2010 Lexus RX350 or Mercedes-Benz ML350? Which is a better luxury SUV for you?


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In 2010, the RX350 and ML350 were the two common luxury SUVs that found its way to the Nigerian used car market. What would fit you better? Let's find out!


ML350 VS RX350 Head to Head

1. Overview

The Lexus RX and Mercedes-Benz ML are the two go-to 2010 mid-size luxury crossover SUV in Nigeria with the Lexus being more popular. This is because the 2010 RX350 is part of the third generation RX SUV. The Lexus RX SUV evolution in Nigeria has already proven to be worthy of the "Luxury SUV " title just like the generally high-ranking Mercedes, Range Rover, and BMW brand.


Two mid-size luxury SUVs you can easily buy in Nigeria

Today, I will be comparing a used 2010 Lexus RX350 vs Mercedes-Benz ML350; which is better for you? External appearance, interior design, performance, reliability, features, and more will be the basis of our comparison today.

2. Nigerian background of both cars

The new GLE-Class Mercedes-Benz SUV line used to be the "M" Class until 2012 when the first GLE was introduced. The M-Class produced between 1997 - 2012 has been a widely accepted mid-size luxury SUV in Nigeria amongst people that can afford this car. The first-generation Mercedes-Benz M-Class has the ML320 that was very common 8 years ago in Nigeria until the Lexus RX300 came and stole the show.

The moment Nigerian luxury vehicle buyers realized that the Lexus RX300 and RX330 could do the same job of the high-esteemed ML320, everyone just geared in the direction of the RX.

>>> Also check out this Comparison between the Lexus RX330 and RX350 

The second-generation M-Class Mercedes-Benz is the major competitor to the second and third-generation Lexus RX but for the sake of this article, I will be comparing the 2010 RX against the 2010 M-Class. This comparison is very relevant to anyone looking to buy the third-generation Lexus RX up till 2011 and the second generation Mercedes M-Class SUV up till 2011.

3. Used 2010 Lexus RX350 vs Mercedes-Benz ML350 Comparison 

3.1. Exterior Style and design

Both cars have been carefully styled to look premium but because the Mercedes-Benz second generation is older than the RX third generation, the RX looks more advanced in design compared to the ML. Take a look at the clear taillight design of the RX350 alone, it displaces the regular looking taillight of the ML.


Looking at the exterior, we can see they are similar but different at some points 

The RX packs a slimmer grille, slimmer headlight, and a more refined bodyline making it slope towards the rear with nice rear spoilers while the ML appeals more to the older generation because of the traditional large Mercedes-Benz grille, obvious body lines, and an upright standing design.


The Benz looks more rugged and actually it is

The ML350 just appears to be the rugged-looking car amongst the duet but it still retains that Mercedes-Benz appeal that the E-Class and C-Class have managed to create in the minds of Nigerians.

The RX350 is the more stylish contender here to me, let us not forget; beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.

Both cars can be upgraded/facelifted easily in Nigeria.


The possibility of face-lifting both cars is awesome if you ask me

The W164 aka ML350 can be facelifted to look like the 2013 GLE350 with codename W166 while the 2010 RX350 can be facelifted to look like the L-Finesse 2012 RX or the present generation RX350 and that is good news.

3.2. Interior Style and Design

Both cars have a high-end material selection for the interior with standard leather upholstery but the RX interior is just way more advanced than the ML350 in terms of technology and comfort.

The wood finishing in both cars is premium. The RX has a bigger interior space compared to the ML350 but the ML doesn't lack interior space either. If you want a bigger Mercedes-SUV then you have to go for the GL-Class now known as the GL-Class Mercedes. For Lexus, the bigger SUV is the LX570 and the GX460.


Looking at the rear seat, the Benz is smaller but looks more luxurious 

The RX infotainment has a triangular design, very easy to use, and features some of the coolest functions like the optional Mark-Levinson surround system. 

The ML350 COMMAND system is very complex, it takes most drivers time to learn how to use it. The infotainment also looks so old fashioned compared to today's cars but the 2010 RX350 infotainment still fits in today with its trackpad control.


Interior comparison of both cars

For features, both cars don't lack heated and ventilated front seats, bi-xenon adaptive headlights and rain-sensing wipers, power driver seat, cruise control, power windows, locks, and mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, and an auxiliary audio jack.

3.3. Performance 

Both SUVs have a standard V6 power train on a unibody platform that Lexus introduced with the first generation RX300.

The ML350 first generation was a body-on-frame design just like the Toyota Land-Cruiser. The RX350 uses a 3.5-litre V6 engine paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission that produces 279 hp while the ML350 has a 3.5-litre engine paired to a 7-speed automatic transmission that produces 268hp. No inline-four engine available for both cars because they are luxurious and cannot afford to move like a snail.

The RX350 is 0.4 seconds faster than the ML350 based on acceleration but the ML350 drives sportier than the RX350. With the ML model, there is an AMG ML63 available and a V8 ML550 for high-performance luxury SUV lovers. The RX model has only one engine setup but introduced the F-Sport in 2012 which still uses the same V6 engine. The ML63 is almost two times faster than the ML350.

