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Mercedes-Benz M-Class

Overview
Review
OVERVIEW

2015 Mercedes-Benz M-Class – ML350 FWD 4-Dr Sport Utility V6 Auto Trans (Base Trim)

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2015 Mercedes-Benz M-Class: Angularfront
RATINGS

Editors Overall Rating

What is this?
This rating is provided by our team of editors based on their extensive professional expertise on Trucks, SUVs, Vans, and Wagons.
We liked
  • Plenty of Powertrain Options
  • Solid Driving Dynamics
We disliked
  • V-8 Now Only Available in Pricey AMG
  • Minimal Economy Gain Going From V-6 to I-4 Diesel
PRICING Fair Market Pricing
What is this?
Fair Market Price is an estimate of a “fair” price that any given new vehicle can be purchased for. This national estimate, updated monthly, reflects recent market conditions (supply and demand) plus a reasonable dealer markup.
$44,750
Finance
Estimated monthly
payment:
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payment:
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MSRP
$48,300
MPG
18 / 24
City/Hwy
ENGINE
3.5L V6
HORSE POWER
302 hp
@ 6,500 rpm
TORQUE
273 ft lb
of torque @ 3,500 rpm
See all Photos, Ratings, Pricing and Specifications
The Mercedes-Benz ML represents the first model the brand manufactured in the United States and, to this day, its Vance, Alabama, plant is the main source for MLs sold worldwide. For 2015, Mercedes changes up the powertrain offerings slightly, with the new ML400 replacing last year’s ML550, swapping out a twin-turbo 4.7L V-8 for a 3.0L turbo V-6. Likewise, 2014’s 3.0L Bluetec V-6 turbodiesel is replaced by a 2.1L I-4 also used in the E-class sedan and GLK SUV. If you’re a fan of V-8 power, you’ll have to pony up for the ML63 AMG, which stickers for close to $100,000. Whichever model you choose, you’ll get a comfortable, luxurious, midsize SUV with the solidity you’d expect from a Mercedes—and a substantial towing capacity of up to 7,200 pounds.

