The 2014 Mercedes-Benz M-Class benefits from the advancements Mercedes introduced in the 2012 model year. The 3-pointed star concentrated on power, performance, fuel economy and interior upgrades. Mercedes also slightly massaged the exterior but kept the ML's familiar brawny outer appearance. The 2013 model year saw updated mbrace2 telematics, a color display in the instrument cluster and a standard collision-prevention system, as well as a few options added such as an off-road package and front seats with a massage function. For the 2014 model year, the M-Class maintains its predecessors' improvements and stronger standard equipment list.
The ML350 and ML350 BlueTEC both offer ample power and, especially in the case of the diesel-powered BlueTEC, commendable efficiency. But for an even greater infusion of performance, the V8-powered ML550 and the supercharged ML63 AMG offer serious grunt in a formidable SUV package.
The interior of the M-Class retains its high-quality, well-crafted look and feel but has recently been stepped up. Purposeful styling cues and upgraded upholstery give the cabin more opulence, furthering the M-Class's position as a benchmark for upscale motoring.
What's New for 2014?
The 2014 M-Class carries over from the 2013 model year with minor color and trim changes. The Sport Styling package, previously available only on the ML550, can now be ordered on the ML350. Also new for 2014 is the option to special order a Splitview screen, which enables the central display to simultaneously reveal a navigation screen to the driver while the passenger watches a movie.
What We Like
Finely appointed cabin; long list of amenities; excellent seating; availability of a clean-diesel engine; aggressive exterior styling
What We Don't
Steep learning curve for COMAND system; absence of third-row seating
$47, 790-$97, 250
The standard ML350 gets its power from a 3.5-liter V6 producing 302 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. It uses a 7-speed automatic transmission and yields fuel economy of 17 miles per gallon city/22 mpg hwy.
The ML350 BlueTEC clean diesel variant has a smaller carbon footprint than the standard ML350. It is powered by a 3.0-liter turbo-diesel V6 that makes 240 hp and an axle-grinding 455 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy is 20 mpg city/25 mpg hwy, certainly respectable numbers for a vehicle of the ML's size.
The ML550 boasts a potent 402-hp V8 that gets 14 mpg city/19 mpg hwy, while the ML63 AMG gets its power from a massive 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 producing 518 hp. The AMG version pays the price for all that power with a 13 mpg city/17 mpg hwy rating.
Standard Features & Options
The 2014 Mercedes-Benz M-Class is available in four variants: the ML350, ML350 BlueTEC, ML550 and ML63 AMG.
The base ML350 ($47, 790) is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 producing 302 hp. Standard items include cruise control, HD radio, heated front seats, a power lift gate and a 7-speed transmission.
Opt for the ML350 BlueTEC ($51, 790) and you'll get a 3.0-liter V6 turbodiesel that churns a modest 240 hp but a thumpy 455 lb-ft of torque. While this diesel version shares much of the same basic equipment as the ML350, Mercedes-Benz's 4Matic all-wheel-drive system - a $2, 500 option on the standard ML350 - comes standard on the BlueTEC.
The ML550 ($59, 450) is motivated by a 402 hp 4.7-liter V8 also mated to a standard 4Matic all-wheel-drive system, and is outfitted with sportier exterior bodywork.
The high-performance ML63 AMG ($97, 250) gets you a grunty 5.5-liter twin turbocharged 518-hp V8 and the requisite upgrades to suspension and brakes. Surprisingly, the AMG version is the only M-Class that comes with standard leather seating. Items such as navigation, parking sensors, an upgraded 14-speaker sound system and cooled front seats are also standard on the ML63.