2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class Review
Test drivers love the 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class' well-made interior and great performance, but say it may not be a good value when compared with competitors.
One of the M-Class' high points is its performance, reviewers say. Offering a variety of powertrains, including a V6 engine, a diesel option, a V8 and a high-performance 518-horsepower AMG model, shoppers will have an easy time finding an M-Class model that suits their needs. The diesel-powered ML 350 Bluetec gets an EPA rating of 20/28 mpg city/highway, which is great, even when compared with other diesel SUVs. Additionally, the base ML350 is now available with rear-wheel drive rather than only with all-wheel drive, which allows buyers to trade a bit of all-weather capability for improved gas mileage. Though the ML63 AMG gets horrible fuel economy, reviewers love its powerful acceleration and sporty handling.
Most automotive critics agree that the 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class's five-seat cabin is well-built, attractively designed and comfortable, but its list of standard features is shorter than many rivals. They write that the M-Class is plenty comfortable in both the front and back seats, and that most of its switchgear is easy to use, though its COMAND infotainment controls still have a fairly steep learning curve. Though reviewers like the 2013 M-Class' interior, it's important to note that despite its high price tag, it doesn't come standard with many features that competitors offer. For instance, you'll have to pay extra for features like leather upholstery, push-button start and a rearview camera, which many competitors offer at no extra cost. Still, if you can afford it, reviewers say you’ll be very happy with the Mercedes-Benz M-Class.
- "The Mercedes-Benz M-Class is very refined, solidly built, and pleasant to drive. High points include the comfortable, well-finished interior and excellent powertrains. Think of the ML63 AMG as a suede- and leather-lined cruise missle. It commands a significant price premium, but it is arguably the most well rounded high-power luxury SUV on the market with its admirable blend of performance, comfort, and refinement. The long list of available options can quickly raise sticker's bottom line, but M-Class is a fine premium-midsize SUV that deserves serious consideration.” -- Consumer Guide
- "In the 2013 Mercedes-Benz M Class, buyers will find an SUV that delivers safety, luxury and the status that comes with having the three-pointed star on the hood.” -- Kelley Blue Book
Other SUVs to Consider
The Lexus RX 350 isn’t nearly as powerful or fun-to-drive as the Mercedes ML, but its fuel economy is great and it consistently ranks highly in its class for its excellent reliability and great safety scores. The RX is also significantly less expensive than the M-Class, and comes standard with features like push-button ignition, which costs extra on the Mercedes.
Shoppers who need three rows of seats should consider the Acura MDX. Reviewers say the MDX offers lots of space and is great for families, but that it doesn’t sacrifice sporty driving dynamics. They write that it has some of the best handling in its class. The MDX’s Acura badge may not be quite as prestigious as Mercedes’ three-pointed star, but it comes with many more standard features than the M-Class does, and test drivers say it’s a great value for a luxury crossover.
Details: 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class
The 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class is available in ML350, ML350 Bluetec, ML550 and ML63 AMG trims. The base ML350 comes standard with rear-wheel drive, but the rest come standard with all-wheel drive. Available engines include a 3.5-liter gas-powered V6, a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6, a 4.6-liter turbocharged V8 engine and a 5.5-liter turbocharged V8. All are paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission. Standard features include heated front seats, a sunroof and a power liftgate, while optional features include active parking assist, a massaging front seat and a rearview camera, depending on the trim level.