Note: This review also applies to the 2013 Mercedes-Benz ML-Class as no major changes were made since the 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML-Class.
This 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML-Class video review includes information about the ML350 and the ML350 Bluetec diesel. You can also buy an ML550 and an ML63 AMG. We provide information about price, fuel economy, luxury features and how it compares to other midsize luxury SUVs.
Mercedes-Benz ML-Class pricing starts at just under $50,000, which is consistent with other European SUVs. The Bluetec turbodiesel starts at around $51,000, while a multitude of options mean an ML could easily top $70,000. Our test vehicle came in at about $64,000.
The ML's interior is filled with luxury. Mercedes improved the quality and functionality of the switchgear, and there are plenty of plush leather surfaces. The front seats are firm, yet comfortable. Rear legroom is better than most in the class, and the rear seat is a breeze to fold flat for hauling large cargo. But, there isn't a third-row seat option.
Nineteen-inch wheels come standard, along with a sunroof, power liftgate, dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth and the COMAND electronics interface.
Speaking of the COMAND system, Mercedes makes it pretty easy to navigate through the various functions. And we appreciate the redundant buttons on the center stack for times when you don't want to fiddle with the display screen.
Safety comes courtesy of nine standard airbags, a driver-drowsiness detection system and Mercedes Pre-Safe, which senses an imminent crash and takes measures to protect passengers.
Both the Mercedes-Benz ML350 that we're driving in the video and the Bluetec diesel version come with full-time 4Matic all-wheel drive. The gasoline V6 makes its 302 horsepower higher in the rev range, but the engine sounds great doing so.
The Bluetec turbodiesel makes a ton of low-end torque. It's our favorite engine available because that instant power makes this near-5,000-pound SUV feel lighter on its feet, while also getting better fuel mileage. The Bluetec is rated at 20 city/27 highway mpg against the gasoline version's 17 city/22 highway. Both models come with a smooth-shifting seven-speed automatic transmission.
The ride is compliant without being overly floaty, although the steering is a bit too light for our tastes. The two-way adjustable suspension of the optional Dynamic Handling package on our test vehicle gives more precise handling when you want it, and a softer ride when you don't.
With two excellent drivetrains to choose from, along with upscale interior accommodations, the Mercedes-Benz M-Class continues to be a top choice in the midsize luxury SUV class.