Would rather have this used ML550 than a new Tahoe, Yukon, Explorer or other similar vehicle
Yes is a great Car
I was in the market for an vehicle that could accomodate 4 adults comfortably, tackle most weather conditions and ocassionally tow a camper. The ML550 performs these tasks with ease. At the time of this writing, I have had the vehicle 8 weeks and put over 4k miles on it. The interior is well laid out. Contrary to my experience with other German vehicles, the controls are very intuitive to use. The AC blows very cold and quiet. The seats are very comfortable for long trips; the seat bottom cushions are longer than most other vehices I tested in this class. The few gripes from the interior: the seat memory switches are located on the side of the seat where they are impossible to see. They do have some tactile feel to them, but not an ideal arrangement. Lastly the hard plastic on the doors leaves light chalk-looking marks when scuffed (interior is black). While it does clean relatively easy and is textured to match the leather grain, the hard plastic does not look the part in this class of vehicle. The greatest praise for the interior? It is bank-vault quiet. There is little noise to speak of. No wind, tire, or engine intrusions. You can hold conversations with the passengers in the backseat at highways speeds simply by whispering. Functionally, the switches and knobs all feel very high quality. All the windows are auto up AND down. The radio does have an iPod integration which only shows on a display in the dash instead of the radio itself. This forces you to have the display showing the Ipod if you want to change tracks. You cannot change tracks with the iPod itself or even the radio - only the steering wheel controls. Also, the playlist must be pre-selected before connecting, and cannot be changed once connected. Lastly, the iPod seems to play at a lower volume that the other sources. If there were one feature I could do without, it would be the power tailgate. While it is useful and can be remotely operated from the key fob, once open, it cannot be easily be closed manually. More destructively, once it begins opening, it wants to open fully in spite of clearance. There is a setting to limit the opening height to 6', but once it begins opening, it will fight to keep opening until it fully opens to its current setting. One feature that is pure magic is the Keyless-go. Somehow, simply touching any of the door handles will unlock the doors. Upon exiting, touching the button on any of the doors will lock all of the doors. Keyless-go is also paired with a pushbutton start feature and remote opening and closing of the windows and sunroof. The navigation is acceptable, but will occasionally indicate "no route guidance available" in spite of clearly driving on a labeled street indicated by the navigation. Also, entering the destination, while intuitive, requires a joystick. Commendably, MB allows you to use the nav while in motion. Using the other radio menus is equally well thought out. The Logic 7 sound is decent, but given the dedicated, highly engineered subwoofer enclosure in the rear panel, I would have expected better tone. Mechanically, the vehicle has exceeded my expectations. While I knew I would need a V8 for towing, this 5.5L has more muscle than you will ever need. It effortlessly accelerates whether loaded, going uphill or towing (or all of the above). More impressively, I am averaging an overall 19mpg over the 4k miles I have had it; well over the indicated 13/18. The 7sp transmission helps by keeping the revs down. Don't be fooled by the 'paddles' on the back of the steering wheel. While you can select the gears with them, it is not instantaneous nor very satisfying. Fortunately, you can just step on the gas and let the 394 ft/lbs of torque move you along. The 4matic (awd) system is so transparent, I cannot really comment on it. There are no levers or switches to adjust it in any way. If it weren't for the decklid '4matic' badge, you would not know it otherwise. Granted, I have not driven in really bad conditions yet. Without measuring, the brakes feel very forceful, and brings the vehicle consistently to a stop from high speeds. Using the brakes forcefully does remind you of the weight of the vehicle as it does pitch forward on braking (just as much as it pitches rearward under heavy acceleration). I have been thoroughly impressed with the performance, versatility and capability of this vehicle. I will reserve judgement on the quality until I have had it for a longer period, although it does have several rattles, creaks and squeaks I would not have expected. (My previous Infiniti FX35 had 100k miles on it with zero rattles). If you are looking for a high performace people mover that can still tow a trailer, there aren't many other options (Porsche Cayenne, Range Rover Sport). The ML550 is a great balance of utility, performance and functionality. Time will tell how well it holds up to daily use.