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Old 05-01-2014, 12:00 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 325
Looking for 2003 or newer M class...

So, after a very bad impact and rollover accident, weeks of physical therapy, and now a good/bad screwing by the insurance company (insult to injury), we are now in the market for a relatively recent M, G or R class (4matic, airbags and etc.) for the spouse to drive on the highway in all of the weather conditions the midwest has thrown at us lately. We are looking for something with 4matic, airbags, with lower miles and has been well cared for. Heated seats and sunroof would be good but since the insurance company is really screwing us, whatever we buy will have to be reasonable. We would love a cdi w164 or a nice older G wagon but due to the amount the insurance company is offering, we are seriously considering a later w163 as well as early w164s at this point, and a G appears out of the question. I'm not looking to start a flame war, I just wanted a sense of what other forum members may have that they are interested in parting with or good finds out there because we will probably be buying something in the next few weeks. I have been on fleabay, trader, and other sites daily. I have looked at an ml500, an ml55, ml320 cdi and ml350 bluetec so far. Any suggestions or referrals are appreciated, and will be passed by the spouse for aproval for further evaluation/consideration.

Thanks - John

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Old 05-04-2014, 02:16 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 325
Hey all just wanted to update this post. We found an 05 ML500 that needs a little TLC, to add to the family. It has the known oil leak due to failing O-rings, failing adhesive for the upholstery on the side pillar, weird broken plastic contraptions (how do you break a cupholder?) and a few other little issues but (knocking wood) hopefully it will provide the safety we need and serve us well.

For those who are interested, with the insulting amount the insurance company gave us to replace my wife's previous car we couldn't purchase anything very new or very "nice" in her words. Specifically, she wanted a W164 but that simply wasn't possible. So, after scraping together what we could, we looked at range of MB suvs I listed in the first post. We went and looked at a few 2001-2003 w163s, a couple R-classes, and 2 W164s. The takeaway for us was that the R class was a very nice car, with all the bells and whistles we could want, but in our price range we couldn't get diesel, the cars were high mile examples, and while a great road trip or highway commuter, it would be difficult to park on the street in the city, and it MUST have the rearview camera because visibility out the rear is fairly poor. Sitting in this car and looking out the rear is like looking out the rear of our full size suburban. This sucker is long, and sits low, and should handle more like a car than an SUV but would be a great cruise ship for cross country travel without a doubt. We think it would be an amazing second car for travel or a large family.

The Gs I saw online I simply couldn't afford, and if I financed one, to be remotely in our price range it would be another well worn model with a check engine lite or three, high miles, questionable history, odd "custom" options like glittery paint, a pre-installed vaporizer pipe in the glove box, and would probably "rolling" on enormous chrome wheels and bald low-pro tires. We just couldn't find a reasonable car stateside, and importing what we wanted pushed the price well out of our range.

The M Class had better visibility for her, has AWD, sits up higher like the G, and doesn't appear to be as long as the R-class. Other considerations were that we found more with AWD, and just more of them. All of the w163s we saw had weird problems with "convenience" items. The rear cupholder thing broken, and stuck in the "out" position. A glove box with no handle to open it. Console lid with such worn padding under the lid that is was collapsed and flopping around. Driver's and passenger cupholders that wouldn't open at all. Headliners falling, broken plastic-palooza. Horns that didn't work. Then there were mechanical issues with the ml320, and other issues with the w163s that made us very wary, but we found a later one that had (at least) been dealer serviced and maintained in our price range. So that was the route we went and first order of business it to get the oil leak addressed. Wish us luck. -J

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