The Mercedes-Benz M-class is a luxury mid-size SUV designed for up to five passengers. It is marketed to compete primarily with the Range Rover, BMW and Porsche Cayenne, after being introduced to compete with the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ford Explorer. In the 1990s the SUV market was exploding and MB saw many owners leaving the brand for US-made sport utilities. Mercedes-Benz began their SUV development which led to the M-class debut in 1998.
The first M-class generation is considered the years 1998 to 2005. Early years saw some design and mechanical flaws that were partially resolved with a mild redesign in 2002. A full redesign including a manufacturing plant upgrade occurred in 2005 and eliminated many of the earlier flaws. The second generation debuted in 2006 with a good selection of engines from which to choose. There were V-6 and V-8 options as well as the top-trim ML63 AMG with its powerful 6.2 liter V-8. The first diesel option was introduced in 2009 as the ML 350 BlueTEC, and there was also a short-lived hybrid version of the ML450 as a leased vehicle. The second generation M-class was larger and longer than its predecessor, with great improvements in cabin fit and finish. It also succeeded in making the M-class less utility and more sport in look and feel.
The third generation M-class was released in 2012. The exterior is still reminiscent of earlier M-class vehicles, but Mercedes took the interior much further toward their luxury sedans. Features included an upgraded Harman-Kardon sound system, heated and cooled cup holders, and advanced park assist. A new 302 horsepower V-6 was used in the ML 350, and a reworked turbodiesel produced 240 horsepower and an impressive 455 lb-ft of torque. A lower-priced ML 350 with rear-wheel drive was introduced in 2013, and MB introduced an On- and Off-Road package with a dual-range transfer case, six transmission settings, and a differential lock. This model year also brought massage to the seats and a new telematics system with Google Search and Street View. Most recently, the M-class has seen downsized power trains to meet energy efficiency requirements. The turbodiesel V-6 was replaced with a 200 horsepower 4-cylinder, and the ML 500 model with its V-8 was replaced by the ML 400 and its twin-turbo V-6 developing 329 horsepower, an engine used in several Mercedes models.
The Mercedes-Benz M-class SUV is perfect for a small family or folks looking for a combination of towing power and luxury in a mid-size sport utility. You can review the Car Stop Texas M-class inventory on-line or come over to Arlington and check us out.