REVIEW

2012 Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG First Test

The Only Compromise Is Your Bank Account

Edward A. SanchezJul 26, 2012
Mercedes-Benz is no Johnny-come-lately to the performance SUV game with the M-Class. All three generations of the brand's midsize SUV have received the Affalterbach treatment, beginning with the ML55 AMG in 2000. Although its 342 hp seems tame by current standards, at the time, the ML55 was without peer. BMW countered with the X5 4.6is in 2002, but AMG has ample experience tweaking and tuning SUVs. The 2012 ML63 AMG, representing the third generation, is near the zenith of the tuning arm's SUV efforts.
Photo 2/13
Thanks to its 21-inch wheels, 295-width tires, quad exhaust tips, and dual intercooler openings, the ML63 is clearly not your standard midsize Mercedes SUV. These visual cues aren't the first thing you notice when the ML63 is on the road, however. Whether in sport or comfort mode, the 5.5-liter twin-turbo V-8 makes its presence known. Many vehicles claim to have a "head-turning" exhaust note, but this one unequivocally earns the distinction. Anything more than one-third throttle produces sharp, metallic, staccato machine gun fire and at full throttle; this beast can easily be heard from a quarter mile away.
Photo 3/13
Despite the impressive volume level, the twin-turbo 5.5 doesn't have the same raw, organic sound as its naturally aspirated 6.2-liter predecessor. Whereas the 6.2 would spontaneously pop and crackle, the 5.5 has a digital, almost synthetic sound character, with throttle inputs producing consistent, predictable sonic signatures. Even the exhaust pop between shifts is predictably reliable in its cadence and tone, almost like a video game soundtrack.
The new V-8 may not have the same raucous sound quality as its forebear, but with 550 hp and 560 lb-ft on tap in our Performance Package-equipped model, power was never an issue. To fully appreciate the brute force this engine is capable of, it helps to have the vehicle in Sport mode. The Comfort setting moves the ML off the line in second gear unless you floor it from a stop.
First-gear starts in Sport get things moving in a hurry. In our testing, the ML63 laid down a properly quick 4.3-second 0-60-mph run and flew through the quarter mile in 12.8 seconds at 110.6 mph. Hawk-eyed readers may note the Benz trails archrival BMW X5 M's numbers by 0.2 second in the 0-60 sprint and its quarter-mile time by a scant 0.1 second, though it beat the Bimmer's trap speed by 0.5 mph. The ML also runs nearly neck and neck with its other Black Forest rival, the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S.
Photo 10/13
The on-by-default stop-start function in Comfort mode seems an amusing affectation considering the ML63's ample power output and thirsty 14/18 mpg fuel economy figure, but whenever you combine 550 hp with 5243 pounds, something's got to give. We observed an unscientific average of 13.6 mpg during our evaluation period.
The interior of the ML63 is the biggest visual differences from non-AMG MLs. The steering wheel gets AMG's characteristic flat-bottom treatment and Alcantara grips along with satisfying-feeling cast aluminum paddle shifters. The aggressively bolstered yet comfortable, perforated-leather front bucket seats and high-gloss piano-black accents result in an austere but purposeful look, but it's not the burled bird's-eye look many expect in a luxury model. The one unequivocally upscale touch in the interior is the stitched leather dash top.
Mercedes' COMAND knob-controlled interface is not immediately intuitive, but starts to make sense once you've spent a few minutes acquainting yourself with it. The navigation system can be puzzling, though. It started to give guidance to a presumably previously entered destination as soon as I got into it. I had to pull off the road into a parking lot and spend five minutes to de-program the route and silence the guidance. Also, if you somehow get off the real-time visual map guidance, it's almost impossible to get back to it while driving.
Clearly, anyone seriously considering the ML63 does not regard a vehicle as simply a transportation appliance to reliably and efficiently go from point A to point B. There are dozens of comfortable, competent choices out there costing under $30,000 that will manage that task just fine. To get into this example of European muscle, be prepared to shell out more than triple that sum. As equipped, including the Performance Package, aforementioned Piano Black interior trim, and accessory 21-inch alloy wheels, the price tag on our tester came to a gulp-inducing $107,725, including destination. Is it worth it? Only you can answer that question. The last X5 M we tested came in about $16,000 less than that, while the Cayenne Turbo runs about $13,000 more. The heavier, less powerful Range Rover Sport Supercharged will likely also crest the six-figure mark when comparably equipped.
If you've had the chance to drive an AMG model, you know what a singular character these vehicles have. There's something incredibly ballsy, proudly politically incorrect, and self-indulgent about them. As if owning a Mercedes weren't enough of a statement, an AMG says you also have the loudest, fastest, most expensive Mercedes in your neighborhood. If the thought of a four-figure monthly car payment or, more likely, emptying your bank or brokerage account of six figures in one sitting for a midsize SUV doesn't faze you, the ML may be your ideal ride.

2012 Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG
BASE PRICE $95,865
PRICE AS TESTED $107,725
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV
ENGINE 5.5L/550-hp/560-lb-ft twin-turbo DOHC 32-valve V-8
TRANSMISSION 7-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 5243 lb (55/45%)
WHEELBASE 114.8 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 188.2 x 77.8 x 73.3
0-60 MPH 4.3 sec
QUARTER MILE 12.8 sec @ 110.6 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 106 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.85 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 25.6 sec @ 13.87 g (avg)
EPA CITY/HWY FUEL ECON 14/18 mpg
ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY241/187 kW-hrs/100 mi
CO2 EMISSIONS 1.25 lb/mi
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2015 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

SPECIFICATIONS
$48,300
18 / 24
3.5L V6
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Truck Trend news
2015 Mercedes-Benz ML400 Replaces ML550 V-8
New Turbo Six Leaves AMG as Only V-8 in Lineup
Edward A. SanchezAug 7, 2014

