2008 Mercedes-Benz M-Class Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Mercedes-Benz M-Class Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 6.2 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 7-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 503 hp @ 6800 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 11/14 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation Yes
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

  • The 2008 Mercedes-Benz M-Class should make a fine choice for shoppers desiring SUV versatility along with the traditional Mercedes traits of quality, prestige and safety.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    A wide range of engines, comfortable for five, sure-footed in bad weather, high-quality interior materials and construction.

  • Cons

    Regular V6 is short on low-end torque, no third-row seat option, expensive for its segment, antiquated electronics interface.

  • What's New for 2008

    The 2008 Mercedes-Benz M-Class sees additions to its standard and optional packages' features lists. Minimal visual changes include newly standard chrome accents (grille, door handles and exhaust tips) that spice up the looks of this year's ML. Last year's ML500 model has been replaced by the ML550 -- the number change signifies a new 5.5-liter V8. It provides 80 more horsepower than the ML500's V8. The ML350 "Edition 10" celebrates the 10th anniversary of the M-Class with special exterior and interior trim, as well as a few more luxury features.

Full 2008 Mercedes-Benz M-Class Review

What's New for 2008

The 2008 Mercedes-Benz M-Class sees additions to its standard and optional packages' features lists. Minimal visual changes include newly standard chrome accents (grille, door handles and exhaust tips) that spice up the looks of this year's ML. Last year's ML500 model has been replaced by the ML550 -- the number change signifies a new 5.5-liter V8. It provides 80 more horsepower than the ML500's V8. The ML350 "Edition 10" celebrates the 10th anniversary of the M-Class with special exterior and interior trim, as well as a few more luxury features.

Introduction

With so many premium-badged luxury SUVs available now, it's easy to forget that just 10 years ago Mercedes-Benz was one of the first with its M-Class. The original, truck-based (body-on-frame) M-Class was a strong seller for the brand, despite a number of early build quality issues related to its new U.S.-based production. A few years ago the second-generation model debuted. Evidently realizing that about the same number of people who actually use their home fitness machines use their SUVs to go off-road, Mercedes gave the new ML (officially now referred to as the M-Class) a carlike unit-body architecture and a revised suspension design that brought a more on-road-biased personality to this premium sport-utility. In addition to improved handling and ride qualities, the second-generation ML received more aggressive styling, higher-quality cabin fitments and new engines.

The M-Class rolls into 2008 with mostly detail changes that include a celebration of its 10th birthday. Mercedes offers the widest array of power plants in the segment, from a fuel-stretching diesel in the ML320 CDI to a supercar-worthy 507-hp V8 in the ML63 AMG. There's also a new mainstream V8 this year. Found in the ML550 model, this latest-generation 5.5-liter V8 cranks out 382 hp -- 80 more than the 5.0-liter V8 found in last year's ML500. The rise in power hasn't come at the expense of fuel economy, either, with the ML500 and ML550 having very similar EPA estimates.

The new engine is welcome, but the 2008 Mercedes-Benz M-Class faces some serious competition in the $50,000 luxury midsize SUV segment. It's not the only fresh-faced ute on the block, as the Acura MDX, Audi Q7 and BMW X5 were all- new or redesigned just last year, and the Porsche Cayenne and Volkswagen Touareg 2 have been heavily revised for 2008. The advantage of the M-Class is that it offers what most folks typically buy Mercedes-Benzes for: a vaultlike feeling of quality and luxury, visible prestige and state-of-the-art safety. What it doesn't offer is a third-row seat. But one can always consider its stablemate, the larger GL-Class, if the ability to carry up to seven passengers is a must.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Mercedes-Benz M-Class is a midsize, five-passenger luxury SUV. Four trim levels are offered: ML350, ML320 CDI, ML550 and ML63 AMG. The ML350 and 320 CDI are identically equipped with 19-inch wheels, a sunroof, TeleAid, dual-zone automatic climate control, power front seats, maple wood interior trim and a CD player with an auxiliary audio jack. To celebrate the ML's 10th birthday, there will be the ML350 Edition 10, which comes in either black or white and features split-spoke wheels, tinted headlight and taillight bezels, a two-tone leather interior with birch wood and aluminum accents, heated seats, a CD changer and the obligatory "Edition 10" floor mats and exterior badges.

