ML Snow Tire Page

To get the most out of our ML320 when we travel up into the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the winter we equipped it with a set of good snow tires.

We picked Yokohama Guardex RV/F340's, the 245x70x16 size was chosen because 255x65x16 were not available in the fall of 1998. We priced these tires and 16" ATP replica II wheels locally, but The TireRack offered the same tires and wheels for over US$400 less. There are now other brands and sizes available for the ML320,  it's recommended that you contact the The TireRack folks for what's currently available.

But do they make a difference? Yes, and we didn't quit realize it until we made a trip up to Truckee, CA early in the winter of  1999-2000. With the OEM Dunlop GrandTrek tires our ML would engage ESP sooner and ABS much sooner and it would not track as well (all comments apply to behavior on compact snow and ice).

But aren't they a pain on dry pavement? Well no, they make slightly more tire noise but not to the point that tire noise becomes a mind numbing drone. They seem to provide about equivalent behavior in wet conditions.

But don't they wear out quickly? Well these Yokohama's showed very little wear after their first winter (~9,400 mi). Now this was not the case with the older Bridgestone Blizzak's, which we used on the ML's predecessor.

Recommendation/Bias: If you are willing to spend around US$40,000 for a fine vehicle with 4-wheel drive and advanced traction systems like the M-Class, find the extra US$1,000 to equip it with good snow tire if you live in or go play in snow country!

This is a photograph showing how much taller the 245x70x16's are than the OEM 255x65x16's (Dunlops in our case).

OEM Dunlop GrandTrek (L) & Yokohama Guardex (R)

Note the much higher density of sipes (thin zig-zagy lines in the tread) on the snow tires as compared to the stock tires.


Last Updated 1999-12-16