2009 Mercedes-Benz M-Class SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Mercedes-Benz M-Class SUV

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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 11/15 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation Yes
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2009 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

  • The 2009 Mercedes-Benz M-Class is a capable, versatile SUV that offers the typical Mercedes attributes of high quality, prestige and safety.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Wide range of engines, comfortable for five, high-quality interior materials and construction, many updated entertainment and communications features.

  • Cons

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

  • What's New for 2009

    For 2009, the Mercedes-Benz M-Class gets a face-lift that includes a new front and rear bumper design, a new grille and redesigned headlights. Inside, updates include redesigned climate control buttons, a new optional rear-seat entertainment system and the latest version of Mercedes' COMAND system, which includes Bluetooth phone connectivity.

    In addition, last year's diesel-powered ML320 CDI model has been replaced by the ML320 Bluetec (which boasts a cleaner-burning fuel technology). For those who don't need all-wheel drive, wouldn't mind saving a few thousand dollars at purchase time and appreciate its slightly better fuel mileage, Mercedes now offers a rear-wheel-drive ML350.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (15 total reviews)

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

Best decision i've ever made

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Vehicle: 2009 Mercedes-Benz M-Class ML350 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 7A)

Usually, when it comes to SUV's, I'm a Ford guy. Their SUV's feel like trucks and I like that... I never imagined myself driving a crossover. Until now. The wow factor is instant when you see this SUV. Inside and out it is just fantastic. Faster than my old V8 with better MPG's and no problem towing our 22 foot boat. I've owned a Hummer H2 in the past and I'll be the first to admit that his Mercedes is an off-road legend in hiding! I love it. It's perfect for the whole family. All 5 of us (plus 2 dogs.)



5 of 10 people found this review helpful

Problems

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Vehicle: 2009 Mercedes-Benz M-Class ML350 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 7A)

I have had this vehicle for 2 years and 5 months. Service has just finished replacing all of the front end bushings without an apparent cause for wear. 29522 miles of almost all highway miles and good roads. No off roading. After one year my gas gauge started malfunctioning. Service had to drop the tank and replace one gauge. I had a 2000ML with various problems including the same gauge issue. Nine years later and still issues that should never have happened. Mercedes service has been very good but none of these things should happen. Integrity is lacking. Too high a price to spend the time in service for things that should not fail so quickly. Transmission could shift a lot smoother.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Love this car

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Vehicle: 2009 Mercedes-Benz M-Class ML350 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 7A)

Just bought the ML350 4Matic - I love this car. I'm over 6feet tall and this car is the only crossover that's built for tall people. Looks sexy and drives great - what more can you ask for.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Very finicky car

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Vehicle: 2009 Mercedes-Benz M-Class ML550 4dr SUV AWD (5.5L 8cyl 7A)

Like many German cars, this has its quirks. The navigation is tough to get used to, but that's not what's most curious about this car: at elevation about 10,000 feet, the nav shuts off! It displays a warning and becomes inoperable. Mercedes says it affects so few people that they won't fix it. So if you drive in the mountains a lot (we live in Colorado) and want to use this car in high elevations, keep this in mind. As importantly, keep in mind that Mercedes refuses to spend the time reprogramming the nav systems. Maybe they outsourced that part to Japan...




Pretty good

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Vehicle: 2009 Mercedes-Benz M-Class ML350 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 7A)

My dad got this car as a loan while his CLK was in the shop and I felt the need to write a review for it. First, this car is very fun to drive and has great handling and performance. The rear seats are another story. The way the back doors are shaped makes you trip almost every time you get out of the back. They contour around the wheel inserts. Making for a very uncomfortable entry/exit. Just look at a side view of the car and you'll see how the back doors are shaped. It has a very well made interior and exterior. The navigation system is pretty confusing, though. It's a pretty good car overall.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Gas guzzler

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Vehicle: 2009 Mercedes-Benz M-Class ML350 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 7A)

I liked the 2006 ML so much I got a 2009 ML when my lease was up. The 2009 gas mileage averages around 10mpg in the city and 15mpg on the hwy. Compared to 15mpg in city and 22 mpg that i got with the 2006. The handling on the 2006 was great and fun to drive, the 2009 doesnt have steering with as much feel, it feels more like a bus. No feedback. I think the steering wheel is also bigger in this year but not sure. THe fake leather seats do not compare to the comfort of the leather seats i had previously. THe rear bumper design with the color coating is really dumb but a good way for the dealers to make extra money when you turn in the car. It scratches easily



Full 2009 Mercedes-Benz M-Class Review

What's New for 2009

For 2009, the Mercedes-Benz M-Class gets a face-lift that includes a new front and rear bumper design, a new grille and redesigned headlights. Inside, updates include redesigned climate control buttons, a new optional rear-seat entertainment system and the latest version of Mercedes' COMAND system, which includes Bluetooth phone connectivity.

In addition, last year's diesel-powered ML320 CDI model has been replaced by the ML320 Bluetec (which boasts a cleaner-burning fuel technology). For those who don't need all-wheel drive, wouldn't mind saving a few thousand dollars at purchase time and appreciate its slightly better fuel mileage, Mercedes now offers a rear-wheel-drive ML350.

Introduction

Mercedes introduced its first luxury SUV, the ML, nearly a decade ago. Now in its second generation, the model now known as the M-Class has evolved from a truck-based body-on-frame SUV to a carlike, easy-to-handle utility vehicle. After various suspension revisions, safety improvements and equipment upgrades over the years, the M-Class emerges freshly updated for 2009 at a time when gas-guzzling midsize and large SUVs teeter on the brink of extinction.

