Vehicle Overview from Kelley Blue Book
KBB.com 2001 Mercedes-Benz ML-Class Overview
It's Not Afraid of Bad Weather
Each car manufacturer takes a different approach when creating an SUV. Mercedes-Benz has always focused on safety, quality and comfort so it should be no surprise that the M-Class SUV earns its strongest points in these three areas. For 2001, Mercedes offers three versions of the M-Class; the base ML320, powered by a 215-horsepower V6, the ML430 with a 268-horsepower V8 and much- desired ML55 AMG with a mere 342-horses to get it around. While all three models share the same shell, they differ in content levels; the higher the number, the more impressive the ML.
Both the ML320 and ML430 deliver a fairly firm ride that is comfortable, so long as the road stays smooth. The over-all feeling they engender is more akin to a tall sports wagon rather than a full-blown SUV. Handling and braking are excellent for this type of vehicle and even more remarkable when considering the ML's very capable off-road abilities. The high-performance ML55 AMG delivers a much stiffer ride, but offers amazing road handling and lightning-fast acceleration. All have very comfortable seats, with good back and side support and enough power-selectable positions to satisfy even the most demanding occupant. Head and legroom for front and second-row passengers is good, but most adults will find the optional third-row seat a tight fit.
The gauges are neatly laid out in typical Mercedes fashion with speedometer, tachometer, fuel and engine temperature all clustered in a single oval pod. The center-dash console houses the stereo, heating and A/C controls. The stereo takes some getting used to, and the liquid-crystal screen suffers the same fate all video screens experience when exposed to direct sunlight; it fades. Thankfully, the climate control is made up of rotary knobs that are easy to locate and operate without removing your eyes from the road. Forward visibility is excellent thanks to the sloping hood line, but the high back-end, tall rear-seat headrest and thick C-pillar conspire to limit rear visibility.
Naturally, all the luxurious touches that make a Mercedes a Mercedes are available on the ML. Among the long list of choices are an on-board navigation system, integrated cell phone, Bose sound system, electronic hill-descent control, heated leather seats and Tele Aida service similar to GM's OnStar system.