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Mercedes-Benz ML 250 blue tec sport 2013 review


Overall towcar rating

*****


Key information

  • Transmission: Automatic
  • Year of manufacture: 2013
  • Fuel type: Diesel
  • Engine size: 2180cclitres
  • Solo fuel economy: 42 miles per gallon
  • Towing fuel economy: 29 miles per gallon
  • Kerb weight: 2200 kg
  • Nose weight: 150 kg
  • Body type: Other

Towcar summary

What's good?

Superb comfort, economical & effortless long distance cruiser. We tow at 1500 kgs so would expect to hardly know there's a van behind. Manual paddle shift great for downhill engine breaking assistance on extreme roads. Cruise control really excellent for motorway work. Just completed a 3100 mile towing trip to Croatia via Austrian Alps and various exciting mountain passes - just superb and 29.5 mpg round trip.

What's bad?

It's took some time to get up to speed with all the technology from our old car a W163 ML ! Very pleased took the time to learn but was a bit challenging.

Would you recommend it?

Yes

Towing performance *****

How well does it tow?

Very very good. 7 speed auto with Eco,sport & manual paddle shift modes. Fitted an aftermarket bosal oris detachable tow bar which is oe , 620 plus vat in 2015. Have had the pleasure of pulling a Motorhome out of a muddy field with it also !

Solo performance *****

What's it like without the caravan?

Well we find it very good. A common moan on the web is that the 250 is sluggish. This is mainly due to drivers using the Eco setting which I was told uses 2nd gear to set off, for Economy, so yes it's sluggish. In heavy traffic I sometimes switch to the sport mode, handy when in traffic or towing for more rapid set offs.

Reliability *****

Anything to look out for?

We searched long and hard to find one of the early 2013 / 2012 cars with a decent high specification and a bonus sunroof at a price we could stretch to. Factory tow bars very very rare. You cannot get merc mud flaps for the w166 sport with the usual running boards. We eventually found some in Hong Kong at a bargain price, a great fit but the back ones have MB spelt wrongly ! If buying a new one then it's the spec of the one in stock or get ready for the price climb steeply with the extras.

Practicality ****

Is it easy to live with?

Yes but it's a big car for regular around town driving, perhaps too big. Eats all the gear and more we put in. Good flexible rear seats for folding down. Electric boot option is a good option to look out for.

Buying experience ***

Did you buy it new or used?

Used

Where did you buy it?

Franchised dealer

What was the seller like?

MB main dealer. Car was actually reasonably priced compared to others as mileage was high for a 2 year old car. Car had loads of extras as private / business user had ticked all he could thankfully.

 

All opinions, facts and figures are those of the reviewer. Caravan Talk accepts no responsibility for accuracy of the content.



13 Comments

Tigerfish will be along in a moment as I am sure he will be interested in your report

Very much as I expected!  The ML is a superb tow car in all its variants. I know that I'm an old dinosaur and prefer the V6 350 over the 4 cylinder 250, but do have to accept the better economy of the 250.

 

Whatever The ML is a truly outstanding Tow Car!

 

TF

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Birdingbilly
Oct 13 2016 08:10 pm

If the 29mpg is the towing mpg that really is excellent for such a big beast.

I think that the 29.5 mpg was probably an overall figure both towing and sightseeing solo.  That would tie in with my 35 solo and 24 mpg towing 1600 kg.  I actually got 40mpg (Solo) out of mine recently on a run, & don't forget mine is the 3 Litre V6 version!

Hi again,
To clarify we really didn't have much in the way of solo running, maybe 200 miles only which included 80 on the superb Grossglockner - heavy motoring. But yes when solo it's usually 40 plus pottering around. Also note were only towing a 1500kgs van.
There were day runs of 250 miles where we actually did 30.5 mpg on the computer. I'm happy given the very modest daily fill ups of decent branded fuel or v power and the combined totals at the end of the tour that the mpg was pretty accurate.
I'd also say that another owner on same car outfit could do 5 mpg less easily with a slightly heavier right foot, poor fuel and not using the cruise control efficiently for the same journey time. This trip wasn't an economy test though.
I was concerned prior to purchase at the lack of real use info on this model when towing so hope this helps somebody else to choose this really excellent & economical large car.

