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Car reviews - Mercedes-Benz - M-class - 5-dr wagon range

Overview

Second-genereation M-class from Mercedes-Benz is a luxury SUV revelation

7 Sep 2005

IT may be credited with kicking off the whole prestige SUV movement, but there was little question that, at the end of its seven-year life, the Mercedes-Benz M-class had been out-pointed, out-performed and outclassed by just about all competitors. The all-new version rectifies all of this. The M-class is now entirely competitive with its peers on the open road, while it offers the potential of being a more capable occasional off-roader than it was before. The substitution of a ladder-frame chassis with unitary construction saves weight while allowing a larger, tauter body that takes full advantage of the all-new petrol V6 engine as well as the forthcoming V6 turbodiesel. It looks tough and substantial, yet has been carefully designed to give sedan-like aerodynamic drag figures. Bigger, more powerful, more economical. It’s hard to argue with that.

The Road to Recovery podcast series

Model release date: 1 September 2005 to 1 September 2008

Previous model

Mercedes-Benz M-class

Released: Sep 1998
Ended: Aug 2005
Family Tree: M-class

Arriving on sale in Australia in September 1998, the original M-class was launched with a single 160kW/310Nm 3.2-litre V6-powered ML320 variant. The 200kW/390Nm 4.3-litre V8 ML430 was released in March 1999, while the 120kW/370Nm 2.7-litre turbo-diesel ML270 CDI went on sale in February 2000 and the flagship ML55 AMG (complete with 255kW/510Nm 5.4-litre V8) arrived in January 2001. A facelifted M-class was launched here in November 2001 for the 2002 model year, which continued to comprise the ML320, ML270 and ML55 variants, while the 215kW/440Nm 5.0-litre V8 ML500 replaced the ML430. The 175kW/346Nm 3.7-litre V6-powered ML350 replaced the ML320 in May 2003.

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