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Used Mercedes-Benz ML350 review: 2005-2010

Mercedes-Benz ML350 CDI AMG was the top of the range ML350.
EXPERT RATING
7
Mercedes-Benz was the first to hit the showrooms with a new prestige SUV, beating arch-rival BMW to market by a few months in 2000.

Mercedes-Benz was the first to hit the showrooms with a new prestige SUV, beating arch-rival BMW to market by a few months in 2000. Unfortunately for Benz the BMW X5 quickly moved into the lead in the sales race and the ML was swamped.

NEW

Mercedes moved to address the situation in 2005 with an all-new M-Class, including the ML350. The new M-Class brought with it a new look with a blend of bold contoured shapes and tight lines that gave it a sportier look than the rather bland outgoing model.

Not only did it have a new look it was also bigger in almost every dimension. It was longer, wider and rolled on a longer wheelbase, but was also lower. Inside, there was good headroom and the seats were comfortable, but it was tight for legroom and the load space wasn't great.

New to the M-Class was a hearty 3.5-litre V6 engine with 200 kW and 350 Nm on tap when needed. It was linked to a new seven-speed 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission that could be shifted manually if desired for greater control.

Mercedes offered two versions of its permanent four-wheel drive system, which is important to know if you're buying a used example with the intention of going bush.

In addition to the basic system you could also equip the M-Class with the Off-Road Pro pack, which then equipped the car with a low-range transfer case, diff locks, and a modified AIRMATIC air suspension system able to raise the suspension to increase the ground clearance for rough terrain and water crossings.

NOW

Few ML350s are likely to have found their way beyond the black top, but it's still worthwhile giving any car you're thinking of buying a thorough going over for possible off-road damage.

Before you buy get your potential purchase up on a hoist and spend a few minutes inspecting the underbody, suspension and driveline. Look for damage to the underbody itself, suspension components, driveline seals and boots. In the unlikely event you do find evidence of off-road use walk away and continue shopping.

If in doubt have a Mercedes-Benz specialist inspect it for you. Like all makes and models servicing is the key to a long and reliable life for the ML350, so check the service record. Not only check that it has been serviced but also check to see who has serviced it.

There have been a couple of recalls affecting the ML350. One in 2007 was for the accelerator pedal securing nuts, which may not have been fitted correctly in production, or may even be missing.

Another, in 2009, affected vehicles fitted with the electric tailgate. It was possible for water to pass the taillight seals and enter the boot and affect the operation of the electric tailgate. It could even overheat the tailgate control unit. Check the owner's manual for confirmation that the recalls have been conducted and recorded as such.

Thoroughly road test your chosen vehicle, listening for any unusual noises, such as clunks, bangs, grunts, growls, rattles or squeaks, and make sure everything is working the way it was meant to work. It's worth taking the time to check everything than getting your newly purchased car home and finding out there is something that isn't working properly.

SMITHY SAYS

More a 'burb-beauty than a bush-beater, but it looks good and drives nicely, and has the three-pointed star to boot.

Mercedes-Benz ML350 - 2005-2010
Price new: $79,990 to $87,900
Engine: 3.5-litre V6, 200 kW/350 Nm
Transmission: 7-speed auto, 4WD
Economy: 11.7 L/100 km (V6)
Body: 4-door wagon
Variants: ML350, ML350 Luxury, ML350 Sports
Safety: 5-star ANCAP (from 2008)

Pricing

Year Price From Price To
2010 $18,370 $42,130
2009 $15,950 $36,300
2008 $15,620 $31,460
2007 $13,420 $26,950
2006 $11,990 $22,330
2005 $6,600 $17,600

View all Mercedes-Benz M-Class pricing and specifications

Pricing Guides

$12,900
Based on 13 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$8,990
Highest Price
$20,000

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
ML350 (4x4) 3.5L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $10,670 – 14,630 2005 Mercedes-Benz M-Class 2005 ML350 (4x4) Pricing and Specs
ML55 AMG (4x4) 5.4L, ULP, 5 SP AUTO $13,420 – 17,600 2005 Mercedes-Benz M-Class 2005 ML55 AMG (4x4) Pricing and Specs
ML320 CDI (4x4) 3.0L, Diesel, 7 SP AUTO $11,110 – 15,180 2005 Mercedes-Benz M-Class 2005 ML320 CDI (4x4) Pricing and Specs
ML270 CDI Classic (4x4) 2.7L, Diesel, 5 SP AUTO $7,920 – 11,110 2005 Mercedes-Benz M-Class 2005 ML270 CDI Classic (4x4) Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7
Graham Smith
Contributing Journalist

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