The M-Class has our favorite blend of dynamic style and performance, but it's tough to overlook the Infiniti FX50 for drama at first sight and behind the wheel.
It's quick and sexy in a way the Volkswagen Touareg and Porsche Cayenne have become in their second generations; the German utes feel ever more sturdy and they're great off-roaders, and they span a range from Hybrid to Cayenne Turbo.
The BMW X5 is the Mercedes-Benz M-Class's closest competitor-in fact, just the state of Georgia separates the Mercedes factory in Alabama from the BMW factory in South Carolina.
The X5 offers a third-row seat, but it has more sedate styling and lacks the performance character of BMW's cars.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee has been beautifully remade for 2011: it's a distant cousin of the M-Class back to DaimlerChrysler days, and the ride quality and solidity give away that backstory.
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|2011 Mercedes-Benz M ClassBrowse Used Listings||2011 BMW X5Browse Used Listings||2011 Jeep Grand CherokeeBrowse Used Listings||2011 Porsche CayenneBrowse Used Listings||2011 Volkswagen TouaregBrowse Used Listings|
|11 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy||12 MPG City / 26 MPG Hwy||16 MPG City / 23 MPG Hwy||15 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy||16 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy|
|Gas V6||Diesel I6||Gas/Ethanol V6||Gas V6||Gas V6|
|Sport Utility Vehicle 2WD||4WD Sport Utility Vehicle||2WD Sport Utility Vehicle||Sport Utility Vehicle 4WD||4WD Sport Utility Vehicle|
|RWD 4-Door ML 350||AWD 4-Door 35d||RWD 4-Door Laredo||AWD 4-Door Manual||4-Door VR6 Sport|
|Rear Wheel Drive||All-Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive||All Wheel Drive||Four Wheel Drive|
|4 Door||4 Door Sport Utility Vehicle||Sport Utility Vehicle||4 Door Sport Utility Vehicle||4 Door|
|Detailed Spec Comparison|
|2011 Mercedes-Benz M Class vs. 2011 BMW X5||2011 Mercedes-Benz M Class vs. 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee||2011 Mercedes-Benz M Class vs. 2011 Porsche Cayenne||2011 Mercedes-Benz M Class vs. 2011 Volkswagen Touareg|