Excellent condition and hugely capable full-size 4×4 SUV, fully serviced, with warranted mileage and great specification including permanent four-wheel drive off road capability, dual-zone climate control, alloy wheels, CD-player, electrically adjusted and heated seats, electric windows and mirrors, integrated tow-bar with electrics, front and rear parking sensors, cruise control with speed limiter, 7-speed automatic gearbox etc etc

In the details below, you’ll find full details of the specification, vehicle history, and a thoroughly detailed condition report.
Twenty-nine large-format photos also below!

Back in 2012, my good friend and work colleague Soren asked me to find him a full-size 4×4.  Soren and his family live in Scotland and are very ‘out-doorsy’ – so they wanted something capable of supporting them going mountaineering, cycling etc, and which would tow a small dinghy.
I’m a big fan of Mercedes in general, having had several myself, so an ML was the obvious choice – not least because I just don’t warm to the main competition – the BMW X5.  I looked round the trade and found this fabulous ML280. 
Fast forward 9 years or so, and it was time for a change.  With Soren’s children grown up and moving on, the ML had been only lightly used in the previous couple of years – so I bought it back from Soren and sold it to Simon… a senior NHS nurse who was heading in to retirement and wanted to use the ML to transport large volumes of possessions out to his retirement home in Portugal.  Simon added a further 10k miles over the next eighteen months with repeated journeys – but found the cost of matriculating the ML for permanent use in Portugal was prohibitive … so I have bought it back from him and now offer it again for sale here.

So on to the car itself… I really like the Mercedes ML.  There is masses of room inside, they have all the four-wheel-drive capability, and yet they are very car-like to drive with excellent handling and road-holding.  In particular, the driving position itself is excellent – you sit high up with a commanding view of the road ahead, and all the controls fall easily to hand.  The column-mounted gearchange is a bit unusual, but it works really well and makes you wonder why other cars don’t do this.  And of course, it’s a Mercedes-Benz – so that means great reliability, top build-quality, very comfortable and supportive seating, and beautifully-weighted controls that work with a precision that can only be German.

This generation of ML was introduced in 2005 and ran through to 2011.  This example was first registered in April 2007, so is relatively early in the production run and prior to a minor restyle that occurred in 2008.  The records show that this Mercedes changed hands in September 2007 – so I suspect that it may have been a demonstrator originally.  The second owner then kept the car until November 2009 when it was sold by Mercedes Benz Direct to its third owner in Hemel Hempstead – at which time it still has only around 13,000 miles on the clock.  They kept it until August 2012 when I sold it on to Soren with it showing 37,000 miles.  In 2021, I then sold it to Simon with 70k on the clock, and it has now just turned over 83,000.

Somewhat confusingly, the 280 CDI name doesn’t translate to a 2.8-litre…. This ML has a beautifully smooth V6 3.0-litre turbo-diesel engine, which delivers 190bhp and a crushing 440NM torque through a creamy-smooth 7-speed “7G-Tronic” automatic gearbox to all four wheels.  There’s no disguising it – this is a big, heavy car… and yet… with all that power it will still do the 0-60 dash in under 10 secs and on to a maximum speed of 127mph (where legal, obviously).  Pretty impressive!

With that weight and performance combination, you can’t really expect great things from the fuel economy…. But it’s actually not as bad as you might fear with a combined consumption of 29.4mpg on the NEDC test cycle, and it’s Euro-4 compliant too.

Out on the road, it feels hugely commanding.  You sit high up, on comfortable seats, with great visibility all round.  The interior is hushed (unless you’ve cranked up the excellent sound system!) and you can feel the huge power under your right foot – whenever you want to go, wherever you want to go.  With its 4wd supported by high ground clearance and big 19” alloy wheels with chunky tyres, it really feels like you could just turn left off that main road and climb over the adjoining verge and off into the forests and hills… in fact, you probably could, as this is definitely a fully capable off-roader, rather than a “Chelsea Tractor”.  It will press-on well through country lanes or on motorways, with a quick turn of speed when you want, and with the comfort, handling and roadholding of a regular car… it never feels “top heavy” like some 4x4s.  And when you want to be all sophisticated in the evening, then the ML can drive serenely, looking smart and classy with the big three-pointed star on the front and its glossy black paintwork making it look sassy and elegant all at once.  It really is a car for all occasions.

