New models - Mercedes-Benz - M-class
Timely boost for the Mercedes M-class
Benz’s ageing cross-over ups the ante to tackle the updated BMW X5
28 Jan 2004
By BRUCE NEWTON
JUST as BMW launches its substantially updated X5 cross-over wagon, Mercedes-Benz has reminded us there is life in the M-class yet.
With more than 11,500 M-classes sold in Australia since its launch in 1998, there’s no doubt it has done sterling service for Benz.
But in recent times M-class has been shaded by a number of rivals in the sales race, most notably the X5.
With a second generation M due in 2005, Benz has given the original a boost by improving standard equipment levels, albeit alongside a price rise.
Both the 120kW ML 270 turbo-diesel and the 172kW V6 ML 350 are now equipped with an in-dash CD player and the parking sensor system called “parktronic”.
The 215kW V8 ML 500 now comes with a six-stack CD-changer, parktronic and Benz’s “Comand” audio and navigation system.
Parktronic and a rain sensor with variable intermittent wipe has been added to the 255kW ML 55 AMG.
So what does this extra equipment cost? The ML 270 and 350 go up $1000 to $73,900, the ML 500 rises a hefty $4600 to $104,500 and the AMG is now $140,500, up $1000.
All these adjustments keep the M-class under the pricing of the equivalent BMW, although the exact ask for the storming X5 4.8is will not be announced until the Melbourne motor show, which starts February 27.
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