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Mercedes M-class review (2005-2011)

As impressive as sales were for the old ML in the last few years of its life it was seriously outclassed by its newer rivals.

Mercedes-Benz M-Class
Overall Auto Express Rating

2.0 out of 5

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As impressive as sales were for the old ML in the last few years of its life it was seriously outclassed by its newer rivals. This 2005 car is the second generation ML and it's a huge improvement. The styling remains familiar, but it's been brought right up to date with the current Mercedes look, while the interior is also massively improved over the old car. The materials look and feel classy and there's plenty of space and comfort inside as well as a comprehensive list of standard equipment. The boot is huge, too, though unlike the old car you can't specify a pair of additional seats for it, Mercedes offering seven seat solutions elsewhere in its range. Not only has the interior and style been improved, but so has the driving experience. It may be a lofty 4x4 but it drives surprisingly well, nicely blending sharp dynamics with the sort of cosseting ride and comfort that you'd expect from a Mercedes.

Available with either conventional or air-sprung suspension and a engine line-up that is made up of six and eight-cylinder petrol engines and two six-cylinder diesels means there's plenty of choice. Mercedes will even sell you an off-road pack if you're planning on ever taking it into the wilds, but even in conventional guise it's reasonably competent when taken over the rough stuff. Refinement is excellent and the economy of the diesels impresses enough to make you wonder why anyone would opt for a petrol model. Of course, AMG has been let loose with the ML, creating a monstrous 6.3-litre V8 model with more muscle than you could ever need. Impressive as that is it's the diesels that would get our vote every time for their more palatable consumption and easy driving nature.

Engines, performance and drive

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MPG, CO2 and Running Costs

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Interior, design and technology

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Practicality, comfort and boot space

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Reliability and Safety

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