One can say that Mercedes-Benz is on a 2011 world tour right now, continuously introducing new iterations of their most revered vehicles including the world’s first 4-door coupe (CLS). And they have a motor vehicle for every position on the field. You need a QB? They have the iconic SLS AMG. Running backs and receivers are covered with the CL and E; lineman get the GL; DBs compare to the agile SLK; special teams flow with the GL and M; kick returners possess the speed, power and agility of the SL; placekickers and punters get the A and B-Class; while the coach is an S-Class. And when it’s 4th and short and you need the fullback to smash it up the middle, then here comes the G-Wagon!
With almost a half million M-Classes sold in the U.S. and 1.2 million worldwide, Mercedes is elated to keep SUV buyers happy with a reformed M-Class model that appropriated the strengths of its forerunner and improved on performance, efficiency, safety and modern technological conveniences. What did you expect from a company that has been in the auto business for 125 years? It’s in their DNA.
On sale in September, Mercedes will offer two all-wheel drive models (4MATIC) to the American market: the direct-injection gasoline powered 2012 ML350 4MATIC and the clean diesel 2012 ML350 BlueTEC 4MATIC. The ML250 BlueTEC 4MATIC — the most fuel efficient of the crew — will not make its way over. The ML350 4MATIC receives a 3.5-liter V6 with 302-horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque while the ML350 BlueTEC 4MATIC is outfitted with a 3.0-liter diesel engine rated at 240-horsepower and 455 lb-ft of torque. A 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission is mated to both engines. Collectively, the redesigned M-Class is 25% more fuel efficient than prior models. The U.S. is not keen on clean diesel yet, but there is no reason for denying it. Forget about the truckers and buses you’re used to. Today’s diesels are clean, powerful and everlasting; sometimes 600 miles on one tank! As of now the hybrid model hasn’t been a subject of conversation; but we’re sure it will be soon.
Stylistically, the new M-Class is a bit tougher and stronger on the eyes, has more definitive lines and sexier wheels. Symmetrically designed, the interior is pure luxury and mixes beautiful veneers with aluminum, grade A leathers and classy ornamentation. No longer will you see wide spaces, plain plastics or open areas. A bigger 7” display hosts all of the COMAND system’s operations as well as Bluetooth audio streaming, 10GB music storage, HD radio, rearview camera, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, navigation and more. Rear legroom is good and the seats fold flat for added storage.
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