Used 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class Review & Ratings | Edmunds
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Used 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class Review

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2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class
Summary

Edmunds Summary Review of the 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

  • Though not a class standout, the 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class nonetheless remains an appealing choice for a luxury crossover SUV.

  • Pros

    Engine choices include gas and diesel; comfortable seating; high-quality interior and construction; excellent braking distances.

  • Cons

    Expensive compared to some rivals; no third-row seat option; disappointing steering response.

  • What's New for 2013

    For 2013, a rear-wheel-drive ML350 model debuts along with the new mbrace2 telematics system, collision prevention assist, an optional off-road package and new front seats with massage functions.

Review

Go anywhere in style. That pretty much sums up luxury SUVs, and the 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class is a fine example of this concept. With the addition of a new off-road option that adds serious terrain-taming equipment, "anywhere" just got bigger.

That new off-road option includes a two-speed transfer case and an adjustable ride height suspension, both of which give the M-Class extra capability in the dirt. But truth be told, we suspect few M-Class owners will actually ford streams or blaze trails through the wilderness. No, they're more likely to challenge the "civilized" urban jungle. And for that, the ML will still work out just fine.

With a variety of engines that range from adequate to dominant, there seems to be an ML to suit every taste. It starts with the base V6 in the ML350 and then moves up to the turbocharged V8s in the ML550 and ML63 AMG. There's also the diesel-fueled V6 in the ML350 Bluetec that returns 23 mpg combined. Of course, being a Mercedes, the M-Class has an impeccably designed and assembled interior that bathes occupants in top-notch materials and features galore.

If you're shopping for a luxury crossover SUV, you won't be wanting for choice. The 2013 BMW X5 offers comparable luxury, power and feature content, yet also has a third-row seat, something the Mercedes lacks. If performance is a high priority, the sportier 2013 Porsche Cayenne is likely a better choice. It's also worth noting that the Acura MDX, Lexus RX and Volkswagen Touareg are all quite nice and undercut the M-Class on price.

Then again, if making a stately entrance is important no matter where you want to go, the 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class is sure to satisfy.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class is a five-passenger midsize luxury SUV available in ML350, ML350 Bluetec, ML550 and ML63 AMG trim levels.

The ML350 and ML350 Bluetec are equipped similarly with standard 19-inch wheels, a sunroof, a power liftgate, foglamps, dual-zone automatic climate control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, eight-way power/heated front seats, reclining rear seats, premium vinyl upholstery, the COMAND electronics interface, Mercedes' mbrace2 telematics system, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and an eight-speaker sound system with HD radio, a CD player and USB/auxiliary jacks.

The ML550 adds 19-inch AMG wheels, running boards, a trailer hitch and rear seat side airbags. Other than the wheels, all of these items are available on the 350 trims.

Adding the Premium 1 package will get you a rearview camera, power-folding mirrors, auto-dimming mirrors, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, driver memory functions, double sun visors, a navigation system, a 115-volt household power outlet, satellite radio, an iPod interface and a six-CD/DVD changer.

The Lighting package includes adaptive bi-xenon headlights. The Lane Tracking package includes blind-spot warning and lane departure warning and assist. The Driver Assistance package adds adaptive cruise control (with active PreSafe braking) to the contents of the Lane Tracking package. An On/Off-Road package includes an adaptive air ride suspension, a two-speed transfer case, a six-mode terrain selector and underbody skid plates.

Individual option highlights include a panoramic sunroof, front and rear parking sensors, a night vision camera, triple-zone climate control, full leather seating, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, multicontour front seats with massage functions, a rear seat entertainment system, two-tone leather upholstery and different cabin accents (metallic and wood).

The ML63 AMG gets a twin-turbo V8, active roll stabilization, stronger brakes, AMG-tuned suspension and steering, 20-inch wheels, special leather upholstery, sport seats and unique styling elements inside and out. The Premium 1, Lighting and Lane Tracking packages are standard as well. The AMG Performance package raises engine output and adds a higher top speed. Also optional are 21-inch AMG wheels along with most of the other trims' extra equipment.

