The ML350 was part of the first generation of M-class Mercedes, the W163. Mercedes at the time proposed to replace the extremely well known G-Class, development for this started back in the early 90’s facing issues throughout the years before they managed to get the ball rolling with their sports utility vehicle. With production starting in 1996 and making its debut in 1997, it was an instant hit for the market thanks to the W163 earning the highest safety ratings achievable at the time - a testament to how well engineered and designed these cars had been and attention to detail that had been focused on safety equipment.
An honest and reliable daily car is all the vehicle has been - and that is exactly what they were designed for. Focused for people who required the space and extra seats, with the power and reliability to pull whatever you needed. The vehicle was bought brand new in London and stayed there for the majority of its life, doing small trips back and forth until it was sold back to a Mercedes garage in Chelsea at 5,000 miles. The car was purchased from the dealership and stayed local until reaching 49,000 miles being religiously maintained throughout the second owner's ownership of the vehicle.
As you can see by the plethora of paperwork included with the vehicle it has been religiously taken care of - which is fundamental for these SUV’s.
There is a mass of paperwork alongside this ML350 which includes things like garage service invoices, MOT certificates, as well as a used vehicle invoice from a Mercedes-Benz dealership in Chelsea which reads a total of £17,775 in March of 2010.
The interior is much what you’d expect from a Mercedes-Benz. Luxurious soft black leather wrapped seats as well as leather laced in the door cards, and lovely wooden inlays throughout the dashboard. The front seats do show signs of wear which is to be expected of black leather this age, the normal creasing on the bolsters is apparent however there appears to be no rips or tears and the stitching is still completely intact which shows great care has been taken with the seats - the memory functionality still works too! The steering wheel also does show some signs of wear on the outer leather portion however it is completely cosmetic.
The dashboard panel including all of the controls still contains all of the screen printed text in good condition, we’re told all of the controls still function as they should, too! There has been an aftermarket head unit installed to the vehicle in place of the original radio which was very common for these vehicles at the time, it helped introduce better functionality for CD’s and improve sound quality. There does appear to be a small blemish on the top of the dashboard right in the middle above the air vents, it looks as though maybe there was something mounted here previously.
The rear seats are in great condition, not showcasing much use at all throughout the lifespan of the car. The bolsters are still in great condition and there is very little creasing in the leather, which is outstanding! The carpets both front and rear are still in good condition too with no rips or holes throughout, and no signs of much colour fading. Behind the rear bench, there are another 2 seats which can be folded down, as well as folded up to the side, out of the way of the floor creating more boot space. These seats do have some signs of use however the leather is still in great condition with no stretching, tears or rips apparent. An awesome addition if you require more than 5 seats!
Finished in Tealite Blue Metallic, the exterior of this 17 year old SUV is rather desirable. It hides its age rather well with its glossy paintwork and lack of any corrosion. There are some stone chips to be expected (most of which have been touched in) and there are some minor car park marks, however these kinds of things are somewhat unavoidable. The wheels appear to be in very good condition, on the front drivers side wheel there is some minor curb rash on the outer lip of the wheel. Aside from this the wheel paint still retains high levels of gloss on the silver finish.
To the front of the vehicle, the headlights are intact and appear to have no signs of any cracks or blemishes, the same can be said about the lower fog lights too. The chrome trims on the upper grill and the large Mercedes badge appear to all be intact too, a lot of cars suffer from chrome trim damage however it appears the utmost care has been taken with this car! The bumper, bonnet and wings are all in good condition with no apparent corrosion visible, only some minor stone chips as mentioned previously, a very tidy car for the year - that’s for sure.
To the rear of the vehicle, the rear lights are all in good condition with no cracks or damage to the lenses and no apparent signs of colour fading, and the rear badges are still present and in nice condition too showcasing the model designation and Mercedes symbol. The tailgate itself is in lovely condition as is the rear bumper with none of the usual high-wear area scratches, it’s very well presented throughout.
Powered by a 3.7L V6 M112 petrol engine, coupled to a 5-speed automatic transmission, the power delivery is smooth and very capable. The M112 E37 engine is a bored out E32 with the same stroke, however with a higher power output of 245PS and 254lb/ft, making this SUV very lively and able to pull its weight around with absolute ease! The 5-speed automatic transmission makes daily driving an absolute pleasure, effortless changes that never disrupt your comfort make this vehicle luxury at its finest.
Over the years, there has been no expense spared for this ML350, regular maintenance and a new selector board as of September 2021, it’s no question that this car will be healthy for a long time to come. Maintenance is key - just like any vehicle, and regardless of how many miles this car done between services it was always done religiously.
Service history shows the following mileage at each service interval;
8,809 - 12,391 - 12,919 - 18,970 - 19,349 - 23,631 - 25,337 - 29,769 - 32,391 - 33,202 - 33,623 - 36,933 - 38,543 - 41,676 - 44,489 - 46,038 - 47,090 and the most recent oil change has been done less than 100 miles ago. It goes to show how religiously maintained this ML has been.
ML350’s are becoming quite a rare sight today, especially ones in such a condition as this with such low mileage. The perfect family SUV with plenty of grunt behind it, or even just perfect if you enjoy cruising in style. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
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