Skip to main content

New Addition: 2011 GL550

After the lease for our Honda Accord Hybrid ended, we decided that we needed something a little larger. We realized that we didn't have any vehicle that could carry something larger than a small (maybe medium?) box. So I set out searching for something that might give us a little more flexibility.

I looked at trucks and while I wasn't looking for something new, the used prices on any decent truck was way more than I was willing to pay. Having had a 1999 F250, I was also weighing exactly how usable a truck would be for the majority of our driving. I just couldn't make the higher cost, lower options and lesser practicality balance in my book. So I kept looking....

As with everyone these days, I started looking at SUVs - it seemed a natural progression. Apparently, I'm not alone. The demand for new and used SUVs (and the death of many new sedans in favor of SUVs), quickly showed me I was late to this game. I was hoping for something around the $15-20k range, maybe a little lower - since I didn't need it to be perfect, just comfortable and reliable. 

What I found was that there were really few options for anything in the five to six year old range. Mostly due to price - they were far above my budget and I quickly wrote them off. The ones that were left in my price range were mostly at least eight or nine years old. And the were almost all higher mileage vehicles. Then I found the beauty of German depreciation - specifically Mercedes-Benz depreciation.

The ML and GL class, seemed to be good candidates, so I began learning about the possibilities. I started focusing on pre-2012, mostly because I liked the idea of normally aspirated engine, and a desire to avoid potential future complications of the more "advanced" engines.

Of course, there are known issues with the GL's including the air suspension. But, while expensive, the fixes were long lasting and the transmission and engine were known to be fairly reliable. One of the most significant selling points, at least for me, was that unlike other SUVs I was considering, the Mercedes tend to have owners who consistently maintain their vehicles. I was willing to gamble with this knowledge and find one that had a pretty consistent maintenance history in the hope that I'd be able to minimize potential future issues.

I happened to find a 2008 ML550 at my local indy shop and took it for a spin. I was very impressed with the handling and the power...very, very impressed. But not so impressed with this example. It was clean, but had some cracks in the bumpers and some significant scuffing of the wheels - things that could be fixed, but not necessarily things I was interested in fixing while still gambling on some of the potential larger expenses.

I was definitely hook on the 550s and started digging in earnest. I found some nice examples in my price range, but then I came across a 2011 GL550 with just under 100k for around $14,500. I new I was gambling, but the silver would match my 2002 CLK430 and I was hooked. I bought mine knowing that at least one of the air struts was bad. And it needed new tires. And it needed to be caught up on some routine maintenance items, but earlier this month I drove to Cleveland to bring my new-to-me car home.

I quickly ordered new tires - opting for Continentals after scouring reviews online for days. So far, I'm very happy with the choice! I also replaced all four air struts with new Arnott's - having a lifetime warranty on such an expensive item just made sense and it gives me piece of mind. My indy shop knocked out all of the maintenance, including the flushing and replacing all of the fluids and oils, just because I was lazy and they needed it to mount the tires anyway. And it as cold. And I'm lazy. But I now feel much better knowing that it's current on everything and ready to roll.

So, for now, here's my newest addition:


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Desktop TD 1.5 Addiction - In Full Force

Okay, I've been struggling with Desktop Tower Defense . I've been frustrated, I've been thrilled. As Debra says "its all about hopes and dreams, hopes and dreams." Well, quite frankly, I've had a lot of dreams about completing just the medium level. And up until today, they've been just that, dreams. I'm now please to say that I've graduduated. I've completed all 50 phases of the medium level! Hurray for me! (Lets face it, I'm sure you're not saying that, so let me have a little self-congratulatory praise for a minute...sheesh.) Although, even though I completed all the phases, my score still doesn't rival some of the board leaders. I'm a little confused...I only let 4 creeps through, yet my score is a couple of thousand less than the leaders. How is that possible? Can anyone clue me in? Anyway, I figured I'd share my maze with you, although - after looking at hundreds of other mazes, I've come to realize its less abou

A Year in the Making...

Toward the end of last summer, Debra approached me with an idea. Usually, her ideas are pretty scary and involve the purchase of a mini-horse. (Thanks for that, Amanda!) However, this time, I have to admit that I got wrapped in her idea, and as usual, made it a much more complicated affair. Put simply, Debra wanted a video that she could air on FlyerTV, UD's campus channel, that would provide some publicity for her office, the Office of Community Standards & Civility . She wanted something subtle and funny. One afternoon, we took the video cam out and spent about two hours driving around in the setting sun filming for her video. Yes, I did make her sign a release - no illegal, hidden spycams here, no siree bob! Then the editing began. That's pretty much what delayed the release of her video until today. I happened to be cleaning out some old hard drives and found the 75% completed video and decided it was high time that I actually finished it for her. I hope I've manage

CLK430: Tires and Wheels

Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class 2002 CLK 430 Basic Info Generation: 208 [1997 .. 2002] Power: 275 hp | 205 kW | 279 PS Engine: V8, Petrol Center Bore: 66.6 mm Wheel Fasteners: Lug bolts Thread Size: M12 x 1.5 Trim Production: [1998 .. 2002] Tire Rim Rim Pressure 225/45ZR17 88W 7.5Jx17 ET37 5x112 2.3/2.5 245/40ZR17 91W 8.5Jx17 ET30 5x112 2.3/2.5 Vehicle's recommended cold tire inflation pressure. It is measured in bars or PSI (pounds per square inch) from:  https://www.wheel-size.com/size/mercedes/clk-class/2002/ Wheels (from  http://www.wheelcollision.com/store/MERCEDES-CLK-CLASS208-209CHASSIS.htm ) 65257 17x7.5 AMG Thin 5 Spk 1704011302 Compatible with 02-03 MERCEDES CLK430 Part # H 65257 Finish/Direction: 208 CHASSIS - FRONT 65258 17x8.5 AMG Thin 5 Spk 1704011402 Compatible with 02-03 MERCEDES CLK430 Part # H 65258 Finish/Direction: 208 CHASSIS - REAR