2014 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

SPECIFICATIONS
$47,790
18 / 24
3.5L V6
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Motor Trend Motor Trend
2014 Mercedes-Benz ML350 Bluetec First Test
With an Oil-Burner This Good, Why Settle for Gas?
Alex NishimotoMay 2, 2014
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Caught! 2015 Mercedes-Benz ML Refresh
Twin-Turbo V-6, Updated Interior Coming
Edward A. SanchezApr 8, 2014
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Redesigned 2014 Mercedes-Benz ML Gets IIHS Top Safety Pick+ Designation
Changes to Door Sill Design Help in Frontal Offset Test
Edward A. SanchezOct 9, 2013

2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

SPECIFICATIONS
$47,270
18 / 26
3.5L V6
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Truck Trend news
NHTSA Gives 2013 Mercedes-Benz ML-Class Five Stars in Safety Ratings
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has awarded the 2013 Mercedes-Benz ML-Class five stars in overall safety rating
Karla SanchezMar 22, 2013
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Mercedes-Benz' Alabama Plant to Make New SUV for 2015
Model Described as "Sleek" Could Rival BMW X6
Edward A. SanchezFeb 12, 2013
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Mercedes-Benz M-Class Popemobile Debuts in Vatican City
Latest Papal Transport Symbolizes 80-Year Relationship Between Stuttgart, Rome
Edward A. SanchezDec 10, 2012
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8675 2012-2013 Mercedes-Benz ML Models Recalled for Accessory Floormats
Mercedes-Benz is issuing a recall on 2012 and 2013 model-year ML350, ML550, and ML63 AMG SUV models equipped with accessory all-season floormats.
Edward A. SanchezAug 15, 2012
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Spied! Updated Mercedes-Benz GL Snapped Near Factory in Alabama
Motor Trend subscriber Ken Cates of Shreveport, Louisiana, snapped these photos of what appear to be an updated Mercedes-Benz GL SUV while on vacation in Foley, Alabama, near the Gulf Coast.
Edward A. SanchezMar 28, 2012
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2013 Mercedes-Benz ML-class Photo Gallery
The new Mercedes-Benz ML 63 AMG stands for efficiency and performance, exclusivity and a superlative driving experience.
Courtesy of the ManufacturerJan 24, 2012
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First Drive: 2013 Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG
Physics Pulls Off Another Win -- Barely
Michael FebboJan 13, 2012

