Upcoming Mercedes Benz  M Class

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201408 Jul

WHEN: April 2012

HOW MUCH: Rs 65 lakh - Rs 80 lakh, ex-showroom

ENGINES: 2.2-litre 205 PS diesel, 3.0-litre 250 PS V6 diesel, 3.5-litre 295 PS V6 petrol

COMPETITION: BMW X5, Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne, Land Rover Discovery


new mercedes m-class coming to india in 2012


The M-Class SUV heralded a whole new era for Mercedes-Benz, proving hugely popular and bringing more cusotmers into the three-pointed star's fold. Now, the third-generation M-Class has just been launched in Europe, and is scheduled to make its way to India in early 2012.


The new Mercedes-Benz M-Class is an all-new platform, and one which will eventually be used for the next second-generation GL as well. But first, let's see what's new with the ML. For starters, Mercedes will be offering the new M-Class with three engine options; a 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel, a 3.0-litre V6 diesel and a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine. All three engines will come with permanent four-wheel drive and Mercedes' excellent 7G-Tronic gearbox. This range of engines is exactly the same as we find in the current E-Class family, and form the mainstay of Mercedes' range for the next couple of years, when its new family of direct injection petrol motors and fourth generation common-rail diesels will make an appearance. Later, an ML500 and AMG version should be avilable as well.


The chassis is of a monocoque design, but is extremely rigid too, endowing the ML with adecent off-road ability. Of course, most owners are unlikely to ever use their MLs for any serious mud-plugging (The G-wagen is for that), but Mercedes' is proud to point out that the ML comes blessed with great ground clearance, substanital suspension travel and huge wheel articulation. The third generation ML utilises a double-wishbone front suspension and multi-link rear axle, which ensure it will be able to handle the stresses of off-road use and yet retain sure-footed handling at speed on the highway.


new mercedes m-class launch in india


The interiors of the new ML have been reworked as well, with sharper lines and a more angular theme overall, replacing the slightly rounded interior theme. The new hexagonal steering wheel boss lends a very dynamic character to the driver controls. Bits of chrome and brushed aluminium accents add to the brightwork on the insides.


new mercedes m-class interior


The new M-Class comes with Mercedes' 4MATIC all-wheel drive system, along with a full suite of driver aids, including traction control, anti-lock brakes with brake assist function, electronic stability programme and hill descent control. Despite all the luxury and features the new ML offers, it still weighs in at a respectable 2150 kgs for the 2.2-litre diesel, rising to 2180 kgs for the 3.0-litre V6 diesel. This should ensure good economy and low emissions, and also ensure that the handling remains dynamic enough. If we had a grouse with the earlier generation ML and GL, it was the slightly floaty ride characterisitc which tended to cause passengers to feel a little queasy. We hope the new ML should have this issue sorted.


Production of right-hand drive models is slated to begin early next year, after which Mercedes will introduce the new M-Class to India. It will be brought in as a fully-built car, or CBU, so taxes will be high. Still we expect Mercedes will price it competitvely, and we expect prices to start at around Rs 65 lakh. Mercedes may gamble on offering the 2.2-litre diesel in India as well, although we suspect the ML350 CDI will be the mainstay of the range in India.


new mercedes m-class design

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