Powertrains and Performance

The ML350 comes with a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 302 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed automatic transmission sends power to the rear wheels, with 4Matic all-wheel drive available as an option. In Edmunds performance testing, an ML350 4Matic went from zero to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds, which is average for its class. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 18 mpg city/23 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined for both rear- and all-wheel-drive models.

The ML350 Bluetec has a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 that utilizes 50-state-legal clean-diesel technology. It produces 240 hp and a prodigious 455 lb-ft of torque. 4Matic all-wheel drive is standard for this and all higher-trim models. Mercedes estimates that it will go from zero to 60 in the same time as the gas ML350, but fuel economy improves to 20/28/23 mpg.

The ML550 gets a 4.7-liter twin-turbo V8 that produces 402 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque. Mercedes says it'll hit 60 mph in 5.3 seconds. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 14/20/16 mpg.

The ML63 AMG gets a 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 that produces 518 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. The AMG Performance package bumps this engine up to 550 hp and 560 lb-ft. Mercedes says the ML63 will hit 60 mph in 4.7 seconds in its standard form, while the Performance package knocks a tenth of a second off that. Fuel economy stands at 13/17/15 mpg.

Safety

Standard safety features for all 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class models include antilock brakes, traction and stability control, hill-start assist and hill-descent control, active front head restraints, the mbrace2 telematics system (smartphone integration and Web-based apps that include remote controls, driver monitoring and emergency services), a collision warning system, PreSafe (it anticipates an imminent crash and automatically takes measures to better secure occupants), front and rear side airbags, side curtain airbags and a driver knee airbag.

The optional Lane Tracking package includes blind spot warning and lane departure warning. Paired with the adaptive cruise control system is an advanced PreSafe system that automatically applies the brakes when a collision is imminent.

In Edmunds brake testing, an ML350 4Matic came to a stop from 60 mph in 114 feet, which is outstanding for such a heavy vehicle with all-season tires.

Interior Design and Special Features

The 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class features an upscale cabin and seating for five. The more rounded dash design reminds us more of the distantly related Jeep Grand Cherokee in its appearance than its squared-off Mercedes siblings, but that's more of an aesthetic critique. The COMAND interface works well and allows the driver to easily select the car's more complicated infotainment options without making simpler commands too difficult.

Passenger room is impressive, as the M-Class offers more rear legroom than most of its competitors. There's no third row offered, though. With the rear seats in place, there is a total of 36 cubic feet of luggage space. When the seats are folded flat, this expands to 71 cubes -- an average figure for this class of vehicle.

Driving Impressions

Though the acceleration numbers of the gas and diesel V6s are similar, there are two distinct personalities here. As expected, the turbodiesel V6 provides strong low-end grunt, which tapers off as the revs climb. The gas V6 takes the opposite tack, feeling a bit soft off the mark but giving a more potent higher-rpm rush. If you want more power or just the status of the numerically higher badge, the turbocharged ML550 and ML63 AMG will happily oblige. Both models are exceptionally quick. No matter which ML you choose, braking performance is strong and reassuring.

On a winding road, the Mercedes-Benz ML350 tends to roll a bit when pressed, but the ride is compliant without being floaty. The all-electric steering system is a bit of a disappointment, however, as it's overly light and doesn't provide the sort of subtle feedback we've come to expect from Mercedes-Benz. The ML63 is better in this regard, as you would hope from such a high-performance machine.

Full Edmunds Expert Review: 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

What's New for 2013

For 2013, a rear-wheel-drive ML350 model debuts along with the new mbrace2 telematics system, collision prevention assist, an optional off-road package and new front seats with massage functions.

Introduction

Go anywhere in style. That pretty much sums up luxury SUVs, and the 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class is a fine example of this concept. With the addition of a new off-road option that adds serious terrain-taming equipment, "anywhere" just got bigger.

That new off-road option includes a two-speed transfer case and an adjustable ride height suspension, both of which give the M-Class extra capability in the dirt. But truth be told, we suspect few M-Class owners will actually ford streams or blaze trails through the wilderness. No, they're more likely to challenge the "civilized" urban jungle. And for that, the ML will still work out just fine.

