Mercedes-Benz M-Class

The Unbeatable Third Charm

The whole charming story of the M-Class started back in 1997 upon the launch of its first generation. Already 15 years have passed and Mercedes-Benz is back again with their new mighty and muscular, 2012 M-Class in its third generation.

Most of you know that the M-Class has done an incredible job throughout the past years. If I personally go back to 1997, I was that cute teenager who used to stare at cars passing by. At that time, I can still remember that I was glad that Mercedes had produced an SUV. I saw the second generation too and I just said, oh it’s much more gorgeous than the first one. Here we are now celebrating the arrival of the third charming M-Class.

Where performance meets sophistication, which is obviously true!! 

Driving Impressions

Who doesn’t believe in love at third sight? My first sight was at Dubai Motor Show in November 2011, my second sight was at the official dealer and distributor of Mercedes-Benz in Lebanon (T.Gargour & Fils) and my third sight was the day I finally drove it that I fell in love with it!

Let’s leave emotions aside and let me tell you about my driving experience in Dubai and more specifically at the Dubai Autodrome.

I started my journey in driving the ML 350 from the World Trade Center in Dubai to the Autodrome. Upon our arrival we were divided into different groups. I moved on to the circuit where the ML 500 and the ML 63 AMG were standing thirsty to some action by! We put the helmets and grabbed the wheels. The good part is that the ML 63 AMG has well performed in terms of acceleration and speed especially that it was raining a little bit. I had one oversteer but I quickly reacted.

My second session was all about the description of the design cues of the M-Class with its designer. I was pretty impressed that the exhausts were hidden because of pollution and to look like a classy SUV. Impressive, huh?

My third session was the park assist driving which I personally did all over the year with many automakers.

The fourth session was the drag race. We had to push the full gas pedal and to predict where is our stoppage point to make it before the yellow cones, quite an amusing activity.

The fifth session was pretty important. We were provided with the second generation ML and the new one of course. The whole test is about slaloms and to feel the weight of the car moving. I just give the third generation ML an A grade comparing to the second generation.

Powertrains

Available across the region in ML 350 and ML 500 variants, new generations of BlueEFFICIENCY petrol engines boast 306 hp and 408 hp respectively, and reach triple figure kph from a standstill in just 7.6 and 5.7 seconds. Permanent all-wheel-drive delivers excellent driving dynamics on tarmac. For those craving extremely high speed, a high performance 250 kph (electronically limited) ML 63 AMG variant is also available. Packing the fierce AMG 5.5 L, V8 Bi-Turbo engine made famous by the award winning CLS 63 AMG, driven by 525 hp and 700 Nm of torque the ML 63 AMG thunders from 0-100 kph in a sports car beating 4.8 seconds. An optionally available AMG Performance package delivers a further 15hp and 70 Nm, allowing the luxury sports SUV to harness 557 hp and 760 Nm to reach in a blistering 4.7 seconds.

Exterior

The design of the new M-Class with its GCC standard sports styling exudes self-confidence, athleticism and power. The front of the vehicle is dominated by a central three pointed star, whilst from the side, elongated lines and a rear sloping roof line give sporty appeal and emphasize the on-road credentials of the new SUV.

AMG bodystyling adds high-gloss black louvres under the radiator grille, and two outer air intakes, whilst LED running lights as standard deliver a sporty scowl underlined by the front apron’s matt silver chrome trim strip and a wider appearance.

The headlamps cut a particularly high-quality and exclusive figure in combination with the optional Intelligent Light System (ILS). The athletic front apron is integrated with the distinctive front wings, made wider on either side in order to accommodate the 20” light-alloy wheels in elegant fashion. Dynamically profiled side sill panels establish a visual link between the front and rear of the vehicle.

The striking rear apron with simulated black air outlet openings further emphasize the vehicle's width in addition to trim strips in matt silver chrome, which cite the design of the front apron and frame the sports exhaust system. Two sets of chrome twin tailpipes deliver a throaty grumble from the M-Class engines.

Interior

Inside delivers the sort of comfort normally the reserve of Mercedes-Benz flagship saloons. Seats have been designed to offer high long-distance comfort and optimum lateral support, with 34mm and 25mm more elbow room in the front and rear respectively than its predecessor, and the spaciousness boosted by a panoramic sliding roof and three tone ambient lighting.  Keeping drivers’ coffee warm on the long ride in to work is assured by heated clematises cup holders as standard and which I personally adored, whilst the optional COMAND online satellite navigation system stays on track.

Verdict

With more than 1.2 million vehicles sold what can you imagine other than accomplishment for the newly 2012 M-Class? Think about it… Overall I can conclude that Mercedes-Benz have long-lasting to maintain a fresh outlook with an all-new generation of their charming M-Class SUV. Now with further powerful engines and enhanced fuel economy, superior handling and latest technologies are all you ever required, Merc enthusiast! Dear readers, price-tiptoe is yet further remarkable!

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Autoshows Calendar

National Shows

  • Dubai Motorshow 2017 (Nov 14-Nov 18, 2017)

International Show

  • Frankfurt Motorshow 2017 (Sep 12-Sep 24, 2017)
  • Tokyo Motorshow 2017 (Oct 25-Nov 5, 2017)

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