The third-generation Mercedes-Benz M-Class has been launched in South Africa.
The new M-Class consumes between 23 and 28 percent less fuel than the outgoing models. The new ML 250 BlueTEC 4MATIC, which boasts an NEDC consumption of just 6.5 litres per 100km (165g CO2/km) and has a range of up to 1500 kilometres on a full tank.
"The M-Class established the premium SUV segment since introduction in 1999 and is undoubtedly a class leader. The M-Class combines high levels of comfort with great off-road capabilities, no matter the terrain," says Eckart Mayer, Vice President, Passenger Cars, Mercedes-Benz South Africa.
"A range of powerful and efficient engines, a class-leading cd figure (co-drag efficiency) of 0.32 and comprehensive BlueEFFICIENCY measures, lay the foundations for outstanding energy efficiency," adds Mayer.
The ML 250 BlueTEC 4MATIC's 4-cylinder engine produces 150kW and 500Nm. The ML 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC features an extensively revamped 3.0- litre V6 which offers increased performance coupled with a substantial reduction in fuel consumption. Power from this V6 engine is 190kW and torque hits 620Nm. A fuel consumption figure of just 7.4 litres per 100km is claimed.
The ML 350 4MATIC V6 petrol engine produces 225kW and 370Nm, with a combined fuel consumption of 8.8 litres per 100km. The ML 500's V8 is rated at 300kW and 600Nm. The top-of-the range model for the M-Class, the ML 63 AMG, is fitted with the V8 engine giving 386kW and 700Nm.
For the first time, the M-Class chassis with steel suspension features selective damping. For driving off the beaten track, all models are equipped with extensive off-road features as standard, including 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive, 4ETS electronic traction control and an off-road button which activates a special off-road driving mode. Furthermore, the start-off assist system makes hill starts easier, while the Downhill Speed Regulation (DSR) automatically keeps the M Class at the speed set using the cruise control stalk.
The optional ON&OFFROAD package for the new M-Class has six driving modes for optimising driving dynamics and handling safety, as the optimum drive system control is provided for an extremely wide range of on-road and off-road operating conditions. The driver can select from one automatic mode, two special off-road modes and three on-road modes using a rotary control in the centre console. In terms of "hardware", the ON&OFFROAD package comprises an underguard, a two-stage transfer case with reduction gear, an inter-axle differential lock and enhanced AIRMATIC functionality that allows a maximum ground clearance of 285 mm as well as a fording depth of 600mm.
The M-Class range comes standard with MobiloDrive maintenance plan of six years or 120 000km.
ML 250 BlueTEC 4MATIC: R683 500
ML 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC: R778 000
ML 350 4MATIC BlueEFFICIENCY: R752 000
ML 500 4MATIC BlueEFFICIENCY: R935 900
ML 63 AMG: R1 380 000