Mercedes Benz M Class is now in its third generation. Being larger than the GLK Class and not as expensive as the GL Class, it has been able to attract quite a few luxury car lovers in India. As a powerfully built diesel SUV, the M Class is appreciated for its road presence, cabin space, equipment list and refined motor.
Here’s a dekho into the features of one of the variants – the ML 350 CDI powered by 2987 cc V6 turbo diesel engine, mated to 7 speed automatic transmission.
The aggressive looking ML 350 CDI is a five door SUV with monocoque body construction and has been sharply styled. A large front grille with the three pointed star in between gives it a dynamic stance. The slack jawed front bumper is sporty and LED daytime running lights have been put on the air dams. Imitation sump guard and proud sills make this SUV more forceful and features like the elongated LED optimised headlamps, flared wheel arches and swage lines on the door panels give it the characteristic Mercedes Benz identity. This M Class trim runs on 265/45 R20 tyres. Roof rails, another styling attribute for SUVs also adorn the model. Wrap around two piece tail lights and a big bumper at the rear complete the dynamic styling. Even though the new ML 350 CDI is tad longer and wider than its predecessors, it weighs 10 kg less thanks to the use of aluminium and other light weight materials.
Draped in refinement with a touch of sportiness, the cabin looks refined and ergonomic. Silver trims around the AC vents, music system, and on the four spoke steering wheel add to the elegance of design. The use of top notch materials is amply reflected by the grain of wood, the quality of thick leather, the well damped manner in which metal plated buttons function and the micron perfect fit. With its heavy built and high grade materials, the cabin feels really rich and plush. The use of polished wood, brushed aluminium, white lighting, chrome and leather makes for avant-garde styling. And cascade of lighting on the door trims and dashboard further enhances the elegance of the interiors.
Along with the COMAND infotainment system, there is a set of buttons down on the centre console and this may cause some confusion. The audio system has six-CD player, MP3 player, Bluetooth with audio streaming, and USB, Aux-in ports.
The ML 350 CDI gets a wheelbase of 2915mm and so there is ample legroom for occupants on all seats. They also offer good lumbar support. But unlike some of its close competitors, the M Class does not have a third row of seats. On the brighter side, the boot then gets a capacity of 690 litres and with the middle seats folded down, it increases to 2010 litres of storage space. With a number of cubby holes and a voluminous glovebox, the cabin has been quite practically fabricated. Thanks to column mounted gearlever, there is space for 2 more bottle holders and a small pocket. Cruise control, reversing camera, parking sensors, power adjustable seat & steering wheel are some driver centric comfort elements. Auto-dimming mirrors and rear glass defogger, washer also add to the convenience of driving the car in different conditions. It comes with climate control with separate blowers and controls for rear passengers. Self levelling suspension also makes for a cushy ride.
The SUV is well equipped with standard safety features that are so typical of Mercedes cars. So there are 9 air bags and the pair of adaptive front airbags is deployed in either one or two stages as per the severity of the collision. PRE-SAFE system, ATTENTION ASSIST and Intelligent Light System are some of the Active Safety features. For safe driving, the car has anti lock braking system, brake assist, electronic stability program and traction control. Remote central locking, child safety locks, engine immobilizer and anti theft alarm are also included in the range of security attributes provided.
The M Class ML 350 CDI is priced at Rs. 60.55 lakhs. A well loaded a comfortable SUV, this Merc has a relaxed and refined character. It comes with a nice build quality. If there was a third row of seats, this vehicle could have posed a bigger challenge to its competitors.
Specifications of Mercedes Benz M Class ML 350 CDi BlueTEC 4Matic