|Cost to Own:||7.5|
Pros & Cons
- Mercedes-Benz brand prestige
- Upscale interior
- Powerful engines are gas-guzzlers
- Not many standard features
Notable for 2011
- Optional rearview camera and blind-spot monitoring
The 2011 Mercedes-Benz M-Class rides well on-road, has significant off-road capabilities, offers diesel and hybrid trims and has an attractive, well-made interior. However, while reviewers agreed that the M-Class is a nice SUV, being a nice SUV isn’t enough to get to the top of this competitive class.
The 2011 Mercedes-Benz M-Class doesn’t rock the boat. While Car and Driver called it “luxurious, refined, and comfortable, ” reviewers applied the same description to almost every other luxury midsize SUV. Many shoppers will likely choose the M-Class for the same reason they’d choose any other Mercedes-Benz: its luxury brand. The M-Class offers fewer features than some of its competitors in the class, and those features include a standard eight-speaker sound system, power-adjustable front seats and power-adjustable tilt and telescoping steering wheel with shift paddles. Optional features when it was new, like leather seats, push-button start and bi-xenon headlights with active curve control, are standard on some rivals. Still, even though the Mercedes-Benz M-Class does offer tangible benefits like fuel-efficient diesel and hybrid options and great safety scores, most shoppers will likely be impressed by its name and refinement, rather than its value.
When it was new, the M-Class cost significantly more than many of its competitors, so used models may still cost more than many in the class as well. Rivals offer more standard features. Plus, the V8-powered ML550 and the ML63 AMG have terrible fuel economy, and even the diesel model’s 18/25 mpg city/highway rating may not be as good as some buyers expect. Additionally, test drivers said the M-Class’ brake feel was off and its comfort-tuned suspension didn’t lend itself to sporty driving. Overall, the M-Class is a good choice for people who want a luxury SUV, but in this class, good just isn’t good enough.