Mercedes Benz M Class
is the German luxury car maker's response to the growing demand for a high end vehicle that performs equally well on city roads and off-roading conditions. The company has brought forward the model's facelifted version in the Indian market after showcasing the same at the 2012 New Delhi Auto Expo held in January 2012. The model had already hit the roads in the international market, so the domestic roll out was highly anticipated.
At the time of its introduction in the domestic market, the new M Class 2012
was imported to the country, though local assembly was in the offing. Even before the official launch ceremony was held for the car in India, the company chose to display the model in official showrooms. In India, the company presented the ML350CDI Bluetec variant of the car at the time of launch, which boasted of better fuel efficiency, passive safety features, interiors and driving dynamics than the outgoing model.Mercedes Benz M Class Launch History
The Mercedes Benz M Class
was initially launched in the year 1997 and took the premium SUV segment by storm. After a gap of more than a decade, the company launched the facelifted version of the car in the domestic market in the year 2009. Presently in its third generation, the new M Class
Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) has been brought to India via the Completely Built Unit (CBU) route.Mercedes Benz M Class Pricing
The price of the facelifted Mercedes Benz M Class model in India
was higher than that of the outgoing version's because of a hike in taxes on all vehicles announced in the Union Budget in 2012.Mercedes Benz M Class ReviewMercedes Benz M Class
is a powerful vehicle with excellent off-roading potential and a host of features that make it stand out of the crowd. Its revamped interiors and reworked exteriors have made it more pleasing to the eye and given it the touch of luxury that its predecessor lacked. While talking about the off-roading capabilities of the new M Class
, the on-board COMAND system deserves a mention. This feature allows drivers to choose from a total of 6 different driving modes, such as Winter, Sport and Towing. The driving control and handling package of the car also included the Active Curve System (ACS), which has provision for higher directional stability in hard-to-manoeuvre corners. All in all, it can be said that Mercedes Benz has done well by launching this new model in India to tackle the growing competition and setting the bar higher in the domestic premium SUV segment.Mercedes Benz M Class Used Car Market
The 2012 Mercedes Benz M Class
is not available in the used car market of the country. However, buyers will be able to purchase second hand models of its predecessor through 'Proven Exclusivity', the pre-owned programme run by the company.Mercedes Benz M Class Specifications
The facelifted version of the Mercedes Benz M Class in India
is powered by a 3.0 L, 24 valve, V6 turbo Bluetec diesel engine that has displacement of 2987 cc. Its direct injection technology optimises fuel delivery, which results in better performance of the vehicle. The 4Matic all wheel drive mechanism combines with the seven speed 7G-TRONIC automatic gearbox to ensure that the car boasts of an unmatched driving experience. Double wishbone front suspension, multi-link rear suspension, four-wheel independent suspension and front and rear stabiliser bar make sure that the car is stable even in adverse driving conditions.Mercedes Benz M Class Exteriors
While designing the new M Class
, the company took note of the exteriors and successfully revamped them to a large extent. It seems that the major changes were done on the front fascia of the car, which is curvier than ever before. The front end of the model has a majestic grille as compared to the more subtle one used in the previous edition. Its headlamps are now swept back and the overall look of the front is quite sporty. Curves can be seen in the car in the rear side too, where the wide tail lamps move from the sides and then extend till the fifth door itself. The side profile boasts of strong curved body lines that show the elegant and regal nature of the car.2012 Mercedes Benz M Class in India
comes with exterior features like Bi-Xenon headlamps with headlamp cleaning system, exterior mirrors, exterior sports package, LED daytime running lamps and LED tail lamps. Red coloured fog lamps, chrome accents, aluminium roof rails, skid plates, intermittent rear wipers and optional panorama sunroof are some of the other notable exterior features of the car. All in all, the new M Class in India
is a stunning vehicle that will attract onlookers when it passes by them on the roads.
There were bound to be comparisons between the new and outgoing editions of the Mercedes Benz M Class
. The biggest change has been in the size of the model, since the new iteration looks better despite gaining in terms of length and width, whereas its height has gone down. 2012 M Class
is 24 mm longer and 16 mm wider than its predecessor, while its height has decreased by 19 mm; the car's measurements are 4804 x 1926 x 1796 mm (LxWxH). However, in spite of the bigger size, the car does not look bulky; rather, it now has a sportier stance that complements the overall package.Mercedes Benz M Class Interiors
The new 2012 Mercedes Benz M Class
boasts of largely reworked interiors, which render a plush feel to the cabin. Quality leather seats, centrally located audio system, elegant instrument cluster, Napa leather on the panels and Ash-wood trim are some of the features that raise the level of interior comfort in this car. The pleasing colour combinations will certainly appease auto enthusiasts who want to ride amidst luxury. It can be said that the facelifted M Class will be the perfect car for those who want quality interiors, similar to that of a luxury sedan, in their SUV.
