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#8

in 2011 Luxury Midsize SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $27,229 - $55,280
Original MSRP: $46,490 - $92,590
MPG: 16 City / 20 Hwy
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Used Car: 2011 Mercedes Benz M-Class Review

Review Last Updated: 7/27/12

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz M-Class rides well on-road, has significant off-road capabilities, offers diesel and hybrid trims and has an attractive, well-made interior. However, while reviewers agreed that the M-Class is a nice SUV, being a nice SUV isn’t enough to get to the top of this competitive class.

The 2011 Mercedes Benz M-Class is ranked:

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz M-Class doesn’t rock the boat. While Car and Driver called it “luxurious, refined, and comfortable,” reviewers applied the same description to almost every other luxury midsize SUV. Many shoppers will likely choose the M-Class for the same reason they’d choose any other Mercedes-Benz: its luxury brand. The M-Class offers fewer features than some of its competitors in the class, and those features include a standard eight-speaker sound system, power-adjustable front seats and power-adjustable tilt and telescoping steering wheel with shift paddles. Optional features when it was new, like leather seats, push-button start and bi-xenon headlights with active curve control, are standard on some rivals. Still, even though the Mercedes-Benz M-Class does offer tangible benefits like fuel-efficient diesel and hybrid options, great safety scores and a decent reliability rating, most shoppers will likely be impressed by its name and refinement, rather than its value.

When it was new, the M-Class cost significantly more than many of its competitors, so used models may still cost more than many in the class as well. Rivals offer better reliability ratings and more standard features. Plus, the V8-powered ML550 and the ML63 AMG have terrible fuel economy, and even the diesel model’s 18/25 mpg city/highway rating may not be as good as some buyers expect. Additionally, test drivers said the M-Class’ brake feel was off and its comfort-tuned suspension didn’t lend itself to sporty driving. Overall, the M-Class is a good choice for people who want a luxury SUV, but in this class, good just isn’t good enough.

See the full list of 2011 Mercedes-Benz M-Class specs »

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Other Cars to Consider

If you like the Mercedes-Benz M-Class, consider the highly-ranked 2011 Lexus GX as well. The GX isn’t as great to drive on-road as the M-Class, but its reliability rating is unbeatable, and since it’s based on the 2011 Toyota 4Runner, it’s very capable off-road. However, the Lexus GX doesn’t offer a fuel-efficient trim comparable to the M-Class’ diesel and hybrid options.

You should also consider the 2011 BMW X5. The X5 has great handling and an equally upscale interior, and reviewers loved its available diesel engine. However, it doesn’t come with many standard features and its available third row is cramped. If you want an SUV with sportier performance than the M-Class, reviewers said the X5 is tough to beat.

Compare the M-Class to the GX and X5 »

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Used car average prices are provided by ClearBook™, a TrueCar™ product