Mercedes-Benz M-Class ML350 4Matic Review: Sweet home Alabama

Mercedes-Benz M-Class ML350 4Matic Review: Sweet home Alabama

OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
13 Jul 2012
What we like:
pros
Perceived luxury and quality of new interior
pros
generous amounts of interior room
pros
smooth engine and gearbox
pros
superb ride
What we dislike:
cons
Uninspiring looks
cons
awkward proportion
cons
ponderous roadholding manners

The generous exterior dimensions though, equate to a hugely spacious interior with a gargantuan and well-shaped boot as well as generous amounts of leg and shoulder room for rear passengers. The boot is accessed via an electrically operated tailgate that features adjustments for its opening angle so that it can still be operated in tight confined spaces like in a multi-storey car park and so on.

Up front, the driver has a commanding and panoramic view of the road and terrain ahead thanks to the M-Class’s tall and generous ride height. In addition, there’s a new dashboard that is crafted from much better and higher quality materials and switchgear than the previous model’s. There’s plenty of new, highly tactile switchgear in the M-Class, like the new wiper/headlamp stalk and DIRECT SELECT column mounted gear selector that will surely find their way into other future Merc cabins. Mercedes’ COMAND multi-media interface is similar to those in recent generation models and is hardly intuitive to use when compared to contemporary versions of BMW’s iDrive and Audi’s MMI systems.

Compared to its predecessor, the ML350 is much better equipped with standard kit and luxuries. These include LED daytime running lights, chrome roof rails, 19-inch wheels, ATTENTION ASSIST, PRE-SAFE, NECK-PRO active head rests, KEYLESS-GO keyless operation, 4Matic all-wheel drive, cruise control and so on. Typical of a German model, the ML350 can also be specified with a long list of optional extras, with notable ones including the $9,100 AMG styling package, $1,500 reversing camera, $7,100 rear entertainment system and so on.

With the new model, Mercedes has ironed out the last generation model’s raw edges with an interior that oozes quality that is worthy of a Three-pointed Star’s and generous amounts of interior room and versatility as well as improved refinement overall. Its awkward and heavy styling though, might some need time for our eyes to get use to.

Editor: Tell us, how would you rate the new Mercedes-Benz M-Class against the other luxury SUVs on the market. Namely, the Lexus RX, Audi Q7, BMW X5 and Infiniti FX.

Credits: Story by Mark Yeo Photos by Yang and Mark Yeo

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