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Last week I looked at the cleanest 2002 Mercedes-Benz ML55 AMG that I’ve seen and the comments on it were a mixed bag. We actually had a few owners of ML55s chime in and report their experiences with them. There were no ”Alabama trashcan” comments, but we were awfully close. I thought that would be the end of me looking at the W163s for a while outside of something really crazy and it turns out something crazy did pop up. This 2002 ML500 in California comes with an impressive 325,000 miles and looks like it has about a third of that. Chalk it up to some loving owners and the California climate for keeping this thing looking as nice as it does but maybe it is time to give the W163 some credit. Just a little?
A few weeks ago I checked out a hilariously ostentatious 2014 Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG that literally could do almost everything. As head-shaking as the GL63 is, that thing just gets lost in the sea of all the super SUVs out there with 500 horsepower and 325 wide tires that get used, abused and discarded to the Buy-Here, Pay-Here lots of the world right as the warranty runs out. We can say that about a lot of these SUVs all the way back to one of the first super-SUVs to start this power war: the ML55 AMG. It has been a few years since I’ve taken a look at one, but the short of it is AMG borrowed the M113 5.4 V8 from the W210 E55 and somehow squeezed it into the short snout of the W163. They added some different bumpers and them some 285 wide tires to keep this thing from flipping over. It did 60 mph in under 6 seconds and was generally pretty stout outside of the common issues that plagued all W163s. Over 15 years later, these are becoming relatively rare thanks to just a few thousand ever made and well, the W163 not exactly being the most well-built machine ever. This 2002 up for sale in Florida seemed to dodge a life of abuse thanks to the just 16,300 miles on the odometer. Is it time to maybe think about snagging one of these?
Before the world of Porsche Cayenne Turbo, BMW X5M, and Audi SQ5, there was the W163 ML55 AMG. It was the quickest, fastest, best-handling and quite frankly the baddest SUV we’ve seen since the days of the Lamborghini LM002. The mad men at AMG decided to go borrow a couple a M113 engines from the E55 and squeeze it into the normally tame ML-Class. Then they threw some giant 285/50/18 tires on to keep it under control. They didn’t forget bulging fender flares to cover those massively wide tires either. What this left us with was a ML that would run 0-60 mph in 6.3 seconds and top out at over 150 mph. I’m trying to picture the faces of the workers in Alabama when this thing showed up from Affalterbach for final assembly. So let’s take a look at this 2001 ML55 AMG located in Miami.