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.

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week