When it was launched in 1998, the Mercedes-Benz ML320 sport utility (officially a light truck) was powered by a 3.2-liter, 215-hp V6 engine that many were impressed with. One reviewer e...
When it was launched in 1998, the Mercedes-Benz ML320 sport utility (officially a light truck) was powered by a 3.2-liter, 215-hp V6 engine that many were impressed with. One reviewer even labeled the engine on the 10 Best for that year. But some drivers were unimpressed, believing that a luxury SUV designed to go off-road, or even just around town, deserved, and even demanded, more power.
So the following year, in 1999, Mercedes introduced the ML430, which added a beefy 4.3-liter single-overhead-cam V8 engine that generated 268 hp, making for a faster, more powerful vehicle, ideal for drivers who wanted a luxury SUV that was also capable of ascending a steep mountain slope with aplomb or towing a trailer without wheezing down the highway.
Of course, that added power was wrapped in a steel-framed, safety-enhanced vehicle that included a wide range of standard and luxury features, such as heated leather power seats, walnut interior trim, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and shift knob, privacy glass, keyless entry, and power heated mirrors.
Drivers tend to like the ML430's power bump, its tight turning ratio, its ramped-up traction control system, and its luxury appointments (naturally). Some still express concerns about the vehicle's reliablity, though, and point to a number of parts and systems that have had to be replaced after relatively low mileage.