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2011 Mercedes-Benz M-Class Trims

ML350

Avg. Price: $32,849

The Mercedes-Benz ML350 rolls into 2011 with only a few minor updates, including restyled heated power exterior mirrors and a new inside rear-view mirror with an integrated compass. In addition, the automaker added a stripped-down version of its mbrace communications package to the ML350's standard equipment list. The standard mbrace package includes such features as automatic collision notification, roadside assistance, stolen vehicle location assistance, and remote door unlock, while an optional mbrace Plus Package adds such additional features as route assistance, location-based traffic and weather, and access to Mercedes-Benz's concierge services. Other standard interior features for the 2011 ML350 include an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat, Burl Walnut trim, dual-zone climate control, a power sunroof, and an eight-speaker audio system with a 6-CD changer. MB-Tex leatherette upholstery also comes standard, although owners can upgrade to a full-leather seating package, which also adds ambient lighting.

A capable 268-hp, 3.5-liter DOHC V6 engine powers the rear-wheel-drive ML350. The V6 generates 258 lb-ft of torque and links to a seven-speed automatic transmission with Touch Shift, which enables drivers to shift manually using steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. It pushes the ML350 from 0-60 in 7.9 seconds and posts fuel economy numbers of 16/21 mpg. Electronic stability control, four-wheel electronic traction control, and antilock brakes with brake assist all come standard, along with a full range of airbags, including front and rear side-curtain window airbags. The ML350 has a towing capacity of 7,200 pounds and rides on 19-inch alloy wheels with all-season tires.

ML350 4MATIC

Avg. Price: $33,311

ML350 BlueTEC

Avg. Price: $36,506

ML450 Hybrid

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz ML450 Hybrid achieves fuel economy numbers of 20/24 mpg, thanks to its full-hybrid gasoline-electric powerplant, which consists of a 3.5-liter gas-powered V6 engine coupled to two electric motors. The powerplant collectively generates 335 hp and 381 lb-ft of torque, and drives the ML450 Hybrid from 0-60 in 7.8 seconds. The vehicle can run on gasoline or electric power alone, as well as a performance-boosting combination of both. In stop-and-go traffic, the SUV uses electric power alone, thanks to an engine stop-start system. An eight-speed continuously variable transmission (CVT) helps ensure optimal fuel efficiency. The two-mode transmission comes equipped with driver-selectable Sport and Economy settings and includes the Touch Shift feature, which enables drivers to shift manually using paddles mounted on the steering wheel. Mercedes' 4Matic all-wheel-drive system comes standard on the ML450 Hybrid, along with such safety features as electronic stability control, traction control, and antilock brakes with brake assist. The ML450 Hybrid has a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds and rides on 17-inch alloy wheels with all-season tires.

Outside, the ML450 Hybrid displays a sporty, aerodynamic look, with a low, wide stance, silver-painted front grille with chrome ribs, halogen headlights and foglights, muscular wheel arches, short overhangs, and wraparound taillights. In addition, Mercedes adds restyled heated power exterior mirrors for 2011. Integrated LED front foglights and chrome exhaust tips complete the exterior design. Standard interior features include eight-way power-adjustable front seats, Burl Walnut trim, dual-zone climate control, a power sunroof, Bluetooth, and an eight-speaker audio system with a 6-CD/DVD changer, as well as a new interior rearview mirror. In addition, Mercedes adds a base version of its mbrace system, which includes such features as automatic collision notification and stolen vehicle location assistance. MB-Tex leatherette upholstery also comes standard, although owners can upgrade to a full leather package, which includes ambient lighting. Options include a heated steering wheel and heated seats, as well as an upgraded version of the COMAND system, which adds a 40-gigabyte hard drive and a navigation system with Zagat reviews.

ML550

Avg. Price: $37,587

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz ML550 combines sport styling and a luxury-oriented interior with powerful performance and optimal stability, provided by the automaker's 4Matic all-wheel-drive system, which comes standard. The ML550's 5.5-liter V8 engine generates 382 hp and 391 lb-ft of torque, and drives the SUV from 0-60 in 5.6 seconds. It mates to a seven-speed automatic transmission with Touch Shift, which enables drivers to shift manually using paddles mounted on the steering wheel. The ML550 has a towing capacity of 7,200 pounds and comes equipped with such standard safety features as a four-wheel electronic traction system, electronic stability program, and antilock brakes with brake assist. It rides on 19-inch AMG five-spoke alloy wheels with all-season tires.

Burl Walnut wood trim, heated front seats, and a premium leather-trimmed multifunction steering wheel give the ML550's roomy cabin an upscale feel. In addition, Mercedes adds a newly restyled interior rear-view mirror for 2011. Other standard features include an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat, dual-zone climate control, a power sunroof, Bluetooth, and an eight-speaker audio system with a 6-CD/DVD changer. MB-Tex leatherette upholstery comes standard, while options include leather upholstery, a rear-view camera, a power liftgate, and a navigation system, which integrates with the COMAND on-board communications system. Standard exterior features include a silver-painted front grille with chrome ribs, halogen headlights and foglights, chiseled bumpers, and chrome exhaust tips, as well as new heated power exterior mirrors. The ML550 rides on 19-inch alloy wheels with all-season tires.

ML63 AMG

Avg. Price: $56,715

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG jumps out from 0-60 in just 4.8 seconds, thanks to its powerful 6.2-liter V8 engine, which puts out an impressive 503 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque. The V8 links to a seven-speed AMG 7G-tronic automatic transmission with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters for manual shifting. The transmission also includes driver-selectable Sport, Comfort, and Manual settings. With all that power and torque, the ML63 AMG's fuel economy numbers remain lackluster, at just 11/15 mpg. AMG high-performance brakes, an AMG sports exhaust system, and an AMG sports suspension with AMG-specific damper struts and shocks all come standard. In addition, Mercedes includes such features as antilock brakes with brake assist, electronic stability control, and a four-wheel electronic traction system, called 4-ETS, on the standard equipment list. The ML63 AMG also comes equipped with the 4Matic all-wheel-drive system and rides on 20-inch AMG-designed alloy wheels with high-performance tires.

A number of AMG-designed features dress up the ML63 AMG's exterior, including a black grille with chrome ribs, a large central cooling-air intake sporting the AMG logo, wheel arch extensions, and stainless-steel, rubber-studded side rails. Inside, such AMG-specific features as Nappa leather upholstery, an AMG-designed ergonomic sport steering wheel, an AMG instrument cluster, brushed stainless-steel sport pedals with black rubber studs, and AMG sport seats with side bolsters, double stitching, and Alcantara inserts give the cabin an upscale, sporty feel. Other standard features include Burl Walnut wood trim, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a redesigned interior rear-view mirror, and a 12-speaker, 610-watt surround-sound Harman Kardon HD radio with a 6-CD changer and Sirius satellite radio. In addition, Mercedes includes a its COMAND communications system with a 6.5-inch screen, voice activation, hard drive, navigation, real-time traffic, and Zagat survey guide.