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TheCarConnection.com's editors drove the new Mercedes-Benz M-Class in order to give you an expert opinion. TheCarConnection.com's SUV experts researched available road tests on the new Mercedes-Benz M-Class to produce this conclusive review and to help you find the truth where other reviews might differ.
- Top-notch cabin
- Attractive styling
- Strong safety scores
- High-performance AMG edition
- Poor fuel economy (except for diesel)
The 2009 Mercedes-Benz M-Class sport-utility vehicle has gained a number of minor appearance changes that give it a slightly more sophisticated overall style. At the fore of the vehicle, the restyling begins at the front bumper incorporating new headlights with a distinctive brow that trims the top of a larger, lower grille bearing three silver ribs. Angular air intakes, widely set fog lights, and chrome trim are also new features of the ML’s redesigned front end. In back, the M-Class receives a stainless-steel skid plate that wraps around dual exhausts and a recontoured rear bumper with recessed reflectors.
The 3.5-liter gas V-6 produces 268 horsepower and gets fuel economy of 15 mpg city, 20 highway. Next up is the 2009 Mercedes-Benz ML550, which wears some of the AMG model's body add-ons. A 5.5-liter V-8 grants it 382 hp, and a seven-speed automatic ushers out the power urgently and smoothly. This version can accelerate to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds, or faster than some two-door sports cars—but it gets 13/18 mpg. At the top of the ladder, the 503-horsepower Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG remains unchanged, with unapologetic 11/14 mpg fuel economy and supercar performance cloaked in its handsome, neatly detailed body.
Under the hood of the new 2009 Mercedes-Benz ML320, the German manufacturer’s BlueTEC clean diesel engine replaces the old ML320 CDI engine. The BlueTEC engine, in conjunction with the new AdBlue exhaust treatment system, meets emission standards in all 50 states, and gets 20 to 30 percent better fuel economy than its gas-powered counterparts, while producing 210 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque. It can run upward of 600 miles on a tank, securely devouring interstate at impressive rates in virtually any weather. The diesel feels just as strong as the V-6 in most cases, while also being the best choice out of all the engines for towing.