Beyond the new BlueTEC technology, which adds a seven-gallon tank for the AdBlue urea mixture, which, when injected into the exhaust stream, cleans up the tailpipe emissions to unbelievable levels. Additionally, in order to satisfy CARB and EPA issues with the injection system, Mercedes-Benz did need to build in a series of warning lights, as well as a computer controlled "20-ingnition-limit" engine shutoff to prevent anyone from starting the engine more than 20 times after the AdBlue tank is empty. That means, just like a check-engine light, you'd better do something soon, or your SUV won't start. In this case, you know exactly how long you have before your vehicle will stop working.
The AdBlue tank is located in the well where the spare tire used to be (now replaced with a pump and tire sealer). Other more cosmetic changes to the 2009 ML include a redesigned front and rear bumper, a newly shaped standard steel skidplate that wraps around the dual rear exhausts, and a newly shaped and sized side mirror for more visibility. Inside, a new four-spoke steering wheel with added radio and dash controls are standard as well. A new 610-watt harmon kardon stereo, voice recognition navigation, and new eight-inch dual-source rear video screens are optional as well. On the safety side, M-B now has the Active Front Head Restraints as standard equipment. It's also worth mentioning that the ML and the GL don't offer a low range gear, yet they do offer a very aggressive 4MATIC traction control system and a ride-height-adjustable suspension (with active damping), that truly makes this midsize SUV capable of running with the big-dog 4x4s sold in the U.S. But there is a price. We expect a fully equipped BlueTEC ML with all the nice options to get to and beyond $60,000. Still, from our point of view, you get a lot for what you pay for. And with a possible 600 mile range with the BlueTEC, you'll be dealing with fill-ups much less often.
| 2009 MERCEDES-BENZ ML320 BLUETEC |
| Base price || $47,800 (est) |
| Vehicle layout || Front-engine, RWD/AWD, 5-pass, 4-door, SUV |
| Engine || 3.0L/210-hp /398-lb-ft turbocharged diesel DOHC 32-valve V-8 |
| Transmission || 7-speed automatic |
| Curb weight || 4750 lb (mfr) |
| Wheelbase || 114.7 in |
| Length x width x height || 188.5 x 76.3 x 71.5 in |
| 0-60 mph || 6.6 sec (mfr est) |
| EPA city/hwy fuel econ || 19 / 25 mpg |
| CO2 emissions || 1.04 lb/mile |
| On sale in U.S. || Currently |