2011 Mercedes-Benz M Class Photo
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Reviewed by Marty Padgett
Editorial Director, The Car Connection
Quick Take
The 2011 Mercedes-Benz M-Class earns respect with neat styling riffs, shock-and-awe AMG power, and your choice of earth-saving powertrains. Read more »
Decision Guide
Opinions from around the Web

modern and kind of aggressive

Mother Proof »

interior...may be its most outstanding feature

Edmunds »

padded rails at the bottom of the center console...are more of an off-road touch

Kelley Blue Book »

smorgasbord of identical-looking black miserably at making your life easier

Edmunds »
Pricing and Specifications by Style
$46,490 $92,590
RWD 4-Door ML350
Gas Mileage 16 mpg City/20 mpg Hwy
Engine Gas V6, 3.5L
EPA Class Sport Utility Vehicle 2WD
Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity 5
Passenger Doors 4
Body Style Sport Utility
See Detailed Specs »
8.6 out of 10
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The Basics:

Back when it was brand-new, in 1998, the Mercedes-Benz M-Class (legally, the ML-Class) gave the German automaker its foothold in the SUV market, and in America, with its new assembly plant in the U.S.

More than a decade later, the ML-Class is in its final years of the current body style, but it's still among the most desirable utes in its class. It's attractive, with some catchy styling riffs outside resolving into a muted, sophisticated, expensive-feeling cockpit with plenty of real-world room for five adults and a significant amount of cargo or luggage.

Priced from about $47,000 up to more than $93,000, the ML-Class also is the only sport-utility vehicle sold in America that's offered in gas, diesel, or hybrid editions. We've raved over the scalding performance of the ML63 AMG--but in a more realistic plane, we'd opt for the ML550 or better yet, the BlueTEC diesel and their phenomenal pulling power above all other versions.

Originally conceived as an Explorer/Grand Cherokee fighter, today's M-Class has a more luxurious set of competitors waiting for it to trip up. The BMW X5, the Infiniti FX, the Volkswagen Touareg, and the Porsche Cayenne are angling for some of the same shoppers. Each is worthy of a test drive, but if you can't quite decide what powertrain you want, the M-Class may have the most broadly appealing lineup of them all.


  • Handsome and catchy styling
  • Stunning V-8 power
  • Diesel and hybrid options
  • Better built than ever before


  • Low fuel economy (ML550, ML63)
  • More expensive than ever
  • Hybrid is lease-only
Next: Interior / Exterior »
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