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    In addition, last year's diesel-powered ML320 CDI model has been replaced by the ML320 Bluetec (which boasts a cleaner-burning fuel technology).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 (33 total reviews)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Very nice

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

We have one without the airmatic setupÂ….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

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

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 16 people found this review helpful

Probably not worth the investment

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

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



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Update after two years of

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

I have now had my ML550 two years since my last review. I actually enjoy my vehicle even more than before!! I have had no problems with it and the power is just so amazing with the gas mileage not so bad (avg 15mpg). I live downtown and do not drive a lot of hwy miles but when on hwy I get 19 to 20 mpg. Small trucks with V6 engines do not get better in town gas mpg. The quality has stood up and I intend to keep this ML550 for a long time! I just love this SUV!!



5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Proud owner of ml 350

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

Back in 2008, I test drove Volvo, BMW, Audi, Acura. Finally I chose ML350. I believe in my life I have always made wrong decisions, but I have never regretted my ML350 purchase. Then I bought Audi Q7 2010 for my wife, but somehow it has failed to gain my loyalty. Even after 60,000 miles my MB drives like a newborn. Amazing SUV.



2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Stranded

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

I have only had my ML350 for 1 year and the battery has died on me twice already. Here I am in a brand new Mercedes and I have to get a jump, how embarrasing. The second time the battery died I took it to the dealership and they said that the computer chip got wet some how. They want to charge me $900, but it's not happening.



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