What Are the Best Years for The Mercedes ML (Now GLE)?

What strikes your mind when you hear the brand name Mercedes?

Most likely is the luxury, class, and high-performance that the automaker is popular for since its inception. All the vehicles in the Mercedes-Benz lineup are built for world-class comfort and superior performance. 

Because of this, the Mercedes vehicle doesn’t come cheap. Buying a used model is a good idea, but you have to be sure you pick from a recommended model year that is more reliable. 

What Are the Best Years for The Mercedes ML (Now GLE)? 

The best model year is the 2016 GLE350 and the ML350. In 2015, the M-Class received a very impressive upgrade that led to the change of the name from ML to GLE. This change came with a total redesign and refinement of the ML features and performance.

One of the most promising midsize SUVs in the Mercedes lineup is the Mercedes ML. This SUV was renamed to Mercedes-Benz GLE in 2006. 

The Mercedes M-Class vehicles have been the lifeline of the Mercedes brands for many years now. 

The Mercedes-Benz ML is the class leader in luxury midsize SUVs, beating most of its rivals in the same class and price range. 

The M-Class Mercedes are characterized by well-balanced and powerful engines with a spacious and stylish interior that offers the lux ambiance that is the hallmark of the Mercedes-Benz brand. 

Over the years, Mercedes-Benz has been redesigning and refining its lineup of vehicles. Right from the plush sedans to the powerful, yet stylish SUVs, these vehicles have undergone lots of changes throughout the model years. 

The 350 models on the lineup have been consistently popular and undeniably one of the most reliable models in the M-Class SUVs range. 

The GLE 550e plug-in hybrid and the AMG GLE 63 S were the new entrants to the lineup. 

These elegant SUVs followed in the footsteps of their predecessors by offering best-of-the-line luxury, fuel economy, and are extremely easy to handle. 

Some outward aesthetic cues have been added to the SV, but the overall characters that were typical of the classic M-Class haven’t changed. 

The 2016 Mercedes Benz GLE features sharper front and rear hood curves, while C-pillar and the wraparound rear glass remain unchanged. 

The 2016 Mercedes-Benz vehicle models rebranding led to the renaming of the M-Class model lineup to become the now popular GLE-Class lineup.

This redesign brought a fresh look and feel to the ML model lineup. 

Although the difference was subtle, there was a slew of advanced enhancements that came standard on the GLE model. 

Performances are an important factor when shopping for a premium SUV, but so is comfort. In this respect, the M-Class fairs very well indeed. 

The cabin of this vehicle is extremely quiet even at high speed and the seats are comfy with a very good all-round visibility. It is an easy car to drive despite its size. 

When you get to a twisted road, the M-Class can hold its own. 

Besides not being overly sporty as its rivals, the M-Class is engaging to the driver and comes with a well-fitted quick response steering wheel. 

The GLE model line-up on the other hand are very reliable and continue to sell the success of their M-Class predecessors. 

Performance-wise, both the 2016 GLE350 and the ML350 are powered by a potent 3.5-L V-6 engine that offers 302-hp and 273 pound-feet of torque. 

This has been consistent through this range until the AMG GLE63 model that comes with an upgraded range. 

The new generation M-Class are top performers in the Mercedes SUV class. In terms of performance, the GLE is a leading premium SUV that comes with powerful and efficient engines with plenty of interior space ideal for a family. 

This model exudes opulence and high performance in equal measures. 

According to CarComplaints and Consumer Reports, these are among the few models that are more reliable and have fewer reported problems throughout their different model years. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) 

Is the Mercedes ML Reliable? 

Few problems have been reported concerning the M-Class Mercedes-Benz, and customers seem satisfied with the Mercedes ML’s long-term reliability.

Despite having a few issues reported on CarComplaints concerning the gearbox and electrical system, the ML is still a good choice of vehicle that you can use for the long haul. 

The interior of the M-Class models is plush while the engine is built to be resilient and offer high towing and hauling power. 

Why are Mercedes MLs so Cheap? 

The cost of a used vehicle is mostly determined by the resale value and not much about its reliability. 

Since leased vehicles make up roughly 50 percent of all new Mercedes sales, this often affects the prices and eventually the resale value of Mercedes models. 

Thus, every three years, the secondhand market becomes inundated with lease returns that drive the process of the Mercedes ML lower. 

Is it Worth Buying a Used Mercedes ML SUV? 

Yes. The Mercedes M-Class is worth buying. Although the ML is no longer in the market today, it remains a very reliable Mercedes-Benz model to buy. The ML was renamed GLE. 

This means that the GLE has the same features, longevity, and performance as the earlier ML models. 

This model is worth your hard-earned bucks and will give you a pleasurable user experience. 

If you are considering buying a used ML or now GLE model, consider the ones from the third generation GLE MK3 (2012 – 2019). 

This model lineup comes packed with advanced features that add to the standard features of its ML models. 

What are some things to be Aware of when Buying a Used ML SUV? 

If you are buying a used Mercedes ML that has been driven in the city, you need to first of all check for dents, or any scratches on the edges of the car.

These commonly occur when getting into or out of parking lots. 

Also, you should check the alloy wheels for curb damages. 

Under the vehicle should also be checked for any sign of road damage and stone chips on the front since those are some of the common problems of this vehicle. 

Another very important thing to consider when buying a used vehicle is its maintenance and repair history.

This will give you a clue of how the vehicle has been fairing over the years. You will also be aware of the recurrent problems that are bound to occur. 

Checking this out before buying will also save you a lot of money in repair costs. 

Next, you should check the electrical system carefully since fixing them afterward is very costly. 

Is the M-Class Good for Off-Roading? 

Yes. The M-Class is one of the most capable premium SUVs off-road. You can select a special off-road model for the electronic stability control, which offers you some added grip. 

It also features a descent control if you are faced with a steep incline, and you will get safely downhill. 

Is the M-Class Good on Fuel Economy?

Yes. Whether you buy the diesel or petrol variant, the M-Class lineup is very economical on their consumption. 

If you go for the four-cylinder Mercedes ML 250, you get 45 mpg, which is the best in its class. But the ML 350 is even better since it comes equipped with a six-cylinder diesel engine, which is more powerful and will accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just about seven seconds. 

Which Mercedes ML should I buy? The Diesel or Petrol model?

The M-Class has been offered in different engine configurations and optional fuel types for its first three generations until the name changed to GLE. 

The first-generation M-Class Mercedes (W166) offered the best mileage per gallon for both the petrol and diesel variant.

The second-generation (2006-2011) came with additional features and high performance but consumed slightly more than its predecessors. 

For example, the ML350, ML500, and the ML63 AMG were powered by petrol with a consumption of between 11 – 13 liters per 100km. 

The third generation (2011-2019) comes packed with even more high-tech features and even more fuel consumption per 100 km. 

The ML 350, ML500, and ML 63 AMG are a good choice of petrol-powered SUVs with 8 – 12 liters per 100km; while their diesel variant (ML 250 and ML 350) offers six-seven liters per 100 km. 

This consumption is quite decent for the daily commute or highway rides. 


Mercedes has sold millions of M-Class models since it originally arrived back in 1997. And the new version (now GLE) is responsible for continuing that sales success. 

The GLE is a rugged-looking beast with amazing off-road capability. 

It is a very practical vehicle with a slew of features, like the electrically operated boot that will appeal to many drivers and lifestyles. 

While these features were not standard on the earlier models, it is recommended to buy one from the latest generation to enjoy the complete features that this model has to offer. 

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