With a variety of engines that range from adequate to dominant, there seems to be an ML to suit every taste. It starts with the base V6 in the ML350 and then moves up to the turbocharged V8s in the ML550 and ML63 AMG. There's also the diesel-fueled V6 in the ML350 Bluetec that returns 23 mpg combined. Of course, being a Mercedes, the M-Class has an impeccably designed and assembled interior that bathes occupants in top-notch materials and features galore.

If you're shopping for a luxury crossover SUV, you won't be wanting for choice. The 2013 BMW X5 offers comparable luxury, power and feature content, yet also has a third-row seat, something the Mercedes lacks. If performance is a high priority, the sportier 2013 Porsche Cayenne is likely a better choice. It's also worth noting that the Acura MDX, Lexus RX and Volkswagen Touareg are all quite nice and undercut the M-Class on price.

Then again, if making a stately entrance is important no matter where you want to go, the 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class is sure to satisfy.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class is a five-passenger midsize luxury SUV available in ML350, ML350 Bluetec, ML550 and ML63 AMG trim levels.

The ML350 and ML350 Bluetec are equipped similarly with standard 19-inch wheels, a sunroof, a power liftgate, foglamps, dual-zone automatic climate control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, eight-way power/heated front seats, reclining rear seats, premium vinyl upholstery, the COMAND electronics interface, Mercedes' mbrace2 telematics system, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and an eight-speaker sound system with HD radio, a CD player and USB/auxiliary jacks.

The ML550 adds 19-inch AMG wheels, running boards, a trailer hitch and rear seat side airbags. Other than the wheels, all of these items are available on the 350 trims.

Adding the Premium 1 package will get you a rearview camera, power-folding mirrors, auto-dimming mirrors, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, driver memory functions, double sun visors, a navigation system, a 115-volt household power outlet, satellite radio, an iPod interface and a six-CD/DVD changer.

The Lighting package includes adaptive bi-xenon headlights. The Lane Tracking package includes blind-spot warning and lane departure warning and assist. The Driver Assistance package adds adaptive cruise control (with active PreSafe braking) to the contents of the Lane Tracking package. An On/Off-Road package includes an adaptive air ride suspension, a two-speed transfer case, a six-mode terrain selector and underbody skid plates.

Individual option highlights include a panoramic sunroof, front and rear parking sensors, a night vision camera, triple-zone climate control, full leather seating, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, multicontour front seats with massage functions, a rear seat entertainment system, two-tone leather upholstery and different cabin accents (metallic and wood).

The ML63 AMG gets a twin-turbo V8, active roll stabilization, stronger brakes, AMG-tuned suspension and steering, 20-inch wheels, special leather upholstery, sport seats and unique styling elements inside and out. The Premium 1, Lighting and Lane Tracking packages are standard as well. The AMG Performance package raises engine output and adds a higher top speed. Also optional are 21-inch AMG wheels along with most of the other trims' extra equipment.

Powertrains and Performance

The ML350 comes with a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 302 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed automatic transmission sends power to the rear wheels, with 4Matic all-wheel drive available as an option. In Edmunds performance testing, an ML350 4Matic went from zero to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds, which is average for its class. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 18 mpg city/23 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined for both rear- and all-wheel-drive models.

The ML350 Bluetec has a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 that utilizes 50-state-legal clean-diesel technology. It produces 240 hp and a prodigious 455 lb-ft of torque. 4Matic all-wheel drive is standard for this and all higher-trim models. Mercedes estimates that it will go from zero to 60 in the same time as the gas ML350, but fuel economy improves to 20/28/23 mpg.

The ML550 gets a 4.7-liter twin-turbo V8 that produces 402 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque. Mercedes says it'll hit 60 mph in 5.3 seconds. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 14/20/16 mpg.

The ML63 AMG gets a 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 that produces 518 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. The AMG Performance package bumps this engine up to 550 hp and 560 lb-ft. Mercedes says the ML63 will hit 60 mph in 4.7 seconds in its standard form, while the Performance package knocks a tenth of a second off that. Fuel economy stands at 13/17/15 mpg.

