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Need help deciding between RX 350 and ML 350 pls

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Need help deciding between RX 350 and ML 350 pls

 
Old 04-25-2007, 01:17 AM
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Need help deciding between RX 350 and ML 350 pls

Aloha everyone,

I am currently driving a 2002 Lexus RX 300 and am in the market for a new vehicle. Of all the vehicles I've considered, it's come down to just two: the Mercedes-Benz ML 350 or the Lexus RX 350. The RX option would probably be the easiest for me, in that I've become quite accustomed to it (after having driven an RX for the past five years), but am not opposed to the slightly higher initial cost of the ML 350. I need information, however, to better justify a purchasing decision, and I welcome any and all comments current ML owners are willing to offer.

I plan on using both my iPod and a bluetooth cellphone (possibly an iPhone) and would like to request comments on the performance of both, from any owners who have had occasion to use either (or both). I would also like to request both your likes and dislikes about the car. Please let me know of things you find troublesome, if any. I already know what to expect from another RX, but I have no knowledge of a Mercedes-Benz vehicle, as I have yet to own one.

That being said, I am leaning towards the purchase of the ML 350. I've always dreamt of owning a Mercedes-Benz vehicle, and am now in that position. All in all, either vehicle will be well worth the cost, but I am interesting in getting an honest review of both, to make the best possible choice.

Thank you for your time in reading this initial post, and thank you in advance for any and all comments.

Mahalo Nui Loa,

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Old 04-25-2007, 02:52 AM
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Hello!

I just picked up a 2007 ML500 just yesterday. I actually wanted to go green and buy the RX400h, but it is confirmed that the RX line will be re-designed. The Lexus RX will display the newly, re-designed RX for the Japan Auto Show this autumn, and will be available for sale in the U.S for 2008. So this might be a big factor for you to look at before you rush out to get your new RX350. (The hybrid version of this new RX won't be available until a year and a half from now)
If you had the Lexus, try out the Mercedes this time. I gave up my 2006 Lexus SC430 for my ML!
The interior of the RX is very plush in leather, and of course, when it comes to quality build and reliability, few can outbeat the Japanese. However, the ML interior is very fresh, and modern. The RX seemed very dated to me.
The ML drives soft, but not so soft as the RX-which I thought felt boring to me after a while. The ML is also very quiet as well, which surprised me, since I'm so used to my Lexus being dead quiet.

I drove the RX and the ML back to back, and overall, I found the ML much more satisfying. AND, its very nice to know that the ML won't be re-designed for another...year 2011, perhaps 2012?

I'm so in love with my ML now, its crazy! Once you get a Mercedes, you get kinda hooked.
I had a 2001 Mercedes CLK430 before. I've gone through about 6 cars after that. 6 years later, I'm back with another Mercedes. I think I've finally found my calling! This one's going to be a keeper.....at least until the new ML comes out in 2011!

Good luck with your decision
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Old 04-25-2007, 06:19 PM
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Aloha Christy,

Thank you ever so much for your response. You are exactly the type of person from whom I hoping to receive a reply, in that you've actually driven, and compared, both vehicles. I need a bit of clarification with respect to your reply, however. You mentioned that the interior of the ML is "very fresh" and "modern." How does it compare, in your opinion, to that of the RX? I spend, on average, one hour (each way) of commute time in my transit to work (at least two hours per day), so the seat must be comfortable. The comfort of the leather upholstery was really the deal-maker in my purchase decision for my current vehicle. Subsequent to that purchase, I visited the local (the only) MB dealer, and was shocked at the leather then used in the ML 350 - it was rock hard. I've read that the ML series was completely redesigned for the 2006 year models, but would like more clarification on your comments, as noted above.

As for your comment as to the ML being "more satisfying," can you elaborate on that as well? I will be visiting the local MB dealer this Sunday (although my purchase will take place later this year - prior to December, but I'm not entirely sure when), and will be able to experience the 2007 ML 350 first-hand, but I'd also like to hear, in your own words, what you found more satisfying, to make sure that I'm not overlooking anything, intentionally or otherwise.

