Car reviews - Mercedes-Benz - M-class - ML500
Just before it's replaced by a new model, we spend time with the Mercedes ML500
25 Mar 2015
MERCEDES-BENZ launched its first generation ML-Class large SUV in Australia in 1998 and entered the high-end off-roader segment which, until then had only been populated by Land Rover’s Range Rover.
BMW would have its own luxury SUV out by 2000 in the shape of the X5, while Audi was nearly a decade away from doing the same with the Q7.
The ML-Class was an instant hit for Benz and in the past 17 years it has always made it into the top five sellers for the German car-maker with 2014 being its best year yet with 3143 units sold.
But like the Land Rover product, the reality was that the most ML-Class SUVs would spend the greater part of their lives – if not all – trekking though leafy well-to-do suburbs and cities on paved roads.
The commanding ride height and the supremely comfortable cabin made traffic jams, road rage and other frustrations of daily driving seem far away down below.
The current third-generation ML-Class went on sale in 2012 and this year Benz will retire the nameplate in favour of the GLE moniker that will usher in a mid-life facelift for the high-riding wagon.
But before the new SUV arrives, GoAuto spent two weeks with the ML500 with one correspondent and his eight-months-pregnant wife . Does the ML have what it takes in the face of newer fare such as the BMW X5?
Some images shown in the road test depict the Mercedes-Benz ML350, not the ML500.
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Model release date: 1 May 2012 to 1 August 2015
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