Interior ComfortMercedes Benz M Class
facelift that has been launched in India boasts of a host of interior comfort features that add to the driving experience. These include interior active charcoal air filter, dual zone climate controls for driver and passenger, cargo area light, alloy and wood trim on central console and wood trim on dashboard and doors. Along with these, the car has leather and alloy steering wheel, Outside Rear View Mirrors (ORVM) with turn signals, front and rear door mats and dual illuminating vanity mirrors. Multi-level heating, height adjustable, 8-way power seats in front row, along with power adjustable lumbar support for driver seat. On the rear hand, the rear row of new M Class
has split folding seats, centrally located armrest and ventilation ducts. All these features make sure that the five seater offers a comfortable and enjoyable ride to all occupants.
While the original version of the M Class in India
boasted of enough space to carry five passengers, the new edition of the model does even better. With an increase in overall size, the car had more space to offer to the occupants, which made the ride quality better while enhancing the overall experience of the journey. The front seats have headroom of 998 mm, leg room of 1023 mm and shoulder room of 1485 mm. On the other hand, 997 mm headroom, 997 mm leg room and 1483 mm shoulder room are present in the rear seats, which prove to be sufficient for the passengers.Mercedes Benz M Class Fuel Economy
The new 2012 Mercedes Benz M Class
SUV is expected to deliver decent mileage even while it renders an excellent performance. It is said that the fuel efficiency of the model is around 7 kmpl, depending on the condition of roads, which is acceptable for a premium car and more so for a SUV.Mercedes Benz M Class On Road Drive
As a Mercedes Benz vehicle, a refined driving experience is one of the chief characteristics of the new M Class
. It can handle the worst of driving conditions with utmost ease, whether it is snow laden mountains or potholed riddled roads of India. It can take the sharpest turns without ever dragging or going out of its intended line, while its suspension can be raised with just a click to bring it into off-roading mode. The driving experience is further enhanced with the integrated downhill speed regulation, air suspension and ADS Adaptive Damping System (ADS).
With the addition of high tensile steel, the ML350CDI in India
now has lower weight than that of the predecessor, which reduces drag. The seven speed 7G-TRONIC Plus automatic transmission system makes the driving experience smooth in cities as well as off-roading conditions. Overall, the model provides a great SUV driving experience, which is a part of this German car maker's legacy. Of course, the company's 4Matic four wheel drive system plays a large role in making the driving experience better.Mercedes Benz M Class Power
In the new iteration of the model, the company chose to use the tried and tested 2987 cc, 3 L V6 turbo diesel engine, but uptuned it to generate more power and torque at the same capacity. The facelifted Mercedes Benz M Class in India
is equipped with a large Bluetec engine that will be capable of producing 258 bhp of maximum power at 3600 rpm and 620 Nm of maximum torque at 1600-2400 rpm.Mercedes Benz M Class Acceleration and Pick Up
Despite being a SUV, which are usually known for their robust size, the 2012 M Class car
is a high performing vehicle that is ready to zoom from naught to 100 kmph in just 7.4 seconds. It can easily reach an astounding top speed of 224 kmph without a glitch due to the seven speed 7G-TRONIC Plus automatic gearbox that ensures smooth gear changes.Mercedes Benz M Class Safety and Security
With passenger safety on its agenda, Mercedes Benz chose to include a host of features that could keep the powerful M Class car
under control. The car comes with 9 airbags, Attention Assist, Blind Spot Assist, Lane Departure Warning System and Antilock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD). Pre-Safe system, belt tensioner, 4ETS dynamic handling control system and Acceleration Skid Control (ASR) are some other state-of-the-art safety features of the facelifted Mercedes Benz ML350CDI
Apart from these, a number of other electronic systems that ensure the safety of the occupants and vehicle have also been integrated in order to maintain control over the car under all conditions. Child seat anchors, dusk sensing headlamps, rear centre 3-point seatbelt, stability control, traction control, pre-collision and post-collision safety systems and engine immobiliser are also present in the vehicle. PRE-SAFE system, PARKTRONIC and NECK-PRO have also been included in the car by the company in an effort to extend its Integrated Safety Concept.Mercedes Benz M Class Comfort and Convenience
For passenger comfort and convenience, the 2012 Mercedes Benz M Class in India
comes with a number of features that make driving it a pleasurable experience. The car has remote power door locks, power mirrors, heated mirrors, 4 one-touch power windows, remote window operation, cruise control, cargo net and front console with storage area. Front and rear cup holders and door pockets, retained accessory power, front seat back storage and electric speed-proportional power steering are also present in the car.
