Although the 2005 Mercedes-Benz ML500 was unchanged from the previous year, the automaker did add a Special Edition package that included a number of popular features, including a "power dome" hood, front AMG sports seats, and 17-inch spoke alloy wheels. Two new exterior colors - Iridium Silver and Pewter - were also available for the ML500.
On the downside, free scheduled maintanence from Mercedes, which had been offered in previous years, was discontinued for the M-Class for the 2005 model year.
Still, the ML500 offered a lot to drivers, starting with a 5.0-liter, 288-hp V8 engine and five-speed automatic transmission with Touch Shift, which enabled the driver to manually upshift or downshift by holding the shift lever to the left or right.
Other standard features included a CFC-free automatic climate control system with an electrostatic dust filter, heated eight-way power front seats, leather upholstery, burl walnut trim, velour carpeting, electronic cruise control, and an in-dash Modular Control System with a 5-inch LCD screen for setting cabin temperature and air flow and controlling the GPS navigation and audio systems.
Overall, drivers liked the ML500's styling, power, luxury appointments, and safety features, but many were concerned about quality and reliability issues. Some of the vehicle's parts and systems required frequent service, including the brakes, which tended to squeal, according to some drivers. Gas mileage was also cited as a concern by drivers.