The 2014 Mercedes-Benz ML350 may be the weakest vehicle in the M-Class family, but it is still miles ahead of the majority of SUVs out there. Its turbodiesel V6 is particularly impressive since it's able to put out 455 pound-feet of torque, while offering excellent fuel economy. But that's not all – Mercedes-Benz also provides tons of space, a gorgeous-looking cabin and a slick body to wrap it all up.
The 2014 Mercedes-Benz ML350 is one of the most comfortable, powerful and stylish luxury SUVs on the market. And while out of all the M-Class Mercedes-Benz cars, this one is the weakest one, it still gives its rivals, like Acura MDX and Porsche Cayenne, a run for their money. So, if you're looking to treat your family to something special, then the ML350 will fit the bill just fine.
As soon as you look at it, you will be mesmerized. It features a grille that appropriately highlights the Mercedes-Benz emblem and the car's large but elegant headlights, giving the front a very trendy appearance. Additionally, the 2014 ML350 has a slick beltline running down the sides, horizontally-stretched taillights and a squat backside. With all these features combined, the Mercedes-Benz manages to endow the ML350 with a decidedly sport-like profile that lets you know right away that this vehicle is not only stylish but also practical.
On the inside, things are just as good. You'll find all the wood accents and soft-touch materials you would expect from a car like this. You can also add leather seating, but that would cost you a little extra. Other cool features include wood steering wheel, small gear selector and more. The comfort level is exceptional – at the back and the front – since there's plenty room and seat adjustability in both rows. The back passengers can also get the optional twin LCD screens attached to the front-seat headrests. The latter option is especially good if you're planning to take your kids on long trips, when they would definitely need some form of entertainment.
But of course none of these features would be worth anything, if there's nothing good under the hood. Luckily, the Mercedes-Benz ML350 comes with a choice of two equally pleasing engines. The regular ML350 gets a 3.5-litre V6, which can pump out 302 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. However, if you're in fuel efficiency, then perhaps you can sacrifice a bit power with the ML350 Blue TEC model, which comes with 3.0-litre turbodiesel V6. This one can generate 240 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque. Its EPA ratings are 11.8 litres per 100 kilometres in the city and 8.7 litres per 100 kilometres on the highway, both of which a very acceptable figures. On top of that, this turbodiesel engine has a potential cruising range of more than 950 kilometres.
And when it comes to handling, few SUVs are better than this masterpiece. It may not feel as athletic as the BMW X5, but the 2014 ML350 is still among the best. The biggest benefits come from its adjustable suspension, which lets you choose go either with an adventurous ride or a smooth one. The smooth one will ensure that you don't feel any bumps or get uncomfortable during sharp turns. The cabin is also adept at shutting out wind and road noise, while providing excellent visibility.
So, no matter which way you slice it, the 2014 Mercedes-Benz ML350 is a fantastic SUV. It's not the best in the M-Class family, but it's still miles better than the majority of SUVs you can buy today.
|Trim / Style||MSRP||Est. Monthly Payment||Average Price||Invoice Price|
|ML 350 4MATIC||$59,900||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|ML 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC||$61,400||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|ML 550 4MATIC||$78,500||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|ML 63 AMG 4MATIC||$103,200||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|Fuel Type||Premium Unleaded|
|Number of Doors||5|
|Drive Train||4X4 Wheel Drive|
|Power and Performance:|
Each of the four 2014 M-Class models is distinguished by its own engine. At the lowest-priced end is the ML350 with a still-robust V6. Next is the most fuel-efficient of the bunch, the ML350 BlueTEC with a V6 turbodiesel that puts out tremendous power yet yields up to 27 mpg on the highway and a potential cruising range of more than 600 miles. The diesel is 50-state legal and of the "clean" variety, meaning it doesn't put out the nasty emissions of past diesels, but will require the urea-based AdBlue fluid throughout its life.
Originally appeared on Kelley Blue Book.
|Interiors and Special Features:|
The 2014 M-Class has all the soft-touch materials and wood accents you'd expect in a luxury vehicle. Leather seating will still cost you extra, but even the base "MB-Tex" vinyl provides an appreciable amount of comfort and good feel. That sensation carries over to just about every other component, from the available wood steering wheel to the tiny gear selector, which bucks the trend by being mounted on the steering-wheel column instead of the center console. Rear passengers are treated to ample legroom, reclining seats and movies of their choice with the optional twin LCD screens mounted inside the front-seat headrests.
Originally appeared on Kelley Blue Book.
Standard safety features for all 2014 Mercedes-Benz M-Class models include antilock brakes, traction and stability control, PreSafe (which can identify an imminent crash and automatically take measures to secure occupants), hill-start assist and hill-descent control, active front head restraints, a collision warning system, front and rear side airbags, side curtain airbags and a driver knee airbag. The mbrace2 communications system includes automatic collision notification, an SOS button, stolen vehicle location, geo-fencing, alarm notification and remote door lock/unlock. A rearview camera is standard on the ML63 and optional on all other versions.
The M-Class additionally offers two levels of blind-spot and lane-departure protection. The first level comes via the Lane Tracking package, which monitors road conditions and alerts the driver by vibrating the wheel or emitting a beep. The second level is found in the Driver Assistance package, which adds "active" versions of these systems that can selectively apply the brakes if the driver fails to heed the car's warnings.
The M-Class came up aces in crash tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, receiving the top mark of "Good" in the moderate-overlap front offset, small-overlap frontal offset, side-impact and roof strength test. Its seat/head restraint design also rates Good for whiplash protection in rear impacts.
Originally appeared on Edmunds.
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