Safety

Standard safety features for all 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class models include antilock brakes, traction and stability control, hill-start assist and hill-descent control, active front head restraints, the mbrace2 telematics system (smartphone integration and Web-based apps that include remote controls, driver monitoring and emergency services), a collision warning system, PreSafe (it anticipates an imminent crash and automatically takes measures to better secure occupants), front and rear side airbags, side curtain airbags and a driver knee airbag.

The optional Lane Tracking package includes blind spot warning and lane departure warning. Paired with the adaptive cruise control system is an advanced PreSafe system that automatically applies the brakes when a collision is imminent.

In Edmunds brake testing, an ML350 4Matic came to a stop from 60 mph in 114 feet, which is outstanding for such a heavy vehicle with all-season tires.

Interior Design and Special Features

The 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class features an upscale cabin and seating for five. The more rounded dash design reminds us more of the distantly related Jeep Grand Cherokee in its appearance than its squared-off Mercedes siblings, but that's more of an aesthetic critique. The COMAND interface works well and allows the driver to easily select the car's more complicated infotainment options without making simpler commands too difficult.

Passenger room is impressive, as the M-Class offers more rear legroom than most of its competitors. There's no third row offered, though. With the rear seats in place, there is a total of 36 cubic feet of luggage space. When the seats are folded flat, this expands to 71 cubes -- an average figure for this class of vehicle.

Driving Impressions

Though the acceleration numbers of the gas and diesel V6s are similar, there are two distinct personalities here. As expected, the turbodiesel V6 provides strong low-end grunt, which tapers off as the revs climb. The gas V6 takes the opposite tack, feeling a bit soft off the mark but giving a more potent higher-rpm rush. If you want more power or just the status of the numerically higher badge, the turbocharged ML550 and ML63 AMG will happily oblige. Both models are exceptionally quick. No matter which ML you choose, braking performance is strong and reassuring.

On a winding road, the Mercedes-Benz ML350 tends to roll a bit when pressed, but the ride is compliant without being floaty. The all-electric steering system is a bit of a disappointment, however, as it's overly light and doesn't provide the sort of subtle feedback we've come to expect from Mercedes-Benz. The ML63 is better in this regard, as you would hope from such a high-performance machine.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Average Consumer Rating (See all 11 reviews) Write a Review

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

Making friends with a mercedes benz

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

Know that the regular maintenance for this car requires more frequent check-ups than most other comparable SUV's and that it will be more expensive, too. A used Chevrolet Equinox (AWD 3.5L) was an early choice but I could not find a used one in Southern California in the color I like. Along came this MB at a local Toyota dealership (at the time, I was checking a Honda Pilot and a Toyota Highlander - both used), and, after an impressive test drive, I chose luxury and safety. So, to be honest, the purchase was as much serendipitous as it was carefully researched and goal-driven. Such is life. Having driven the same Toyota Land Cruiser for over 20 years, I was initially overwhelmed by the new technology of the MB, but am growing to appreciate, for example, the added safety of multiple sensors. Those and the simultaneous gas mileage read-out have already made me a better, smarter driver. Early days, but I'm pleased with my purchase.



4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Great car to own / drive. scheduled service costly

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

ll and all very satisfied with exception of maintenance cost. When you go to a Mercedes Benz dealer be prepared to sacrifice a Kidney. The charges are out rages. You pay several hundreds of dollars for service like a oil / filter change. Compared to a regular car you get the feeling Mercedes is bending you over because you are driving a Mercedes. Other than the service rip off I feel this is a great vehicle and would buy the newer model when I trade in.



9 of 13 people found this review helpful

Over rated

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

Owned and driven a ML550 for 3 years / 50000 kms. Have asked MB to reduce the chunky down shifts that cause passengers to fall forwards in their seats...ugh. Acceleration is good in sport mode but the turbo lag causes the vehicle to stall or not move forward in quick turn around situations such as a u turn. Almost a dangerous vehicle. Do not trust the vehicles sensory system to brake when in bumper to bumper traffic. Has no glass breaking sensor so any thief can steal all your contents including spare key fob in glove box. Key fob comes from Munich ya so you pay $500 to replace..ya ya. Cost of repairs are very high so DO NOT OWN MERCEDES WITHOUT WARRANTY. MB only offers a factory 60000 kms warranty! Brake job at 30000 kms cost $3200. Sorry but Mercedes is now a seriously over rated auto manufacturer. Going back to luxury GM products with 6 year 100000 warranty and $100 key fobs and $1000 brake jobs.. if your ego allows do the right thing and dont buy a Mercedes. $$$ in CAD.



