2011 Mercedes-Benz M Class vs. Its Competition

2011 Mercedes-Benz M Class RWD 4-door 3.5L Angular Front Exterior View
Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director

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.

2011 Mercedes-Benz M Class RWD 4-door 3.5L Angular Front Exterior View2011 Mercedes-Benz M Class
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2011 BMW X5 AWD 4-door 50i Angular Front Exterior View2011 BMW X5
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2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee
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2011 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid2011 Porsche Cayenne
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2011 Volkswagen Touareg2011 Volkswagen Touareg
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Quick Specs
The 2011 Mercedes-Benz M-Class earns respect with neat styling riffs, shock-and-awe AMG power, and your choice of earth-saving powertrains.
The 2011 BMW X5 offers impressive handling and features, but lacks the styling and interior that makes competitors pop, while the X5 M offers nearly sports car levels of performance with all the utility of a standard X5.
The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee is one capable, good-looking crossover—and a welcome sign of life from Chrysler.
The new 2011 Porsche Cayenne is one of the few vehicles you can take off-road and out to the track on the same day; it's leaner and more athletic than before, without giving up the off-road ability.
The 2011 Volkswagen Touareg has dropped some of its ruggedness in favor of the comfort suburban families want—but it's still not quite a rival to luxury-brand utes.
MSRP From    
Gas Mileage    
11 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy12 MPG City / 26 MPG Hwy16 MPG City / 23 MPG Hwy15 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy16 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy
Gas V6Diesel I6Gas/Ethanol V6Gas V6Gas V6
EPA Class    
Sport Utility Vehicle 2WD4WD Sport Utility Vehicle2WD Sport Utility VehicleSport Utility Vehicle 4WD4WD Sport Utility Vehicle
Style Name    
RWD 4-Door ML 350AWD 4-Door 35dRWD 4-Door LaredoAWD 4-Door Manual4-Door VR6 Sport
Rear Wheel DriveAll-Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveAll Wheel DriveFour Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity    
Passenger Doors    
Body Style    
4 Door4 Door Sport Utility VehicleSport Utility Vehicle4 Door Sport Utility Vehicle4 Door
AutomaticAutomaticAutomaticManual w/ODAutomatic
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2011 Mercedes-Benz M Class vs. 2011 BMW X52011 Mercedes-Benz M Class vs. 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee2011 Mercedes-Benz M Class vs. 2011 Porsche Cayenne2011 Mercedes-Benz M Class vs. 2011 Volkswagen Touareg