To the regular ML350, the ML550 adds AMG-style bumpers and (19-inch) wheels, running boards and heated front seats. The ML63 AMG features special interior and exterior styling details, as well as a sport-tuned air suspension, 20-inch wheels, upgraded brakes, active headlights, corner-illuminating foglights and ultra-supportive sport seats.

For all but the ML63, there are many options, most grouped in expensive packages. Feature highlights include an adjustable air suspension, park assist, adaptive cruise control, adaptive xenon HID headlights, leather upholstery, a navigation system with a rearview camera, a rear-seat entertainment system and a Harman Kardon Logic7 surround-sound audio system with satellite radio. Upgraded front seats with driver memory, heated front and rear seats, tri-zone climate control, a sunroof and a power liftgate are also available.

Powertrains and Performance

A variety of engines are available for the 2008 M-Class. The ML320 CDI has a 3.0-liter turbodiesel rated at 215 hp and a stout 398 pound-feet of torque. Being a diesel, it provides better fuel mileage (rated at 18 mpg city and 24 mpg highway) and range (more than 600 miles) than a comparably sized gasoline engine. Note that due to stricter emissions standards, the ML320 is unavailable in California-level emission states. The ML350 has a 3.5-liter V6 that makes 268 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque.

Offering brisk performance, the ML550 boasts a 5.5-liter V8 that pumps out 382 hp and 391 lb-ft of torque. Should that not be enough, there is the ML63 AMG with a 6.3-liter V8 making a stunning 503 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque. That's enough to propel this SUV from zero to 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds. All models are fitted with a seven-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. Maximum tow capacity when properly equipped is 5,000 pounds.

Safety

Antilock disc brakes with brake assist, traction and stability control, hill descent/ascent control and a full complement of airbags (front seat side and full-length side curtain) are all standard. In government crash tests, the 2008 Mercedes-Benz M-Class posted perfect five-star scores in both frontal- and side-impact testing. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the SUV a top score of "Good" for its protection of occupants in frontal-offset crashes.

Interior Design and Special Features

Generous fillets of bird's eye maple wood and brushed aluminum trim lend the cabin a warm, upscale ambiance. Large front cupholders and adequate storage cubbies come in handy on road trips. Passenger room is especially impressive, as the ML affords rear-seat passengers more than 39 inches of legroom -- nearly 6 inches greater than the RX 350 offers. Folding down the rear seat provides a maximum 72 cubic feet of cargo room, which is on the small side for the segment.

Driving Impressions

Although the 2008 Mercedes ML's steering is precise, it doesn't offer much feedback and feels a little dead in the center. The brakes, however, offer a sure-footed pedal and stop this SUV quickly. Despite some body roll, the near 5,000-pound, all-wheel-drive ML is a predictable and stable handler. It offers a confident feel during inclement weather as well as when negotiating twisty mountain roads on the way to the hiking or mountain biking trailhead.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



Worst invest i am going

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Vehicle: 2008 Mercedes-Benz M-Class ML320 CDI 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 7A)

I purchased the ML 320CD as an upgrade to my 1988 Honda which after 200 thousand miles no major problems, never expected a MCB SUV will give me gray hair, I have changed several parts that in a less cheaper care start going bad close to 10 years, CD player went bad, the door lock went bad on the driver side one week later the passenger side is gone, the tire pressure sensor same story, bulbs blow weekly, now oxygen sensor need changing , changed the inlet port motor and now the disel filter need to change, the care is loosing power esp on an incline, the engine light is forever on, and the list goes on and on, i have spent at $10,000. for the year in repairs plus service, I am fed up, angry




Expensive piece of crap

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Mercedes-Benz M-Class ML320 CDI 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 7A)

after 3 yrs of owning the ML320 CDI, I do have a lot of problems and expenses, the check engine light never ends, the lights always have to be changed at least every 3 months, as of this time my SUV has 58000 miles and the vehicle is in and out of the dealer, cannot fix the check engine light, I already spend almost $5000 . the vehicle has been there for a good 1 month, waiting for parts, then bring it home, drive for 5 miles, check engine comes back, they change a lot of parts, the SUV also has problem with acceleration, and the engine now is so noisy when you drive it. I thought this was the best vehicle I bought, this was the worst of all the brands I have.