20 of 20 people found this review helpful

Extremely pleased i chose ml350 over bmw's x5

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

The safety features on this car are fantastic. It aces the NHIS safety tests and scored Top Pick in safety, which is one of the main reasons I even looked at the Mercedes brand (which I had otherwise always associated with an older generation). I'm glad I looked though! I was very close to buying a 2013 X5 (last in that generation/platform; 2014 model is noted on review sites as having lots of electrical issues), but heard from a MB-owning friend that he's come to like his ML above the more expensive BMW he also drives (which, he admits, is a more fun driving experience). So I looked at MBs.... first the GL (too big for us), then the ML350 (certified pre-owned from dealer, 2013 bluetec model) . Felt that the gas version lacked torque, felt a little sluggish. So I was *about* to go back to the BMW dealer when MB dealer suggested I test drive the diesel. Wow. WOW! The car grips and feels like you've strapped a booster rocket to your back as it accelerates. As they say, "you read about horsepower, but you feel torque." And, MPG is much better... Ok, back to safety: aside from pre-safe and some of the other standard safety features one would expect from a luxury SUV, I have the driver assistance package on mine which is excellent. Blindspot, for example, doesn't just light up a triangle on the mirror like the Volvo XC90 does, the car notices if you're planning on moving over and if there is someone still in your blindspot an audible alert beeps at you. It's like having a co-pilot drive with you. It also has lane-keeping assist, drowsiness detect, etc etc. Being new to the MB family I find new things every day that the dealer didn't even tell me about that I've come to love ... for example, I have keyless entry which also lets me close window and pano (and lock doors) by touching a special spot on the handle; no need to start the car back up to close forgotten windows! My only complaint is the COMAND system. It's ok, but certainly not great. The new X5 screen (or the new GLEs for that matter) is *much* better. Nav works fine but I still find I just use my iphone & google maps to get me to where I need to go (to be honest, I did that in the '16 model X5s I rented as well...). Overall I couldn't be more satisfied with this vehicle. Highly recommended as a safe, comfortable SUV that feels like it can take you up a snowy mountain on a winding dirt road, cruises great on highway, and looks good while doing it.



21 of 21 people found this review helpful

Great & pricey mid size suv

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

I've owned (leased) the ML for a few months now. I turned in a GL which is a full size SUV. What I like: The ML has a great ride and very easy steering. For those who like a tight steering wheel, buy a BMW. This ML is very easy to drive. I also upgraded to the Harmon Kardon stereo and it is worth the money - crisp and clear with a nice mid range. The ride of the ML is very comfortable. Again, if you like a sporty ride, look else where. I appreciate the comfortable ride, comfortable seats and quietness in the cabin. In addition, the quality of the materials in the cabin are what you would expect from Mercedes Benz. What's not to like: The exterior styling and price.



27 of 56 people found this review helpful

Ml 350 bluetec

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

I have had the bluetec ML for about 4 months now. I have logged in about 9000 miles. No problems yet. Ride is excellent especially on highway. I am averaging about 25 mpg on mixed driving.



Talk About The 2013 M-Class

2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class Discussions See all Started By

CarMan@Edmunds
CarMan@Edmunds
08-31-2005
Hi everyone. Please use the following discussion to post any questions that you have about leasing a Mercedes-Benz M-Class. Thanks....


sshowitt
sshowitt
01-30-2001
My M/B dealer is Viti MB in Tiverton, R.I. They are a single store dealership with customers in all of New England and New York. All cars are sold at MSRP, no additional markups for hard to get vehiā€¦...


njexpress
njexpress
09-05-2013
I own a 2003 M-Class that I bought new and it has been free of any serious maintenance issues per se. The only out of the ordinary issues were:...



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  • cty
/
  • 23
  • highway
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