2012 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

SPECIFICATIONS
$48,990
17 / 22
3.5L V6
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Truck Trend truck reviews
2012 Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG First Test
The Only Compromise Is Your Bank Account: There's something incredibly ballsy, proudly politically incorrect, and self-indulgent about the 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG.
Edward A. SanchezJul 26, 2012
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2012 Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG First Test
Please Don't Let me be Misunderstood
Rory JurneckaJul 19, 2012
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Lorinser-Tuned Mercedes-Benz ML Debuting at German Tuning Show
Lorinser will display a wide-body Mercedes-Benz ML at the 2012 Tuning World Bodensee in Germany. The event is much like the SEMA show held in Las Vegas every fall.
Jason UdyApr 27, 2012
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Mercedes-Benz Announces Pricing For ML63 AMG, Starts at $95,865
Pricing has been announced for the Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG, which is slated to arrive at dealerships next month. Mercedes' performance version of the M-Class will start at $95,865, including the $875 destination charge. That amount of money gets you a midsize luxury SUV with stop-start tech and 518 h
Alex NishimotoFeb 2, 2012
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New Accessories Available for 2012 Mercedes-Benz M-Class
Looking to add more flair to your 2012 Mercedes-Benz M-Class? The automaker has just announced a host of accessories available for the SUV, ranging from winter weather driving essentials to rear seat entertainment.
Karla SanchezNov 29, 2011
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First Look: 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG
AMG's SUV Gets Leaner and Meaner - This is the brand's third iteration of its high-horse powered luxo-ute and the changes should help keep the ML63 at the top of its game.
Erick AyapanaNov 14, 2011
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2012 Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG
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Erick AyapanaNov 14, 2011
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First Test: 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 4Matic and Bluetec
Diesel or Gas? We Make the Call
Rory JurneckaSep 20, 2011
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First Drive: 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML 350 4MATIC
More to love for the same old price -- Mercedes has introduced a new, third-generation M-Class for 2012 and it takes an evolutionary, rather than revolutionary, approach to staying ahead of the competition.
Rory JurneckaAug 25, 2011
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Mercedes Prepping M-Class Coupe to Compete with BMW X6
Up to now, the BMW X6 and the Acura ZDX are the only players in the new(ish) luxury crossover coupe market. But in a few years Mercedes should have its own swoopy model ready to compete with.
Erick AyapanaJul 25, 2011
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Stalk Swap: Mercedes-Benz Revises Controls Layout on 2012 M-Class
Bring a Mercedes - nearly any Mercedes -- over to the Truck Trend offices and you'll likely hear a single complaint no matter which model you bring: the control stalk layout is awful.
Rory JurneckaJul 18, 2011
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2012 Mercedes-Benz M-Class Base Price Unchanged at $49,865
Even though it saw a litany of upgrades and changes for the 2012 model year, the Mercedes-Benz M-Class is no more expensive than the 2011 model. That means the 2012 ML350 starts at $49,865 (including an $875 destination charge), and the ML350 BlueTec diesel stickers from $51,365.
Jake HolmesJul 13, 2011
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New Commercial Features 2012 Mercedes-Benz M-Class
The third-generation Mercedes-Benz ML is set to go on sale this fall, which means it's time for the automaker to start advertising its upcoming luxo-ute.
Erick AyapanaJun 10, 2011
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Next-Gen Mercedes M-Class Could See Addition of Diesel-Electric or Plug-In Hybrid Models
Speculation surrounding the next-generation Mercedes M-Class luxury SUV, which is not due out until mid-2011, sees both diesel-electric hybrid and plug-in hybrid offerings of the popular Mercedes SUV.
Benson KongJun 10, 2009

2011 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

SPECIFICATIONS
$46,490
16 / 20
3.5L V6
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2011 Mercedes-Benz E-, GL-, M-, and R-Class Diesels Recalled
Mercedes-Benz will be beginning a recall next month for a number of its diesel-powered models from the E-, GL-, M-, and R-Classes. The recall is dues to a potential leak from the fuel filter.
Donny NordlichtOct 17, 2011
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Mercedes-Benz's Alabama Plant Damaged by Recent Tornados
A violent tornado hit Tuscaloosa County in Alabama Wednesday, with the Mercedes-Benz Vance plant in its path of destruction. The plant manufactures the 2nd generation M-Class and GL-Class SUVs, and R-Class minivan.
Karla SanchezApr 29, 2011

2010 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

SPECIFICATIONS
$45,700
16 / 21
3.5L V6
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Changes Announced for 2010 Mercedes SUV Lineup
Mercedes' SUV lineup will be seeing plenty of new changes for the 2010 models of the G-, GL-, GLK-, M-, and R-Class SUVs.
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2009-2010 Diesel and Hybrid SUV Comparison
Does the 2009 BMW X5 xDrive 35d, Mercedes-Benz ML320 BlueTEC, and Volkswagen Touareg TDI stand a chance against the 2010 Lexus RX 450h -- the latest hybrid version of the world's best-selling luxury SUV? We assemble in the mountains to find out.
Edward LohMar 15, 2009
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GM and Mercedes-Benz: Who Makes the World's Best Diesel?
GM and Mercedes-Benz Are the Top Fighters for the Prize - It's almost an epidemic: In the last two weeks, we've listened to three big automakers give thoughtful, detailed presentations about their current and future engine lineups.
Mark WilliamsAug 1, 2008