On the practical side (just for a moment!) – the ML features a huge and very square-shaped boot area – 690 litres with the back seats up, and with the back seats folded, 2010 litres of space – one of the very largest available anywhere.  Let’s look at the trim level now too – “Edition-S” – a trim that was only offered for a relatively short period between April and August 2007.  This brings all the right equipment with it – dual zone climate control, CD-player, electrically adjusted and heated half-leather seats, cruise control with speed limiter, 19” alloy wheels, electric windows all round, electrically adjusted, heated and power folding mirrors etc.  There’s all the right safety and environmental kit too, such as ABS, Brake Assist, Electronic Brake Distribution, Electronic Skid Protection, Driver, Passenger, Side and Curtain Airbags, and ISOFIX mounting points to the rear seats.  This example also has a Witter tow-bar fitted with electrics, with wiring loom integrated into the Mercedes system so that the rear parking sensors continue to work correctly etc.  I’m pretty sure that this towbar is detachable – there’s a storage bag for it in the boot – but it looks like it hasn’t been removed for some time.

This ML is finished in glossy and smooth Obsidian Black Metallic paint (probably the most popular Mercedes colour!), set off by the smart 19” 5-spoke alloy wheels.  Nobody does Black like Mercedes – and this is great example.  It might be 16 years old, but the paint has a deep lustre and shine to it and the car looks stunning.  Given the age and mileage, there are inevitably a number of stone chips and light scratches, but overall it is in excellent condition with no scuffs or scrapes.

Equally, the inside has held up very well – the seats are half-leather with charcoal leather outer sections and a grey and white dotted fabric to the seat facings, with charcoal carpets and full original equipment overmats front and rear.  There’s no damage to the leather or fabrics – or even any real signs of wear.  The driver’s seat backrest electric adjustment switch is missing (see pics) but that doesn’t affect the functionality – it works just fine, and once it’s adjusted, do you ever alter it?  There’s some metal-effect trim missing from inside the boot.  On the front of the radio there is what looks like an air bubble – like a protective screen that wants pulling off …. But I’ve not seen this on a Merc before, so I’ve left it well alone!  The switches on the steering wheel had gone sticky (a common issue at this age) so I’ve generally cleaned that surface off.  This all sounds worse than it is – the interior is in great condition for a car of this age and mileage.

The recorded mileage of 83,007 miles is warranted to be correct.  The Mercedes has benefitted from regular servicing all recorded in the stamped up service book and supported by invoices.  Mercedes service intervals are indicated by the on board computer display, rather than being at set mileage or time intervals – and currently this indicates a further 15,337 miles until the next service is due.  The service book shows thirteen services, with a combination of Main Agent, specialist and local independent garages completing the work; the last service has just been completed by my mechanics, since when I have done a couple of hundred miles to test the car thoroughly.  As with all Mercedes, the camshaft is chain driven rather than belt, so there is no cambelt replacement to worry about. The servicing details are shown below.

There is a thick pile of servicing invoices to evidence the care and attention that the car has had.  Soren’s decision to part with the ML was partly following the failure of the output speed sensor.  This forms part of the gearbox control unit, and is a costly fix from Mercedes.  I had the car trailered down to me here in Gloucestershire, where my specialist local automatic transmission specialist replaced the control unit, and completed a gearbox oil change at the same time.  During Simon’s ownership, in August 2022, he had a failure of the turbo unit, and returned the car to Mercedes to replace it – when they also replaced the gear selector mechanism …a very costly repair and warranty claim!

Other repairs of note are:-

  • SAM (Signal Acquisition Module) replaced November 2020
  • Air conditioning condenser replaced July 2020
  • Turbo unit replaced December 2017, and again in August 2022

The ML has also been fully valeted and Experian Data Checked (like HPI) and is clear (again, as you would expect).  All the owner’s handbook, service book, radio guide etc are present with the car, as are two full remote control keys

Giving it an excellent rating of four stars out of five, Parker’s Car Guide highlights its stylish looks, outstanding diesel engines, superb interior quality, and commanding driving position and comments:-

“The M-Class is Mercedes-Benz back at its best. The styling is understated and elegant, the interior is comfortable and attractive, plus it drives well – both on and off-road – the whole package oozes subtle sophistication. There are some cracking engines too, including a whisper-quiet V6 diesel.
Although the M-Class doesn’t come cheap, list prices are close to that of similar off roaders and there’s plenty of standard equipment. The M-Class received a five-star crash safety rating from Euro NCAP which is the maximum rating available.
Compared to the previous M-Class, the interior is vastly improved. The plasticky interior of the old 1998-2005 car has been replaced by one that feels much higher quality.  The driving position is excellent and the seat offers great side and lower back support along with multiple adjustment.  However, unlike the last M-Class, there’s no seven-seat option for this model.  The steering wheel adjusts for height and reach and it’s easy to find a position that’s comfortable for longer trips.  There’s also a multi-function steering wheel, to control the stereo and trip computer.  Although it’s a familiar sight on the American market, the ‘stick-selector’ auto gearshift may not be familiar to UK buyers. It’s on a stalk by the steering wheel while manual changes can be made with buttons behind the steering wheel. Quality is excellent and the upmarket interiors give it a suitably classy feel.  A well packaged interior means five adults can travel in comfort. The ride is smooth, the seats supportive in the right areas and there’s plenty of head and legroom for all passengers. Superb sound insulation – and improved engine technology – means that the diesels remains quiet, even under heavy acceleration.

