The 2015 Mercedes-Benz M-Class carries over mostly unchanged from the previous model. The one notable change for the 2015 M-Class is that the ML 250 BlueTec and ML400 replace the ML 350 BlueTec and ML 550.
The Mercedes-Benz M-Class is a midsize luxury SUV aimed at buyers who want plenty of creature comforts as well as some utilitarian abilities in a vehicle. The M-Class was first introduced to the market by Mercedes for the 1998 model year. The current third generation of the vehicle was launched with the 2009 model year.
Competing vehicles include the Porsche Cayenne, BMW X5, Acura MDX, Volkswagen Touareg and Lexus RX350.
Styles and Pricing
The M-Class comes in four different trim levels: ML350, ML350 Bluetec, ML550 and ML63 AMG.
Standard equipment for the ML350 and ML350 Bluetec includes foglights, power liftgate, 19-inch wheels, sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, power adjustable front seats, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, reclining rear seats, heated front seats, vinyl upholstery, telematics system for emergency communications, Bluetooth connectivity and a sound system with eight speakers, CD player, HD radio and a USB jack.
The ML550 expands on the list of standard equipment with a trailer hitch, running boards, 19-inch AMG wheels and rear outboard seat side airbags.
A Premium 1 package comes with auto-dimming mirrors, power adjustable steering wheel, rearview camera, power folding side mirrors, navigation, double sun visors, driver memory settings, satellite radio, a 115 volt household power outlet, six-CD/DVD player and an iPod interface.
Adaptive bi-xenon headlights come in the Lighting package. A Lane Tracking package comes with blindspot monitoring and lane departure warning with assist. The Driver Assistance package comes with everything in the Lane Tracking package and adds adaptive cruise control. The On-/Off-Road package brings a two-speed transfer case, adaptive air ride suspension, underbody skid plates and a six mode terrain selector.
Stand-alone options include ventilated front seats, leather upholstery, tri-zone automatic climate control, panoramic sunroof, front and rear parking sensors, front seat massagers, heated rear seats and a rear seat entertainment system.
The ML63 AMG comes with everything on the ML550, plus the Premium 1, Lighting and Lane Tracking packages. Additional equipment includes stronger brakes, active roll stabilization, performance tuned suspension and steering, sport seats, 20-inch wheels and AMG trim pieces. An AMG Performance package comes with a higher top speed and more engine power. 21-inch wheels are available as a stand-alone option.
An M-Class comes with a factory invoice of about $46, 000 for a ML350 model and an MSRP of about $49, 000. The ML350 Bluetec trim level adds about $4, 000 to the vehicle’s MSRP. The ML550 adds yet another $7, 500 to the MSRP while the ML63 AMG adds another $38, 000. Because you are a member, you can shop at your Certified Dealer with the usual car shopping hassles, while also receiving an upfront price offer on a vehicle.
Under the hood of the ML350 sits a 3.5-liter V6 engine that puts out 302 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. Rear-wheel-drive and a seven-speed automatic transmission are standard, but all-wheel-drive is available as an option. The EPA estimates fuel economy to be 18 mpg city, 23 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined.
The ML350 Bluetec comes with a 3.0-liter turbo diesel V6 engine that puts out 240 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque. All-wheel-drive is standard. Fuel economy estimates come in at 20 mpg in the city, 28 mpg on the highway and 23 mpg in combined driving.
ML550 models come with a potent 4.7-liter twin-turbo V8 engine that puts out 402 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. Fuel economy as estimated by the EPA is 14 mpg city, 20 mpg highway and 16 mpg combined.
The ML63 AMG comes with a 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 engine that thunders out 518 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. Going with the AMG Performance package increases power to 550 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque. Fuel economy estimates are 13 mpg city, 17 mpg highway and 15 mpg combined.
Interior Style and Features
The interior of the M-Class comes with a rounded, pleasing design that is also quite modern in appearance. There is a simple array of larger controls in the center stack, making them easy to locate and use without accidentally pushing the wrong button in the process. The gauge cluster is also well-designed with four analog gauges and a digital readout. Of course the interior materials are of high quality and both fit and finish are among the best in the class, making the interior feel luxurious.
The two rows of seating provide plenty of room so that four large adults could comfortably sit in the vehicle for hours at a time. Cargo space is ample with 36 cubic feet of room behind the second row seats. Folding those seats flat expands the cargo area to 71 cubic feet.
The infotainment system is incredibly intuitive and easy to use, once you spend a little bit of time learning how to use it correctly. The optional iPod interface is also quite easy to use.
The personality of the Mercedes M-Class changes dramatically with engine choice. The ML350’s gas engine comes with quite a bit of top-end power while the ML350 Bluetec’s engine has an incredible amount of low-end torque. The engines in the ML550 and ML63 AMG both provide a shocking amount of power and acceleration. The ride is soft enough to be luxurious, but the SUV does not corner as tight as a sports car. Overall, it is an excellent vehicle for tooling around town or taking an extended trip on the highway.