2009 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

SPECIFICATIONS
$44,600
16 / 21
3.5L V6
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Recall Alert: 2009 Mercedes-Benz M-Class SUVs
Mercedes is recalling their 2009 M-Class SUVs with rear power liftgates due to bad taillight seals that could let water into the trunk and start a fire.
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Quick Test: 2009 Mercedes-Benz ML320 BlueTEC
BlueTEC Diesel Moves ML in More Fuel Efficient Direction - Mercedes-Benz and diesels go together like bratwursts and warm beer - the automaker claims to have built the first ever diesel-powered passenger car.
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Future Truck Technology: Lean & Green
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Jan 30, 2009
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Mercedes-Benz Announces More Production Cuts, More Idle Time for Alabama Plant
Mercedes-Benz to drop production to meet reduced demand, the company will be idling the Vance, Alabama, plant for an additional two days this month and an additional two weeks next month. In the meantime, the company will offer "limted, non-production" work to idled employees who wish to work on idl
Scott EvansDec 5, 2008
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Isn't That Special: AMG's New Performance Centers Jazz-Up Rides Already Primed For the Red Carpet
Want an ML63 AMG painted in, say, tangerine orange? Your AMG representative will be only too happy to help.
Arthur St. AntoineDec 4, 2008
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Mercedes-Benz BlueTEC Diesel SUVs Hitting Showrooms This Week
The new Mercedes-Benz diesel SUVs, the ML320, GL320, and R320, will be hitting showroom floors with their new BlueTEC clean diesel technology.
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Mercedes sues Cobasys battery supplier; ML450 hybrid SUV delayed
Without hybrid batteries, Mercedes-Benz will likely have some difficulties selling the ML450 hybrid SUV scheduled for late 2009.
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GM and Mercedes-Benz: Who Makes the World's Best Diesel?
GM and Mercedes-Benz Are the Top Fighters for the Prize - It's almost an epidemic: In the last two weeks, we've listened to three big automakers give thoughtful, detailed presentations about their current and future engine lineups.
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First Drive: 2009 Mercedes-Benz ML320 BlueTEC
With all the buzz about climbing fuel prices, and how current buyers are looking for new ways to increase their efficiency, it looks like Mercedes-Benz may have found a way to give its SUV buyers the best of both worlds.
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First Look: 2009 Mercedes-Benz M-Class
Mercedes-Benz has refreshed its M-Class SUV for the 2009 model year, we chart the changes.
Zach GaleApr 2, 2008

2008 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

SPECIFICATIONS
$44,000
15 / 20
3.5L V6
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Recall: Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi SUVs Have Safety Issues
Mercedes-Benz and Mitsubishi have been hit with recalls for defective parts that cause concern with Safety Issues.
Scott EvansDec 29, 2008
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Mercedes expects diesels to reach 15 percent of SUV sales
The average price for 87-octane gas reached yet another record high today at $4.086 per gallon. With consumers more concerned about fuel-economy than ever, automakers are furiously developing plug-in hybrids, fuel-cells, and advanced engine designs to help ease the pain at the pump.
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Newcomers: 2008 Mercedes-Benz GL550 / ML550
Targeting Escalade and X5 Without Help from AMG
Todd LassaSep 17, 2007

2007 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

SPECIFICATIONS
$42,680
N/A
3.5L V6
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100 Years of Mercedes-Benz AWD
For many drivers, being able to get where they want to go when they want, regardless of weather conditions, is the ultimate automotive luxury.
Ken FreundNov 9, 2007

