlist for MDX. But, after reading the long thread from the MDX vs. 2002 ML at this forum, I decided to give the ML one more look. I took the ML out for a long test drive and found the car more refined and my 98 ML. However, I was still convinced that MDX is the right choice, mainly for the price, newer design and perceived Honda reliabiliity.

To cut the long story short, the dealer (where I bought the 98 ML) called me back the next day and offered me a new 2002 ML320 loaded with M1 (leather), M2 (seat memory, rain sensing wiper, etc...), sunroof, bose/cd changer, metallic paint, xenon, destination charge for $38K. The invoice and MSRP for above config are $41K and $44K respectively. (No, that is not a misprint, $3K under invoice price) The salesman told me that MBUSA is focused on retaining their customer base, which explains why he was able to negotiate this special pricing with some assistance from MBUSA.

What should I do? MDX (touring) at retail for $37K or ML320 at $38K?
 

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Just reading the reviews of various publications, as well as the experience of owners on these forums, the MDX always seems to come out on top.
While the MB has done well with regards to safety, the X has been able to equal it on that standard but also is more reliable and a better performer.
The dealer is throwing in a rain sensing wiper, seat memory, etc. but does he have a navigation system to throw in too?
From a price point and better reliability and resale value, I would still give the edge to the X. And I have not even bought one yet. First road test next week! Good luck on your decision.
 

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The question I would ask you is can you live with the smaller engine and horse power. For us that was the deciding factor in the choice you are making - that plus the fact that we got a salesman at MB who would not stop pitching heat despite my warning to him. How many insults can a person take? :rolleyes:
 

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It's obvious...

If you're asking us, then you already know the answer...
 

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Easy solution.......

Buy the ML for $38k & then advertise it for sale for $41k. You make a quick $3k & the person buying it also saves some $$.

Take the $3k profit & use it as a downpayment on the MDX :D
 

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There's a reason why MB is selling the ML at a discount.

BTW Did you take your question to the ML forum and see what the responses would be?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
> BTW Did you take your question to the ML forum and see what >the responses would be?

I can't find an ML forum. Do you know of one?

>Buy the ML for $38k & then advertise it for sale for $41k. You >make a quick $3k & the person buying it also saves some $$.

>Take the $3k profit & use it as a downpayment on the MDX

Not a bad idea.

>The question I would ask you is can you live with the smaller >engine and horse power.

Well, neither car is a beast to drive in comparison to my audi TT 225. Besides, it is my wife's car, so power is not a major factor. Hower, I would say safety is on top of my list.

>the fact that we got a salesman at MB who would not stop >pitching heat despite my warning to him. How many insults can >a person take?

In my experience, MB salesmen are much more courteous then the salesmen from the 3 acura dealers (recently visited). The acura salesmen seem to have a "take it or leave it" cavalier mentality. Perhaps it is due to the high demand for the MDX.

>but does he have a navigation system to throw in too?

Navigation is not included in the price. MB has a CD-ROM based navigation, which is not as informative or user-friendly as the Acura DVD-based system.

One other thing the MB salesman had mentioned was the tax write-off implication of the ML320 vs competitors. ML320 qualify as some sort of heavy machinery ( with payload over 6,000 lb gross weight), thus it has a more accelerated depreciation schedule. Of course, this applies only if you title the car under your business. Any comment on that?
 

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kiast,

I did the ML vs. X comparison, and the things that drew me to the X were:

- Much more room
- Much better 3rd row seats (easy to tuck away, unlike the Mercedes which has a very awkward belt that holds them up). Good for an expanding family.
- Much more cargo room.
- MLs are all over the place, and I think the design is outdated.
- Better fuel economy
- Bigger engine
- Looks much better
- The Navi is tons better with a bigger screen and DVD (4 - 7 gigs instead of the CD with 650MB)
 
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