The RX350 has a standard front-wheel-drive setup and an optional all-wheel-drive option while the ML350 comes as a standard rear-wheel-drive setup and an optional 4matic setup which is a four-wheel-drive. The fact that the ML350 has a standard rear-wheel-drive will make it drive like an actual Sports Utility Vehicle.

3.4. Durability and Reliability

The Lexus RX350 reliability is the winner here. Owners of the RX350 in Nigeria talk all the time about how the car never develops a fault out of the blue. This is because the Lexus builds reliable cars like Toyota Motors then adds luxury to it.

Mercedes-Benz has built its reputation over the years for being the go-to car for luxury and status recognition but reliability has never been its strong point.


Both are capable off-road SUVs but the Benz does it better

The common problems of the 2010 Mercedes-Benz ML350 include:

  • Seat belt and Airbag problems 
  • Failing injection nozzle 
  • A/C problems 

The common problems of the 2010 RX350 include:

  • Airbag light 
  • Brake related problems 
  • Oil leaks fro engine and power steering rack 
  • Cracking dashboard 

Safety-wise, the  Mercedes-Benz ML350  got tested by the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) while the Lexus RX350 didn't. This test makes the ML350 have a better safety rating than the RX350.

Both cars have a wide range of safety features like airbags, electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, and traction control are standard on both cars. PRE-SAFE, a safety system that senses collisions before they happen, is also now a standard feature on M-Class models.

4. Affordability

A petrol engine car gets to chop your money week in week out as you drive it because you have to fuel and maintain it. This is what determines the affordability of a car. Now, let us compare them both.

4.1. Fuel Economy

Averagely, for every 100km you drive on the RX350 you will use about 10.6 litres of petrol while with the ML350, you will use 11.4 litres of petrol. With that in mind, the RX350 is friendlier when it comes to fuel economy.

The RX has a hybrid RX450h option for lower fuel consumption while the ML has the ML350 with BlueTec technology that employs diesel fuel and consumes a very low amount of fuel.

4.2. Maintenance and Cost of Spare Parts

The ML350 has more expensive maintenance and its spare parts are slightly more expensive than that of the RX350. 

The labour cost in fixing Mercedes-Benz cars generally is more than that of the Lexus because Mercedes-Benz technicians are mostly specialist and they charge more than regular Japanese car technicians that work on Lexus cars.


They both have proven to be safe but the ML still wins because of extra certification

The RX350 and ML350 both have spare parts that are very much available all over the country.

5. Price Comparison 

Here are the prices of both cars for the 2010 model and other year models around the 2010 year model in the used car market in Nigeria:

Locally used 2010 Mercedes-Benz ML350 and Lexus RX350 price in Nigeria
 Lexus RX350 price Mercedes-Benz ML350 price
₦ 4,800,000 million – ₦ 6,500,000 ₦4,000,000 – ₦4,500,000

Foreign used Mercedes-Benz ML350 and Lexus RX350 price  in Nigeria 

Lexus RX350PRICE Mercedes-Benz ML350 price
₦ 6,000,000 – ₦ 9,500,000 ₦5,500,000 – ₦6,000,000

As you can see, the Lexus RX350 price in Nigeria is higher because it has a better resale value just because it is very reliable and has very few generic problems. This tells us that more and more people are buying the RX350 while the ML350 price in Nigeria gets devalued daily as more people shy away from it and switch onto the all-new GLE design from 2012.

6. Alternatives to both cars

The best alternative to both the 2010 Lexus RX350 and Mercedes ML350 is the Acura MDX. A 3.7-litre V6 engine car that has a bad reputation as a fuel guzzler. Other worthy competitors to both cars would be the 2010 Volvo XC90, Volkswagen Touareg, Audi Q7, and the BMW X5. 

Summary & Verdict 

The Lexus car is the more reliable car here for Nigerians. Looking at all our considerations, the Lexus just lacks when it comes to driving dynamics and performance on the road. The RX350 based on utility beats the ML350 hands down.

Deciding which car to buy between the two in Nigeria, I would say the RX350 is a better car just because used ML350s on sale would have had their reliability level beaten down and you just cannot trust the car on the road except you have a complete and accurate history of the car.

I hope you'll find my guidelines useful in the process of selection. In case you have two minutes to spare, I invite you to check out Naijauto.com, where we have the ML350 and RX350 for sale in Nigeria:

Our comparison review on used 2010 Lexus RX350 vs Mercedes-Benz ML350; which is better for you? ends here. We believe you now have the answer for yourself. Please stay tuned with us for all the latest information about the auto industry!

>>> Get brand new, foreign used, and locally used cars on our car for sale section. Do check them out!

>>> Check out Naijauto.com for more interesting reviews and car price articles like this brought to you by our auto experts.




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Crank - the head of content for 234DRIVE is a mechanic/car enthusiast/car vlogger that writes and creates relatable motoring experiences. Whenever he lays his hands on any car, he reviews them in depth. He calls himself the 'Educative Car Guy'.

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