Large 4x4s are never cheap to run. However, the prestige of the Mercedes-Benz badge and M-Class’ desirability should mean that values hold up well. Fuel consumption from the diesel V6 is average (30mpg in everyday driving) for a car of this size.  We’re expecting few – if any – mechanical problems.
On motorways it cruises comfortably and there’s enough power from all engines for easy overtaking. Its sharp steering, responsive brakes and excellent body control means that it can make quick progress on B-roads. The ML’s turning circle is quite tight for a large 4×4, which makes town driving easy.  Its off-road ability is surprisingly good and it should be able to tackle everything that an average buyer can throw at it. It’s user-friendly to use too – electronics deal with slipping wheels, lack of traction and descending hills, so it’s difficult to go wrong.”

Out on the road, the ML does everything that it should calmly and with style.  I’ve not taken it off-road, so my test drive is confined to motorways and B-roads, where it performs very well indeed.  It will make swift progress, whilst the driver and passengers remain insulated from the bustle and noise outside in a calm hushed interior. It cruises comfortably and smoothly, and all the controls work with a precision that can only be German manufacture.  It’s well equipped too, with all the kit that you would want, as well as looking smart in its glossy black paintwork and shiny alloy wheels. 

As with all our vehicles, the ML comes with a 100-point inspection report covering all items of functionality and a mechanical inspection conducted by our service agents. 

If you wish to do so, you can also optionally purchase a WarrantyWise Bronze vehicle warranty.  Given the age and mileage of this vehicle, it can only provide cover of up to £500 per claim, up to a maximum claim total of the sale value of the car.  It covers all major mechanical components, supported by a £75 per hour labour rate.  This  would cost £349 for 6-months, or £449 for a year.  Please click on “our services” above for more details.

Equipment and Features
> Finished in Obsidian Black Metallic paintwork, with charcoal half-leather and cloth interior trim
> 2,987cc V6-cylinder 24-valve fuel-injection turbodiesel engine, producing 190bhp and 440Nm torque
> 7-speed automatic “7G-tronic” gearbox with Sport setting, stalk-operated selection and manual gear selection option using buttons to the rear of the steering wheel
> Power Assisted Steering (PAS)
> Permanent four-wheel drive
> Dual Zone climate control
> Integrated Mercedes Audio 20 audio unit, with single-CD player, RDS radio, steering-wheel mounted remote audio controls, and aerial integrated into the rear side window
> 5-spoke 19” alloy wheels
> Electric front and rear windows, with one-touch operation to all windows
> Electrically operated, heated  and power-folding door mirrors
> Electrically adjusted front seats with three-stage heating
> Cruise Control with speed limiter function
> Anti-lock braking system (ABS), Brake Assist, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, and Electronic Skid Protection
> Remote control central locking, with two full remote control keys
> Full integrated towbar with full electrics
> Tinted windows
> Three rear seats, each fitted with 3-point seat belts, head restraints and with ISOFIX seat mountings to the outer two seats
> 60/40 split folding rear seat
> Height and reach adjustable steering wheel
> Height adjustable and lumbar control adjustable driver’s and front passenger’s seat
> Map pockets to rear of front seats
> Driver’s, Front Passenger’s, side and curtain airbags
> Automatic lights
> Front and Rear fog lamps
> Front and Rear parking sensors
> Trip computer with multiple functions across multiple screens controlled via steering wheel buttons
> Heated rear window
> Rear wash/wipe system
> 12v charging point
> Alarm and immobilizer
> Tailored front and rear floormats
> Rear luggage compartment cover
> Mercedes first aid kit