Just took a heavy knock in my wallet after a winter safety check!  A bill of about £2,000!  4 new tyres, (expected) Front & rear brake pads (expected) 4 new discs (NOT expected)  overhaul of parking brake mechanism (suspected)  Leak in Turbo pipe and union (not expected)

Mind you the old girl is approaching 6 years old now and has done 69,000 so was due some TLC. This is the first real expenditure other than tyres and brake pads at about 35,000 so she hasn't actually been a cash cow until now.

TF

Just took a heavy knock in my wallet after a winter safety check!  A bill of about £2,000!  4 new tyres, (expected) Front & rear brake pads (expected) 4 new discs (NOT expected)  overhaul of parking brake mechanism (suspected)  Leak in Turbo pipe and union (not expected)

Mind you the old girl is approaching 6 years old now and has done 69,000 so was due some TLC. This is the first real expenditure other than tyres and brake pads at about 35,000 so she hasn't actually been a cash cow until now.

TF

 

Was that at a main stealer dealer or an independent?

 

Cheers

 

Keith

Just picked up my ML350 2013 (yesterday) so far so good, towing a jet ski home from Welsh coast tomorrow, looking forward to the new van next month.

Main dealer Keith, the one that I bought it from and has maintained it throughout.

 

TF

Main dealer Keith, the one that I bought it from and has maintained it throughout.

 

TF

 

Just did my tyres at £134 per corner, fitted and balanced. Expecting disks & pads at next service - in around 9k. Always use a local independent, one dealership has the monopoly in East Anglia and they are dire!

 

Cheers

Keith

Yes but be VERY careful re your choice of tyres!  My Blue Efficiency ML 300 CDI averaged about 35 MPG until I changed the first set of tyres at 35,000. I specified original equipment Michelins, but then noticed that my average dropped to less than 30. So I made a big fuss. Then Michelin admitted that they had not realised that my ML was a Blue Efficiency model whose tyres have a lower rolling resistance than the standard ML. They re fitted the correct tyres at their expense and lo & behold my fuel efficiency was restored!

 

Lesson - Not all tyres are the same or suited to your car!  Check that you not only have premium quality tyres, but they are really the right ones for your car!

 

TF

Yes but be VERY careful re your choice of tyres!  My Blue Efficiency ML 300 CDI averaged about 35 MPG until I changed the first set of tyres at 35,000. I specified original equipment Michelins, but then noticed that my average dropped to less than 30. So I made a big fuss. Then Michelin admitted that they had not realised that my ML was a Blue Efficiency model whose tyres have a lower rolling resistance than the standard ML. They re fitted the correct tyres at their expense and lo & behold my fuel efficiency was restored!

 

Lesson - Not all tyres are the same or suited to your car!  Check that you not only have premium quality tyres, but they are really the right ones for your car!

 

TF

Thanks for that tip on o/e tyres.

Have just re-done our MB extended warranty, £1130 for the year on Tier 1 cover as 66k / 3 year old now. The view of my friend who is car trade was that its worth paying as, apart from the potential for a claim, one day we will sell the car and the fact that it has a MB warranty will be very attractive to buyers as we do normally do a private sale route - we'll see.

M

I have to say that my ML was returned to me looking and feeling like a new car.  its surprising what a new set of tyres and a full brake overhaul can do. The Leaky turbo has been overhauled, the parking brake re-set and several other jobs done too .  Total bill £1,997.50 so they were not far out with their estimate of £2,000.

I know that it is easy to run down main dealers, but Mercedes Benz of Weston Super Mare, is a relatively small garage compared to most I have seen, and you do seem to get very good personalised treatment.

Feeling bruised in the wallet but nevertheless fairly upbeat!

 

TF