The latest edition of the popular SUV is an all new product. However, the first word that comes to the mind when glanced at is – ‘Bland’. Though Mercedes seems to have solved the space issue which made the previous M-Class a hassle to sit in. There is a visible change in the size of the car and looks like the 2012 M-Class comes with an extended wheelbase taken from its elder sibling the GL-Class. The 2012 M-Class also features a huge panoramic sun-roof which will make the cabin come alive with fresh incident light. There is also the wrap around rear windscreen which makes the M-Class stand out of the crowd.
The insides are typical Mercedes top notch standard quality with a lot of wood used to give that upmarket feel. The ML 350 CDI pumps out some 258bhp and churns out 63.2kgm of pulling power. The motor is mated to a seven-speed 7G-Tronic gearbox along with permanent four-wheel drive as a standard feature.
The design of the new M-Class has been aligned towards the new Mercedes design language. The new model series, codenamed W166 has the lines and proportions which make it instantaneously recognizable as an M-Class. The horizontal lines at the rear emphasise the vehicle’s on-road character. Keeping true to the new design language, the new M-Class has been envisioned with a much sleeker frame as compared to its predecessor. Though the vehicle is significantly larger it does not visually look bulky. There is an overall increase in the length and width of the car.
The New M-Class has been fitted with technology that would help customized settings for engine performance, automatic transmission, anti-lock braking system (ABS), Electronic Stability Program (ESP) and Electronic Traction System all at the touch of the off-button on the console.
Safety aids on the new M-class include nine strategically located air – bags along with PRE-SAFE technology that help prevent such instances. Additionally, there is ATTENTION ASSIST, that alerts the driver on detection of drowsiness on longer trips; an Active Parking Assist with integrated PARKTRONIC technology, and a new rearview camera that increases comfort and provides a real safety plus. The NEW M-Class has received a EURO NCAP 5 Star rating to validate its safety credentials.
The M-class also comes with the ECO start-stop function, which reduces fuel consumption and emissions- by automatically switching off the engine during traffic jams or traffic signals.
The M-class has been a popular model in India with over 1500 units already sold. Some of the most salient features of the machine include
• Active Parking Assist • Airmatic Air Suspension • 20 inches AMG Body styling & Alloy wheels • Easy pack Tailagate • Designo Leather Interiors • Mini Spare wheel included in the standard fitments • Attention assist • Eco start stop • Reversing Camera
Peter Honegg, Managing Director & CEO, Mercedes-Benz India, at the launch of the vehicle said “At the start of this year we had promised to introduce exciting new models into the market. We are proud to present today the New M Class, built to perform with the highest precision and follows the Mercedes-Benz new design language. We are confident that the quality of drive and the luxurious experience it can deliver will be a big hit with the customers and it will be warmly received.”
Engine and performance Cylinder arrangement/number V/6 Displacement (cc) 2997 Rated output (kW [hp] at rpm) 190  at 3600 Rated torque (Nm at rpm) 619 at 1600-2400 Compression ratio 15.8 +/- 0.6 Acceleration 0-100 km/h (s) 7.4 Top speed (km/h) 224
Transmissions 7G-TRONIC PLUS
Tank capacity/with reserve (l) 70/11.0 Chassis (standard) and wheels Front tyres/wheels 265/45 R20 Rear tyres/wheels 265/45 R20