About the Mercedes M-Class
The ML-Class was the first luxury SUV to feature electronic stability control, a system designed to detect loss of control and automatically intervene with special braking patterns to bring the vehicle back on course. The ML-Class also contains front and side airbags with advanced occupant detection for the front passenger seat, helping Mercedes-Benz earn high crash test ratings for the M-Class.
Production of the M-Class takes place in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The ML-Class released in North America as the ML320. The 320 suffix refers to its 3.2-liter V-6 engine. The base model is the manual transmission ML230, which comes with a 2.3-liter, four-cylinder engine. European markets also offer the ML270 CDI with a 2.7-liter turbo diesel engine.
Since 1998, when the Mercedes-Benz M-Class began, many other car manufacturers have entered the luxury midsize SUV market. The original M-Class started to get edged out by the younger and better-dressed crossover SUV competitors.
After eight years of using the same formula platform, Mercedes wiped the slate clean for the second generation M-Class that debuted for the 2006 model year.
The latest M-Class is a roomy, powerful, and luxurious SUV. It also boasts a high-quality interior and a popular alternative hybrid model.Mercedes M-Class Features
The redesigned 2012 Mercedes-Benz M-Class, despite a new sheet metal composition, looks cleaned up a bit, as the grille returns to a more classic Mercedes look. A few new styling designs include the sculpted hindquarters and wider taillights, inspired by the Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
Inside the 2012 M-Class, passengers find a more luxurious appearance with stitched leather, some S-Class design styles, and improved transmission smoothness.
The 2012 model offers a few different interior styling options to choose from, such as quilted leather upholstery and matte-finish wood accents.
Key improvements include changes in performance and fuel efficiency. The ML350 V-6 has more power and better fuel economy than ever before. The ML350 Bluetec turbo diesel improves fuel efficiency to 20/25 mpg city/highway.
These two models provide the initial options, with the ML550 and ML63 AMG supercharged V-8 versions to follow. This year offers no hybrid M-Class vehicle.Mercedes M-Class Evolution
Mercedes-Benz released the more powerful ML430 in 1999, with the well-known Mercedes-Benz 4.3-liter V-8. Mercedes followed this up with the 2000 debut of the ML55 AMG, which packs a 5.4-liter V-8 engine engineered by AMG.
Mercedes-Benz updated the M-Class for the 2002 model year. Styling updates include new headlight and taillight lenses, new bumpers, new alloy wheels, and visually appealing interior trim changes.
That same year, the 5.0-liter V-8 ML500 replaced the ML430, and a new 4.0-liter V-8 turbo diesel ML400 CDI released in Europe.
The following year Mercedes-Benz launched the ML350 fitted with a 3.7-liter V-6 engine.
Mercedes revealed the redesigned second generation M-class in April 2005 as a 2006 model. Almost completely new, it has a sportier, more aerodynamic look.
Mercedes-Benz also makes the new M-Class larger, measuring 10 inches longer than the first model. The 2006 M-Class earned the title ""Best New Sport Utility Vehicle"" in the Canadian Car of the Year awards.
The 2008 Mercedes-Benz M-Class saw additional standard and optional package lists. Visual changes include newly standard chrome accents and a new grille, door handles, and exhaust tips. The 2008 M-Class gets an extra 80 horsepower, raising it above the ML500's V-8.
The M-Class celebrated its 10th birthday in 2008 by offering the widest array of power plants in the segment, from a fuel-stretching diesel in the ML320 CDI to a supercar-worthy 507-horsepower V-8 in the ML63 AMG. Mercedes produced a mainstream V-8 for the 2008 model year as well.
For 2009, the Mercedes-Benz M-Class got a facelift that included redesigned climate control buttons, a new optional rear-seat entertainment system, and Mercedes' COMAND system, which includes Bluetooth phone connectivity.
In addition, 2009’s diesel-powered ML320 CDI model has been replaced by the ML320 Bluetec, which boasts a cleaner-burning fuel technology. Mercedes also offers the ML350 with rear drive for buyers who don’t need all-wheel drive and appreciate the better fuel economy.
The 2010 Mercedes-Benz M-Class receives a new hybrid-powered variant, the ML450 Hybrid. The rest of the lineup stays the same, though the ML320 Bluetec gets a mild increase of torque and a name change to the ML350 Bluetec.
Mercedes markets the hybrid as having V-8 power with four-cylinder fuel economy. The M-Class hybrid offers an estimated 21/24 mpg city/highway, still not the top of the heap of hybrid SUV efficiency.