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Ingress/Egress: E VS ML

 
Old 05-02-2012, 08:50 PM
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Ingress/Egress: E VS ML

I just replied to an old thread on this topic, but figured I'd fire up a new one to see if anyone could give me their 2 cents.

My folks are not spring chickens. And I haven't test driven the ML yet.

My mom had an e350 which was recently wrecked (she's fine) and I'm debating whether to put her back in that or get the ML.

The only concern on my end is ease of getting in/out. Is it harder for old folks to get in/out the ML? I'm thinking it may be easier, in fact.

Also, isn't the ride height adjustable? Could they theoretically lower it every time they park so getting out/in is made even easier?
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Old 05-02-2012, 11:37 PM
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I'll answer the last one first. You can't lower the car directly from the factory when you park the car. There's only a button inside to RAISE the car a few inches when you need added clearance. The car itself will automatically lower ~1 inch when you get over 45mph to make the car more aerodynamic. There's no way for you to easily lower the car when you park.

If you want to lower the car you'd be looking at some aftermarket solutions such as a lowering module that sets the factory air suspension to a lower setting or lower links which uses hardware to lower the car.

Let me ask you this, why would the ML be an attractive alternative to the E, especially when factoring the ease of ingress and egress of the E? If it's for space and utility, then maybe you should look at the E Wagon?

With that said, my 70-80 year old grandparents get in and out of the ML with relative ease, especially since we have running boards, but ultimately I'd feel more comfortable driving a lower car so they don't have to deal with the added height of getting into the car (getting out is OK though).

My vote: go for the E so you don't have to deal with the hassle.
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Old 05-03-2012, 12:30 PM
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My dad's 92 and as he's gotten older when I go to visit, I've started renting an SUV instead of a car just so he can get in and out easier.

SUV's seem to have larger doors and for him, getting into an SUV is more like "sitting across" as opposed to a car where its "sitting down." Lower seats force him to get DOWN into the vehicle and get UP out of the vehicle.

I would not go with the running boards they would only get in the way. You don't want an elderly person even trying to step up or down on a running board.

Just my 2 cents. Hope it helps.
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Old 05-03-2012, 12:43 PM
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I guess it'd be more helpful I list the height of my grandparents where they're around 5'0". So it may be more helpful to put into perspective. I guess that's why they "go up" to get into the SUV rather than it being at the perfect height.
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Old 05-03-2012, 02:05 PM
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You've all been very helpful. Reasons for wanting the ML include:

I've heard glowing reviews of it.

Even though the E did an amazing job of protecting her, it may be a little psychologically daunting for her to drive it again.

Anxiety about being back in an E after a wreck in an E aside, she will feel safer in an ML , I think.

So a lot of pluses, only real concern is ingress/egress. Which sounds to me to be pretty favorable.
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Old 05-03-2012, 02:32 PM
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ML with AIRMATIC will sit 1" lower than the standard ML when in "sport" mode.

SUVs are easier to enter/exit for elderly than cars because they don't have to pull themselves up to get out after sitting for quite some time.

If they're only 5' tall, I'd suggest getting running boards. They are good for kids and really short people; for everyone else, they're annoying.
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Old 05-03-2012, 02:40 PM
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For the elderly, the higher the seat, the easier it is for them to get into.

My late 89-year-old mother, with two arthritic hips, found it much easier to "backslide" into an SUV rather than going through contortions to get into a conventional sedan.
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:29 PM
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I agree. It is easier for older people to get into SUVs when compared to Sedans. They don't have to bend/ crouch into the vehicle if it sits high.
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:40 PM
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We have the same issue with my mother-in-law. Her issue though is she has virtually no strength in her legs to push herself up and into the seat. I do agree that pulling themselves up and out of a car is difficult. We have an X3 that is a bit lower and a little easier for her to get into. I am getting roid of the X3 next year and getting a CL. Going to have to figure out something. Not sure what we can do to help our aging parents enter and exit our cars.
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:53 PM
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I just drove a 2012 C250 for three days and getting in and out of that thing was like being a contortionist! Got back in my ML today and it's a thousand times more comfortable and so much easier to get in and out of. The C250 is also the most gutless car I have ever driven. Decent highway cruiser but sorely lacking in power.
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Old 05-04-2012, 02:32 AM
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Originally Posted by MAmendola View Post
We have the same issue with my mother-in-law. Her issue though is she has virtually no strength in her legs to push herself up and into the seat. I do agree that pulling themselves up and out of a car is difficult. We have an X3 that is a bit lower and a little easier for her to get into. I am getting roid of the X3 next year and getting a CL. Going to have to figure out something. Not sure what we can do to help our aging parents enter and exit our cars.
An elderly family member that I have to drive from time to time has gotten to the point that the only time she gets out of the house is to visit the doctor. She's extremely immobile and getting into the ML is an absolute no-no because it's too high. She has no strength to get into it. The CLK on the other hand is too low so it's difficult to muster the strength to get up after getting into the car. The S, on the other hand, is the perfect height, especially when putting the front seat in the highest position which allows a pretty good seating height for getting in and out. You can probably do the same thing with your CL and you'll have the luxury of raising the air suspension as well.
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Old 05-04-2012, 03:42 AM
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My 80 year old grandmother (with a not-so-good hip) seems to have an easier time getting in and out of our ML63 (which is lower than standard MLs) in comparison to our old S550. The added height of the ML definitely makes it easier to get in and out of. She uses the running boards every time so I'd say those definitely help.

At my height of 6'4 I too have an easier time getting in and out of SUVs rather than smaller sedans as well.
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:35 PM
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Funny... I had a C300 for a couple of days too

Originally Posted by 2012MLBlue View Post
I just drove a 2012 C250 for three days and getting in and out of that thing was like being a contortionist! Got back in my ML today and it's a thousand times more comfortable and so much easier to get in and out of. The C250 is also the most gutless car I have ever driven. Decent highway cruiser but sorely lacking in power.
It was the most painful thing to get into and out of. I practically had to get on the pavement and crawl in. Once in it was fun to drive, but cramped. Granted I'm not the smallest guy at 6'1 280lbs but still...

Drove my ML yesterday and grinned from ear to ear.

Just my $.02.

Cheers.
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