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2000 Mercedes-Benz M-Class Trims

ML320

Avg. Price: $5,854

"Much improved!" That was the consensus of drivers and reviewers when comparing the 2000 Mercedes-Benz ML320 mid-sized "light truck" to previous model years. The vehicle essentially received an interior upgrade, which also must have fixed some of the "problem areas" that drivers who had purchased earlier models had complained about.

Among the standard-equipment upgrades were high-grade heated leather seats, walnut interior trim, leather-trimmed steering wheel and shift knob, velour carpeting, and a "touch shift" driver-adaptive five-speed automatic transmission that allowed drivers to manually downshift and upshift by tapping the shift lever to the left or right. New interior colors, optional third-row seating, and a navigation system were also part of the package. Power was still provided by a 3.2-liter, 215-hp V6.

ML430

Avg. Price: $6,453

The Mercedes-Benz ML430 sport utility vehicle, like its less-powerful sibling, the ML320, received a makeover in the model year 2000. Interior upgrades were most noticeable in the ML320, which received some features, such as real walnut trim, that were already standard on the ML430. However, the ML430, like the ML320, did receive a revamped rear seat (essentially three bucket seats), redesigned door panels, map pockets on the backs of the front seats, and footwell lights.

Other upgrades included a new interior colors, a GPS navigation system, and a five-speed Touch Shift automatic transmission, which allowed drivers to manually downshift and upshift by tapping the shift lever to the left or right. A lighted entry system, driver and passenger airbags, front and rear crumple zones, cruise control, intermittent wipers, power heated mirrors, keyless entry and fog lights were also part of the package.

Generally, drivers were impressed with the upgrades, as well as the vehicle's improved reliability.

ML55 AMG

Avg. Price: $8,234

What do you get when you take the most successful professional aftermarket modifier and roll it into one of the most successful car makers of all time? You get the Mercedes-Benz AMG alliance and the potential for some very fast, very beautiful, very fun cars.

The 2000 ML55 AMG represented the first M-series product from AMG: a sport utility vehicle with the engine of a sports coupe. The 2000 ML55 has a 5.5-liter V8 rated at 342 horsepower. The monster engine can take the monster truck from 0 to 60 in 6.4 seconds, achieve speeds of 145 miles per hour, and...do we have a stat for the quarter mile? ;)

Drivers of this car have complained about the quality of the tires. (Some of these silly people actually though this SUV was made to go off-roading! What would make a person use an SUV for such a purpose?) Other complaints have centered mainly on the poor fuel economy (14 city/17 highway on a good day), but what can one expect from such a heavy car (over two tons) and such a powerful engine?

Of course, this is still a Mercedes, SUV or not. The interior is absolutely luxurious, with burled walnut wood trim and steering wheel. Soft leather seats add even more luxury to the relatively smooth ride. A Cockpit Management and Data center controls all interior electronics, leaving the driver to just drive and enjoy.