Mercedes introduces 3rd generation M Class SUV in India at Rs. 56.9 lacs

Wednesday 16 May 2012, 10:33 AM by

Mercedes Benz has taken the covers off the latest version of its M Class Sports Utility Vehicle in India, which it terms the S Class of SUVs. Due to hit the roads in July 2012, it exudes plushness and class in all respects while delivering an excellent off-road performance. The first variant of the ML350CDI is priced at Rs. 56.9 lacs and will be assembled in India using Completely Knocked Down (CKD) kits at the manufacturer's Chakan plant. On the other hand, the AMG body kit version of the model will come through the Completely Built Unit (CBU) route. Only 100 units of the latter will be on sale in India and will cost Rs. 9 lacs less than the former.

M Class' newest edition is a totally revamped model, which is reflected in the interiors as well as exteriors. Outside, the company has done away with the subtle grille and replaced it with an 'avant garde' front grille, which makes it look more aggressive. Swept back headlamps, wide tail lights that start on the sides and merge in the fifth door and curved design theme are the chief distinguishing features between the new and outgoing editions of the car. Independent day time running lights, aluminium roof rails and huge alloy wheels of 255/50 R19 tyre size also add a touch of aggression to the car.

The new Mercedes Benz M Class is 24 mm longer and 16 mm wider than the 2nd generation model, while its height has been slashed by 19 mm. Now, the Mercedes Benz M Class available in India stands 4804 mm long, 1926 mm wide and 1796 mm high. The interiors of the car have also been modified to a large extent and now feature Designo leather interiors, ambient lighting, wood/leather steering wheel, seats with memory function and COMAND Online. Along with these, child seating anchors and wide door opening angles are also present in the car. It also consists of Thermotronic automatic climate control, air outlets in B pillars, two pivoting air vents in centre console, booster blower, and 1/3:2/3 backrests and cushions in 2nd row.

Technically speaking, ML350CDI is powered by the same 3.0 L, 24 valve, V6 turbo Bluetec diesel engine, even though it has been finetuned to deliver more power. The powertrain now delivers maximum power of 258 bhp at 3600 rpm and peak torque of 620 Nm at 1600-2400 rpm. The smooth gear shifts in the car are facilitated by the seven speed 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission system. It will be able to zoom from 0 to 100 kmph in just 7.4 seconds and attain top speed of 224 kmph easily, which is an astounding figure for any SUV. The company has also managed to bring up its fuel efficiency by a respectable 20 to 28 per cent.

Safety and security package of the car is replete with a host of features that will make it one of the safest cars on India roads. It consists of Active Park Assist, nine airbags, Attention Assist drowsiness detection, Speed Limit Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Blind Spot Assist, PreSafe pre-collision protection, tire-pressure monitor, adaptive brake lights and electronic brake assist. Intelligent Light System, Night View Assist Plus with automatic person recognition, Distronic Plus adaptive cruise control, Active Park Assist, reverse camera and autonomous braking will also make the driving the car a pleasure.

Features like electric power steering, low rolling resistance tyres and automatic Start/Stop system will make the driving experience enjoyable as well as economical. The off-roading package of the car will be yet another highlighting feature of the model, as it will be able to tackle city roads and mountain passes with equal ease. With the new M Class, Mercedes Benz will be better equipped to take on segment leader Audi Q7 and the BMW X5 in the country.

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