Test Drive 2007 MercedesBenz ML320 CDI Autos ca

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April 16, 2007

When went electric, he shocked and up the folk music world.

expect similar reverberations now the Mercedes M-Class has gone but at least the fuel is beginning to up its act here in North America.

For Mercedes offers its all-wheel-drive M utility platform with an CDI engine, a 3.0-litre turbo powerplant producing 215 horses and a 398 lb.-ft. of torque. Not only do you get the economy of a diesel engine, you get the torque that, when it to towing, is more in the range of a V8 than a medium-block V6.

For comparison’s consider the 2007 ML350, the same vehicle as the ML320 with a gasoline engine than the CDI turbo diesel. the diesel engine gets a 11 L/100km in city driving and 8.1 on the highway, the ML350’s 3.5-litre V6 produces 268 horses and 258 lb.-ft. of and has fuel ratings of 14.1 in the city and 10.1 on the highway.

So, while being a little in a head-to-head meeting of the two engines, the blows away the torque of the regular fuel engine, and the fuel economy.

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The ML350 base is $58,300; the ML320, $59,800. brings us to the big question: when with these cold numbers, why would anyone the ML350 over the diesel

The simple answer is the traditional American perception of diesel: engines, smelly exhaust and a of diesel pumps in urban But as is so often the case with particularly long-held ones, is more fiction than in these beliefs.

Diesel technology today, thanks in part to its widespread application in vehicles in Europe, makes the of the 1970s and 1980s look turn-of-the-19th-Century work engines. The of hearing from a block that distinctive diesel coming from a big Mercedes are long gone. The only sound coming from the generation CDI engine is the whine of the

As to the smelly tailpipe and the once blue exhaust, 21st diesel fuel has certainly up its act. Thanks to European standards and preferential taxation in the stages of the 20th Century, oil have been required to reduce the level of sulphur in fuels. Last year, America adopted more diesel emission standards in with the change to ultra-low diesel (ULSD), a cleaner and less environmentally damaging of diesel fuel.

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Mercedes cutting emissions-control technology, available on the Mercedes-Benz E320 Bluetec, was the Best New Technology for 2007 by the Journalists Association of Canada Bluetec enables diesel to meet strict new North emissions standards, thus customers here to access to the diesel advantages that have long enjoyed.

Though not the BlueTec engine, the diesel, when combined the elegant interior and civilized characteristic of the M-Class platform, for a formidable argument for bucking up the grand-and-a-half for the diesel SUV.

a highway cruising range of 900 kilometres and the knowledge that is as common on the open roads as headlights, the 2007 ML320 is the ride for luxurious long The fuel is also becoming widely available in urban particularly larger Canadian However, diesel-buying planning is required in some areas.

My came with the Premium and the packages as options, and when as such, there is little for even the most sophisticated and tastes. The $4,300 Premium includes 10-way power front seats with steering column and three-position COMAND navigation system, rear seats, power and exterior power folding

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Mercedes-Benz ML 350 CDI AT Base

The Sport package adds sport seats, blue glass, aluminum trim, lighting package, Alcantara/ARTICO an interior appearance package, an appearance package, and 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.

Just as the layout, fit and finish and materials are all so too is the performance of the ML320. Though not as as its M-Class stablemates, the ML320’s 215 are more than up to the job of getting the SUV off the line in a hurry. And the awesome figure makes highway a breeze.

Handling and cornering, at speed, are rock solid, in part to the ML320’s double-wishbone suspension and a newly-developed four-link suspension.

When the M-Class almost a decade ago, it was the sport utility in its class four-wheel independent suspension. In the sport SUV was one of the first to be designed the ground up, rather than based on an existing truck That first generation was in large part responsible for the dive into “luxury’ SUV building by so many automakers. would ever have Porsche would produce a

The 2007 ML320 comes a standard 7G-TRONIC seven-speed transmission, permanent four-wheel-drive and optional features such as AIRMATIC air suspension. A revised traction control system now functions such as a Downhill Regulator and Hill-Start Assist.

New include a rear seat system, a rear-view camera shows the area behind the when reverse is engaged, and a interface for cell phones provides integrated, hands-free without docking the handset.

safety features include Stability Program (ESP), adaptive air bags for the driver and passenger, door-mounted side air in the front, curtain side air and adaptive belt tensioners and force limiters. A rollover can activate the belt tensioner and air bags if the vehicle senses an rollover.

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as it did back in 1998, the M-Class to set the bar high. The first-generation M-Class won awards, including AJAC’s Car of the and the North American Truck of the

Bob Dylan sang that the were a changing, and for the 2007 and consumers of the luxury sport the change to a diesel engine certainly something worth about.

Mercedes-Benz ML 350 CDI AT Base

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