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2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class Trims

ML350

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Starting At: $53,400

For the 2013 model year, Mercedes-Benz introduces its rear-wheel-drive-only (RWD) ML350 trim. Packing the same direct-injected (DI) variable-valve-timed (VVT) 3.5-liter V6 powerplant as its all-wheel-drive (4MATIC) siblings, this entry-level, luxury-oriented midsize SUV offers power and practicality, looks and luxury, and RWD efficiency. The V6, meantime, mates with a well-wrought 7-speed shiftable automatic transmission (with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters) for 302 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque, while mileage is estimated at a rather tepid 18 mpg city/23 highway.

Boasting seating for 5 and 80.3 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seatbacks folded, the M-Class ML350 doesn’t skimp on the standard goodies. Outside, this 5-door ute offers standard 19-inch alloy wheels, a roof rack, a power sunroof, heated power-adjustable mirrors, skid plates and a power rear liftgate. Inside, leatherette upholstery is complimented by leather, wood and alloy cabin accents, as well as by heated power-adjustable front seats, remote power door locks and power windows. Of course, cruise control and telescoping tilt-wheel steering come with this base trim, as do a universal remote garage door opener, Mercedes’ Bluetooth-driven mbrace2 telematics (new for 2013) and dual-zone climate control. Entertainment, meantime, is offered via M-B’s COMAND audio system with an MP3-capable single-CD player with 8 speakers, a 7-inch touchscreen monitor and a memory card slot.

Options, in keeping with this base trim’s distinctive niche, include the Premium 1 Package, with hard-drive-based navigation, a rear-view camera, power-adjustable telescoping tilt-wheel steering, memory for driver's settings and a 6-CD changer. Standalone options, meanwhile, include heated rear seats, a 14-speaker Harman Kardon premium Surround Sound audio ensemble with satellite radio, front and rear parking sensors, sport front seats, massaging front seats (new for 2013), Parktronic parking assist, upgraded 20-inch wheels, a trailer hitch and KEYLESS-GO remote entry and engine start.

Safety features of note in the 2013 M-Class ML350 include 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front side-mounted airbags and front and rear head airbags. Daytime running lights, front fog/driving lights and turn-signal-integrated mirrors, meantime, are complemented by mbrace emergency services and alerts, as well as pre- and post-collision safety systems and a remote antitheft alarm.

Rear side-mounted airbags, as well as a new-for-2013 emergency pre-braking system (PRE-SAFE), lane-departure warning, blind-spot alerts and xenon adaptive high-intensity-discharge (HID) headlights are among the 2013 ML350’s available safety equipment.

ML350 4MATIC

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Starting At: $49,770

Big (sort of) and bold (definitely), the 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class ML350 4MATIC offers power, performance and posh wrapped in an all-wheel-drive (AWD) midsize 5-seat sport utility package. Look for plenty of standard features aboard this high-end hauler, as well as 80.3 cubic feet of cargo area with the rear seatbacks folded.

Again, 19-inch alloy wheels, a power sunroof, skid plates, a roof rack and a power rear liftgate adorn the profile of this sizeable ute, along with heated power-adjustable mirrors. The roomy and inviting cabin, meantime, features leatherette upholstery, heated power-adjustable front seats, power windows and classy leather, alloy and wood cabin accents. Of course, cruise control remains standard, as does telescoping tilt-wheel steering, a universal remote garage door opener and, new for 2013, Bluetooth-interfaced mbrace2 telematics. Then there’s the obligatory dual-zone climate control to keep everyone cool, and the COMAND audio control system sports an MP3-compatible single-CD player with 8 speakers and a memory card slot to keep ’em entertained.

Options-wise, look for the Premium 1 Package to offer navigation, a rear-view camera, 6-CD changer, power-adjustable telescoping tilt-wheel steering and driver's memory settings. Further options include rear-seat DVD entertainment, heated rear seats, an 830-watt Harman Kardon premium audio system with 14 Surround Sound speakers and satellite radio, massaging front seats (new for 2013), a trailer hitch, KEYLESS-GO remote entry and engine start, Parktronic parking assist, sport front seats and upgraded 20-inch wheels.

Powering the AWD ML350 4MATIC is a direct-injected (DI) 3.5-liter variable-valve-timed (VVT) V6 engine that remains under the management of the standard 7-speed shiftable automatic transmission to throw down 302 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. Mileage, meantime, is estimated at a lackluster 19 mpg city/24 highway.

The 4MATIC AWD system, finally, is of the full-time variety, with automatic diverting of torque from the wheels that slip to the wheels that grip in nasty weather. An optional 4-wheel Electronic Traction System (4-ETS), meantime, covers all the 4MATIC bases and adds modulated automatic braking of the wheels that slip, thereby allowing some added traction.

