We purchased a 2006 Mercedes ML350 recently for our Daughter’s first car. We went with the ML350 because it has 5-Star crash ratings in all categories and it was reasonably priced. Further it was easier for our Daughter to drive than our large SUV. The ML350 was reasonably priced because it had 105,000 miles and did not have navigation, a backup camera or phone integration. So I purchased new GPS Head Unit for the ML350 with Bluetooth hands free phone and iPod integration from Seicane.com and will write up a tutorial on the installation and a review of the unit as soon as I get a chance.
When we decided to buy it, we knew going in that we would add GPS, a rearview camera and hands-free phone integration. I looked into adding the factory GPS as well as factory phone integration. Both were available on e-bay, but even a used GPS part was expensive. In order to add navigation, I would have to buy the GPS DVD part and add it to the existing head unit, this was $500 for a used one. The phone integration was almost $1,000 and from what I read was not that great and I would still need to add a backup camera. So, after $1,500 plus, I would have a DVD based navigation system from 2006 and weak phone integration. This would not do.
Therefore, I did some research online, surfed the Mercedes forums at BenzWorld.org and MBWorld.org, both of which provided a ton of useful information and help. Because of the unique shape of the factory head unit, I could not go with a standard 2-Din aftermarket head unit. Which was fine with me as I prefer the look of a factory system. After a lot of reading and searching I decided on a new GPS head unit from Seicane.com. It looks factory and has all the features I wanted including a modern GPS, touch-screen, iPod integration, hands-free Bluetooth calling, back-up camera integration and more. You can even it get it with Digital TV input if you want.
Our Mercedes has the upgraded Harman Kardon sound system which uses fiber optics to the amp, so I also had to buy a new amp. I went with an Alpine MRX-V70 because of the compact size and good reviews.
I had read some bad reviews of similar systems from other Chinese vendors and some good reviews for this vendor. However, based on the price, $510, and the fact that I wanted it to look factory, I decided to take the risk and try it out. I will post a tutorial covering the installation and a review of the system once it is installed and working.