On the inside, the 2009 Mercedes-Benz M-Class gets a revised, easier-to-use version of Mercedes' COMAND interface, which includes Bluetooth phone connectivity, an auxiliary jack and an in-dash six-CD/DVD changer. An optional, upgraded version of the COMAND system adds a plethora of the latest technology features, such as a voice-activated hard-drive-based navigation system with 4GB of music storage, satellite radio, HD radio, Zagat restaurant reviews and an iPod connector.

Those concerned with fuel economy may take interest in the new ML320 Bluetec. Replacing last year's ML320 CDI, the Bluetec has a 3.0-liter V6 that, thanks to a special additive, burns diesel more cleanly than previous diesel engines. The Bluetec is 50-state legal (the CDI wasn't) and its fuel economy is 17 percent better than the EPA ratings for the regular ML350. The Bluetec model has less oomph for highway passing and costs $1,500 more, but it's certainly an interesting alternative to the regular ML350.

Overall, the 2009 M-Class retains the characteristics consumers associate with Mercedes-Benz: quality, luxury, prestige and state-of-the-art safety. Naturally, there are other choices in the $50,000 luxury midsize SUV segment. Nearly every competitor has been updated (or introduced) in the past year or two, including the Acura MDX, Audi Q7 and BMW X5, along with the Lexus RX 350, Porsche Cayenne and Volkswagen Touareg 2. And unlike some others in the segment, the M-Class doesn't offer a third-row seat. Adding a bunch of options can raise the ML's price to uncomfortable levels as well. Still, the 2009 Mercedes-Benz M-Class should prove a fine choice for those looking for the latest gadgets and comfortable seating for five in a midsize luxury SUV.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Mercedes-Benz M-Class is a five-passenger luxury crossover SUV available in four trim levels: ML320 Bluetec, ML350, ML550 and ML63 AMG. The ML320 Bluetec and ML350 are similarly equipped, with 19-inch wheels (although the design varies between the two models), a sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, power front seats, cruise control, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, the COMAND interface, Bluetooth and an eight-speaker audio system with a six-CD/DVD changer and an auxiliary jack.

The ML550 adds AMG-style bumpers and 19-inch wheels, along with brushed aluminum running boards and roof rails. The ML63 AMG features special interior and exterior styling details, as well as a sport-tuned air suspension, 20-inch wheels, upgraded brakes, bi-xenon adaptive headlights, corner-illuminating foglights, leather upholstery, a sport steering wheel with paddle shifters, and ultra-supportive heated and ventilated front sport seats.

Options for the ML320, ML350 and ML550 include the Premium 1 Package, which adds a power liftgate, a rearview camera, a 115-volt AC power outlet and an upgraded version of the COMAND system with a hard-drive-based navigation system that has voice activation, real-time traffic updates and 4GB of music storage. This package also comes with a premium Harman Kardon Logic 7 surround-sound audio system and satellite radio, HD radio and an iPod connector. The Premium 2 Package features everything found in the Premium 1 Package plus a park assist system, power-folding side mirrors, auto-dimming mirrors, front-seat memory settings and keyless ignition/entry. Leather seating and a Heating Package (heated front and rear seats, as well as a heated steering wheel) are available for all trim levels except the M63 AMG.

Stand-alone options include an air suspension with adaptive damping, adaptive bi-xenon headlights, rear climate controls and a rear-seat entertainment system. The ML63 AMG can also get 21-inch wheels and heated rear seats.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2009 M-Class comes with a choice of four engines, and all come standard with a seven-speed automatic transmission. Apart from the ML350 rear-wheel-drive model, every M-Class trim level has all-wheel drive. The ML320 Bluetec has a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 rated at 210 horsepower and a stout 398 pound-feet of torque. Fuel economy ratings for this model are 18 mpg city/24 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined. The ML350 has a 3.5-liter V6 that makes 268 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, and gets an estimated 15 city/20 highway and 17 mpg combined. The rear-wheel-drive ML350 gets 1 mpg better across the board.

For more exhilarating performance, the ML550 boasts a 5.5-liter V8 that pumps out 382 hp and 391 lb-ft of torque. But it's no surprise that power comes at the expense of fuel economy. It's rated at 13/18/15 mpg. The top power plant in the M-Class lineup, the ML63 AMG's 6.3-liter V8, makes an awe-inspiring 503 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque -- enough to propel this SUV from zero to 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds. It's rated at 11/15/12 mpg.

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 2009 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

A warm, upscale character is conveyed throughout the cockpit of the 2009 Mercedes-Benz M-Class, thanks to a combination of wood and aluminum trims. Passenger room is impressive; rear seating offers more than 39 inches of legroom, nearly 6 inches more than the Lexus RX 350 provides. With the rear seats in place, there is a total of 29 cubic feet of luggage space. When the seats are folded flat, that expands to 72 cubes, an average figure for this class of vehicle. A variety of cubbies throughout the cabin, as well as large front cupholders, prove useful on road trips.

Driving Impressions

Steering is precise on the 2009 Mercedes M-Class, but it doesn't offer much feedback and feels a little dead in the center. There is some body roll around corners, which is to be somewhat expected from a near 5,000-pound AWD SUV, but the M-Class stays predictable and stable on the road. Braking is quite good; a sure-footed pedal and quick response make for confident stopping power.

Talk About The 2009 M-Class

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 11
  • cty
/
  • 15
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs