Vehicle Overview

Mercedes-Benz’s conventionally styled luxury sport utility vehicle gained a larger 3.7-liter V-6 engine midway through the 2003 model year, which prompted the automaker to change the designation of the ML320 model to ML350. For 2004, a DVD-based navigation system is a factory option for the ML350; it is priced under $1,000 and comes as standard equipment on the ML500. An Inspiration Edition remains available until late fall of 2003, but the high-performance ML55 AMG model has been dropped.

Built in Alabama, the ML350 carries a 232-horsepower V-6 engine, while the ML500 packs a 288-hp, 5.0-liter V-8. Both models have permanently engaged four-wheel drive with a Low range. The five-speed-automatic transmission features Touch Shift manual-gear selection. Traction control works when going downhill and while accelerating. Mercedes-Benz’s Tele Aid emergency communication system can summon help or track a stolen vehicle. M-Class competitors include the Acura MDX, Ford Explorer and redesigned Lexus RX 330. The German automaker also offers the utilitarian-looking and more expensive G-Class SUV.

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    Cleaning the steering wheel and gear orselector lever
    ► Thoroughly wipe with a damp cloth or use leather care agents that have been recommended and approved by Mercedes- Benz. ...

    Important safety notes
    We recommend that all infants and children be properly secured in an infant or child restraint system at all times while the vehicle is in motion. The use of seat belts and infant and child res ...

    Checking the battery
    Checking the battery Press the or button. The battery is working properly if battery check lamp 1 lights up briefly If battery check lamp 1 does not light up briefly during the test, th ...