13 December 2004

The bigger and better Mercedes M-class will be launched next summer with a choice of two petrol and two diesel engines. The range-topper at launch will be the 5.0-litre V8 ML500 with 302bhp. The ML350 gets the new 268bhp 3.5-litre V6. Two V6 diesels will be offered: a 187bhp ML280 CDI and 221bhp ML350 CDI, both offering over 30mpg.

The second-generation M-class grows by 150mm over its predecessor and is 71mm wider. A 9mm drop in height helps provide a more purposeful stance.

Mercedes claims an improved drag co-efficient (down from 0.39 to 0.34) will improve fuel economy by up to 10 per cent, aided by the standard 7G-Tronic seven-speed automatic gearbox.

Off-roading kit includes hill descent control and hill-start assist, as well as adjustable Airmatic suspension.

On the inside, the most noticeable change is the gearlever moving to the steering column, while Mercedes has made efforts to lift trim quality. The interior is also more functional, with removable rear-seat cushions allowing the seats to fold flat in a 60:40 formation, leaving a 2100mm-long load bay.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK