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?