Not a sports sedan, so I didn't rate it as such. It is an SUV, a road-going one at that, handles well and excellent braking with very good acceleration around town. Highway passing power is as expected with a diesel (lazy), towing the rated 7,200lbs seems like it'd be a stretch in mountains but I haven't tried. Mine is mostly a business/family car, averages 33mpg highway (calculated, … since new) and I can get close to 30 around town driven gently. Well-controlled firm but not too firm ride and handling, nice interior and exterior details where good engineering is apparent. Stout suspension and undercarriage. Good interior space for four large adults for business, decent luggage space for travel. Controls are logical and easy to understand.
Update: 46,000 miles, no problems except: one piece of wood trim had the finish crack (replaced under warranty), had the engine ECU re-flashed to cure a stumbling problem when very cold out (<15F), buzz in one speaker when using phone.
A little disappointed in the tires lasting only around 50k miles (due for replacement now), but otherwise very dependable and reliable.
The DEF (for the exhaust treatment) never needs to be touched, I have it filled every 10k miles at oil change time and that's it. People with other brand diesels seem to need to fill their DEF tanks more often.
It does tow well. I was a bit concerned that it wouldn't have the power, but pulls my 7,000# boat/trailer out of the water fine, tows on highway well also, I am impressed with how stable it is considering it's not a huge vehicle nor wheelbase.
With the Bluetec / diesel not available anymore in the US, I might have this one for a long time.
Update 67,000 miles:
The car has been semi-retired to personal travel and occasional errands. I installed new Michelin tires, no significant change to ride nor other metrics.
I leased a new Explorer (also on Michelin tires) for business travel, which has given me an interesting perspective on the Mercedes however: Even with the 4-cyl Ecoboost (turbo) and the same type of driving, the Explorer only delivers around 21mpg to the Bluetec's 33. The gas engine does have more "pep" however and less lag, so overall better highway acceleration.
That's where the new Explorer (8 months & 17,000 miles) ends its advantages.
Coming back to my older and higher-mile Mercedes at the end of the week the differences are much more obvious to me. The Explorer's controls are kludgy and cheap feeling, the layout much less well thought-out, touch-screen is nice but Ford's navigation is dismal in comparison to Mercedes', the ride is loud, engine noise louder in the cabin than is the bluetec, and general ride is rough. The Mercedes has a far superior AWD system and is much more stable in gusty winds.
That on top of the Explorer's blind-spots that take a second or third glance over my shoulders to change lanes, and there is really nothing nice I can say about the Explorer, ... makes me very happy that I spent the extra for the Mercedes. Hopped in the ML last weekend for a 400mile round-trip to visit relatives and smiled every mile, just so much nicer to drive, everything about the experience is better an it drives tighter with 4X the miles on it, I think it's going to see the 300K mark that my last Mercedes did without a rattle. Waiting for my 2-year Exporer lease to run out, ... but certainly keeping the Mercedes long-term. I would like a little more highway passing power, and to see diesel prices drop, but with 800+ mile range (to the explorer's 350) I'm happy to pay a price between regular and premium gasoline for my diesel.
Update, 81,000 miles without a glitch. Rear brake pads recently replaced, showing wear and it was in anyway.
Debating whether to have the dealer service the emissions recall, I don't want anything to change. It runs clean and efficient now.
I let the dealer do the emissions update, no change in driveability nor mileage, might hold lower gears longer when cold but can override with paddle shifters. Additional 45,000 warranty and a check for $3,600 is hard to walk away from.
3,800 miles since the update, still running/driving great without a glitch.
I have enjoyed my neighbors' comments riding in my now mid-life Mercedes that it is quieter and rides much nicer than their newer Cadillac Escalade & Buick. Of course it does.
The used Mercedes-Benz M-Class received an average score of 4.2 out of 5 based on 1,307 consumer reviews at Edmunds. If you want to learn more about the Mercedes-Benz M-Class, read Edmunds' expert review. Learn more about the Mercedes-Benz M-Class
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