Along with these, the model also features universal remote transmitter (for garage door, security system), 12 V front power outlet, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, transmission controls and steering mounted audio controls. The instrument cluster of the new Mercedes Benz M Class
features a clock, tachometer, trip computer, external temperature display, low fuel level warning and compass.Mercedes Benz M Class Wheels
The facelifted version of the M Class SUV in India
traverses the roads of the country on standard 19 inch wheels with tyres of 255/50 R19 size. Not only do these 5 twin spoke light alloy wheels ensure uncompromising grip on the roads, but also add to the majestic look of the car.Mercedes Benz M Class Stereo and Accessories
For passenger entertainment on the longest of journeys, the German automotive giant has included Audio 20 with 6 CD changer in the M Class
. Aux-in for integration of mobile devices, Bluetooth handsfree system, speed dependent volume control, colour display panel and telephone keypad are also present in this audio system. The entertainment package of the vehicle also features a double tuner for better radio reception, Digital Signal Processor (DSP) and 610 W audio output through 12 speakers. With this excellent in-car music system, even the longest drive becomes a pleasure for the occupants in this new vehicle.Mercedes Benz M Class Dealers
The latest iteration of the Mercedes Benz M Class
can purchased from the following dealerships:
Mercedes Benz M Class Competitor Analysis
| City || Dealers |
| New Delhi || Patel Auto Services Private Limited |
T & T Motors Limited
| Bangalore || Sundaram Motors |
| Hyderabad || Adishwar Auto Diagnostics Private Limited |
| Chennai || Trans Car India Private Limited |
| Kolkata || Interkrafts |
| Mumbai || Auto Hangar (India) Private Limited |
| Pune || B U Bhandari Motors |
| Nagpur || Auto Hangar (India) Private Limited |
| Ahmedabad || Benchmark Cars |
Landmark Cars Pvt. Ltd.
| Indore || Benchmark Cars |
Landmark Cars Pvt. Ltd.
| Goa || Counto Automobiles Pvt. Ltd. |
Mercedes Benz will look to trump its chief competitors in the premium SUV segment of India with the facelifted version of the M Class
. The two main competitors of the ML350CDI Bluetec model in the country presently are BMW X5 and Audi Q7, both of them high selling cars. Mercedes Benz ranks behind its compatriots in the luxury segment of the domestic auto market and will try to salvage its position in the industry by pushing volumes with this new iteration of its popular SUV.
The xDrive 30d variant of BMW X5 is the direct competition of the Mercedes Benz M Class in India. It is powered by a 2993 cc, 6 cylinder, 4 valve, 3.0 L engine that generates maximum power of 243 bhp at 4000 rpm and 540 Nm at 1750-3000 rpm. This five seater delivers mileage similar to that of the outgoing M Class and has an eight speed Steptronic automatic gearbox. Top speed of 210 kmph and 0-100 kmph acceleration of 7.6 seconds puts the M Class ahead in the race. The car stands 4857 mm in length, 1933 mm in width and 1776 mm in height, which is more than that of M Class. Along with the standard luxury features, this car comes with Satin Silver matt interior finish, twill cloth upholstery, cruise control with braking function, fog lights with free form reflector, interior mirror with anti-glare coating and rain sensor, among others.
Audi Q7 3.0 TDI quattro variant joins the fray with its 4 valve, 2967 cc, 3.0 L engine with quattro permanent all wheel drive technology which renders it with off-roading capabilities. The car is capable of delivering 245 bhp of maximum power at 3800-4400 rpm and 550 Nm of peak torque at 1750-2500 rpm. Its powerful engine is mated to the eight speed tiptronic automatic transmission system which facilitates smooth gear shifts. This model can reach top speed of 215 kmph and move from 0 to 100 kmph in 7.9 seconds, which against proves that the new edition of M Class is a better performer. The size of this vehicle is more than that of its competition and measures 5086 mm long, 1983 mm wide and 1737 mm high. Its kerb weight is 2295 kg, which makes it the heaviest of the three, though Audi has said that this figure is expected to come down by 200 kg in coming times.Mercedes Benz M Class LPG/CNG Variants
As of now, there are no LPG/CNG editions of the Mercedes Benz M Class car
in the domestic market.Mercedes Benz M Class Pros
The 2012 Mercedes Benz M Class in India
is an excellent option for those who want to buy a luxury vehicle to undertake long journeys on harrowing paths. Its off-roading capabilities are astounding and allow it to tackle the roughest of terrains with maximum ease. On the other hand, it drives fluidly on city roads, which is a testament of the versatility of Mercedes Benz engineering prowess. Moreover, it comes with ample of luxury features and the reworked exteriors and refurbished interiors complement the price tag.Mercedes Benz M Class Cons
There are hardly any cons of the new Mercedes Benz M Class
, especially considering how refined it is in comparison to its predecessor. However, its high price tag and equally expensive optional packages may be a deterrent in pushing sales.Mercedes Benz M Class Conclusion
Buying the facelifted Mercedes Benz M Class is a justifiable decision for any SUV enthusiast since it offers a great package at acceptable price. Its superior off-roading potential puts it a peg further than the competition, while the luxury features add to its appeal to the key demographic. It will be a good addition to the collection of any auto enthusiast who wishes to conquer the mountainous terrains in a city-driving vehicle. A host of high end utility features are available in the car, which make it suitable for those wish to indulge themselves in luxury while driving.