2003 Mercedes-Benz ML 500 V8

Guide Price: £6,000 - £7,000


• 5.0 litre V8
• Special order model with AMG extras
• Substansial service history
• Recent service 

The Background 

Launched in 1997, the Mercedes-Benz W163 M-Class was designed as a medium sized SUV, capable of seating 5 or, with the optional third row seats, 7. 

With a permanent four-wheel drive system, it was the first luxury SUV to feature the electronic stability control system. It also scored well on the industry crash tests, having been fitted with front and side airbags, with occupant detection for the front seat earning the W163 some of the highest marks. 

The first model sold internationally was the ML 320, which has a 3.2 litre V6, whilst owners in Europe were given the option of the entry level ML 230, which has a 2.3 litre four-cylinder. This was until 1998 when the more powerful ML 430 became available. 

With growing success, Mercedes-Benz gave the ML a facelift in 2001, which saw some cosmetic upgrades to the bumpers, headlights, rear lights, and different alloy wheels, dependent on the model. There were also interior trim changes and more importantly was the introduction of the 5.0 litre V8, becoming this particular model here, the ML 500 which would replace the ML 430.  

The History

This stunning Mercedes ML 500 V8 was registered on 25th July 2003, as a special order ML with the additional AMG styling pack fitted. The extras included the deeper front bumper with fog lights, side skirts, rear bumper, 18” AMG wheels and the larger AMG tailpipes for the exhaust. 

It’s quite obvious from the general overall condition of the ML that it has been a well cared for vehicle throughout its four previous keepers, who have all kept up an excellent service history. 
The seller has owned the ML since 2018. As you can see from the mileage history, the 4x4 is not really getting the use it deserves and so the seller decided it was time to let it go to someone who would benefit from using the luxurious German 4x4 on a daily basis. 

A recent service ensures the ML is now ready for the new owner to enjoy.   

The Paperwork

The V5 is present and shows the ML 500 has had 4 previous keepers. There has recently been an MOT carried out on the 13th August 2021, which it passed with no advisories.

The ML comes with the original service booklet which shows regular servicing at 
12,946, 31,836, 42,251, 48,350, 58,242, 67,074, 79,247, 92,948, 113,983 and 117,089. 

The Interior

The inside of the Mercedes is in lovely condition. Black leather was the order of the day when the ML came off the production line, and this is in excellent condition. The driver's seat has some slight age related creasing to the outer bolster, but this is very light. The front seats are also electric, memory position and 2 stage heated, which are working as they should.

Sitting in the driver’s seat, the steering wheel does have some light wear to the 10 and 2 positions. Just behind, the instruments don’t have any warning lights illuminated and are all reported to be working correctly, and the odometer has a reading of 118,006 miles. The dashboard is in excellent condition with no noticeable marks to point out. The centre console housed the original head unit which has a burr walnut trim. The radio is working but the sat nav does require the NAVI-CD disc which is missing. Also connected to the radio is a 6 disc CD changer that is MP3 compatible. Lower down is more burr walnut trim in good condition. This has the switches for the windows and mirrors which are in excellent order with no writing worn off them. 

The standard rear seats are again in excellent condition with no signs of any real wear to them, and these also have ISOFix mounting points for those needing a car seat. There is a third row of seats makinig the ML a 7 seater, again in excellent condition. These can be folded to the sides for more boot space or removed completely if required.  

The door cards throughout the vehicle are in excellent order along with the carpets, which do have mats to help protect them. The headlining is very clean with no areas for concern and the electric sunroof is working as it should. There are a couple of odd small scuffs in the boot area which you would expect for the age and mileage, but these are minimal. 

The Exterior

Finished in the Obsidian Black, the ML looks nothing short of stunning with the already mentioned additional AMG fitted body kit and rear half privacy glass.  This all gives it a huge presence on the road. 

Starting at the front, and the bumper is in excellent condition, with no obvious stone chips to point out. The fog lights and bi-xenon headlights are free from any cracks. The bonnet aligns nice and level with the grille and wings. Further up, the windscreen is in good condition with no cracks or noticeable scratches that we could see. 

Moving around to the sides, the ML 500 is nice and straight down both sides, with no signs of any carpark injuries. The door gaps to the front and rear doors on both sides look to align as they should. The electric folding door mirrors are working correctly and are free from any scuffs. Any stone chips to the side skirts or wheel arches are very minimal for the age of the vehicle. The glass to the sides is fitted with a privacy tint to the rear half, this has just a few small bubbles on the edges of the quarter windows. 

On to the rear, and again very clean with just a couple of chips to the AMG bumper, there are no scuffs present. There is a towbar fitted with a single electric point. The tailgate itself is in good order with the chrome boot handle and badges in excellent condition. The rear window also has the same privacy tint to the sides. 

The wheels are AMG 18” which are in excellent condition. The tyres are all matching and have a good amount of tread remaining. 

The Mechanics

The engine in the Mercedes is a 5.0 litre V8 which is plenty enough to put a grin on anyones face just listening to it, before you even start to drive it. Producing 288 bhp and 325 lb-ft of torque there is certainly enough power on tap when you need it.

Flick the key and the ML 500 fires up nicely with the sound of the V8 burble quietly rumbling away. There are no untoward noises that shouldn't  be there. The 4x4 is reported to pull extremely well through the gears and the change is smooth, with no noises coming from the transmission. 

The discs on the Mercedes look to be in good order all around with no lips to the edges of the discs. It is reported to stop nice and sharp, in a straight line and with no brake judder. 

The Appeal 

Quite a rare vehicle when new, with the additional AMG extras fitted, and it was most certainly an expensive luxurious 4x4 which kept numbers quite low in this guise. Fitted with the 5.0 V8, this  is a strong and robust engine, but at its best when it has an excellent service history to back up the mileage. The seller and previous owners have ensured that this has happened. 

A top level, luxury 4x4. You may not be going off-roading in it, (although they are reported to be quite good at that too), but this is the perfect 7 seater from Mercedes-Benz in beautiful condition that has plenty to offer in the way of comfort, build quality and performance. 

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Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 2003
  • Make Mercedes
  • Model ML 500
  • Colour Obsidian Black
  • Odometer 118,066 Miles
  • Engine size 4996
  • Location Hampshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
14 bids from 9 bidders
  • jo•••• £5,430 18/10/21
  • ta•••• £5,330 18/10/21
  • ro•••• £5,230 18/10/21
  • da•••• £4,950 17/10/21
  • ga•••• £4,650 15/10/21
  • PB•••• £4,400 14/10/21
  • mi•••• £4,300 14/10/21
  • Ni•••• £4,100 13/10/21
  • ga•••• £4,000 13/10/21
  • Ni•••• £3,800 12/10/21

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