One last question. The MB spokeman, with whom I spoke on the telephone yesterday, mentioned that he believed an iPod connection could be had in either the armrest or the center console, in addition to the connector in the glove box. He wasn't sure of that information, but promised verification of same prior to my visit there on Sunday. Have you found his information to be correct, or can you refute that? I currently use an iPod to listen to podcasts on my way to, and from, work, but plan on purchasing an iPhone sometime between June this year and December next year. My concern is somewhat easy access to the device, if such action is warranted. It would be just a tad bit difficult to access the iPhone were it to be in the glove box. Overall, how "iPod friendly" is the ML as compared to the RX?

I apologize for peppering you with so many questions, but I would like to solicit as much outside information as possible prior to my actual purchase. That way, I'm much better prepared to negotiate a good deal with the MB dealer (assuming that I don't go the RX route, that is ). Thank you again for your response.

Mahalo Nui Loa,

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Old 04-25-2007, 10:23 PM
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2006 ML-350 and 2007 ML-350
I purchased a 2006 ML 350 a year ago. This year it's time to trade the better 2/3rds '01 Chrysler minivan. We test drove the 2007 RX 350, but decided to pass it up for a 2007 ML 350. We found the RX's ride to be noticeably choppy over pavement expansion joints compared to the ML. It as well lacked adequate headroom for my 6”2” height, especially in the front seats. The seat backs had to be abnormally reclined to keep my head from rubbing the headliner.
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Old 04-25-2007, 11:37 PM
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OMG! I just spent an hour writing you a response HawaiiMacAddict, and I lost everything
I'll re-write you later....
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Old 04-26-2007, 12:19 AM
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Here is my experience. I had problems about 5000 miles for my 2006 ML350. I don't drive my car rough at all. I have been to the dealer several times.

1. Transmission shift 2 to 1 rough - 3 times to dealer until they changed the transmision valve assembly (known problem with ML)
2. Brake sluggish - 2 times to dealer. They changed the master cyliner.
3. Temperature gauge read 183 degrees constantly. They took the front fender and replaced the wiring.
4. Coolant level reading incorrect (always saying LOW) - Dealer reprogrammed it.
5. Tires uneven wear - they changed the tires TWICE. They have not fixed the problem yet.
6. SRS light is on (this past weekend). They changed the assembly and wiring.

Besides these problems, the driving is not bad. I have not tested the RX.
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Old 04-26-2007, 12:33 AM
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wife's car2014 ml350
aloha bradda, IMHO on looks alone i would go with the ML350 but the drive experience in the ML seemed much more sporty than the RX.
HAD SOME PROBLEMS WITH
interior and exterior squeeks
blew a stereo fuse
steering colum knocking
aloha............
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Old 04-26-2007, 12:49 AM
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E-ZGO 53hp., 1999 E 430 sport, 2004 E 55, 2008 Tahoe LTZ on 24"s
If you are self employed, the tax advantage of the ML totaly excludes the RX from consideration. Talk to your accountant for details and your best course of action.
If you are an employee, don't **** off the boss get the RX.
If you have arrived, get the ML 63 AMG it will change your life.
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Old 04-26-2007, 02:16 AM
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2007 ML500
Here I go again!

For quality interior, the Lexus. For comfortable seats, the Lexus. For reliability, the Lexus. For exterior design, the Mercedes. For on-road drive feel, the Mercedes.

As you know, once you've owned a Lexus, very few car manafacturers out there match the quality of a Lexus. The RX has rich, abundant leather everywhere on the inside. The seats are also very soft and comfortable. The ML side doors are plastic...cough, cough. The ML seats have hard leather.

The RX drives very soft, and is super cushy cushy. The ML drives soft, but not as soft as the RX, and the ride feel is great. It has a very controlled ride, versus the RX tends to lean here and there.

Is the re-design of the RX in a few months an issue for you? That is primarily the reason why I didn't get the RX400h.

