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Mercedes M-Class: The best luxury SUV in its class

Last updated on: October 22, 2013 09:45 IST

Mercedes M-Class: The best luxury SUV in its class

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The Mercedes M-Class is a striking SUV which boasts of excellent comfort writes Faisal Ali Khan of MotorBeam.com.

The third generation Mercedes M-Class was launched in India last year and has seen a huge surge in demand for the German automaker.

The W166 model is striking and for the first time, Mercedes has started to assemble the brute SUV in India, making it lucratively priced.

With demand for SUVs soaring, the new M-Class has been very successful for Mercedes-Benz.

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Mercedes M-Class: The best luxury SUV in its class

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The latest Mercedes M-Class boasts of the company's new design language which although an evolution, makes the vehicle look very attractive.

The M-Class has immense presence on the road and although it has serious muscle to flaunt, the vehicle boasts of the lowest CD value in its segment.

The biggest highlight at the front are the LED daytime running lights while on the side one will immediately notice the large wheels. The rear gets chrome touches and tail lights are very much like the E-Class.

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Mercedes M-Class: The best luxury SUV in its class

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Step inside and you are bound to appreciate the level of quality in the M-Class. The interiors are well laid out and feel thoroughly modern.

The cabin features wood and leather in abundance and the silver touches on the centre console are neatly executed.

The steering wheel is a 4-spoke unit and has buttons to control almost everything you would want to use from the driver's seat.

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Mercedes M-Class: The best luxury SUV in its class

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The M-Class has a 17.8 cm colour display which also doubles up as a screen for the rear parking camera.

The audio system has a storage capacity of 10 GB which makes listening to music very convenient.

The vehicle also has voice controls and the audio system outputs some fantastic sound. Mercedes' COMAND system controls are placed on the centre console and the system is very easy to use.

Front seats get memory function with electronic adjustments and the AC is a chiller with rear seat passengers getting their own controls and vents.

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The seats of the M-Class are extremely comfortable. The front seats get ventilated function and space all around is generous.

The rear seat has plenty of legroom and there is a sunroof too for that airy feeling.

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The Mercedes M-Class is offered with two engines - ML250 CDI and ML350 CDI. Our test car was the ML350 CDI which is powered by a 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine which generates 258 BHP of power and an impressive 620 Nm of torque.

All that torque comes right from 1600 RPM!

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Mercedes M-Class: The best luxury SUV in its class

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Performance is linear and in spite of the weight, the M-Class is no slouch. This Mercedes SUV sprints from 0-100 kmph in just 7.4 seconds and top speed is 224 kmph.

The German automaker has improved mileage and one can extract 9 kmpl in regular driving which is impressive for a car of this class.

The NVH levels are very low and the engine is barely audible, it only gets vocal past 3000 RPM.

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The engine of the M-Class is mated to a 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission which shifts gears smoothly but isn't the quickest around. You can manually take control of things using the steering mounted paddle shifts.

The ML-Class comes with 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive which distributes power to the front and rear in 50:50 ratio. You can raise the ground clearance as well and the ML is very capable off-road.

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A car of this weight and size isn't going to be a handler but the M-Class pleases by being predictable offering good body control through corners. The steering offers decent feedback too and is very light at low speeds.

The suspension can be switched between Sport and Comfort and in the former mode, the ride quality does get a little stiff.

But in Comfort mode, the ride is pliant and this Mercedes glides over the road. Braking performance is excellent and the car sheds speed with utmost confidence.

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The Mercedes M-Class is a proper SUV unlike some of its rivals which are crossovers at best. The ML looks stunning, has serious presence and the interiors are extremely luxurious and comfortable.

With a good balance of ride and handling, the M-Class is well suited for our roads.

The diesel engine has terrific performance and all this adds up to make the M-Class among the best vehicles in its segment.



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