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Peter Mazzucato ASKED THE GUIDE

ML 320, ML 350 or Jeep Grand Cherokee for towing a boat?

I am considering buying a 4WD for country trips and towing a 17-foot boat weighing about 1600 kg. I wouldn't do any serious off-roading. I am considering a Mercedes ML 320 or 350, as they seem to be reasonably priced when compared to a similar age Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Just wondering how they compare regarding maintenance and running cost?

My big concern in that Mercedes cost a lot to maintain, particularly if you require mechanical repairs.

We would plan to keep it for at least five years. Which do you think would be better value?

As you say Mercedes generally cost more to service and repair, particularly if you have a dealer do the work.

They're not as expensive if you use an independent Mercedes specialist, and there are plenty around who can do that for you. They not only charge less for their labour, they usually have access to cheaper parts. Most of those parts are full factory parts, just sourced from overseas, instead of locally, so you don't miss out on quality or reliability by using them.

Jeep owners generally swear by the cars, but they have had issues over the years that should make you wary about signing on to the brand.

There's not much to split them, perhaps I would prefer the 'Benz.