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1998 - 2001 Mercedes-Benz M-Class Pre-Owned

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Khatir Soltani

While we're talking about intelligent design, the ML's superb front cupholders deserve mention. They flip down from

The base '98 through '01 ML320 incorporates M-B's liquid smooth 215-horsepower 3.2-litre V6. (Photo: Mercedes-Benz Canada)
their easy to access yet out of the way location, toward the outward corners of the dash itself. These are among the best of their kind, other than those in the Nissan X-Trail that either cool or warm your drinks via passing cold or hot air from the HVAC system through the cupholder bin.

The base '98 through '01 ML320 incorporates M-B's liquid smooth 215-horsepower 3.2-litre V6 mated to an equally impressive 5-speed automatic transmission. While a little lethargic by today's standards, the V6 accelerates the SUV to highway speeds and beyond in a

The M-Class is so good on the highway and around town that most don't realize it's actually quite capable off the beaten path. (Photo: Mercedes-Benz Canada)
relatively short duration. If more power is wanted for passing or needed for towing, a 268-horsepower V8 was available prior to 2002. Extremists might want to consider the AMG tweaked 342-horsepower 5.5-litre V8, which should allow the ability to bypass lane-obstructing highway trucks in short order.

The M-Class is so good on the highway and around town that most don't realize it's actually quite capable off the beaten path. This is due to its generous 220 millimetres (8.7 inches) of ground clearance and electronic, push-button operated low gear ratio. Still, the ML is a light to medium use off-road vehicle, best suited to muddied logging roads and snowy conditions.

Khatir Soltani
Khatir Soltani
Automotive expert
  • Over 6 years experience as a car reviewer
  • Over 50 test drives in the last year
  • Involved in discussions with virtually every auto manufacturer in Canada