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Fab four-cylinder M-Class gives Mercedes-Benz a smooth segment-straddler

7 May 2012

MERCEDES-BENZ has taken an unprecedented step in the Australian full-size luxury SUV field with its third-generation M-Class by fitting it with a potent four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine.

Producing the same power and torque as the larger V6 diesel it replaces, the downsized unit consumes 30 per cent less fuel, contributing to an average 25 per cent improvement in fuel consumption across the range.

In addition to all-round improvements, a downsizing in price and upsizing of equipment is aimed at attracting customers considering cars from the next size down as well as higher-priced direct rivals – but is it enough to place the M-Class at the top of luxury SUV shopping lists?

The Road to Recovery podcast series

Model release date: 1 March 2012 to 1 August 2015

Previous model

Released: August 2005
Ended: March 2012
Family Tree: M-class

Mercedes-Benz brought the second-generation M-Class back into contention as a luxury SUV in 2005 and further boosted its appeal with a mid-life facelift in 2008., , The move from a ladder chassis to car-like unitary construction saved weight while allowing a larger, tauter body that took full advantage of new engines, including a petrol V6, muscular V8 and economical V6 turbo-diesel., , As a result, the M-Class became more competitive with its peers on the open road, while offering the potential of being a more capable occasional off-roader than before., , In addition to an exterior refresh, the facelift brought small fuel economy improvements and the latest Mercedes COMAND APS infotainment system with iPod integration, while audiophiles could select an optional 610-Watt Harman Kardon surround-sound package with 12 speakers.

Get the full story: Mercedes massages its M-class SUV for 2009, via a fresh face and upgraded features

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