2006 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

SPECIFICATIONS
$39,750
N/A
3.5L V6
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Auto News: BRABUS WIDESTAR Based on the Mercedes-Benz ML63
With the WIDESTAR BRABUS presents not only a new and exciting wide-track version of the SUV but also the new Monoblock E 23-inch forged wheels and BRABUS B63 S performance tuning for the ML 63 with 550 hp / 404.8 kW.
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First Drive: 2006 Mercedes-Benz M-Class
This isn't a truck anymore. The all-new 2006 Mercedes-Benz M-Class is unibody, not body-on-frame like the 1998-2005 model.
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First Look: 2006 Mercedes-Benz M-Class
In fall 1997, the introduction of the M-Class was significant for several reasons: it was the fir...
Allyson HarwoodAug 8, 2005
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2006 Future Vehicle Forecast
Manufacturers love to keep us guessing. They try to keep secrets from us, and we fight tooth and nail to get the info out as soon as possible.
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First Drive: 2006 Mercedes-Benz M-Class
After a decade of flirting with popular fashion and building such sub-Mercedes as the first M-Class at the risk of its reputation, Mercedes-Benz is getting back to its roots.
Todd LassaJul 27, 2004

2005 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

SPECIFICATIONS
$37,950
N/A
3.7L V6
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2004 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

SPECIFICATIONS
$37,950
15 / 18
3.7L V6
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2003 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

SPECIFICATIONS
$36,950
15 / 18
3.7L V6
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Mercedes-Benz Recalling 103,000 M-Class SUVs to Fix Possible faulty Hose Clamp
Mercedes-Benz has recalled 102,954 of its M-Class SUVs -- model years 1998 to 2003 -- for a possible faulty clamp used to secure a power steering cooling hose, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said.
Nate MartinezSep 26, 2008
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Road Test: 2003 Infiniti FX35, 2004 Lexus RX 330, 2003 Mercedes-Benz ML350
Golden Retrievers: How much is that doggie in the window? The three entry-level luxury SUVs gathered here start in the $34,000-$36,000 range, the fat part of the transaction-price bell curve. Yet each of these players sports a behavior set all its own. We unleashed all three and let the fur fly.
John KiewiczApr 4, 2005
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Road Test: Kleemann ML55K
What would you do if someone handed you the keys to the world's fastest SUV? If you were in Copenhagen, Denmark, you'd do what we did on a recent trip: Take the 607-horsepower Kleemann ML55K out for a spin.
Rich TruesdellJun 8, 2004

2002 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

SPECIFICATIONS
$36,300
17 / 21
3.2L V6
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Mercedes-Benz Recalls M-Class Cruise Control, Sprinter Seat Belts
Mercedes-Benz recently announced voluntary safety recalls surrounding both its M-Class SUV, along with its large Sprinter commercial vans.
Steve DiehlmanApr 5, 2011
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Road Test: Sport/Utilities In Hell
Our premise for this test is simple: Today's mega-dollar, leather-swathed, sport/utility vehicles are as prevalent as BMWs in Beverly Hills, but are they any good when the road turns to rocks and scorpions outnumber Starbucks a million to none? Simply put, are luxury SUVs merely tarted-up wimps or t
Motor Trend StaffDec 15, 2003
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Road Test: BMW X5 4.6is vs. Mercedes-Benz ML55 AMG
Road Test: Do you value sport or utility?
David NewhardtOct 22, 2002

2001 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

SPECIFICATIONS
$35,800
17 / 21
3.2L V6
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2000 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

SPECIFICATIONS
$35,300
16 / 20
3.2L V6
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Road Test: 2000 Mercedes-Benz ML430
Road Test: 2000 Mercedes-Benz ML430
Chris WaltonDec 15, 2003

1999 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

SPECIFICATIONS
$34,950
17 / 21
3.2L V6
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1998 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

SPECIFICATIONS
$33,950
17 / 21
3.2L V6
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Motor Trend Motor Trend
1998 Mercedes-Benz ML 320 Road Test
Fuse off-road and big-load capability with the refinement and security of a Mercedes passenger car.
Jack KeeblerJan 12, 2000
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