- Luxurious Interior
- Comfortable ride
- Lots of storage space
- Handling not as sharp as rivals
- Expensive to insure
- Average fuel efficiency
Mercedes luxury SUV is a genuine Range Rover challenger
Mercedes in 1997 was the first of the big three luxury German manufacturers to enter into a new market- that of the luxury SUV. Since that date, both BMW and Audi have flooded the market with SUVs in various forms and guises, but the original M-Class remains the best-seller worldwide. Going up against the BMW X5, the Audi Q7, and the Volvo XC90, the M-Class certainly has some tough competition. So, what keeps customers returning again and again to the M-Class? It is, without doubt, the feeling of pure luxury and refinement, that other manufacturers can’t seem to match.
Since 2015 in the UK, the M-Class has been rebadged as the GLE class.
Stand-out interior is pure class
The interior of the M-Class is one of the classiest interiors found on any car out there. It’s not as sporty as a Porsche Cayenne, and it’s not as futuristic as a Range Rover Sport, but it exudes quality and refinement.
The dashboard of the M-Class is a piece of pure sculpture. Taking styling cues from the rest of the Mercedes range, the M-Class sizes things up dramatically. Controls are bigger, easy-to-use, and have a pleasurable dampening, and the dash stretches across the car like a forward prop's broad shoulders. This may sound like it’s just bulky. On the contrary, the M-Class uses soft-touch materials, elegant design, and classy colour combinations, to make the cabin of the M-Class feel a little like a luxury yacht.
When it comes to space, the M-Class also impresses. The boot is much bigger than both the BMW X5 and the Porsche Cayenne, and whilst it doesn’t quite match the Audi Q7, there’s still an enormous 690 litres of storage with the rear seats up, and a monstrous 2010 litres when they’re folded down. You’re certainly not going to be short of space in an M-Class. There’s enough room for everything and the kitchen sink (literally). Throw an electronic tailgate thrown into the mix and this is one practical car.
Equipment levels are as you’d expect from a prestige Mercedes. The entry-level SE Executive trim comes with everything that you’re ever going to need. There're too many goodies to list them all here, but there’s parking assistance, leather seats, and Mercedes’ Comand infotainment system that includes Sat Nav and a DAB radio. There’s not much extra that you’d want to add to the standard trim in all honesty - unless you fancy some bigger wheels or even more leather.
As you’d expect from a Mercedes, the interior of the M-Class oozes with quality. There’s enough for space for all of your needs, and with good equipment levels, you’re not going to be shelling out money on extra gadgets.
Its comfortable ride is the stand out feature
When it comes to driving experience, Mercedes is a brand that values ride comfort above pretty much everything. The M-Class is a shining example of this ethos. So whilst it might not be as fun to drive as Porsche Cayenne, or a BMW X5, it’s certainly more luxurious. Steering isn’t quite as sharp as some may like, and it isn’t going to challenge sports cars any time soon, but this Mercedes still feels able in both the city and on those winding country roads.
What it lacks in sportiness, it more than makes up for in serenity. The four-wheel drive chassis irons out all those nasty bumps, even on the harshest of British roads. The ride is languid, and road and wind noise are kept to a bare minimum.
Gearbox options on the M-Class are fairly limited, with only one option available throughout the range. It is however quite an impressive one. The 7-speed automatic shifts smoothly through the gears, complementing the exceptionally smooth ride quality.
Diesels feature heavily, with a hot petrol-powered option
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your M-Class, you’ve got the usual two options - petrol or diesel. There is, however, only one petrol-powered model in the range, which also happens to be the fastest. Diesels are decent enough, with enough oomph even in less powerful options.
If power and speed are your primary concern from your M-Class, there’s a clear stand-out option, the petrol-powered ML63 AMG. For a car that weighs over two tonnes, the AMG is seriously quick. The 6.2 litre V8 packs a monstrous 518bhp, and 516 lb/ft of torque, which is enough to get you flying from 0-62mph in just 4.7 seconds. That’s supercar quick, in a car that is one of the most practical cars on the market.
If it’s eco-credentials you’re concerned with, the best engine in the range is to be found in the diesel-driven ML250 CDi BlueTEC SE. It may not be the nicest engine for the environment but, with just 154g/km of C02 emissions, in a car this big, it’s certainly not the worst either. This is also one for the penny pinchers, as it’s also the most fuel-efficient. It manages 48mpg, which is going to save you more money on fuel, that you can put towards other luxuries.
Most engines in the range offer decent emissions, good fuel-efficiency, and enough performance to provide your M-Class with the power a car this heavy really requires. They might not have the best figures in its class, but they’re certainly not the worst either.
Full marks in NCAP safety tests with good standard safety features
Like nearly every car in its class, the M-Class easily reached the highest possible 5-star NCAP safety rating. It also manages to beat the Lexus RX, the Audi Q7, and the Range Rover in adult safety tests. It falls behind all of those when it comes to child, and pedestrian safety, but it’s still a very safe car. There’s also plenty of safety equipment in the M-Class. There’s an attention assist system, downhill speed recognition, and pre-safe system, which powers up safety equipment if it detects an impending crash. All of these come as standard on any M-Class. Put together, the M-Class is a car that will keep you and your family out of harm's way.
Decent running costs, so long as you avoid first-year depreciation
The Mercedes M-Class range offers cars that are reasonable to run, without being particularly cheap. C02 emissions and fuel consumption levels throughout the range are pretty standard for the class, so whilst you won’t be saving tonnes of money, you won’t feel short-changed either. The ML63 AMG is understandably more expensive to run than others, so if you want to avoid expensive road tax, and fuel bills, this is one we’d avoid.
Insurance-wise, it depends entirely on which model you go for. The range starts at insurance group 38, for the efficient ML250 CDi BlueTEC SE, and ranges up to group 50 for the ML63 AMG. The M-Class certainly isn’t the cheapest to insure, but it is a luxury SUV, and it’s to be somewhat expected.
Depreciation after the first year is actually pretty impressive for the M-Class. But with first-year depreciation as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The Mercedes M-Class is the best-selling luxury SUV with for good reason. It caters for buyers who value opulence and comfort above all else. With a sumptuous interior, plenty of practical space, and good safety features, the M-Class is a great option to consider when buying your next executive SUV.
Buying a used Mercedes M-Class online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Mercedes M-Class for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used M-Class. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Mercedes online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used M-Class? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Mercedes M-Class, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used Mercedes, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Carspring Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Mercedes to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.