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Avg. Price Paid:$16,029 - $32,932
Original MSRP: $44,000 - $87,000
MPG: 15 City / 20 Hwy
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2008 Mercedes-Benz M-Class Interior

This interior review was written when the 2008 Mercedes-Benz M-Class was new.

The 2008 Mercedes-Benz M-Class gets many good reviews for its five-seat interior,  which is spacious, comfortable and high-quality. The New York Times reports that the M-Class' "high roof and huge windows make the cabin as comfortable and scenic as many vans."

U.S. News' Rick Newman points out that the M-Class interior is great for kids: "There are plenty of power outlets for Game Boys or other toys. A rear center console contains twin cupholders and an activity tray, though it's easy to imagine the tray's felt lining covered in kiddie goo. There are rear A/C vents to keep kids warm or cool, and four storage pockets in the back for all their gear." As for the look of the interior, Automobile Magazine speaks highly, noting that "Every surface is polished or padded to a fare-thee-well, and there isn't a fit or finish flaw in sight."

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Seating

The 2008 M-Class has a 114.7-inch wheelbase, which provides an extra 1.4 inches of rear-seat knee room over pre-2006 models. The increased length also gives front passengers more room between them and second-row riders more shoulder room. An even more noticeable change is the omission of the third-row seat -- an option that was priced around $1,000 on earlier M-Classes -- owing to low demand. Despite that, MSN says, "The quiet, upscale interior has good room for four tall adults."

Reviewers praise overall seating comfort. Of the front, USA Today notes, "The seats, which were enough to make you loathe the previous version, are inviting and accommodating... It's easy to find a proper driving position, one that doesn't leave your arms too close and your legs too far, or vice versa." Auto Mall USA notes, "The front seats themselves (even the base seats in the ML350) are all-day comfortable." For even more comfort, buyers can add the optional 406 Multicontour Seats package, which offers pneumatic side bolsters, dual lumbar supports, and thigh support.

The rear seating area received a mixed reaction from auto reviewers. Auto Mall USA continues, "The rear seat isn't as supportive as the fronts, but it's much roomier than before." Cars.com echoes, "The seats are supportive and comfortable, except for a hard seat back in the center rear position." Another drawback for those riding in the back seat is that "you'll be stuck with the floor hump in the rear middle", says AutoWeek.

Autoweb stresses that the demise of the third row (implemented in 2006) is a good change for the entire interior. "Do the math," the reviewer charges. "Six inches longer and three inches wider than the outgoing model, the 2006 Mercedes-Benz M-Class may seat one or two fewer, but those who do get in will really enjoy the spacious seating areas and comfortable seats. Hidden benefits include being excused from carting around that snotty-faced grandkid when your daughter wants to get a body wrap, and avoiding Mr. Smelly from the office when the gang goes to lunch."

Interior Features

While reviewers widely praise the interior controls in the M-Class, some find them overly complicated. U.S. News' Rick Newman says, "[T]here's some complexity overload. To use the steering-wheel controls to change radio stations, for instance, you have to first page through six or seven choices to get to the right setting." Representing the majority's view, MSN says, "Gauges can be quickly read and dashboard controls are easy to use--as are power seat controls on the sides of the supportive front seats."

Cars.com has several complaints about the SUV's LCD screen, which uses buttons instead of a touch-screen interface. The reviewer reports, "I found myself looking for ways to work around the system most of the time, and after a few attempts at inputting directions I simply gave up."

The 2008 M-Class boasts a long list of standard interior features, including a line-in jack in the glove box and four 12-volt power outlets, an AM/FM/weather band radio, a single-disc CD player, eight speakers, power windows, dual-zone climate controls, and eight-way power seats in cloth or leather.

Stereo and Entertainment

Buyers can upgrade the stock sound system to a Harman/Kardon sound system with SIRIUS satellite radio by adding the option P1: Premium I package. The LOGIC7 7.1-channel digital surround sound system produces 440 watts of pure music power through 11 speakers plus a subwoofer.

A six-disc CD changer is available as an individual option. However, Consumer Guide cautions those opting to add the changer that it "lives in the glove compartment, swiping space there and making it awkward to load CDs. Seemingly everybody else has figured out how to fit a changer into the normal dashboard space; elegant and much handier."

Another cool individual option is the iPod Integration Kit, which includes an interface compatible with any dock-connector equipped iPod device, steering-wheel controls, and a visual display of the artist and song title.

Cargo

At 29.4 cubic feet, cargo space also benefits from the 2006-2008 models' larger size. And, the rear seat flips forward and folds flat to enlarge the cargo area to 72.4 cubic feet -- more than a BMW X3 or X5, Cadillac SRX or Volkswagen Touareg, but less than a Lincoln Aviator or Cadillac Escalade. USA Today adds that cargo space may be "generous, though it isn't class-leading." Cars.com says, "Huge space behind the rear seat is easy to load with luggage, and overall construction feels solid."

Under the cargo floor is a full-size spare tire--a needed change from the previous model, according to Autoweb, "which kept the spare under the car where it was hard to reach and got dirty."

Review Last Updated: 2/17/09

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