Quality » 9
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QUALITY | 9 out of 10
the seats’ weak bolsters further suggest that this SUV might possess grand ambitions, but handling is not among them.
Car and Driver
Although published legroom and cargo capacity have dipped slightly from the second generation, there's still ample knee clearance for 6-footers in the second row and, for the first time ever, you can recline the rear seatbacks.
Edmunds' Inside Line
New foam insulation below the floor boosts the car's aura of on-road serenity.
The interior of the 2012 Merceces-Benz M Class is first and foremost that of a luxury vehicle, at once comfortable, welcoming, and high-class.
While seating in the M Class is about on par with that in other luxury SUVs its size, the cushions front and back are well contoured, with all-day support built in. Taller adults can sit in back, in the outboard positions, though it's still a bit of a squeeze to fit three across. Rear seatbacks are also now adjustable for rake, and there's more than 36 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second-row seats.
With the last generation of the ML, Mercedes made considerable advances in refinement and materials, bringing the cabin appointments and ride quality up to par with that of the brand's sedans. In this new third-gen version, it's even better—especially the way everything fits. Much-improved aerodynamics—and a spoiler at the back of the roof—help keep the interior quieter than before. In all, the M Class simply feels quieter and more comfortable at triple-digit speeds—which, by the way, sneak up remarkably easy on you with the BlueTec.
Ride quality is, in a word, uncompromised. The available Airmatic suspension and adaptive damping systems include just two ride modes, Comfort and Sport, and we found a very significant difference between the two; Comfort soaks up all but the hardest jolts, with a sort of firm-but-creamy demeanor, while with Sport you get a somewhat crisper feel at turn-in but the tradeoff is that you're at all times a little more in touch with the road surface.
With a combination of top-notch materials, jewel-like details, and excellent seating and ride comfort, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz M Class won't let discerning luxury shoppers down.