Noteworthy standard safety equipment aboard this luxury-laden sport ute includes 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front and rear side-mounted airbags, and front and rear head airbags. Daytime running lights, front fog/driving lights and turn-signal-integrated mirrors constitute further standard safety equipment, as do pre- and post-collision safety systems and a remote antitheft alarm. Lane departure warning, meanwhile, as well as blind spot alerts, new-for-2013 emergency pre-braking (PRE-SAFE) and adaptive xenon high-intensity-discharge (HID) headlights are all optional safety equipment.

ML350 BlueTEC

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Starting At: $52,725

Sporting a fuel-miserly and torque-toting turbodiesel V6 powerplant, standard all-wheel drive (AWD), 80.3 cubic feet of cargo room (with the rear seatbacks folded) and traditional Mercedes reliability and posh, the 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class ML350 BlueTEC stands ready to serve the well-heeled family.

Again boasting seating for 5, this midsize luxury SUV boasts 19-inch alloy wheels, a roof rack, power rear liftgate, power sunroof, skid plates and heated power-adjustable mirrors in empowering its already distinctive profile. Inside, look for leatherette upholstery to be complemented by leather, alloy and wood cabin accents, as well as heated power-adjustable front seats, remote power door locks and power windows. Cruise control is of course standard, as are such convenience enhancers as telescoping tilt-wheel steering, a universal remote garage door opener and (new for 2013) Bluetooth-integrated mbrace2 telematics. Finally, dual-zone climate control keeps things cool, while a 100-watt MP3-capable single-CD player, with COMAND 7-inch touchscreen display and 8 speakers, pushes out the tunes, helped by a video function and a memory card slot.

Options for the high-end M-Class ML350 BlueTEC, meantime, include the Premium 1 Package, with hard-drive-based navigation, 6-CD player, power-adjustable telescoping and tilting steering wheel and driver's memory settings. Furthermore, standalone options include massaging front seats, KEYLESS-GO remote entry and remote engine start, a trailer hitch, Parktronic parking assist, 20-inch alloy wheels, a heated multifunction steering wheel (with mounted paddle shifters), a rear-view camera, premium leather upholstery, front and rear parking sensors, and sport front seats. Oh, and rear-seat DVD entertainment as well as new-for-2013 massaging front seats are also available, as is an 830-watt Harman Kardon audio system with 14 speakers and satellite radio service.

An efficient and potent-enough 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 powerplant comes standard aboard the AWD-toting 2013 M-Class ML350 BlueTEC. Mated with the standard 7-speed shiftable automatic transmission, this peppy six-banger puts out 240 hp and an impressive 455 lb-ft of torque, good enough for 20 mpg city/28 highway.

Again, the 4MATIC full-time AWD system, featuring automatic diversion of torque from the wheels that slip to the wheels that grip, comes standard, while the available 4-Wheel Electronic Traction System does the same thing but adds auto brake modulation of the wheels that slip for added control and confidence.

Noteworthy standard safety features include 4-wheel antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front and rear side-mounted airbags, and front and rear head airbags. Daytime running lights, front fog/driving lights and turn-signal-integrated mirrors also come standard in the ML350 BlueTEC, as do a pre- and post-collision safety system, mbrace2 emergency services, alerts and communications, and a remote antitheft alarm. A lane departure warning system, finally, with blind-spot alert, as well as a new emergency pre-braking system (PRE-SAFE) and adaptive xenon high-intensity-discharge (HID) headlights are all further available safety additions.

ML550

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Starting At: $72,515

Need a luxury-laden 5-seat midsize SUV to spruce up the commute? Check out the 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class ML550. Practicality is covered by 80.3 cubic feet of cargo area with the rear seats folded, driving confidence is promoted by the standard 4MATIC all-wheel-drive (AWD) system, and power is handled smartly by a twin-turbo-toting V8 engine.

And standard amenities, you ask? Start with appearance goodies like 19-inch alloy wheels, a power sunroof and power rear liftgate, a roof rack, heated power-adjustable outside mirrors, a trailer hitch, skid plates and step running boards. In the cabin, look for leatherette upholstery, heated power-adjustable front seats, remote power door locks, power windows and leather, wood and alloy trim accents. Of course, cruise control, telescoping tilt-wheel steering and a universal remote garage door opener are also delivered with this midlevel trim, as is (new for 2013) Bluetooth-integrated mbrace2 telematics. Dual-zone auto climate control is also standard, as is a 100-watt audio ensemble with an MP3-capable single-CD player, 8 speakers and a memory card slot, all presented by M-B’s touted COMAND audio control system with 7-inch color touchscreen and video display.