As for the ipod, I have the plug connected to the aux inside the glovebox. I don't see any other area to connect my ipod. I looked on mercedesbenz.ca tonight, and saw as an 'accessory' option-ipod integration kit. Maybe this is where you can plug it in elsewhere? If you find out anything about this, you can let me know. If I find out sooner than you, I will let you know!

The ML has a stick thing for the shifter which is very cool in my opinion. The RX still has the old style gear shifter in the center.
If you drive the RX and the ML back to back, I think you will understand first hand what I mean by the ML feeling more modern than the RX. You just have to get used to the step down of the interior quality in the ML compared to the RX. After that, all's good! The ML is also a very "new" suv compared to the RX. I think the new, re-designed RX will be a closer comparison/competitor to the ML than the current RX. For me, it was nice to know that my ML won't be changing till at least year 2011, 2012.

Good luck!

Last edited by Christy; 04-26-2007 at 02:23 AM.
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Old 04-29-2007, 10:59 PM
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I have a ML350, and my buddy has an RX350, and the bottom line is, i would not trade given then opportunity. If you like that somewhat firmer German-ride, go with the ML, if you like the softer, cushier ride, go with the RX. I too had some minor issues with my ML initially, but the car has been rock solid the last 7k miles, not a single issue, and even taking into account the initial issues, i do not wish i had gotten the RX...
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Old 04-30-2007, 10:23 PM
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Hey,
I had an Acura MDX. I wanted something new and I regret doing that now. The interior build quality is really bad (for Japanese consumers) really great (for German consumers). Acura used real leather as default. My salesperson from Acura was honest and informed me that the back and sides of my leather seats (on the Acura) were not leater. My salesperson from Mercedes was very dishonest and informed me that my interior was made of leather and MBTex was the color of the interior. (My seats in the ML are made of fake leather).

The seats are not comfortable in the ML when going long distances. (something you don't notice with a 15 min test drive).

You do feel the road in the ML (again, a German thing). If you want to feel the road then get the ML, If you want a soft ride, get what you have now.

Take the ML out on all types of roads in your area. The dealer may object to doing so, but if he really wants to make the deal, he won't mind.

You also want to check your dealer's rep. They might give you a good deal, but they will get you in the service area. Get customer feedback.
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Old 05-01-2007, 08:33 AM
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more points

Arbittan is correct on the seat and ride.

When I was test driving the ML350 2006 I asked "why the seat is so firm?" The car salesman says that German engineer discovered having firm seat is comfortable in long distance drive. Well, he was WRONG. The ML seat is the MOST uncomfortable seat out of all the cars I have driven. I took the ML on a 1 week drive to Yellowstone Park. I had muscle ache in places that I never felt before!!

The ride of course is TOO firm for long distance driving, unless you like that.

Recently my door wood siding is cracking! I have my car almost 1 year with so much dealer visits. Read my other post on here.

I just took my car to the dealer last weekend because the SRS light was on. They had to replace the wiring from the engine compartment to the steering column.

Tis is life. Are we spoiled? hehe...

I may look into the Acura and the Lexus in the future. Good luck!
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Old 05-01-2007, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by mtrandpm View Post
Arbittan is correct on the seat and ride.

When I was test driving the ML350 2006 I asked "why the seat is so firm?" The car salesman says that German engineer discovered having firm seat is comfortable in long distance drive. Well, he was WRONG. The ML seat is the MOST uncomfortable seat out of all the cars I have driven. I took the ML on a 1 week drive to Yellowstone Park. I had muscle ache in places that I never felt before!!

The ride of course is TOO firm for long distance driving, unless you like that.

Recently my door wood siding is cracking! I have my car almost 1 year with so much dealer visits. Read my other post on here.

I just took my car to the dealer last weekend because the SRS light was on. They had to replace the wiring from the engine compartment to the steering column.

Tis is life. Are we spoiled? hehe...

I may look into the Acura and the Lexus in the future. Good luck!
My wood on my driver side cracked also... my original dealer wanted to charge me for the part ($78.00 + $150.00 per hour (2 hours). I went to another dealer and they told me that crack is under warranty (no visible sign on abuse).

