What's the used Mercedes-Benz M Class 4x4 like?
Big, butch and bold, the Mercedes-Benz M-Class has never been a car for the shy and retiring. This is the third generation of the SUV – a car that has always tried to satisfy the desires of those after a rugged and capable off-road machine as well as a large and luxurious SUV, a car that can cut it in the valleys of Cornwall and the heights of Chelsea. Think of it as a German Range Rover.
Its three-pointed star on the grille almost guarantees a warm welcome in both areas, to be honest, and the US-built M-Class is a popular choice in this class. This model upped the comfort and the efficiency, but retained the car’s classy and imperious nature; it was eventually replaced in 2015 by the GLE.
Under the bonnet, you could choose between a 2.1-litre four-cylinder diesel (ML250) or a 3.0 diesel V6 (ML350). For performance freaks, there is also an ML63 petrol version with a whopping 518bhp.
There are two trim levels and neither is lacking in equipment. SE Executive is more comfort-oriented and has subtler styling than the alternative AMG Line. All cars are well equipped as standard, though, with dual-zone climate control, electrically adjustable and leather seats, heated door mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, cruise control and Attention Assist, a system that alerts the driver if he or she feels drowsy. In addition, buyers of new cars could specify a number of varying packs that added more safety, comfort or convenience kit. It’s worth shopping around to see if you can find a car that’s specified with those, as long as the price hasn’t been artifically inflated as a result.
On the road, even the ML250 displays an impressive spread of torque, meaning most won't feel short-changed. The V6 is decidely the more explosive unit of the two, though, and gives the car a little more oomph. The ML63 goes like stink and will see off the 0-62mph sprint in just 4.8sec.
It would be fair to say that the car is set up with comfort as a priority over any hot hatch levels of agility. It has a softness that precludes hard driving, although the steel-sprung suspension and four-wheel drive system are capable of holding the car on an even keel even during modertely enthusiastic cornering. Its comfortable ride is welcome, though, and it simply dismisses road irregularites.
Likewise, wind and road noise are impressively low, although there is a gruffness to both diesel engines. The general air of quietness matches the smart interior, while fit and finish is both classy and sober, with a solidity that matches the purpose of this middle-class bolide. Space up front is excellent and there’s more than enough room for three in the back, too. The boot is large and positively cavernous with the rear seats down.