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2000 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

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2000 Mercedes-Benz M-Class Review

This year is greatly improved.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 2000 Mercedes-Benz M-Class has received a facelift to counter whispers of Mercedes being a bit cheap with their SUV line. The 1997 and 1998 models of the Mercedes-Benz M-Class were of a fairly low quality, showing signs of cheap parts and poor workmanship. The original ML320 was priced cheaply to appeal to buyers who might go for a Jeep or other competition, but showed signs of cheap quality.

The new Mercedes-Benz M-Class have received several improvements, included lots of new standard features, better interior build quality, and more passenger space. Although the Mercedes-Benz M-Class is a lot better this year, there are several improvements yet to be made.

The Range

Body Styles: SUV
Engines: 3.2-liter V-8, 4.3-liter V-8, 5.5-liter V-8
Transmissions: five-speed automatic with TouchShift
Models: Mercedes-Benz ML320, Mercedes-Benz ML430, Mercedes-Benz M55

What's New

The 2000 Mercedes-Benz M-Class receives a slew of improvements to counter the criticism of automotive journalists and consumers. All models have a choice of three new colors, optional third-row seating for seven passengers, and a new TouchShift automatic transmission that allows you to make manual adjustments on the fly. The ML320 receives body colored bumpers and trim, as well as real walnut trim in the interior, leather accents on the steering wheel and shift knob, better interior fabric, and more. A standard navigation system, leather, and heated seats are now included with the ML430.

Exterior

The 2000 Mercedes-Benz M-Class exterior is a bit different from your average SUV. The exterior is rather boxy, but so much so that it has the appearance of a minivan, something which may turn off many buyers. Also contributing to the unique appearance of the Mercedes-Benz M-Class are wide fenders, integrated headlights in the front bumper, and the aforementioned square shape. The ML320 rides on 16-inch wheels, the ML430 on 17-inch wheels, and the ML55 on 18-inch wheels.

Standard exterior features on the Mercedes-Benz M-Class include fog lights, power heated mirrors, power brakes, rear window defroster, alloy wheels, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, an anti-theft alarm system, roof rack, and brush guards.

Interior

The 2000 Mercedes-Benz M-Class has had a lot of interior improvements due to consumer complaints of poor build quality in earlier models. The interior has three new colors to choose from. Third-row seating is also available, upping the passenger capacity in the vehicle to seven. Standard seating in the Mercedes-Benz M-Class is five passengers. Leather comes standard on all but the ML320 models. The ML320 does receive a few of the luxury features previously reserved for the upper models.

Standard features on the ML320 include bucket seats, a center console, universal garage door opener, keyless entry, lighted entry, cloth seating, cruise control, power steering, tilt steering wheel, leather trim steering wheel, air conditioning, power windows, power locks, and an AM/FM/CD player. Optional features include leather shift knob, heated front seats, power moonroof, power panorama roof, third seat, power driver and passenger seating with memory, trip computer, privacy glass, leather seating, and a Bose audio system for those audiophiles out there.

The ML430 adds leather seating, the Bose audio, and a navigation system.

Performance & Handling

The 2000 Mercedes-Benz M-Class comes equipped with one of three engines, depending on the trim line. The ML320 comes equipped with a 3.2-liter V-8 engine that produces 215 horsepower. The ML430 comes equipped with a 4.3-liter V-8 engine that produces 268 horsepower. The ML55 comes equipped with a 5.5-liter V-8 engine that produces a whopping 342 horsepower total. All models are equipped with a five-speed automatic transmission with touch manual controls. All models have four-wheel drive.

All models come equipped with anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control, meaning the vehicle is exceptionally agile on the pavement. Although this is a SUV, the Mercedes-Benz M-Class is not particularly well suited to off-road driving. In fact, don’t even think about it. Even with the independent suspension, four-wheel drive, and stability control, the Mercedes-Benz M-Class is best left on the pavement. Those looking for a working vehicle should shop elsewhere.

Safety

The 2000 Mercedes-Benz M-Class comes equipped with four-wheel anti-lock brakes, an anti-theft alarm system, driver and passenger front airbags, fog lights, front and rear side airbags, stability control, and traction control. The NHTSA gave the Mercedes-Benz M-Class five out of five stars for driver protection, and four out of five stars for passenger protection. The IIHS gave the Mercedes-Benz M-Class an overall score of ?Good?, its best.

EPA Fuel Economy

Mercedes-Benz ML320: 15/18 mpg city/highway
Mercedes-Benz ML430: 14/17 mpg city/highway
Mercedes-Benz ML55: 12/16 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Lots of interior space
  • Comfortable
  • Carlike ride
  • Snow bunny

You Won't Like

  • Reputation of bad workmanship
  • Minivan profile
  • No off-road capabilities
  • Bad gas mileage

Sum Up

This year is greatly improved.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Land Rover Discovery
  • Lexus LX 470

See the New 2014 M-Class.

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