MB dealers seem to be a very shady from one another...

I know others on this site and other MB forum sites want to run you over with thier MBs for saying such blasphemy

Just be careful of your choice. Remember the Devil always tempts us to nicer looking things until it is too late and you find out it isn't.

Count Down 1 year 4 months
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Old 05-01-2007, 08:24 PM
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Those complaining of the seats/ride being too firm, do you have the airmatic suspension? The normal setting is definitely NOT too firm, and i don't even use the softer comfort setting. i can't see how anyone would think the ride is too firm at the comfort setting, even over long distances. Driving in my mom's RX 330 made me feel nauseous from all the bobbing and weaving...
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Old 05-01-2007, 08:45 PM
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Huh, the ladder-frame W163 ML was perfectly fine for me as I personally drove roundtrip from West Michigan to Fairfield, OH, to Royal Oak/Detroit, back to West Michigan. A total distance of a little over 700 miles. The seats in the W163 were perfectly fine for me, and I actually appreciated the hardess. The softness in the minivan hurt my back tremendously because it gave no support!! And this is when MB was supposedly in it's worst period.

Is the ML ride bad in general, or just compared to the RX?
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Old 05-01-2007, 10:25 PM
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2000 SL500, 2008 ML550, 1980 TR8, 1995 E320 Cabriolet
I have just recently been through this very decision tree. I looked at the Lexus RX350 and the ML. My wife (who, BTW, is from Hawaii) has a new Acura RDX so I have been able to take an extended test drive of that as well. In the end I came up with the following:

ML:

Pros:
Modern, rigid chassis.
Modern, sensible interior design.
Modern exterior design.
7 speed transmission (no problems with this so far).
Crisp but not harsh handling – it feels like a German car – there is no other way to put it. It's just plain fun to drive.
Quiet on the road.
The Germans trust you to be an adult.

Cons:
Seats hard enough to put a second crack in your a_s.
Difficult to find a comfortable driving position.
Leather/wood wheel not standard.
A lot of rubberized, hard plastic inside.
IPod interface is an audio joke (and not a very funny one at that).
Bluetooth implementation (Motorola) is too proprietary and flaky.

RX:

Pros:
Great build quality.
Great leather interior.
Comfy seats.
Fantastic Audio System (at least the Mark Levinson).
Engine smooth as silk.
Cons:
Exterior is the ugliest thing on the road since the Buick Rendevous / Pontiac Aztec.
Chassis is really dated – you can feel the lack of torsional rigidity.
Interior design somewhat dated.
Mushy, albeit peaceful, ride.
Too many attorneys involved in the design process (NAV disclaimer, can’t do anything while your moving, etc.).

RDX (just as an FYI):

Pros:
Great build quality.
Nice leather interior.
Great handling.
Solid Chassis.
Cons:
Seats have too much side bolster – requires small crane to climb in.
Video game instrument/controls - nothing is intuative.
Voice command doesn’t come close to working.
Interior looks like cheap Japanese electronics form the 70’s.
Noisy on the road.
Really choppy ride.
Turbo 4 works hard.
Bluetooth (Johnson Controls) seems to have more issues than the MB system.

And with all of that, I ended up trading in my Lexus (the LX470, not the RX) for an ML.

For what it’s worth.

- FD

Last edited by Floobydust; 05-01-2007 at 10:27 PM.
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Old 05-09-2007, 10:56 AM
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I just test drove the RX350 yesterday and this is what I found:

- Lexus does not offer bluetooth without adding the navigation unit.
- You still feel the little things on the road (Tar strips, etc.)
- Interior is the same as found in the Highlander (same car).
- Kind of looks like a Honda CRV inside with the cabin chair arm rests....

I did however liked the following:

- Slient power trunk
- easy in and out (not hitting my head on the A-Pillar as in the ML) ouch
- quiet engine except when accelerating.
- dual climate control that works without having to set both dials..

