The Mercedes-Benz ML500, one of three models available in the automaker's M-Class lineup for 2002, replaced the ML430, which was offered from 1999 to 2001. Following the established li...
The Mercedes-Benz ML500, one of three models available in the automaker's M-Class lineup for 2002, replaced the ML430, which was offered from 1999 to 2001. Following the established link between the engine size and the nomenclature for each of the carmaker's models, the ML500 came with a 5.0-liter, single-overhead-cam, 24-valve V8 engine that generated 288 hp. It was linked to a five-speed automatic transmission with Touch Shift (new for the 2002 model year), which enabled the driver to manually upshift or downshift by holding the shift lever to the left or right.
Overall, the M-Class models for 2002 received more than 1,000 improvements, according to the automaker. Some of the more noticeable upgrades were made to the exterior, with the vehicles getting new bumpers, headlights, side mirrors, front fog lights, and grille accents. Inside, upgrades included additional vents for the climate control system and three new interior design packages.
Standard features for the 2002 ML500 included leather seats (heated in the front), front and side airbags, leather steering-wheel trim, privacy glass, a navigation system, an anti-theft alarm system, automatic climate control, keyless entry, and four-wheel anti-lock brakes.
Drivers were generally impressed with the improvements made to the M-Class, as well as the additional power provided by the 5.0-liter V8, although some drivers noted reliablity and quality issues that had plagued the M-Class, especially in its early years.