Mercedes ML430 Specsby Harry Havemeyer
Mercedes Benz entered the midsize luxury SUV market with the 1998 Mercedes ML, initially only offered with a V-6 engine. The 1999 model year saw the introduction of the V-8 powered ML430. It was produced through the 2001 model year, after which ML500 took over as the V-8 model with a larger, more powerful engine than the ML430 featured.
The ML430 derived its power from a naturally aspirated 4.3-liter, V-8 engine. This motor had a 24-valve SOHC design with a 3.54-inch bore, 3.31-inch stroke and a compression ratio of 10-to-1. Output for this eight-cylinder engine was rated at 268 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 288 foot-pounds of torque at 3,000 rpm.
The ML430 was built on Mercedes' W163 chassis. This vehicle was a front-engine, four-wheel drive design that offered four doors and a rear hatch. The hatch of the ML was top-hinged and opens upward, providing easy access to the vehicle's 40.4 cubic feet of cargo room. The ML430 offered standard seating for five people, while the 2000 and 2001 model years offered optional seating for seven.
The ML430's 4,696-pound curb weight sat on a 111-inch wheelbase with a 61.2-inch track. The body of this mid-size SUV was 180.6 inches long, 72.2 inches wide and 69.6 inches tall. A set of 275/55R17 size tires connected this SUV to the ground with 8.4 inches of ground clearance below the undercarriage. The ML430 benefited from a tight turning diameter of just 37 feet.
The ML430's leather and wood-grain-clad interior provided front-seat occupants with 39.8 inches of headroom, 40.3 inches of legroom, 58.3 inches of shoulder room and 55 inches of hip room. Occupants of the ML430's second row of seats were afforded 39.7 inches of headroom, 38 inches of legroom, 57.9 inches of shoulder room and 54.7 inches of hip room.
Payload and Towing
The ML430's sturdy truck chassis and 288 foot-pounds of engine torque afforded it a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds. The payload capacity of this vehicle's W163 chassis is rated at 1,378 pounds.
Crash Test Information
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's frontal offset crash test earned the ML430 a "good" overall rating. This is the highest rating on the IIHS's four-tier grading scale.
The ML430 yielded 16 mpg in city driving and 20 mpg on the highway. Fuel was drawn from a 19-gallon tank.
Harry Havemeyer began writing in 2000. He has written articles for the "San Antonio Express-News" and the "Tulane Hullabaloo." Havemeyer holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science and philosophy from Tulane University.