2002 Mercedes-Benz ML320 Reviews and Owner Comments

2002 Mercedes-Benz ML320 owners review and rate their 2002 Mercedes-Benz ML320.

2002 Mercedes-Benz ML320 (6 Reviews)
Body, Interior & Misc.
Drive Train
Electrical & Lights
Exhaust & Emissions
Heating & Air Conditioning
Suspension & Steering
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Great vehicle. I have a 2002 ML320 with 440,000km. Use it cross country few times even drove it through Mexico. Currently, we just drove it to New Orlanes from Windsor Ontario Canada in Jan. 2016. I have done yearly maintenance at dealer since 2002 without any big problem. All parts are original. There are some repairs but they were minor. Love the car 100%. My next car will be Benz - M class. Took vehicle for bi-yearly Emission Test (oil was year old) and passed no problem.
i have problem with key look door
Background: Wife got t-boned in a pt-cruiser and totaled it at less than 30mph with no airbag deployment and 3 year old daughter in car. Decided to get something extremely safe going forward, but money was tight. Found that you can get a reasonably good condition ml for well under 10k. We had crappy credit so went to a wholesale dealer knowing full well that we were not going to get one that was in perfect shape nor would it have been taken care of in the way it should. Research also showed that you can nail a tree head on in this vehicle at 60+mph and everyone walk away safely. Ok - sold - 109k mi, 2002 ml320 (11 yrs old) good tires, brakes rocked, no pings/knocks, good shape inside and above all - the right color (seems 95% of used Mercedes are silver...go figure)

Car ran perfectly until I made a run 40 miles from home. on the way back check engine light comes on and car is sputtering - sounds like a lawn mower at stoplight. I determined one of the cylinders isn't firing. Was almost ready to buy a new coil as that was said to be a common problem. Wife said no - take it to the mechanic across the street. I was hesitant until while speaking with him he said that he used to own a Mercedes graveyard (junkyard). I told him the front brakes needed to be changed and the oil was due plus the check engine problem. He called back and said there was a fouled plug and that cleared the check engine light - oil was due (mobile 1 synthetic) and he said it needed new plugs (12) and new plug wires (ouch - those were expensive) - add in the brakes and a complete checkout of the vehicle for $1000. Not bad actually if you tally up the parts:
plug wires - 120, brakes, 90, turn rotors - 50 (although supposedly not recommended), plugs $50, oil $50 , 1 brake wear sensor was bad ($10), plus labor, 120 for reading the code, etc - actually it was a lot of work and he had it ready the next morning. Cool - no issue since and he said keep up the maintenance if we expect it to last - that is the critical thing with the ml. He said of all the Mercedes these are one of the most unreliable, but will run forever if you just keep after them. He said sensors are the most common issue of failures and some can be expensive.

Ok - Inside the car: Rule 1: Change the stereo to something more modern. If you don't mind dropping some coin get one that interfaces with the OBDII system and it will tell you everything from fuel consumption to engine timing. The existing Command System from that era used analog cell service - the upgrade to the new tech is cost prohibitive and honestly isn't as good as you can get by spending a few hundred. If you have the ml320, you probably dint get navigation, nor did you get the trip computer. Buying a new stereo can include that - plus phone service (via Bluetooth), etc and bring you to a completely different experience. The other ml models all came with nav so unless it breaks there is no need to upgrade - just buy a Bluetooth kit or whatever to connect your phone in place of the factory phone.

2: Replace the 4 things that break: Door pockets, rear cup-holder, rear ashtray, front ashtray. You may want to swing by the local upholstery shop and have them re-pad and recover the center colsole lid....but that is more cosmetic usually.

3: The guage placement is very good, and tells you much of what you need to know - again - I suggest the OBDII interface for your radio. You can even get one that does hud by projecting onto the windshield if you hunt around a bit -

4: Seats are comfortable but are definitely designed for the shorter person in mind. Make sure you fit comfortably - i'm 5'10 and with the seat in the furthest back position i'm just barely comfortable. I would presume you can move the mounts back a tad or get some aftermarket thing to make them work for tall people, but you are more likely going to have to live with what you got so check it.

5: The steering wheel adjustment is really pretty lame as far as tilt but the fact that it doesn't telescope is my biggest complaint. Deal with it...its a nuance but still quite comfortable.

6: The cruise control has no indicator that it is engaged or disengaged and while comfortable and easy to use, the lever gets in the way if you are in a big hurry and not looking for the blinker - I almost ate it once by having cruise set at 85 then when exiting the freeway I reached for the blinker and accidentlly hit resume on the cruise lever - BE CAREFUL! It does reset each time the car is started.

7: This thing has more airbags than the Michelin Man and Stay Puff Marshmallows combined. You get seriously injured in this and it is probably an act of GOD! Seriously, I've spoken to people who rolled thiers 4+ times and walked away without so much as a bruise! That said - WEAR your seatbelt and drive safely!

8: The door lock button is in a very inconspicuous space....right in the middle of the console. After months of driving it - we still forget!

