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2015 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 3/19/2015 Stefan Ogbac

New for 2015

Two new models are added to the 2015 Mercedes-Benz M-Class lineup: the diesel-powered ML250 Bluetec and the twin-turbocharged ML400. Both come standard with the brand’s 4Matic all-wheel-drive system

Vehicle Summary

The 2015 Mercedes-Benz M-Class is a two-row luxury crossover sold in rear- or all-wheel-drive configurations. It is available with a diesel engine for those looking for a fuel-efficient, all-weather crossover, and the high-performance AMG variant with exceptional straight-line speed and a performance-tuned chassis.


There are four engines available in the 2015 Mercedes-Benz ML-Class, and all are paired to a seven-speed automatic transmission.

Model: ML250 Bluetec 4Matic
Engine and Transmission: Turbocharged 2.1-liter diesel I-4 – seven-speed automatic
Power: 200 hp/369 lb-ft of torque
EPA-Rated Fuel Economy: 22/29 mpg city/highway
Maximum Towing Capacity: 6,600 pounds

Model: ML350 and ML350 4Matic
Engine and Transmission: 3.5-liter V-6 – seven-speed automatic
Power: 302 hp/273 lb-ft
EPA-Rated Fuel Economy: 18/24 mpg (ML350), 17/22 mpg ML350 4Matic )
Maximum Towing Capacity: 6,600 pounds

Model: ML400 4Matic
Engine and Transmission: Twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 – seven-speed automatic
Power: 329 hp/354 lb-ft
EPA-Rated Fuel Economy: 18/22 mpg
Maximum Towing Capacity: 7,200 pounds

Model: ML63 AMG
Engine and Transmission: Twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V-8 – seven-speed automatic
Power: 518 hp/516 lb-ft (550 hp/ 560 lb-ft with the AMG Performance Package)
EPA-Rated Fuel Economy: 13/17 mpg
Maximum Towing Capacity: 7,200 pounds

In its class, the M-Class remains one of the best because it offers a great balance between comfort and sport, especially with the available active suspension. Handling is good for a car its sizethe SUV remains controllable in twisty roads but does understeer at the limit. The dynamic damping system that’s included with the Airmatic adjustable air suspension limits the amount of harshness entering the passenger compartment. Additionally, the adjustable height enables it to do some off-road treks, traveling across trails that might cause other crossovers to get stuck. For those looking for the most visceral experience, the high-performance ML63 AMG offers explosive straight-line acceleration with its twin-turbo V-8; however, its handling is hampered by a stability control system that can’t be fully turned off.

Interior build quality in the 2015 M-Class is top-notch, with soft-touch materials, and real wood and metal trim inside. The M-Class can carry up to 80.3 cubic feet of cargo with the rear seats folded down. Seating is good for four adults with generous room for taller individuals up front and in the rear. Tech and convenience features are also plentiful and include navigation, rear-seat entertainment, upgraded audio systems from Harman Kardon or Bang & Olufsen, Mercedes-Benz Apps, blind spot assist, Distronic Plus with Pre-Safe brake, lane departure warning, and lane keeping assist.

UPDATE: Available safety features include blind spot warning, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, a Surround View camera system and Pre-Safe Brake, which detects impending collisions with a vehicle ahead and can apply 100 percent braking force to keep reduce the impact’s severity. The 2015 Mercedes M-Class has a five-star overall safety rating (out of a possible five stars) and is considered a Top Safety Pick+ rating, scoring Good on all categories (Good is the highest possible score) and offering Superior front crash prevention (front crash prevention awards include Basic, Advanced, and Superior).

What We Think

The 2015 Mercedes-Benz M-Class is one of the best due to its well-appointed cabin, excellent balance between comfort and sportiness, and practicality. In a 2012 First Test, we said that the crossover’s driving experience is “among the top in its class” due to its well-balanced ride and handling particularly with the optional Airmatic active suspension, which makes it capable off-pavement. AMG models provide the most driving fun, however, in a 2012 First Test review, we noted that the crossover’s overly aggressive stability control system limited its handling capabilities, effectively turning it into a cruiser rather than a canyon carver. The M-Class’s interior is also a strong point with good quality and room for four passengers. Additionally, its maximum cargo capacity of up to 80.3 cubic feet means that it is a practical choice for hauling large amounts of items.

You’ll Like

  • Comfortable ride
  • Well-built and appointed interior
  • Available diesel engine

You Won’t Like

  • Overly aggressive stability control system in AMG model
  • Steering feel is lacking

Key Competitors

  • BMW X5
  • Audi Q7
  • Infiniti QX70
  • Volvo XC90
  • Lexus RX


4 star


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