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2011 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

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2011 Mercedes-Benz M-Class Review

Likeable enough SUV but not very exciting

Reviewed by Automotive on

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz M-Class is a luxury sport utility vehicle (SUV) that is one of the carmaker's top-sellers because it's practical and dependable. Engine options include the 6.2-liter V-8 AMG 503 horsepower engine, the 5.5-liter V-8 engine 382 horsepower engine, the 3.5-liter V-6 hybrid 275 horsepower engine, the gas operated 3.5-liter V-6 268 horsepower engine and the 3.0-liter diesel-operated V-6 210 horsepower engine. The hybrid engine is coupled to the eight-speed continuously variable transmission (CVT), but the other engines are paired to the seven-speed automatic transmission. The Mercedes M-Class can tow 7200 pounds.

While Mercedes improved the ride on the M-Class, it hasn't improved the SUV's off-road handling. Boasting good SUV safety ratings, the M-Class offers an array of high technology safety equipment. With an EPA fuel efficiency rating of 15 mpg city / 20 mpg highway, the M-Class does better than most in its class.

New for 2011

With a 275-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 engine and two electric motors, 2011 Mercedes M-Class hybrid achieves a fuel economy rating of 21 mpg city / 24 mpg highway. The M-Class has new LED daytime running lights, side mirrors were redesigned, rearview mirror now includes a compass, and blind spot assist, rearview camera are now available, and Diamond White Metallic was added as a new paint color.


Engines: 3.0L V-6, 3.5L V-6, 3.5L V-6 w/ two electric motors, 5.5L V-8, 6.2L V-8
Transmissions: 7-speed automatic, continuously variable transmission (CVT)
Body Style: SUV
Trims: ML350 BlueTEC Sport Utility, ML350 Sport Utility, ML450 Hybrid Sport Utility, ML550 Sport Utility, ML63 AMG Sport Utility

On the Outside

Not as sporty as some but flashier than others, the M-Class has more creases and curves than the rest of the carmaker's SUVs

From the Inside

Standard on the Mercedes M-Class are power front seats, power tilt sunroof, DVD video/audio, 6.5-inch COMAND screen, and Bluetooth. Options include seated front and rear seats, three-zone climate control, heated steering wheel, and rear-seat entertainment.

Driving Performance

The M-Class diesel engine, which churns out 400 pound-feet of torque, goes zero to 60 mph in 8.1 seconds. The ML350 got to that same speed in 7.7 seconds. Offered with adjustable shocks and air suspension, the Mercedes M-Class is solid, predictable, and consistent on the road, but it's just not that exciting to drive.

Safety Equipment

Standard safety equipment on the Mercedes M-Class includes eight airbags, including dual front, window curtain, and rear side. The Pre-Safe system, stability control with trailer stability assist, traction control, rollover sensors, and four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and brake assist are also standard.

Gas Mileage

ML350: 16 mpg city/21 mpg highway
ML350 4Matic: 15 mpg city/20 mpg highway
ML350 BlueTEC 4Matic: 18 mpg city/25 mpg highway
ML450 Hybrid: 21 mpg city/24 mpg highway
ML550 4Matic: 13 mpg city/18 mpg highway
ML63: 10 mpg city/14 mpg highway


  • Great selection of engines
  • Good diesel and hybrid fuel economy
  • High quality solid build


  • Complex cabin controls
  • Not that exciting
  • Lack of off-road ability


Likeable enough SUV but not very exciting

People Who Like the 2011 Mercedes-Benz M-Class Also Like

  • BMW X5
  • Lexus RX
  • Infiniti FX

See the New 2015 M-Class.

Front & Driver Side View