2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350
Mercedes-Benz energized the luxury SUV segment with their first, 1998 M-Class, selling over 43,000 here the first year. With over a million world wide M-Class sales to date, a new 3rd generation 2012 ML350 bows with some serious, timely, yet to many eyes, subtle revisions.
The slightly longer, wider, and lower body has grown sleeker with bolder headlights and a deeper, sportier slope in the rear. More noticeable changes are found by sitting inside and actually driving the ML350. After one trip we notice the rearranged cruise controls, easier-access seat controls, and upgraded luxury features all around, as well as more cargo capacity when all five seats are in use.
That first drive also revealed more refined power from two new V6s. Standard is a gasoline 3.5-liter with 32 added horsepower for a total of 302. Coupled with a 7-speed automatic and 4Matic all-wheel drive, Mercedes claims a 12 percent boost in fuel economy over last year. Optional is a BlueTEC 3.0 liter turbo-diesel with 240-horsepower, a gain of 30. Sport setting, attention and hill start assist, and advanced park assist bring even more comfort and security to the already smooth and quiet ride.
Available now, the Mercedes-Benz ML350 starts at just under $49,000.
Engine: 3.5-liter V6
Price: Just under $49,000