Mercedes Benz may be one of Germany’s preeminent automotive brands, but today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe ML was actually built in Tuscaloosa Alabama. Let’s see of this diesel-powered wagon’s price reflects any of the South’s famous southern comfort.
There’s was a meme going around a few years back that for a short time popularized the slogan “condoms prevent minivans.” Yeah, I know, ha, ha, ha.
The minivan category has long been looked down upon—unfairly, I might add—for its family hauler status. At the same time, however, classic small vans like the Volkswagen Type 2 are widely coveted by their fans.
Yesterday’s 1963 Chevy Corvair Greenbriar was also a covetable minivan, similar in concept to the early VW’s it originally sought to capture buyers away from. At $6,900, that effort was seemingly still working, as the little Chevy pulled in a solid 63 percent Nice Price win for its trouble.
Despite the well-earned popularity of yesterday’s Greenbriar, the whole category of vans as consumer conveyances has diminished over the years.
These days you’re more likely to find some sort of SUV or “soft-roader” in driveways rather than vans. Those run the gamut from cars like the tiny Honda HR-V all the way up to to the enormous Chevy Suburban.
Somewhere in the middle of those two extremes lies this 2007 Mercedes Benz ML 320 4-Matic CDI. And, while it’s not the mud-slogging pheasant hunter’s mount that, say a Range Rover might be, it’s still a pretty cushy ride that can handle anything the road might want to throw at it.
The ML was Mercedes’ first attempt at a consumer-grade sport utility for the U.S. market and was also the first product to roll off the assembly line at the company’s then-new plant in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama in 1997. That first ML was a body-on-frame design and that led to a somewhat comically disproportionate short but tall appearance.
This second-generation edition debuted in 2005 with a switch to unibody design. That model shared much of its structure with the longer wheelbase GL-class wagons. Quite remarkably, we’ve seen two more generations of ML (now branded the GLE) since then.
This one looks especially nice, although its white paint and overall design do make it seem less upscale and, dare I say it, look like the contemporary Kia Sorrento. Being somewhat anonymous isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however. More importantly, all that anonymous bodywork appears to be in excellent shape, as do the factory alloys and Pirelli Scorpion tires.
The interior looks just as lovely and rocks leather seating surfaces and lots of wood trim. Oddly enough, the wood tacked on the center console does not seem to match that applied to the door cards. That may be just a trick of the light in the photos but it does look a little odd.
Everything looks to be in fine shape here otherwise. The only possible complaints one might raise are over an overly shiny steering wheel and an aftermarket head unit in the dash. There’s not much you can do about the first issue, but the stereo should be an easy swap if you don’t want that aftermarket look.
There are a mere 124,000 miles on the truck and the seller claims that the 3-litre diesel engine/seven-speed 7G-Tronic transmission package is one of Mercedes’ most desirable. The 215 horsepower/398 ft-lbs of torque V6 predates the Bluetec emissions system add-on so you needn’t add urea to your weekly fluid level checkups.
The title is clean and with a claimed professional-level detailing, so too should be the car. The seller claims a KBB value of $8,700 and has set the truck’s price enticingly below that at $8,200.
Here’s the thing—there are a ton of other options in this category and class. The diesel engine does make it a bit of an outlier since those are fairly rare in the U.S. market. Still, would you take this over a BMW X5 of similar age and kit? How about an Infiniti Q… whatever they built back then?
Decisions, decisions. That’s what plagues sellers of vehicles in a crowded category such as that of this Mercedes. Let’s see if we can help. Do you think $8,200 is a fair price for this ML? Or, despite its being detailed, is that price a detail that you might want to overlook?
H/T to Sean M. for the hookup!
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