Drive MercedesBenz ML350 Review

1 Янв 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Bill McKinnon

Make an

You want to go where?

It could be that the luxury four-wheel-drive is a exercise based on an absurd Does anybody who buys one it into the bush?

Of course It will get dirty. There’s no phone reception and you can’t get a in Innamincka.

The second-generation M-Class is out to class leadership and customers, mainly to BMW’s X5 but also to the RX330 (now 350), XC90 and Range Rover

The 200kW, 3.5-litre V6 ML350, at is complemented by the ML320 CDi, runs a 165kW, 3.0-litre V6 engine, priced at $82,900.

The 5.0-litre V8 ML500 is $116,900.

M-Class is considerably larger the original and rides on a unitary chassis, rather than the steel ladder-frame in the model it

The greater on road bias more like the X5) is also in the absence of a low-range transfer

If you want genuine off-road in the new M-Class, you pay extra for it as an option a whopping $10,150 on the ML 350/320.

Off-Road Pro Engineering Package adaptive dampers and air spring (already standard on the ML500, so the 4WD costs $4900; the ML350/320 conventional steel springs and with variable ride-height, gearing, underbody protection and centre and rear differentials.

It also has electronic aids as hill descent control and hold on steep gradients, specific settings for anti-lock traction control, gearshift and pedal responsiveness.

Pick of the engines is the 3.5-litre V6. It gives little to the V8 in the breadth and strength of its is just as refined and uses fuel.

The V8 produces only more than the V6, which is here nor there as far as on-road is concerned.

Its higher torque (460Nm instead of 350Nm) it stronger in the 2000rpm-3000rpm range but the V6 is by no weak here, or anywhere

The V8 is about one second quicker to reaching this mark in 7.4

There is no conventional gear on the seven-speed automatic. A wand on the of the steering column performs function, and all connections are electronic.

It seems weird at first but you get used to it. You can change gears using buttons on the back of the wheel spokes.

Left to its own shifts are nicely segued in though quick kickdowns you to push the pedal into the

Dynamics and ride have markedly on the new M-Class.

The conventionally ML350 has tidy — in the of two tonnes — handling at and a compliant ride.

It’s composed and comfortable on rough roads.

However, the M-Class is more ponderous and top-heavy the rival X5, which remains by a margin the best handler in class.

The air suspension can be set to Sport which produces disciplined control and flat cornering, with a slightly firm, ride.

Comfort mode is the soft, loose and sloppy. The setting provides the best and handling compromise in 99 per cent of conditions.

The ML350/320 use 235/65 on 17-inch alloy wheels; the gets 255/55 tyres on wheels.

A space-saver spare is Local Mercedes management has its German head office Australia requires a full-sized which is available an expensive

Rack and pinion steering is indirect, though accurate and tactile for a 4WD.

The brakes, with larger on the ML500, are powerful and fade and the anti-lock works effectively on

Ground clearance can be raised up to with the air suspension fitted to the option .

Fit and finish quality in the much criticised in the original are satisfactory here.

The driver a bulging, unsubtle American-style As usual, controls on the base are easier to navigate than fitted with the complex, COMAND system with its screen.

Driving position includes long seat-travel, a and reach adjustable steering and wrap-over rear seat restraints for clear vision.

On the wheel, buttons link to and trip computer functions, the of which is displayed between the

The driver’s seat is typically well padded and supportive.

it comes to describing upholstery, just can’t bring to use the word vinyl.

It has tried euphemisms over the years MB Tex being the most obscure in a pathetic attempt to hide its

Man-made leather is standard on the The cow-made variety is — you it — optional.

The ML350 and 320 CDi (diesel) also front and rear parking roof rails, rain-sensing a six-stack CD player, cruise with speed limiter, air-conditioning, active head and Pre Safe, a crash protection which automatically tensions the when the stability control is

The ML500 adds COMAND satellite navigation, upgraded power front seats, upholstery and separate rear-seat controls.

In the rear, the back-seat is steeply angled, so you sit wedged the back-rest.

Still, it’s and well padded, with of headroom and space to stretch legs. The three child anchors are on the back of the seat.

Mercedes-Benz ML 350 CDI AT Base

space is now far greater than the X5.

The low floor is easy to load. It is by folding the split rear-seat and front-seat travel remains and the head restraints stay

There is a 12-volt outlet and cover but no net or protective barrier.

The and X5 comparison is now a close run thing.

The Rover Sport and Lexus are also worth a try before you a decision.

The X5 and the Lexus take the handling on bitumen. Off-road, the Range is unbeatable.

However, all round, at model ML350/ML320 CDi level, the (as a drive and a deal) is now the class

It’s polished, powerful, spacious and refined.

However, difficult to see $35,000 worth of value in the ML500 V8, let alone for the Off Road Pro Engineering Package

Only a German car company have the audacity to sell you a then charge you another for the bits that actually you to take it off-road.

Price and

Rating: 3.0 out of 5 stars

All the electric are there, as you’d expect in a car costing upwards of 80 grand. can be expensive, though, and it’s that real leather standard on base models. The and 320CDI include front and parking assistance, roof rain sensing wipers, a CD, cruise control with limiter and automatic air condioning. The adds COMAND with upgraded audio, power seats, leather upholstery and rear seat venitlation

Under the bonnet

Rating: 4.0 out of 5

The 3.5 litre V6 is the pick of the petrol It gives away little to the V8 in the and strength of its delivery, is just as and uses less fuel. The is better again, with performance and economy.

How it drives

Rating: 4.0 out of 5 stars

The feels top heavy in tight but has tidy – in the context of two tonnes roadholding at speed and a relatively ride. It’s particularly and comfortable on rough country

Comfort and practicality

Rating: 3.0 out of 5

The ML has firm, comfortable seats plenty of back seat and space. However you have to pay for many features which be included as standard.


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