History and Documentation

> The current mileage is showing as 83,007 miles which is warranted as correct.
> The ML comes with its V5 registration document.  It was first registered 13th April 2007, and then sold to the second owner on the 6th September 2007.  It then transferred to its third private owner in November 2009, on to Soren in August 2012, and then to Simon in February 2022.  It has therefore had five registered owners from new.
> The current MoT expires 10th November 2023.  It was issued 11th November 2022 at 78,803 miles, with NO advisory items.  An MoT history check shows previous MoTs completed at:-
16/04/2010;   15,011 miles
13/05/2011;   25,428 miles
11/05/2012;   35,541 miles
24/06/2013;   42,809 miles
16/06/2014;   48,049 miles
15/06/2015;   52,568 miles
15/06/2016;   58,266 miles
16/06/2017;   60,813 miles
14/05/2018;   63,271 miles
13/05/2019;   66,299 miles
15/05/2020;   68,371 miles
22/04/2021;   69,623 miles
15/01/2022;   70,518 miles
11/11/2022;   78,803 miles
Every MoT certificate since 2012 is still with the vehicle
> The car has been Experian Data Checked (similar to HPI), and the buyer will receive a copy of the report – which shows no problems.
> Mercedes service intervals are defined by the on board computer.  The service book shows thirteen service stamps, with records showing services as follows:-
26/02/2008;     6,670 miles – Mercedes Main Agent
12/05/2009;     9,466 miles – Mercedes Main Agent
08/06/2010;   16,769 miles – Mercedes Main Agent
01/08/2011;   27,632 miles – Mercedes Main Agent
16/07/2012;   37,197 miles – Mercedes Independent Speciailist  
26/07/2013;   42,880 miles – Independent Garage
16/06/2014;   48,049 miles – Independent Garage
16/09/2015;   54,907 miles – Independent Garage
24/03/2017;   60,463 miles – Independent Garage
10/06/2019;   66,523 miles – Independent Garage
22/04/2021;   69,622 miles – Independent Garage
26/04/2022;   73,052 miles – Independent Garage
22/05/2023;   82,812 miles – Independent Garage (my mechanics)
> The owners handbook, service book, book pack etc are all present.

Bodywork and Interior Condition
> As you can see from the photos, the bodywork is in great condition.  There are a number of stone chips and light scratches, but it’s all commensurate with the age and mileage and overall the car looks extremely smart and presentable with no scuffs or scrapes.
> The interior is in excellent condition, with no damage to the seats or carpet fabric, assisted by the floor overmats front and rear
> The backrest adjustment button from the electric controls on the driver’s seat is missing, but the switch itself functions fine.  There is a piece of metal-effect trim missing from either side of the boot, and an air bubble on the front face of the radio – see pics of all of these points

Mechanical Condition and Wheels/Tyres

> The car has covered just over 83,000 miles.  It goes very well indeed – and runs, steers, stops and goes round corners even better than you might expect
> The ML often takes longer than expected to start – although it always does do so.  There is no error message shown and the battery is good – so our best guess is that this results from where one glow-plug was replaced in 2012 with a non-original-equipment equivalent, which can give this result as they are slower to heat up than the genuine examples
> All the interior warning lights come on and go off as they should.
> There has been a recall for the Brake Booster on this series of ML – this was checked by Mercedes in June 2022, and will be re-inspected by Mercedes prior to sale.
> The road wheels are five-spoke 19” alloys; all of them have very minor marks but definitely not yet at the point of needing refurbishment.  Unusually for a Mercedes of this age, there is no sign of corrosion on the alloys
> The front road tyres are a pair of top-quality Uniroyal RainSport 5 255/50 YRx19 ExtraLoad tyres;  these were replaced as part of the MoT in November 2022, and so have only covered about 4000 miles – they now have 7mm of tread remaining.  The rear road tyres are a pair of Avon ZX7 tyres (also ExtraLoad capability) with around 4mm of tread remaining.  There is a Dunlop space saver spare tyre, which is unused.
> The towing eye, tools and locking wheel nut key are all present

So – to review – this is an opportunity to acquire an excellent condition full-size 4×4 SUV.  This example has been well and thoroughly maintained, has a very low warranted mileage for its age, and hasn’t suffered from being bashed about in off-road use.  The paintwork and interior are both in great condition, and the car continues to look smart and well-presented throughout.  It drives very well indeed, and is well equipped too.  The legendary Mercedes build quality and comfort shine through, and this particular example with its full service history, recent service, full valet and HPI-check, makes a very compelling case for itself.  Add in the very high equipment level on this example – with tow bar, stylish alloys, parking sensors all round, dual-zone climate control, cruise control, heated seats, electric half-leather seats, power-folding mirrors, electric windows all round etc, and it also offers great value for money too.

If you have any questions, please mail me or call me on 07917-234897.  Any inspection or accompanied test drive is welcomed by appointment.