The new Mercedes-Benz M-Class boasts optimum energy efficiency, leading standards of passive safety, outstanding ride comfort combined with superb driving dynamics, as well as a completely revamped interior design offering excellent ergonomics among its key strengths. The low fuel consumption and exemplary emissions figures make impressive reading – on average, the entire model range burns 25 percent less fuel than the predecessor. Never before has Mercedes-Benz succeeded in cutting fuel consumption by such a huge margin with an SUV model change. An ultramodern engine line-up, a class-beating Cd value of 0.32, extensive BlueEfficiency measures, as well as new development tools such as the “energy-transparent vehicle” all play their part in delivering the good energy efficiency figures.
The 2.2-litre CDI engine turns the ML 250 BlueTEC 4MATIC into the most economical SUV in its class. With NEDC fuel consumption of 6.0 l/100 km, the model even outperforms any hybrid model currently offered by the competition. Despite the low fuel consumption figures, this M-Class model boasts maximum torque of 500 Nm at 1600 rpm and rated output of 150 kW (204 hp) with outstanding performance: the M-Class accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 9.0 seconds before going on to a top speed of 210 km/h. The V6 diesel engine in the ML 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC guarantees effortlessly superior traction. It develops 190 kW (258 hp) and impressive torque of 620 Nm. Despite its extraordinary performance this version boasts combined NEDC fuel consumption of 6.8 litres of diesel per 100 kilometres. The highly efficient V6 diesel unit delivers effortlessly superior performance: the ML 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC accelerates from standstill to 100 km/h in 7.4 seconds before moving on to a top speed of 224 km/h. While delivering performance on a par with the predecessor model, the ML 450 CDI 4MATIC with V8 diesel engine, the new unit, however, boasts 36 percent lower fuel consumption.
The ML 350 4MATIC BlueEFFICIENCY petrol-engined model features the groundbreaking technology of the new generation of V engines from Mercedes-Benz. The ultra-modern 3.5-litre V6 unit has been designed as a naturally aspirated engine. As a major distinction from the preceding engine in the ML 350 4MATIC, the V-angle between the cylinder banks has been reduced from 90 degrees to 60 degrees. This has enabled the balancer shaft compensating primary vibrations to be omitted. As a result the driver notices an outstanding level of comfort. The design highlights of the 3.5-litre V6 include a completely new air intake and exhaust system in conjunction with a variable resonance intake manifold and optimized inflow and outflow. Result: with the same displacement, the output compared with the previous 200 kW (272 hp) model is increased by 12.5 percent to 225 kW (306 hp), while maximum torque has increased by 5.7 percent to 370 Nm (predecessor: 350 Nm) and now is available over a broader engine speed range from 3500 to 5250 rpm. In parallel with this substantial increase in power, Mercedes engineers have achieved an equally impressive reduction in fuel consumption. The predecessor’s NEDC fuel consumption has been reduced by 25 percent. The new V6 petrol engine in the ML 350 4MATIC BlueEFFICIENCY consumes 8.5 litres per 100 kilometres, making it the most economical petrol model in its class. The model combines excellent consumption figures with dynamic performance, accelerating from standstill to 100 km/h in 7.6 seconds, and with a top speed of 240 km/h.
The re-engineered 7G-TRONIC PLUS, standard on all M-Class models, boasts an integrated ECO start/stop function, even lower converter slip and optimized efficiency. A central role is played by the new torsion damper, which eliminates torsional eccentricities and vibrations in the transmission even more effectively. The lower the rpm and the lower the number of cylinders, the more severe these can be. This results in a conflict of aims between comfort and fuel-efficient operation. Mercedes-Benz developers resolved this by using a so-called twin-turbine damper, which is also fitted with a centrifugal pendulum on the diesel models. Depending on the rpm, this moves the centre of mass and allows comfortable operation even in the most economical operating range. Furthermore, the optimized damping allows a marked reduction in the slip of the torque converter lockup clutch even under low loads, which also contributes to fuel savings. In addition, the optimized damping of rotational irregularities and vibrations in the transmission allows an even faster response to driver commands via the accelerator pedal. Friction-optimised bearings and new transmission oil thermal management also help reduce fuel consumption.
All models in the new M-Class range offer excellent comfort and superb driving dynamics as standard – both on the road and away from the tarmac. Besides the steel suspension with selective damping, there are also some new chassis developments and innovative dynamic handling control systems available, which are designed to make driving the new premium SUV an even more effortlessly superior experience. These include the AIRMATIC air suspension with Adaptive Damping System (ADS), the ACTIVE CURVE SYSTEM for active roll stabilization and the ON&OFFROAD package with six driving modes. A comprehensive package of measures has also been included to ensure that the M-Class is at the forefront of its segment for acoustic and vibration comfort too. To ensure that the driving experience continues to be a complete pleasure after hundreds of thousands of kilometres, the development engineers punish both chassis and body in practical trials staged worldwide and in series of selective laboratory tests. Some of the toughest examinations here include the body testing facility and the road-simulation test rig.
The third generation of the highly coveted Mercedes-Benz M-Class SUV combines the best of both worlds, boasting a strong off-road heritage at the same time as making its passengers feel as if they are traveling in a luxury premium saloon. Ground aluminum or exquisite woods as well as the finely detailed switches and trim highlights blend with electrifying surfaces and powerful, harmonious lines to create a high-class interior ambience and a tremendous sense of wellbeing for both the driver and passengers.