9: The rear seats can lock into a position close to the front seat (think back of a 80's-90s Camaro...this is to accommodate more room in the back for cargo and the third seat option (wish more of those were available) - be sure you lock it into place or anyone (including kids in car seats) are going to get squished hard by either the seat or their ankles twisted badly - i'm still stuck buying slurpees for my 4 year old on the "don't tell mom" bribe thing!

10: The rear headrests do not fold down like in the sedans and the center one can be more than a little annoying. However, Taking them out is inconvenient and a good way to loose one. Leaving them in - well it makes a big blind spot.

11: At slow speeds you may hear a clicking or something like that from the wheels or suspension. I don't know what it is, but it always has bugged me. I'm told it isn't a I cope - but it does bug me.

Those are all of my complaints - pretty short list for a 12 year old car with over 100k miles. The seats are amazingly comfortable.


Drive Train:
A tad underpowered, but livable. the 5 spd tranny works great - smooth shifting through the entire RPM could have your coffee in your hand from a full throttle start through top speed at wide open and never spill a drop from the shift!

Electrical and lights - Thank god we picked the 2002 as it comes with the cool HID lights and the nicer looking taillights. Very bright - excellent visibility. Only complaint is auto mode should've been default - not off. Also - why the hell cant they make the fog lamps work when auto is on? Seriously - you can make a car drive itself across Europe, but you cant turn on the friggin fog lights?

Engine: has a nice rumble and is reasonably powered - this motor in this vehicle would've benefited greatly from a turbo. Still - enough power an it isn't like there aren't larger motor options. Seems reliable and has a nice poppy sound - doesn't sound whoosh like the US sixers - this one sounds beefy, stout and the power is deliberate! HINT: Restart the vehicle to reset the ESP and you'll get a different feel. Don't forget - it remembers how you drive and adjusts the shiftpoints and acceleration to a match.

Exhaust - seems fine - fuel economy is above 20 - cant complain!

HEAT and A/C - Heat rocks - AC blows - just not very hard - different vent locations for the rear other than in the center console would've been better - but overall - it does the job nicely.

Suspension and steering - when Mercedes said they started with one of their normal auto platforms and built up from there - they were not lying. I've driven lowered and tricked out chevy tahoes that cant handle like this. So stable you feel like you are ina car! Center of gravity is low and it has no mushy SUV in its bones at all! This this was meant to perform! The simulated locking differential rectifies any articulation issues you might experience offroad by allowing wheels to come off the ground at the slightest offset - but - it handles it well! Who's really trying to do extreme off road in a Mercedes anyways? I'd expect you can get aftermarket parts to trick em out - but you'd lose the road stability. I would probably upgrade the rims to the newer 20" or so - they look so much nicer!

Overall - Serious - $8k? I've been in brand new cars that don't feel this tight! My other x has a liberty which is 4 years newer and built in the same plant. The liberty was even designed by Mercedes (cooperatively with Chrysler engineers), but there is just no comparison between the 2 vehicles. IT IS worth EVERY Penny!

If you can afford it - go with the post 2007 so you get the cooler/newer design. Personally - I'd like to have a GL - but cant separate with the cash for the time being. My overall recommendation - keep a grand int he bank and have a decent Mercedes mechanic nearby to handle any mishaps - look - if you want a new car - GO BUY ONE! IF you want a top of the line luxury SUV - You'll be hard pressed to do better!

One last note - I cannot stand the BMW FRIGGIN RED LIGHT INTERIOR! Makes me crazy! Also their massive footlong stereo is just way too funky and leaves no room for cheap upgrades.

Volvo just feels cheap inside - Thank you ford!

Audi is overpriced and didn't make that great of a machine in those years and still sports the stupid red dash light setup as BMW.

The Mercedes feels classy - IT feels like you expect it to...only you don't expect the stability and performance....I suppose it is after-all - a Mercedes!

mercedes ml320 has a check engine light and periodically slows down like the motor is choking and the brakes are on.bas light comes on. It almost stalls out but generally will pick up again and drive sometimes for days, week or months before doing it again. Sometimes it happens multiple times in a day. I have been told--1) the computer 2) the brake light 3) The transmission 4)Needs a 100,000 mile service on and on and on. Dollars I'm told are 1000--2000---3000????
Second problem navigation when it says confirm destination and you try the indicator blinks like you clicked it but nothing happens. Help
My ml320 has been fairoverall --- has mystery problems.1) leaks oil I'm told the motor and possibly transmission will have to be taken apart to stop it. Now it has a check engine light and at unknown times when your are driving along it acts like it is stalling and the brakes are on and your speed goes to almost zero and then (so far) it catches back up and drives normal.mercedes ml320 has a check engine light and periodically slows down like the motor is choking and the brakes are on. It almost stalls out but generally will pick up again and drive sometimes for days, week or months before doing it again. Sometimes it happens multiple times in a day. I have been told--1) the computer 2) the brake light 3) The transmission 4)Needs a 100,000 mile service on and on and on. Dollars I'm told are 1000--2000---3000????
Second problem navigation when it says confirm destination and you try the indicator blinks like you clicked it but nothing happens. Help
Very dependable auto, for being the low end mercedes...