Mercedes-Benz jumped into the sport-utility market in 1998 with its ML series of luxury SUV's and immediately made its mark. But other premium auto makers took square aim at the upscale SUV marketplace with entries of their own and the Mercedes ML series has had a major fight on its hands for the past ten years.
Mercedes gave their ML sport-utes a major make-over in 2006 and for 2008 the ML series offers four models from which to choose. From appearance to performance to luxury features, you're bound to find something to like in any of the ML series SUVs: The ML 350 V6, shown here, the diesel-powered 320 CDI, the V8-powered 550, and the ML 63 AMG high-performance SUV.
New for 2008, all ML's come standard with 19-inch wheels, and power sunroof, while the 550 gets an AMG styling package and running boards. The ML 63 AMG tops out the product line boasting 20-inch rims.
Power for the ML 350 comes from a Mercedes-Benz 3.5 liter V6 that churns out 268 horsepower that channels power through a state-of-the-art 7-speed automatic transmission. Full-time all-wheel drive is standard. The ML 320's V6 Diesel delivers 215 horsepower and the ML 500's V8 cranks out 382 horsepower. For power-hungry campers, the ML 63 AMG delivers 503 horses from its big 32 valve V8.
Fuel economy for the ML 350 is 15 miles per gallon city, 20, highway.
All ML Series SUVs come standard with automatic climate control, power-adjustable front seats and an eight-speaker stereo system. There's a slew of options including multi-contour seats, bi-xenon headlamps, a Harmon-Kardon Logic-7 sound system with glovebox mounted CD changer, a DVD-based navigation system, a rear-seat entertainment system, keyless go, Sirius Satellite radio and a sunroof.
For safety, there's traction and stability control, a full complement of passive restraints highlighted by Mercedes' pre-safe system which uses an onboard computer to automatically tighten safety belts, adjust seats to a more crashworthy position, and close the sunroof to prevent ejection in the event of a rollover. Mercedes' Tele Aid GPS system provides 24 hour emergency aid, information, road side assistance and vehicle recovery.
The MSRP for the 2008 Mercedes-Benz ML series of SUVs starts at $43,650 for the ML 350 shown here and climbs all the way to $86,650 for the ML 63 AMG.
Now entering its eleventh year of production, the new Mercedes-Benz ML series of SUVs offers all the luxury and style that we've come to expect from Mercedes, as well as plenty of power and performance.