: Anbody compare the Mercedes ML350 vs. the X3?

05-26-2005, 07:22 AM
First off I feel like the star is for old people, but anyway...

I was looking at the MBUSA.COM site and was oogling the 2006 ML350. The permium package is $6K. :yikes:

Seems like the M series is competion for the X5 and not the X3. It’s bigger and longer than the X5. (And talk about OVERPRICED).

Anyway, thought I'd look. Didn't like what I saw.


05-26-2005, 09:26 AM
First off I feel like the star is for old people, but anyway...


Old people like Kimi Räikkönen...... ;)

05-26-2005, 05:24 PM
I was invited and attended the M-class road-rally here in Orange County, CA and was able to drive the ML around a track defined by MB and I must say, the ML is a no comparison to the handling of the X3.

The ML is VERY heavy and feels it, steering is INCREDIBLY SLOW!! Did they switch back to recirculating ball on this model? In 350 guise, the ML has lots of body roll, something we all know the X3 has little of. In 500 trim, the roll is less, but the chassis feels like it can't keep up with the power of the V8. The all-wheel drive worked well on both models during off-road portion of the track.

The interiors of the two trucks(?), ML and X3, are similar in plastics and leather quality--both a little cheaper quality than the other vehicles in their maker's line up. But in the ML350, you can actually see the areas on the doors where leather and wood would be in the ML500. Mercedes didn't even cover it with vinyl and fake wood, they left big hunks of black plastic there!! Thankfully, the X3 interior is pretty even between the two models, 2.5 and 3.0.

I did like that the ML has two big cupholders in the center console where the X3 has the gear select or manual shifter. Instead of a shifter, MB took notes from BMW and included an electronic gear selector like the 7-series--very easy to use and one of my fav things about the truck. The 7-speed transmission that it controls is a little overkill, but i'm sure in daily driving and commuting there will be some benefit to it.

After driving the ML, I will say that it is MUCH better than the body-on-frame truck that it replaces and actually puts it on my radar for my next car, but with MB's quality control severely lacking, there is no way I'd buy this truck without a maintenance plan--still standard on every BMW!

Hope this helps!