ML 350CD Off Road Pack





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  1. #1
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    Default ML 350CD Off Road Pack

    Dear All,

    I have been offered a 350 ML 2014 with Off/On Road Pack and 50 000Km on the clock for R600 000.00

    It will be in daily use doing approximately 25 to 30 thousand km a year, part of the daily commute is dirt road and secondary farm roads. We like putting the RTT on and go to Groenrivier and vicinity, go to the Tankwa and tend to call Ouberg Pass "home". Also need to do the Voortrekker/Wagon Trails via Bonnievale and Attaquas again-for the fourth time!

    My question: good deal? Bad deal? Please confirm that these vehicles are capable. I will also want to fit a second battery somewhere as I have a small Engel permanently in the vehicle.

    A full size spare will also have to be on board: I will lift the boot floor slightly so that it can fit where the biscuit is normally stored.

    Many Thanks

  2. #2
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    Default Re: ML 350CD Off Road Pack

    Bump...

    No comments either way? Anybody got one that he/she hates or loves?
    I want to "upgrade" it to a vehicle that I can take into the bush, run a fridge and not worry if I get a flat. I foresee an issue with fitting an RTT and or a roof rack as I'm told NOT to use the existing roof rails but rather have a channel fitted.
    Regards
    JackS

  3. #3
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    Default Re: ML 350CD Off Road Pack

    We tried this concept, but retrospectively this vehicle is not robuust enough for overlanding. Good offroader but the air suspension blows one by one. If you are prepared to put it on steel suspension it will be much better. To carry more weight on roof you will need tracks for the roofrack. For R600k you might get a G300CDI Professional?
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    Ps 16:5

  4. #4
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    Default Re: ML 350CD Off Road Pack

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris B View Post
    We tried this concept, but retrospectively this vehicle is not robuust enough for overlanding. Good offroader but the air suspension blows one by one. If you are prepared to put it on steel suspension it will be much better. To carry more weight on roof you will need tracks for the roofrack. For R600k you might get a G300CDI Professional?
    Fair enough on the air bellows, however you can sort out this issue by fitting Arnott Industries bellows, although it will cost you about R20k-R25k to replace all four.

    To get back to the op's question. Yes the ML with off-road pack is, as far as SUV's with IFS/ IRS suspensions go, quite capable as it has low range as well as central and rear differential locks coupled to 300mm of ground clearance.

    I paid R550k cash for my then 1 year old ML with 27 000Km on the odo in 2008, 10 years later it has cost an additional R160k in maintenance over the period. Adding fuel for the 12 000Km/ year it has done brings the total cost of ownership to about R910k over 10 years or R7 500.00 odd per month.

    As far as reliability goes, I have never been stranded on the side of the road. I do take care to carefully check my vehicle before any longish trips, I also attend to maintenance issues as and when they occur.

    Fitting a second battery permanently is going to be a challenge. I would simply put a battery box in the boot and connect up to the 20A power outlet situated in the boot area. In fact I would replace the cigarette lighter type plug with a Hella plug. The ML has an adaptive alternator and will increase voltage if it senses a load. It will also automatically disconnect the primary battery from the outlet supply once voltage drops below a certain threshold once the vehicle has been switched off.
    2019 Mahindra S6 Pik Up S/C 4x4
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  6. #5
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    Default Re: ML 350CD Off Road Pack

    The GLE or ML was never designed to be a tough over-landing vehicle. It should do well on dirt roads and occasional weekends away with some minor rough stuff.

    Having said that I do have a GLE with the Offroad + kit that lifts it 50mm and it's actually very capable off-road.

    Will I take it on a serious bundu bashing? No! For those trips you use a G-Wagon.

    Tyres make a big difference as they spec it for 90% of the customers - Sandton mommies.
    Last edited by ryanbe; 2018/04/19 at 08:47 PM.

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  8. #6
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    Default Re: ML 350CD Off Road Pack

    Quote Originally Posted by JackS View Post
    Bump...

    No comments either way? Anybody got one that he/she hates or loves?
    I want to "upgrade" it to a vehicle that I can take into the bush, run a fridge and not worry if I get a flat. I foresee an issue with fitting an RTT and or a roof rack as I'm told NOT to use the existing roof rails but rather have a channel fitted.
    Regards
    JackS
    Hi JackS,

    Did you end up buying the ML?

    I have a ML 350 Bluetech 2014 (W166) with the off-road package. It has a center difflock and low range, but no rear difflock. I think it was found not necessary (rightly or wrongly so) with the introduction of different computerised driving modes. Have had it for 15,000 km and very happy with it. Excellent drive on dirt road. Swapped my 19" wheels for 18"s at the dealership I bought it from and fitted General Grabber AT3s. No additional road noise worth mentioning, can't really say there is any.

    One thing that I do not like though, is the speed limits attached to the height settings. 20 km/h on highest setting, 40 km/h on 2 and 100 km/h on 1. It is probably for safety reasons, but I found this to be very annoying in the dunes. I am still investigating ways to overcome/override this issue.

    Still need to make a plan for a full size spare wheel and roof rack though... Having read other posts on the forum, it sounds as if one would be able to raise the floor in the boot to accommodate a full size spare. Would be interested to hear if you (or anybody else) have made these modifications.

    Regards,
    Jannie

  9. #7
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    Default Re: ML 350CD Off Road Pack

    Hi Jannie, just another thing on sand/dune riding. On the W163/164 you had to put ESP off for best results.
    Ps 16:5

  10. #8
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    Default Re: ML 350CD Off Road Pack

    Quote Originally Posted by janniepm View Post
    One thing that I do not like though, is the speed limits attached to the height settings. 20 km/h on highest setting, 40 km/h on 2 and 100 km/h on 1. It is probably for safety reasons, but I found this to be very annoying in the dunes. I am still investigating ways to overcome/override this issue.
    Wierd that MB made a difference between the ML and GL. My GL does 20km/h on highest setting, 80kmh on 2nd setting and 110km/h on 1st setting.
    GL comes with rear difflock aswell.
    Last edited by Allegro; 2018/07/19 at 08:05 PM.

    "A day without laughter is a day wasted"
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  11. #9
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    Default Re: ML 350CD Off Road Pack

    Hi Allegro,

    Ja, it is weird. I double checked and realised I had mine somewhat wrong, mine is 20 km/h on highest setting, 60 km/h on 2 and 100 km/h on 1. As I understand it, you can "lock" the Touareg's suspension when raised and it then limits the speed to 100 km/h, which is more practical. Not only in dunes, also with high middelmannetjies.

  12. #10
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    Default Re: ML 350CD Off Road Pack

    Quote Originally Posted by janniepm View Post
    Hi Allegro,

    Ja, it is weird. I double checked and realised I had mine somewhat wrong, mine is 20 km/h on highest setting, 60 km/h on 2 and 100 km/h on 1. As I understand it, you can "lock" the Touareg's suspension when raised and it then limits the speed to 100 km/h, which is more practical. Not only in dunes, also with high middelmannetjies.
    Dem, that could be a nice feature in MB aswell

    "A day without laughter is a day wasted"
    M.Benz GL350CDi Be AMG AKA "worshond"
    KTM 1190R Adventure

  13. #11
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    Default Re: ML 350CD Off Road Pack

    Hi Guys and Girls,

    No, I didn't buy in the end. I agonised too long, then realised that, actually, I will just carry on with the 2012 Fortuner.

    Still: every time I see one, a part of me wonders about "should have"...

    Thank you to everybody for taking the time and trouble to comment. It confirmed that it is a good vehicle and worth having another look at in the future. It also confirmed that this is a great place to exchange ideas and opinions!

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