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2012 Mercedes-Benz M Class vs. Its Competition

 
2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350
8.6
/ 10
TCC Rating
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Our expert editors build comparisons like this one to make it easy for you to understand the small handful of cars you should compare to whatever car you are already looking at. You get general thoughts on each car you should consider plus an easy way to compare basic information for yourself.

The original Mercedes-Benz M Class was a forerunner in 1998; along with the softer Lexus RX, the ML set a new standard for a generation of luxury SUVs and crossovers.

Now the competition in this segment is tighter than ever, with most of these vehicle still offering some level of trail ability along with lavish luxury interiors and extensive tech features.

The Lexus RX 350 is the only one that doesn't take aim at off-roading in any form; it's essentially a tall luxury wagon, but supremely comfortable inside.

BMW's latest X5 lives up to that automaker's reputation for handling, and its interior is now significantly upgraded, but its ride quality is still a potential issue.

The Audi Q7 is a standout for design and interior comfort, and it does offer a third row.

The MDX is an aging design, and one of the less overtly styled vehicles here, but it offers surprisingly good handling and performance along with the great interior versatility that Honda offers in its Pilot.

And Jeep now has a vehicle that's right up with this lot; the new somewhat more off-road-ready Jeep Grand Cherokee rides and handles as well as the M Class (after all, it's based on the same underpinnings), with a standard luxury-feature list that almost as good, and it costs less.

2012 Mercedes-Benz ML3502012 Mercedes-Benz M ClassBrowse Used Listings2011 Acura MDX AWD 4-door Tech Pkg Angular Front Exterior View2012 Acura MDXBrowse Used Listings2012 Audi Q7 quattro 4-door 3.0L TDI Premium Angular Front Exterior View2012 Audi Q7Browse Used Listings2012 BMW X5 AWD 4-door 50i Angular Front Exterior View2012 BMW X5Browse Used Listings2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT82012 Jeep Grand CherokeeBrowse Used Listings2012 Lexus RX 3502012 Lexus RX 350Browse Used Listings
Quick Specs
8.6
/ 10
TCC Rating
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz M Class is improved in nearly way, and remains one of the most luxurious and secure choices for families not needing a third row of seats.
8.2
/ 10
TCC Rating
The 2012 Acura MDX is not just comfortable and family-friendly; it's one of the most enjoyable three-row crossovers to drive.
8.6
/ 10
TCC Rating
The 2012 Audi Q7 has what upscale suburban families want: a lavish interior, a cabin full of premium features, and performance and ride that are very carlike--plus serious towing ability if and when you need it.
8.4
/ 10
TCC Rating
It doesn't pop with the styling or interior plushness of its competitors, but the 2012 BMW X5 has the powerful X5 M and frugal diesel up its sleeve.
8.6
/ 10
TCC Rating
The 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee only gets better this year with the addition of the SRT8's thundering HEMI V-8.
8.0
/ 10
TCC Rating
A safe luxury-crossover choice for many good reasons, the 2012 Lexus RX 350 offers a serene driving experience and lots of cool tech features.
MSRP From     
$48,990$43,030$46,250$47,500$27,195$39,075
Gas Mileage     
14 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy16 MPG City / 21 MPG Hwy16 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy14 MPG City / 26 MPG Hwy12 MPG City / 23 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy
Engine     
Gas V6Gas V6Supercharged Gas V6Turbocharged Gas I6Gas/Ethanol V6Gas V6
EPA Class     
Sport Utility Vehicle 4WDSport Utility Vehicle4WD Sport Utility Vehicle4WD Sport Utility Vehicle2WD Sport Utility Vehicle2WD Sport Utility Vehicle
Style Name     
4MATIC 4-Door ML350AWD 4-Doorquattro 4-Door 3.0T Premium PlusAWD 4-Door 35iRWD 4-Door Laredo AltitudeFWD 4-Door
Drivetrain     
All Wheel DriveAll Wheel DriveAll Wheel DriveAll-Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
577555
Passenger Doors     
N/AN/AN/AN/A4N/A
Body Style     
4 Door4 DoorSport Utility Vehicle4 Door Sport Utility VehicleSport Utility VehicleSport Utility Vehicle
Transmission     
AutomaticAutomaticAutomatic w/Manual ShiftAutomaticAutomaticAutomatic w/manual shift
 
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