Mercedes-Benz' all-new 2012 M-Class SUV is now on sale in Australia, replacing the strong-selling but nearly seven year-old second-generation model.
For 2012, the M-Class draws on the styling of the brand's newest models, while retaining its familiar forward-swept C-pillar lines.
The range kicks off with an $81,400 four-cylinder diesel model, and the entire line-up benefits from reduced fuel consumpion, an extensive feature list and sharper pricing.
Opening the 2012 M-Class line-up is the four-cylinder ML 250 BlueTec diesel, delivering 150kW and 500Nm of torque, matching the output of its 3.0 litre six-cylinder predecessor.
The smaller engine offers a 0-100km/h time of 9.0 seconds, with fuel consumption figures listed at 6.4 l/100km - numbers that better the old ML300's 9.5 l/100km and bring luxury car tax savings to the arrangement.
Next up in the range is the ML350 BlueTec, powered by a 190kW and 620Nm six-cylinder diesel, up 20kW and 80Nm over the outgoing model.
The 0-100km/h time falls a couple of tenths to 7.4 seconds, and fuel consumption has fallen from 8.9 to 7.3 l/100km.
The ML 350 BlueEfficiency petrol engine gets an upgrade for 2012, the big V6 growing by 25kW/20Nm to 225kW and 370Nm of torque.
Fuel consumption for the petrol SUV has dived, falling from 11.4 to 8.5 l/100km.
From September, the ML500 petrol V8 arrives with Merc's new 4.7 litre powerhouse, offering 300kW and 600Nm of torque.
While power has increased by 16kW and a whopping 70Nm, fuel consumption has fallen from 12.9 to 12.3 l/100km.
The flagship ML 63 AMG will hit in June, its new 5.5 litre biturbo V8 engine churning out 386kW and 700Nm of torque - up from 375kW and 630Nm for the outgoing 6.2 litre engine.
Power is sent to all four wheels through the AMG Speedshift Plus seven-speed auto, getting the ML 63 to 100km/h in 4.8 seconds.
Standard features across the range include a seven-inch display with GPS and internet connectivity, 10gb music storage, Bluetooth, auxiliary and iPod connectivity and centre console-mounted controls. There is also a 4.5 inch display in the instrument cluster.
Standard safety features include nine airbags, fatigue detection, Pre-Safe accident avoidance system, electronic stability and traction control systems, assisted parking, reversing camera, cruise control, self-drying brakes, and a tyre pressure warning.
The ML 350 upgrades its 19-inch wheels to 20-inch alloys, leather trim is standard, along with bi-xenon headlights.
The 350 also gets radar collision avoidance, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assistant and an off-road transmission mode.
The ML 500 gets adaptive variable air suspension, sunroof, keyless entry and start and powered tailgate.
While optional on V6 variants, the ML 500 also gets active stabiliser bars as standard.
At the top end of the family, the ML 63 AMG gets 21-inch alloy wheels, sports suspension, unique AMG sports body kit and quad exhaust tips.
The ML 63 also features leather trim throughout, heated and ventilated AMG sports seats, sports steering wheel, aluminium shift paddles, brushed steel pedals and gloss block highlights.
- 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML 250 BlueTec - $81,400
- 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML 350 BlueTec - $99,000
- 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML 350 BlueEfficiency - $99,000
- 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML 500 V8 - $119,900
- 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML 63 AMG - $177,900
Note: prices are Manufacturer's List Price and do not include on-road costs.
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