Piece of crap

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Vehicle: 2008 Mercedes-Benz M-Class ML320 CDI 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 7A)

tank god I bought the extended warranty otherwise I would be broke for sure. intake manifold 3500.00. then the turbo, transfer case, intake censor, particulant filter etc, 10k, fuel system, tires1200.00 every two years. 600.00+ for any routine service, new battery over 500.00, triple AAA wont touch a Mercedes, I bought this vehicle thinking it would e the very best ever. its apiece of junk. the Mercedes emblem on the rims wore off 3 years ago- piece of junk. I am shocked at a Mercedes vehicle. never again in my life and I m 50.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Very nice

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Vehicle: 2008 Mercedes-Benz M-Class ML550 4dr SUV AWD (5.5L 8cyl 7A)

We have one without the airmatic setupů.Lightens the weight of the ML and eliminates any potential air springs issues in the future. It has blazing acceleration - when launched, even at part throttle, it can feel like you just got rear ended by a truck that forgot to stop. You'd have to see it to believe what cars it can out accelerate on a regular basis. Has a solid yet comfortable ride. Structure is very solid & tough. Engine & exhaust are tuned to be quiet & relaxed, and so don't be expecting high performance sounds. Has been very reliable so far. It's also a very safe SUV with great crash test results. MPG is actually not bad considering this level of power in an SUV package.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Bad dealership bad car

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Vehicle: 2008 Mercedes-Benz M-Class ML350 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 7A)

This is the bottom line worst car I have ever purchased and the dealership is even worse than the car. I purchased an ML350, 5 days after I purchased the car it had to go in for service and in less than 20 months the car has been in 21 times! Everything from the rear hatch not working (constant problem), sunroof, cam shafts leaking, oil leaking, random lights not working, battery going dead for no reason and stranding me, and the last one was the a/c going out completely. Of course out of 21 times in the dealership my service advisor who is the only decent part of this experience does not know what to do except to schedule me for service for next month in advance because she knows soon so



16 of 17 people found this review helpful

Probably not worth the investment

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Vehicle: 2008 Mercedes-Benz M-Class ML350 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 7A)

I bought this car new in October 2007. I have general dislikes about this vehicle and the cost of ownership. First, the SUV has 37k miles on it and I am on my 3rd set of tires at $1100 per set (including mounting and balancing). MBUSA says it's due to the weight of the vehicle and that the tires available are soft (whatever you do DO NOT buy Continental 4X4 contacts for this car). Second, there are many, many little things that for a MB are un acceptable like, front defroster only has one setting, which is high, then you need to play the on/off game with it when the windows fog up, the radio does not display the song or artist, the alarm makes no audio sound to indicate it is alarmed, ect



Talk About The 2008 M-Class

2008 Mercedes-Benz M-Class Discussions See all Started By

merc1
merc1
10-31-2005
M-Class - Same as R-Class. ML63 AMG arrives in spring 2006....


calbear05
calbear05
05-30-2008
Probably even less than that. My lease on the 2006 M class is coming up on expiration in August and I had an allowance of 12k miles/yr and after 2 years have a total of only 9000 miles on it! I guess?...


gunpilot91
gunpilot91
11-11-2009
Does anyone know where to attain a maintenance manual for the 2008 ML-320 CDI Diesel? No, they do not sell this on the DVD, and the 2007 DVD does not discuss the diesel engine M-class at all. I am l...



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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 11
  • cty
/
  • 14
  • highway
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