----

I did need to get use to the braking, ML has a more define brake power. The RX also doesn't look like it could tow anything (don't even know if it has that option).

Now off topic a bit, I did sit in the new LS. Great fit and finish and would definitely buy it on looks and feel alone.
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Old 05-09-2007, 04:09 PM
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The RX actually has a towing package. I think it's rated at 3500 lb though.
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Old 10-20-2007, 01:20 AM
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2004 ML 350
For what it's worth, I went through much the same process with choosing my 2004 (used), comparing the ML to the Lexus RX 330 and Volvo XC90.
I would pretty much echo most of the same comments as above, but being brought up on "European ride" vehicles, I much prefer the ML.
The Lexus felt like exactly what it is - a jacked-up Camry. The women in the family preferred the 'soft', feminine (in my opinion) interior of the Lexus. My personal survey (very unscientific) of the Lexus RX drivers, is that 95% are women.
The ML has given me exactly what I was looking for after the family Volvo 850 and my 'good old Ford pickup truck' - with some luxury I felt I deserved (and could afford with the 2004).
The major Lexus plusses, to me, were the better gas mileage and, of course, the best consumer ratings.
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Old 10-20-2007, 01:36 AM
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just curious... do you have the mb tex seats or leather per your statement?

Cons:
Seats hard enough to put a second crack in your a_s.


Originally Posted by Floobydust View Post
I have just recently been through this very decision tree. I looked at the Lexus RX350 and the ML. My wife (who, BTW, is from Hawaii) has a new Acura RDX so I have been able to take an extended test drive of that as well. In the end I came up with the following:

ML:

Pros:
Modern, rigid chassis.
Modern, sensible interior design.
Modern exterior design.
7 speed transmission (no problems with this so far).
Crisp but not harsh handling – it feels like a German car – there is no other way to put it. It's just plain fun to drive.
Quiet on the road.
The Germans trust you to be an adult.

Cons:
Seats hard enough to put a second crack in your a_s.
Difficult to find a comfortable driving position.
Leather/wood wheel not standard.
A lot of rubberized, hard plastic inside.
IPod interface is an audio joke (and not a very funny one at that).
Bluetooth implementation (Motorola) is too proprietary and flaky.

RX:

Pros:
Great build quality.
Great leather interior.
Comfy seats.
Fantastic Audio System (at least the Mark Levinson).
Engine smooth as silk.
Cons:
Exterior is the ugliest thing on the road since the Buick Rendevous / Pontiac Aztec.
Chassis is really dated – you can feel the lack of torsional rigidity.
Interior design somewhat dated.
Mushy, albeit peaceful, ride.
Too many attorneys involved in the design process (NAV disclaimer, can’t do anything while your moving, etc.).

RDX (just as an FYI):

Pros:
Great build quality.
Nice leather interior.
Great handling.
Solid Chassis.
Cons:
Seats have too much side bolster – requires small crane to climb in.
Video game instrument/controls - nothing is intuative.
Voice command doesn’t come close to working.
Interior looks like cheap Japanese electronics form the 70’s.
Noisy on the road.
Really choppy ride.
Turbo 4 works hard.
Bluetooth (Johnson Controls) seems to have more issues than the MB system.

And with all of that, I ended up trading in my Lexus (the LX470, not the RX) for an ML.

For what it’s worth.

- FD
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Old 10-20-2007, 02:01 AM
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When I purchased my ML I looked at various other cars and the RX was one of them.
I chose the ML for various reasons but mainly because I found the ride in the RX just not good enough. I'm not saying it's a bad car but the ride just felt wrong, plus they don't offer a diesel option and I have a great relationship with my MB dealer.
With regard to the ML's seats being too hard I cant agree. I drive from London to Madrid every year, 1200 miles each way, and the ML is so comfortable.
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Old 12-02-2018, 01:02 PM
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Porsche boxster S, 2010.
So excited, cant wait to get it. It will probably be build in december and delivered early january. Cant find any information about the new 350 engine(eu version. Anyone know anything? Been looking all over internet.
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