2012 Mercedes-Benz M-Class SUV Gets Ready to Hit the Road

July 11, 2011
2012 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

2012 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

Looking for a luxury mid-size SUV with plenty of power, loads of safety features and the Mercedes-Benz name? Check out the completely redesigned third-generation 2012 Mercedes-Benz M-Class SUV, ready to hit the road in the U.S. in September.

Two models of the five-passenger 2012 M-Class SUV will be available: the ML350 BlueTEC diesel and ML350 4MATIC. With its striking design, new cabin and unmistakable Mercedes-Benz touches, the new M-Class is about ¾-inches lower than the previous model, nearly 1 inch longer and a half-inch wider.

More power

Mercedes-Benz says the engines in both models have more power for 2012. The ML350 BlueTEC diesel is powered by a purpose-built 3.0-liter V-6 diesel, now delivering 240 horsepower (up from 210 in the previous model) and 455 pound-feet of torque (up from 400), while achieving 30 percent better fuel economy than a comparable gasoline engine. The diesel engine meets emission requirements in all 50 states. Estimated fuel economy is 20 mpg city/25 mpg highway (up from 18/25 last year).

The ML350 4MATIC, on the other hand, with its 302-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 engine and 273 pound-feet of torque, has 13 percent more power than last year’s 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque.  The new V-6 engine features direct fuel injection. Estimated fuel economy is 17 mpg in the city cycle and 22 mpg on the highway cycle, compared with 15/20 last year.

Both engines are mated with a seven-speed automatic transmission.

Standard ATTENTION ASSIST safety system

Standard in every 2012 M-Class SUV is the innovative Mercedes-Benz ATTENTION ASSIST safety system that alerts the driver to the first signs of drowsiness. Since drowsiness is a causal factor in more than 100,000 accidents each year in the U.S., making this potentially lifesaving technology standard is another way Mercedes-Benz is setting itself apart from the competition.

Here’s how it works: A steering sensor is coupled to smart software that uses 70 parameters to establish a unique driver profile – during the first 20 minutes on the road. At between 50 and 112 miles per hour, the system identifies any erratic steering corrections the driver makes as drowsiness sets in. The system triggers an audible warning and a visible message “Time for a Rest?” with a coffee cup icon appears in the instrument cluster.

Additional assistance systems available as optional equipment on the new M-Class, many in packages, include: night-view assist with pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist, blind spot assist, DISTRONIC Plus, Brake Assist Plus (in conjunction with DISTRONIC PLUS), and PRE-SAFE Brake with autonomous emergency braking (in conjunction with DISTRONIC PLUS).

New iPad docking station for rear-seat occupants

Coinciding with the 2012 M-Class debut, Mercedes-Benz is also launching a new iPad docking station. The iPad docking station, which will hold the iPad in place behind the front-seat headrests, will allow rear-seat occupants to watch movies, play music or games, view pictures, and surf the Internet without having to hold the iPad in their hands.

The iPad docking station can be rotated up to 90 degrees and tilted, while being recharged through the vehicle’s electrical system. While it’s launching at the same time as the new M-Class, the automaker says the iPad docking system will be available in September 2011 in most of its passenger cars and SUVs.

The 2012 M-Class SUV is built at the Mercedes-Benz assembly plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.


Sign up for our free newsletter or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

The Car Connection
See the winners »
The Car Connection
Commenting is closed for this article
Ratings and Reviews
Rate and review your car for The Car Connection
Review your car
The Car Connection Daily Headlines
I agree to receive emails from the site. I can withdraw my consent at any time by unsubscribing.
Thank you! Please check your email for confirmation.