New 2006 ML class - First Impressions

Does anybody have first impressions about the "all new" 2006 ML350 or ML500 SUVs? Would it be smarter to wait until next year to buy one?

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They already have a recall out on them for the SAME hose clamp on the return power steering hose!!!!! Unbelieveable that they did not learn from the last one.....

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Hernando Correa wrote:

I have driven them and they are very nice. The interior and ride is much more refined than the W163. Most of the components are similar if not identical to other current MBZ models. For example, the instrument cluster is identical to the R171 SLK, the A/C vents are from the W209 CLK, window switches and steering wheel are W211 E-class, COMMAND is out of the W203 C-Class, etc.
As for waiting, yes, I'd wait at least to the 2007 or even 2008 model year to make sure all the bugs get worked out. I do know that the Alabama factory is on a big quality improvement plan that seems to be working, but I'd still be leery of any first year model (talk to some R171 owners). Also, you need to evaluate your needs from an SUV. If you just want a wagon that sits up higher, then the W164 is great. If you want to tow, haul, and drive off-road, then it may not be the best choice for the money. Also, the price is way out of the range of the W163. A comparably equipped 2006 ML350 is about $10K more than a 2005 ML350, and the 2005 will have better off-road capabilities with a 2-speed transfer case and a full frame.
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- RODNEY


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Thanks for the comments. I am now into my second ML320 and I honestly like the M-Class. Thus, the 2006 ML350 would be my third. I totally agree with you regarding the unusually high premium price to be paid for the upgrade to the new model.
You seem to be thoroughly familiar with the various MB models and their components. The commonality between those components across de model lines probably saves a lot of money in the design and manufacture of the 2006 MLs but MB does not pass the savings along to the consumers.
I think I'll wait for a while to make up my mind.

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How does one know what these codes mean? W163 R171 Etc.
===========BuckShot LeFunk =1998 LS 400 1999 E320 4-Matic
Rodney T. Grill wrote:

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Search this group.
And here is a start: http://mbz.org/cars/chassis /
And, courtesy Juergen:
QUOTE From Merc newsgroup 11/2/02 New CLK Cabrio - First Look
W = Wagen = Car = Sedan/Saloon
V = Verlaengerter Wagen = long wheelbase Sedan/Saloon
S = Kombi = Station Wagon/Estate
R = Roadster
C = Coupe
A = Cabriolet/convertible
So a
W124 is a normal wheelbase Sedan/Saloon
V124 is a long wheelbase Sedan/Saloon
S124 is a Station Wagon/Estate
C124 is a Coupe
A124 is a Cabriolet
UNQUOTE
DAS
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"Buckshop LeFunk" < snipped-for-privacy@leFunk.com> wrote in message
news:5kPke.187$ snipped-for-privacy@fe08.lga...
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Thanks for the codes' interpretation. I finally understand something that previously was a mystery to me.
Dori A Schmetterling wrote:

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