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E-Class (W212) 2010 - 2016: E 350, E 550

E350 vs. ML350

 
Old 10-03-2010, 06:47 PM
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E350 vs. ML350

Former bmw owner switching to benz. I have a choice between an 08 E350 or 08 ML350. I am traditionally a sedan person. but...I have 3 kids, 2 in booster seats and an infant. I also want to know what options I should be looking for - for both vehicles. Running boards for ML are a must. Can I get either vehicle with leather? and how hard is it to find an ML with factory tow package? Thanks everyone!
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Old 10-03-2010, 07:19 PM
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sounds like an ML to me, with the kids and all......
seems like the tow package would be simple
good luck
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Old 10-03-2010, 07:35 PM
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2010 E350 Luxury 4Matic
Defnitely not an E. M or G series would suit you better.
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Old 10-03-2010, 07:57 PM
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An SUV would be the best fit imo! I am not familiar with M class, check out the sub-forum here....M Class

...or maybe an E wagon ?
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Old 10-09-2010, 10:23 PM
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With that load, and con grate on the kiddos, take the ml. Wife has on 09 and it is the go to vehicle. Had an E and now a cos. Back in the ml is bees for kids or grandparents. You won't have to bend to lift the kids out. Best of luck.
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Old 10-10-2010, 04:41 AM
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W166 ML350 BT
E350 4matic Wagon!
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Old 10-10-2010, 10:47 AM
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ML320 '99, ML500 '02, S550V4 '08
I love my MLs - had one for 11 years so far and it has been great for kids and family activities. The 1999 has the 3rd row seating but you can't get that on a W164. Both have a tow hitch which we use for a substantial 4-bike rack and occasionally for towing a trailer. I have put boats and bikes on the roof. On my ML500 I had the MB tow hitch installed at my dealer, not as a factory option so you can add it if you find a nice vehicle without.

I thought I would get an R Class when they were introduced, but I got an ML500 instead. The size and shape were not attractive to me in real life. You might give it a look though to be sure, it has tons of room and 4Matic. I think you can get the R Class with 6 or 7 passenger seating.

In Europe wagons are more common than here, kids love the rear facing seats in the trunk, and you can fit a lot of gear inside or on the roof. I rented a 2010 C200 diesel wagon this summer and it was great for our family tour of Germany. Plus it is more car like than the ML if that is more to your taste. German wagons integrate the design of the back end very well, and with a lower roof line than the ML the vehicle looks sleek.

I would not recommend the E sedan as you will end up being stuck for space with a family of 5. The back of the ML can fit a LOT of gear as it is so high - 4-5 backpacks, coolers all kinds of stuff you will not fit in the trunk of an E class. I have filled it many many times. You also get more utility when you put the one of the seats down with a lot of room for projects which you don't get from the E. I often have one seat down with skis or bikes or tools inside.

And, when your kids start to drive, the ML is an excellent training vehicle. Safe in any weather. Everyone in my family loves to drive the MLs, and after 12 years the body design still looks fresh to me.

As for options, I have leather in both my MLs and it is holding up very well. I prefer the Bi-Xenons on my ML500, but the halogen lighting on the ML320 is adequate. We all like the heated seats, and if your family drivers are different sizes the memory seat positions are a very useful convenience. Homelink works well for our garage openers. The integrated navigation is preferable, we have one ML with and one without, and it is always a fuss to get the portable GPS setup and then put away whenever we park. I don't use the voice control in my S550 as much as I expected as the steering wheel controls are very convenient.

Having said all that, I was set to get an E sedan this time around as I wanted a change, but I will always keep one ML size SUV. I ended up with an S550.

The ML forums are very active and you can get a lot more opinions there.

Happy hunting and Let us know what you choose!

Last edited by HiTach; 10-10-2010 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 10-10-2010, 08:05 PM
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E550 4MATIC
Originally Posted by redstonecapital View Post
Former bmw owner switching to benz. I have a choice between an 08 E350 or 08 ML350. I am traditionally a sedan person. but...I have 3 kids, 2 in booster seats and an infant. I also want to know what options I should be looking for - for both vehicles. Running boards for ML are a must. Can I get either vehicle with leather? and how hard is it to find an ML with factory tow package? Thanks everyone!
You can get leather as an option in either car. But keep in mind, most dealers don't typically order leather for stock vehicles since most people don't notice nor do they care enough to pay extra for it. With 3 kids, MB Tex might even hold up better and is a little easier to clean.
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Old 10-11-2010, 09:25 AM
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2010 ML550, 2010 E350 4M, 1966 Corvette Convt C2
Originally Posted by pmb600 View Post
You can get leather as an option in either car. But keep in mind, most dealers don't typically order leather for stock vehicles since most people don't notice nor do they care enough to pay extra for it. With 3 kids, MB Tex might even hold up better and is a little easier to clean.
Re leather, the OP will not have much of a choice as he is buying used. Leather in the ML and E350 is not very common. Also he should be on the W211 forum as he says he is looking for an 08. As for both vehicles, he cant gp wrong with either. I am on my 3rd E and my 4th ML. All purchased new since 1998. All have been pretty good and the later ones excellent. And, yes leather is the way to go if he can find one.
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Old 10-13-2010, 01:14 AM
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R KLASSE
I've got an '08 R-Class or R350. My wife & I never go off-road or anywhere off road where I would take a $50K SUV so an ML or G-Class is way overkill for us. I've got a Chevy truck for those excursions. We do Ski/ Snowboard in the winters so the R-series with the 4-Matic goes like a dog sled and never gets stuck.

I also prefer the more sedan like ride of the R-Class to the ML. If you close your eyes for a second you would swear you were behind the wheel of the last gen S-Class and not a crossover, people tell us that this car is like a Gulf stream V for the road in terms accomodations. Where this vehicle really shines is the second row. My son’s rear facing seat fits perfectly and a 6'+ front passenger can still sit comfortably and “recline” their seat, more over my now toddler cannot kick or touch the front seat back because it’s like a mile away when you slide the second row all the way back.

You cannot do that with any other MBZ product, ML, G, E-Wagon etc... Also it swallows anything you might find while you are out and about or at Costco. Also the third row has worked in a pinch when the in-laws are around and want to come along. Adults always tell us that the kiddie row in our R is as comfy as the driver and passenger seats. The look is not for everyone, but we get tons of complements on our car, mostly from non enthusiast everyday people.

I only wish the 3.5L had at least 300hp or a little more lower end torque. The R makes a horrible new purchase as it’s almost a $60K vehicle new, but it leases well and is a great CPO bargain. We got ours fully loaded sans the pano-roof and the 7th seat option CPO for $30K OTD almost a year ago. You can find loaded ones two years old with low mileage in the mid twenties these days. Almost all R’s have low mileage because they are typically bought for the nanny to shuttle wealthy kids around in or milfs that stay at home and just run errands around town. If you can find a unicorn (R320 Bluetec) it's worth every penny.

Last edited by R KLASSE; 10-13-2010 at 01:19 AM.
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