From £42,4258

There’s a welcome dose of pragmatism and maturity about the new Mercedes ML 250 Bluetec. Higher up in the M-Class range, you can buy versions of the car loaded with state-of-the-art chassis technology to enhance both on-road and off-road performance.

Height-adjustable air suspension and lockable inter-axle differentials are the usual SUV fare. Adaptive damping and active anti-roll bars most certainly aren’t. The ML 250 Bluetec is cast more simply than its range mates as the frugal, refined, spacious and classy old-school family Mercedes to effortlessly meet your every real-world need.

Matt Saunders Autocar

Matt Saunders

Road test editor
The M-Class has come a long way since the early days of poor refinement and cabin quality

The ML’s most distinctive frontal feature is the big star set among a pleasing new grille treatment. A chrome strip, designed to increase the premium look runs along the bottom of the front bumper. It works, but will be less convincing if you scuff the front by running out of approach angle.

Reflecting British buyers' penchant for large wheels on their large SUVs, no wheels measure less than 19 inches across. Those looking to make more of a statement can choose rims up to 21 inches as an option. 

The M-Class has the reversed C-pillar, which has been a staple feature of the model since its introduction. The D-pillar is, once more, hidden behind the glass to reduce the visible effect of bulk around the back end. A three-piece spoiler is fitted as standard to smooth airflow and reduce drag.

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