Intro: The M-Class from Mercedes-Benz delivers a luxury car-like ride in a 5-passenger SUV, as well as moderate off-road capabilities for those occasional family adventures.
The 2011 M-Class is a carryover from the 2010 model seen here. It is available in ML350, ML350 BlueTec (blue tech), ML550 and ML63 AMG, each with their own specific engine ranging from practical and fuel-efficient to down right potent.
Performance: The ML350 BlueTec is equipped with a 210-horsepower 3-liter diesel V6. The base ML350 gets a 3.5-liter V6 that puts out 268 horsepower and 258 pound feet of torque. The ML550's 5.5-liter V8 delivers 382 horsepower and 391 pound feet of torque. The ML63 AMG boasts a 6.3-liter V8 making 503 horsepower and 465 pound feet of torque. The base ML350 sends power through a 7-speed automatic transmission to either rear-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive, while all other models come standard with a 7-speed automatic and all-wheel drive.
Fuel Economy: Here are the highest and lowest EPA estimates for fuel economy:
Features: Our ML350 BlueTec model came standard with black leather interior, 8-way power adjustable front seats, power tilt-telescoping steering wheel and polished maple wood trim in the center console.
Optional equipment includes Mercedes' COMMAND hard drive based navigation system, backup camera, rear-seat climate control, and rear seat DVD entertainment system with fixed monitors on the back of both front seats.
The 60/40 split rear seats fold flat, giving way to 72.4 cubic feet of cargo space.
Safety: Standard safety features include: 4-wheel antilock brakes with brake assist, electronic stability program, and a full array of frontal and side impact airbags, including side curtain airbags for both rows.
Pricing/Warranty: Base MSRP for the 2011 Mercedes-Benz M-Class is $46,490. A range-topping ML63 AMG starts at $92,590. The M-Class is backed by a 4-year, 50,000-mile power train warranty.
Summary: With sharp styling and the availability of a fuel-efficient diesel powerplant, the 2011 Mercedes-Benz M-Class offers versatility, capability, and style, in a standard-setting luxury SUV.