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Car reviews - Mercedes-Benz - M-class - ML280 CDI 5-dr wagon


Mercedes' entry level ML280 CDI might be the pick of the bunch

12 Feb 2009

MERCEDES-BENZ added its current entry-level ML280 CDI to the ML range in 2006 - a year after the second-generation ML range was launched. A makeover in late 2008 brought primarily cosmetic changes. Using a detuned version of the brilliant 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 that Mercedes uses in everything from the Vito van to the S-class, the ML280 CDI may lose out on power and torque to its $13,000 more expensive sibling, the ML320 CDI, but this entrée to the M-class is arguably the pick of the range.

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Model release date: 1 September 2008 to 1 April 2012

Previous model

Mercedes-Benz ML280 CDI

Released: October 2006
Ended: October 2008
Family Tree: M-class

AFTER joining the Range Rover-led prestige SUV movement with the original M-class in 1998, the second-generation W164 model was a welcome arrival for Mercedes-Benz as more accomplished newcomers – notably the BMW X5 from 2003 – eroded its sales and reputation. The new model offered greatly improved on-road manners after switching from a truck-like ladder chassis to a car-like unitary construction, and dispatching the heavy low-range transfer case from the standard equipment list, instead offering this as an option. Bigger overall and yet lighter, the range at launch in September 2005 comprised the ML320 CDI with 165kW 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6, the ML350 with 200kW 3.5-litre petrol V6 and the 225kW 5.0-litre V8 petrol ML500. It wasn’t until October 2006 that the new entry-level ML280 CDI (with 140kW 3.0-litre turbo-diesel) and the flagship ML63 AMG (with 375kW 6.2-litre petrol V8).

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