And yes, Virginia, there are a bunch of options for this high-end ute. The available Premium 1 Package offers hard-drive-based navigation, a power-adjustable tilting and telescoping steering wheel, a rear-view camera, driver memory settings and a 6-CD changer. Further available extras include heated rear seats, Parktronic parking assist, rear-seat DVD entertainment, massaging front seats (new for 2013) and an 830-watt Harman Kardon premium audio system with 14 speakers and satellite radio. KEYLESS-GO remote entry and engine start is also available to the midlevel ML550, as are 20-inch upgraded wheels and a heated multi-function steering wheel.

A variable-valve-timed (VVT) 4.7-liter twin-turbocharged V8 powerplant provides the go in this luxury-laden sport ute. Combined with the standard 7-speed shiftable automatic transmission (with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters), this blown V8 will put out 402 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque, with mileage numbers running 14 mpg city/20 highway. The standard 4MATIC full-time AWD system, meantime, automatically shifts torque from the wheels that slip to the wheels that grip when the going gets slippery, while the available 4-Wheel Electronic Traction System does that and more, providing modulated braking to the wheels that slip for some added control.

The available On/Off-Road Package, with 2-speed transfer case, 6-mode driving program selector and a heavy-duty off-road suspension again remains optional in the 4MATIC-equipped ML550.

Notable safety equipment, finally, includes 4-wheel antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front and rear side-mounted airbags, and front and rear head airbags. Daytime running lights, front fog/driving lights and turn-signal-integrated mirrors also come standard, as do pre-and post-collision safety systems, a remote antitheft alarm and mbrace2 emergency alerts and services. Optional safety equipment, meantime, includes lane-departure alerts with blind spot warning, as well as new emergency pre-braking (PRE-SAFE), and adaptive xenon high-intensity-discharge (HID) headlights.

ML63 AMG

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At the pinnacle of the already lofty 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class lineup is the ML63 AMG. Potent, reasonably practical, loaded with standard goodies and equipped with standard all-wheel drive (AWD) and a sport-tuned suspension, this 5-seat midsize luxury and performance SUV throws caution—not to mention the gas budget—to the winds with its standard 518-hp twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V8 powerplant. Managed by the standard 7-speed shiftable automatic transmission to put out a massive 516 lb-ft of torque, this monster can tow up to 7,200 pounds with the proper equipment, but, despite variable valve timing (VVT), gets an EPA estimate of 13 mpg city/17 highway. Finally, a selectable 3-mode (Comfort, Sport, Sport+) suspension setting function allows drivers to choose the best ride/handling combination for particular conditions.

Standard 4MATIC full-time AWD, meanwhile, automatically shifts torque from the wheels that slip to the wheels that grip, while the available 4-wheel Electronic Traction System (4-ETS) does the same and also provides modulated braking of the wheels that slip for added driving confidence in snow.

Now for the good stuff. Adorning the profile of each and every 2013 ML63 AMG are 20-inch alloy wheels, a roof rack, a power sunroof, a power rear liftgate, heated power-adjustable outside mirrors and skid plates. On the inside, leather upholstery, heated power-adjustable sport front seats, leather, wood and alloy cabin accents, remote power door locks and power windows are complemented by memory for driver's settings and dual-zone auto climate control. Cruise control, meantime, as well as front and rear parking sensors, telescoping tilt-wheel steering, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, a universal remote garage door opener, and a wide-angle rear-view camera remain standard convenience features, all bolstered for 2013 by M-B’s new mbrace2 telematics interfaced with Bluetooth hands-free technology. Finally, KEYLESS-GO remote entry and engine start also comes standard.

Entertainment-wise, an 830-watt Harman Kardon premium audio ensemble again comes standard in this flagship trim and flaunts an MP3-capable 6-CD changer, 14 Surround Sound speakers, the COMAND central control system with video-capable 7-inch touchscreen display, a memory card slot, satellite radio and a USB connection. Additionally, hard-drive-based navigation also comes standard as part of the COMAND display.

Perhaps the most noteworthy option package for the top-shelf ML63 AMG is the AMG Performance Package, with tweaks to the V8 boosting output to 550 hp and 560 lb-ft of torque, along with tossing in a sport steering wheel and bright red painted brake calipers. Rear-seat DVD entertainment, meanwhile, is a standalone option, along with a number of unique interior accent schemes, including Piano Black lacquer accents and trim pieces. Additionally, 21-inch upgraded wheels, heated rear seats and a trailer hitch can also be tacked on to this flagship trim.

Standard safety features of note aboard the 2013 M-Class ML63 AMG include 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front and rear side-mounted airbags, and front and rear head airbags. Further standard safety equipment includes daytime running lights, front fog/driving lights, turn-signal-integrated mirrors and mbrace2 emergency alerts and services, along with pre- and post-collision safety systems, a remote antitheft alarm, adaptive xenon high-intensity-discharge (HID) headlights and Parktronic parking assist functions. Pre-collision emergency braking (PRE-SAFE), meantime, is now available as a safety option, as are lane departure warnings and blind-spot alerts.