So you’re looking for a cheap used car. You want something with a little excitement; a little performance. Perhaps you want one of the most sought-after high-performance brand names in the used car world: AMG. Behold, the Mercedes ML55 AMG which, to the surprise of probably everyone who assembled it, does still exist.
The ML55 AMG came out in 2000 and brought the AMG features we knew and loved from the C- and E-Class to the M-Class. That meant large, flat-faced wheels; a bigger engine; and styling modifications that were undetectable to the naked eye but proudly detailed in a 24-page German press release.
Yes, some of them broke. OK, all of them broke. But the ML55 AMG is cool for two reasons. One, it arguably kicked off the high-performance SUV trend, which is generally agreed to be among the most offensive market segments in the car business. Plus, it had red brake calipers.
Each ML55 came lovingly prepared by several factory workers in Alabama, which is exactly who you’d want to build a high-performance German vehicle. They all had a 342-horsepower 5.4-liter V8 that made 376 pound-feet of torque at just 3,000 rpm. It may not sound like much, but it held a 20-horsepower advantage over the S500 of the time.
Stunningly, ML55 quality was poor and most of them have broken down by now. The remaining ones will probably break soon. But who cares when you look so subtly good?