Overall, a very good mid-sized SUV. Typical for this class, not a large storage area but adequate for daily hauling.
We have had quality problems including transmission, hydraulics, and parking/tail/license plate lamps. Ours is a very
early model so may be some gremlins as part of the initial production run. We had similar problems with an early-run
BMW X5, which we loved.
The Mercedes has a nice ride but is not as sporting as the X5. I'm not wild about the column
shifter for the transmission, even with the steering-wheel mounted shift buttons (can't really call them paddles, as in
sports cars). You can upshift manually with the shift buttons but when you try to downshift, perhaps wanting to hold
the speed on a sharp downhill section, the tranny shifts into whatever gear it believes is suitable based on the vehicle
speed. In other words, you cannot downshift sequentially, as it will skip gears. This makes the engine rev up
unnecessarily. Of course, leave it in "D" and no real problems.
Well, almost. I don't like the sound of the shifts,
either. This may sound picky, but it sounds like a continuos variable transmission (CVT) which is a transmission that
can change steplessly through an infinite number of effective gear ratios instead of shifting through the 6 specific
gear ratios. As such, instead of hearing the engine rev through each gear, you hear a whining of the transmission up
and down over and over again. It's a sickening sound.
My advice is to drive the ML back to back with a BMW X5 for a
Jaguars, at least the true Jags (XJ & XK), are really enthusiasts cars in my book. In other words, if you want a car
with a cushy ride and tons of room, go by a Lexus LS. A Jaguar is more for someone who wants a sporting ride and
something a bit less ordinary than an upscale Toyota (as great as Lexus cars are, they can be a bit bland). It's all
about preference. I want something a bit more unique so I drive Jaguars. The newer XJ's (2004-on) are lighter and
quicker than the previous models.
I have had no quality problems whatsoever and the leather is quite comfortable,
even on long trips. If you want to feel stiff leather, drive or ride in a Mercedes. I am 6 feet tall and have no
trouble adjusting the seat so that there is plenty of clearance above me and to the wheel. I like the fact that the
pedals (brake and gas) are also adjustable so that my knees aren't up into the steering wheel or ignition. With the
combination of wheel/pedals/seat adjustments, I would believe most anyone should find a comfortable driving position.
My car has the heated seats and steering wheel which is much appreciated in the current winter temps.
As for the
trunk, perhaps not as large as some full-size luxury automobiles but certainly large enough for several suitcases and/or
golf bags. If we take a long trip with kids, we're taking the SUV anyway since I didn't get the headrest-mounted DVD
I find it interesting that automakers are touting high gas mileage in compact vehicles in the 20 - 30 mpg
range. I routinely get almost 20 mpg in the city and can achieve 30 mpg on the road. This, in a full-sized luxury
The only bad point I can find is that none of the Jaguar models hold their value well. The good news is
that none of the Jaguar models hold their value well. I've purchased XJs and XKs when they come off their 24 - 36 month
lease at an excellent price. Many Jags have low mileage as they may be used primarily by a spouse on shopping trips or
in the case of the XK, to the country club on the weekends.
If you are looking for a sporting sedan with a bit of
panache, I highly recommend the Jaguar XJ.