Mercedes GL-Class M-Class 1998 to 2004 W163

Mercedes GL-Class M-Class 1998 to 2004 W163

    Common Faults


    Guide Price £ TBC

    Six-Speed Manuals – there have been several reports of failure of the manual transmission with 270CDI


    Guide Price £ TBC

    Sunroof – it is a multi-section sunroof and it has been known to fail. Failure of a single motor can create a problem for the entire sunroof and it is not a cheap fix


    Guide Price £ TBC

    Automatic Transmission – heat exchangers for the transmission are placed inside the radiators, so their failure can lead to coolant entering the transmission which leads to serious damage to the transmission, often making it completely useless


    Guide Price £ TBC

    Rust – like other cars from the Daimler Chrysler era, this one has also been known to rust


    Guide Price £ TBC

    Driver’s Seatbelt – it may unbuckle. The problem is not big and it is easily solved using a modified buckle


    Guide Price £ TBC

    Gas Conversion – for ML320 cars with LPG conversion, engines can rev up past the permitted zone, in which case the automatic transmission saves the engine from damage by shifting into neutral. This is solved by adding a control unit that switches to petrol at high rpms.


    Guide Price £ TBC

    Power Steering – oil cooler hose may leak which results in loss of power steering





    No recalls to report. Please let Star-Tec Engineering Ltd know if one has come out we have not shown.


    Model Types


    The Mercedes-Benz M-Class W163 (also known as the ML-Class) is a mid-size luxury SUV produced from 1997 until 2005. This is the only body type for the car, and you can go for RWD or AWD. The first generation was a body-on-frame car, while later ones went for unibody, and it seated five people, offering seven seats as an optional feature on the facelifted model, although they were smaller than the rest and access was a major issue. Standard, full-size seven seats were reserved for the flagship SUV from Mercedes-Benz – the GL-Class.


    Despite being a part of the Daimler-Chrysler years and having some build quality and reliability problems usually uncommon for Mercedes-Benz cars, it was still well accepted and it featured several innovations, such as being the first SUV with electronic stability control.

    Also, it was equipped with advanced safety systems and packed with front and side airbags, so the M-Class became one of the safest cars on the market, regularly snatching top marks in crash tests.


    Every year brought some changes, but in 2001 a major facelift came. It brought styling changes such as new head and tail lights, turn signals placement, front and rear bumpers and wheels options, but it also introduced new and technically superior engines, most of which increased displacement and power, but reduced fuel consumption.


    Trim Lines & Engines


    Standard equipment is already pretty good. It includes things like permanent AWD, Electronic Traction System, ESP, fog lamps for the front and rear, low-ratio transmission, heated mirrors with electric controls, cruise control, tinted windows and outside temperature gauge.


    Aside from these, and the AMG, there were other equipment packages that would add things in bulks, as per your wishes. For example, the Luxury pack added things like electrically adjustable front seats, wood interior and leather upholstery and steering wheel.

    The Family pack goes further to add things like two more seats in the third row, lockable box and pop-open rear windows.





    2.3 L M111.970 I4 (petrol)

    2.7 L OM612 I5 (t/c diesel)

    3.2 L M112 E32 V6 (petrol)

    3.7 L M112 E37 V6 (petrol)

    4.0 L OM628 V8 (t/c diesel)

    4.3 L M113 E43 V8 (petrol)

    5.0 L M113 E50 V8 (petrol)

    5.4 L M113 E55 V8 (petrol)


    Transmissions include two options: a 5-speed manual, or the more common 5-speed 5G-Tronic automatic.


    Model History


    The ML-Class was planned to replace the famed G-Class. This never happened and the G-Class is still here to stay, but the ML stayed as well, serving as a mid-sized SUV for the company. The initial idea was for it to be developed with Mitsubishi, but that was dropped after a short while and Mercedes went on to produce the car alone.


    The first one came in 1997, being the first SUV with ESC and unprecedented safety scores, and it was particularly good on snow or mud thanks to the four-wheel electronic traction system.


    The first few engines available included the 230 and 320 petrols and a 270 CDI diesel. In 1998 an ML 430 V8 came and a year after that an ML 55 AMG.


    The most comprehensive revision came in the form of the 2001 facelift which introduced several styling changes but, most notably, some new engines. The V8 was no longer the 4.3, but a 5L unit and an all new 4L V8 CDI diesel was introduced. In 2002 the 3.7 V6 petrol came, replacing the 3.2.


    The last ML-Class was sold in 2005 when it was replaced by the W164.




    W163 Mercedes-Benz M-Class/ML-Class

    Model Year – 1997-2005

    Class – Mid-size luxury SUV

    Body Style – 5-door SUV

    Drive Wheels – RWD / AWD

    Seating – 5 (7 as an optional feature)


    For information regarding our servicing options, please visit the Mercedes servicing page.

Services & Guides





Opening Hours


Mon-Fri 8:30 - 18:00

Saturday 8:30 - 13:00

Sunday Closed

Startec House, Unit 1 Davis Road, Chessington, Surrey, KT9 1TT | Company No: 07087762 | VAT No:153979467

Find Us


Telephone 020 8397 2666

Mobile 07985 675 038


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Mercedes GL-Class M-Class 1998 to 2004 W163
mercedes servicing epsom
Mercedes GL-Class M-Class 1998 to 2004 W163

Mercedes GL-Class M-Class 1998 to 2004 W163