"Longer, lower, and wider" was the siren song of American cars in the 1950s and 1960s, and it also applies to Mercedes' completely redone M-Class SUV. Front and rear legroom is increased considerably as a result. Mercedes removed the truck frame that underpinned the previous version and retuned the suspension for a more carlike ride. While still recognizable as an M-Class, the 2006 model is clearly sleeker-looking and more in tune with the luxury and refinement buyers expect of a Mercedes passenger car.

The five-seater will be available at its Spring 2005 launch with the company's new four-valve/cylinder DOHC 3.5-liter/268-horsepower V-6, as well as the carryover three-valve SOHC 5.0-liter/302-horse V-8. Safety improvements include active front head restraints, side curtain airbags, and the company's PreSafe system that cinches the belts down if it senses the onset of a collision. Off-roaders haven't been left out either with a two-speed four-wheel-drive transfer case being available, as well.





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