2012 Mercedes-Benz M-Class: full details, photos and specs

Article by Christian A., on June 13, 2011

Mercedes-Benz has finally released the press kit for the new M-Class that contains full details of the SUV as well as an extended photo gallery. Fans were left wanting for more when earlier, the carmaker had to officially unveil its latest model but only a few details and images were shown. The new M-Class, which starts selling next spring, will be offered with three powertrains to choose from.

These are the ML 250 CDI (2.1l, 204 hp and 500 Nm of torque), ML 350 CDI (3l, 258 hp and 620 Nm of torque) and the ML 350 BlueEfficiency (3.5l, 306 hp and 370 Nm of torque).

These are all mated to 7G-Tronic Plus transmissions. What Mercedes-Benz has revealed recently is that the ML 250 CDI has a fuel efficiency rating of 47.0 mpg, it has CO2 emissions of 158g/km, it can sprint from 0 to 62 mph in 9.0 seconds, and it can reach a top speed of 130 mph. The ML 350 CDI offers 41.5 mpg, a sprint time of 7.4 seconds to reach 62 mph from a standstill, and has a top speed of 139 mph.

The ML 350 BlueEfficiency returns 33.2 mpg and has a maximum speed of 146 mph. Mercedes-Benz boasts that the new M- M-Class (with a drag coefficient of 0.32 in ML 250 BlueTEC form) is the most aerodynamically efficient SUV in its class.

The M-Class is also expected to get the top rating from any car safety performance assessment program anywhere as it has a bunch of passive and active systems installed. Its ON&OFFROAD package features six transmission modes, which are controlled through a rotary actuator on the center console. These include one automatic mode, two specifically off-road modes and three on-road modes, namely: Winter, Sport and Trailer.

The wheels range from 17-inch ones to 20-inch, but 21-inch AMG wheels are offered as an option too. Four colors are available for its interior: black, almond beige, alpaca grey and tobacco brown/marron. Buyers have a wide array of materials to choose from: fabric/ARTICO man-made leather, ARTICO man-made leather and leather in six color combinations.

The Interior Sports package offers a mixture of DINAMICA microfibre and black ARTICO man-made leather. Buyers may also opt for the Nappa leather and black leather. Of course, Mercedes has not neglected the entertainment and comfort aspects and asserts that consumers will not be left unsatisfied.

Wide-opening doors grant interior access to passengers of the new Mercedes-Benz M-Class. Inside, passengers would love their high seating position to be coupled with plenty of comfortable space, thanks to more elbow – plus 34 mm in the front and plus 25 mm in the rear. Drivers are indulged with a four-spoke multifunction steering wheel that comes with 12 trapezoidal control buttons for trip computer, radio, telephone and others. Moreover, the steering wheel features Direct Select Direct Select lever and Direct Select shift paddles for controlling the SUV’s 7G-Tronic Plus automatic transmission.

The new Mercedes-Benz M-Class features a wide instrument panel that extends even behind the steering wheel, thereby continuing the horizontal lines from the exterior design. This instrument panel features a large decorative trim element that continues along the doors in a wrap-around effect. These proportioned 3D trim elements could be availed in four high-quality wood finishes (exclusive refinement) or in aluminum (sporty sophistication). Moreover, the SUV’s door openers and seat adjustment switches were inset into the side trim elements. In addition, the door center panels come with characteristic decorative stitching, with the Sports package featuring an exclusive look.

Meanwhile, the SUV’s instrument cluster features a large high-quality 11.4-cm monochrome display flanked by two clear and legible round dials. Placed on the center of the instrument panel is a large color screen for the infotainment system. Customers could pick between CD radio, CD radio with integrated navigation system and the COMAND Online control and display system with the latest navigation system. CD radios come with 14.7-cm screen while COMAND Online features a 17.8-cm display. The internet-enabled COMAND control and display concept were developed to provide intuitive and easy operation of the infotainment, navigation and communication systems through the metal Controller on the center console.

Two buttons are placed for switching the display on and off. Meanwhile, the large screen comes with vertical rectangular air intake vents that help highlight the functionality of the Mercedes-Benz M-Class. Same-shaped outer vents are horizontally positioned for a more stylish layout. Both the dashboard console and air intake vents come with edgings in Silver Shadow finish while the ergonomically designed and highly precise switches in the dashboard console as well as on the air conditioning and ventilation setting are wrapped in high-gloss silver.

Now, the center console of Mercedes-Benz M-Class features an integrated arm and handrest, lying in front of which are the Controller and switches for the off-road programs and AIRMATIC air suspension. All of these controls are given a uniform appearance. Owners will appreciate the fact that the new Mercedes M-Class features an array of very accessible stowage facilities that could accommodate bottles, mugs, coins or keys.

In fact, each of the four doors could contain a one-liter bottle. By just touching the handrest in the center console of the Mercedes M-Class, one could open up a large stowage compartment that reveals a 12V socket and connections for mobile audio devices. Furthermore, the center console comes with two cup holders that could keep drinks either cool or warm at temperatures of between 8 and 55 degrees Celsius. Mercedes made sure that occupants of the new M-Class are able to sit comfortably during any trip by providing very comfortable seats with outstanding lateral support.

With a feature that permits parameters like height, backrest angle, seat cushion angle and reach to be electrically adjusted, the comfort of the SUV’s drivers will be maximized. Seats in the Mercedes M-Class could be adjusted and can travel by over 350 mm lengthways and over 90 mm in height, which means drivers of different built and height could sit comfortably in their ideal seating position.

Likewise, the rear seats -- fitted with an armrest and cup holder – could have their backrest angle adjusted and even folded in the ratio 1/3:2/3. This allows customers to load even long objects without having to compromise all rear seat positions. Additionally, folding both backrests and seat cushions forward should result to a level load compartment of the new Mercedes M-Class that could accommodate 2,010 liters of cargo. Customers may choose from three seat variants and two sports seat versions -- in six different color combinations. The sports seats – usually kept for the Sports package – comes with a different stitching pattern integrated into the door center panels.

Meanwhile, the interior appointments could be availed in four colors: almond beige, alpaca grey, black and marron/tobacco brown. These appointments could be combined with fabric/ARTICO man-made leather in black, or ARTICO man-made leather and leather in any of the six available color combinations. The Interior Sports package, meanwhile, feature DINAMICA microfiber and leather in black.

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